ON THE WATER
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy at a whopping 51 kilometres long and 17 wide, so there’s acres of space! The west side of the lake is windier and the lake’s ‘Mecca of Kitesurf’, Campione del Garda, sits in the northwest corner. The Formula Kite World Championships were held there in 2019, for good reason; thanks to the imposing cliff overlooking the town of Campione, there’s a powerful funnel effect for the wind. It’s visually stunning and incredible for foiling as you can voyage for miles up- and downwind.
Limone, situated at the north end of the lake, is the best spot for flat water in the morning and stronger winds in the afternoon. You can only access it by boat so the spot stays quiet, even in high season. Even if the lake is flat calm in the afternoon you can get a steady local effect breeze here.
An important factor to note is that all watersports participants are required to wear a life jacket on Lake Garda.
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER
Looking over the spot and Univela Hotel
The funnel effect that narrows to the north guarantees a venturi effect at the spot of Limone, usually creating at least 15 knots of wind in the afternoon. The thermal winds also kick in with the high pressure (good weather). The Peler blows from the north in the mornings around eight to 11 knots, so is great for foiling. The Ora blows from the south in the afternoons around 15 – 20 knots. Even in low pressure weather systems, Garda offers enough wind to kitesurf safely. April, May, September and October are the best months, often blowing 25+ knots, but you’ll find some wind on 75% of days for the remaining months. A day with no wind at all is rare. Garda Kitesurf only operate and kitesurf themselves from April to October due to the colder temperatures in winter.
Bring a long wetsuit for March, April and October, a shorty through summer and then just boardies in July and August. April and October temperatures can vary from 15 – 25ºC / 59 – 77ºF and in the summer they max at around 38ºC / 100ºF, although there’s occasionally a chill in the evening. Water temperatures range from 12ºC / 50ºF degrees in March to 22ºC / 78ºF in summer.
OFF THE WATER
The Campione del Garda village is a great place to recharge your batteries while getting some serious water-time. To reach the village, drive through a tunnel from the ‘Gardesana’ road, which is widely regarded as one of the most scenic in the world. Underneath an imposing mountain and, completely separated from the rest of the world, lies a large community of like-minded kiters and sailors, from all backgrounds. There’s a small market, two restaurants and several bars. Garda Kitesurf have partnered with Univela, a big hotel that’s almost on the water – offering standard and shared rooms at a good rate. The kite spot is just 200 metres from the hotel.
We get so used to usually kiting towards nothing on the horizon. Your eyes are always kept busy with beauty in these parts
Hiring a car is a good idea, but airport shuttles are easy to organise. It’s not necessary to hire a car if you only want to stay in Campione – but travelling around Lake Garda to visit other locations is worthwhile. The nearest town, Limone sul Garda, is seven kilometres away. Activities include diving, sailing, hiking, climbing and mountain biking. There’s visual culture everywhere. Malcesine, on the eastern side of the lake, is very picturesque, with a medieval castle.
From luxury lake-side hotels to B&Bs and serene campsites next to the kite spots, there’s a lot to choose from.
MILAN / BERGAMO (BGY) is an hour and 40 minutes drive. Verona / Brescia (VBS) is a little closer. Hire cars from around €20 per day. Getting to Limone by bus will take twice as long.
“Lake Garda is such a unique place to ride; huge mountains on all sides and wind every day, plus amazing people and good food.”