Punta San Vigilio beach is probably the best beach of Lake Garda. I had seen one too many photos of it on Instagram, so I decided to go there myself eventually!
It was a Tuesday morning when my nephew Filippo and I went off from Padua by car to reach (after 1 hour and a half) the parking lot of Punta San Vigilio. By the way, the name comes from a monk who once lived year (before the year 1000).
Passed the gate and, you have two chances: go straight for the hotel or go right for the beach. We first reached for the hotel, just to take a look.
At the end of the cypress lane, there was a beautiful 16th century villa.
We then followed the cobbled path down to the hotel. And we were amazed by the beauty of the view. Past the threshold on the left of the restaurant building, you end up at the pier.
A tiny, intimate cove, where the blue of the lake and the blue of the sky touch and fill your eyes. A stone walkway runs from left to right. On the right, just four beach lounger for the hotel’s guests. On the left, a line of tables under the shade of a pergola of the restaurant.
It was one of the most enchanting and romantic spots I have ever seen in the Lake Garda area.
Back on our tracks, we returned at the beach entrance, our first goal of the trip. The beach has a cute name, Sirens Bay, Baia delle Sirene. The fee is a bit higher if compared to that of other beaches of my region, but totally worth it in my opinion. Once you enter, you’re welcomed by an olive grove with wooden tables and benches. On the left, a playground for children. The path leads you to the pebble beach.
The landscape at Punta San Vigilio beach is enchanting. Limpid water, luxuriant green, the mountains in front of you. We were stunned.
Swimming was pleasant. It was my first lake swim. And it was better than I expected. Yes, swimming in lake Garda is a little “heavier”, but not too much. And I’m not a skilful swimmer. I basically just float and swim in a bad breaststroke style. Which in Italian has a cute name: nuotare a rana, swim frog style. About funny things, the best I spotted was a man with a air mattress in the shape of a giant watermelon slice. At some point I saw this giant watermelon moving… hilarious! 😀
What I liked of Punta San Vigilio beach
- The parking lot is free (not that big though, so it may be a problem during high season days)
- Gorgeous limpid water
- The place is very clean
- Free beach chairs and loungers (while they last)
- Toilets (only squat toilets)
- Two bars and an ice cream parlour
- Pic nic tables
- Table tennis tables
- Three floating platforms near the shore, so that you can dive
- TV area (but… please, do not come here to watch TV)
- Pets are allowed (on a lead)
- Children playground
- I also spotted a kiosk selling toys for the beach or something, but I did not take a deeper look, so I’m not sure about it
- Just one dressing room is not enough. I think they should add some more, but on a week day we had no problem.
- The food at the bar was OK, but nothing special.
- The beach apparently closes on September 3. Too soon! Many years we have gorgeous weather until the beginning of October. (Added on September 2017: I discovered that it is still open, until about half/end of September, depending on the weather conditions).
Be equipped with shoes for pebbled beaches. Or watch out! Some pebbles are sharp, but the main problem is the entry into the water. An the exit. Yes, because the stones on the lake bottom are highly slippery. If you slip, you obviously can’t control where you step. Ouch! When I entered the water, I got tired of this and I simply decided to face the cold water (by the way, it was not as cold as I thought. Totally acceptable). I plunged into the water and started swimming. “Just keep swimming… just keep swimming” 😉 . But the real problem was when I decided to get out… It was a pain, I kept slipping. I basically did a Kneippweg, which I love, but not this way!
I have already bought a pair of acquashoes for the next time. Yes, because there is definitely going to be a next time. And then another one. Too beautiful a place to go just once!
PS If the parking lot is full, you can park in the next one, a little further along the road. The pedestrian signs lead you to another beach, nice but (imho), less beautiful than the one I described. I tried them both. The second is less spacious, with less pebbles but more rocks. But better toilets. 😀 It is located (if you look at the photo below), in the far right point.
Punta San Vigilio beach Information
Adults €12 (€9 after 2.30 pm, €5 after 4.30 pm)
Kids €6 (€4 after 2.30 pm, €3 after 4.30 pm)
The beach is open every day from May 10 to September 3. The park opens at 9.30 am and closes at 8 pm (but the ticket kiosk closes at 6 pm).
Punta San Vigilio beach
Località San Vigilio, 107016 Garda VR