Latest update: 22 July 2022
The setting is almost magical, and the view over Lake Garda is breathtaking. It is tranquil on the roads in Tremosine sul Garda, and that’s a good thing. The narrow winding roads offer hardly any space for passing traffic. Oncoming traffic probably scares me more than the famous horror terrace I’m driving up to. And yet, the Tremosine sul Garda mountain route is one you should not miss.
The 18 hamlets of Tremosine
Tremosine sul Garda is on the western side of Lake Garda. Tremosine consists of 18 hamlets hidden between the rocks, the meadows, and the forests. In alphabetical order, Arias, Bazzanega, Cadignano, Campione del Garda, Castone, Mezzema, Musio, Pieve, Pregasio, Priezzo, Secastello, Sermerio, Sompriezzo, Ustecchio, Vesio, Villa, Voiandes and Voltino make up Tremosine sul Garda. There is little to do in most hamlets, so this area is ideal for a car trip with a few stops.
The tire tracks of James Bond: Strada della Forra
The route, Strada della Forra, is known as one of the most beautiful and most challenging in the world. Winston Churchill even called the road the eighth Wonder of the World, and James Bond drove a few cars off the road in the opening scene of Quantum of Solace. But, unlike James Bond, I want to cover the Strada della Forra in slow motion. Obviously, because the hairpin bends and the oncoming traffic are dangerous, but mainly because the setting is gorgeous. The rock walls, the waterfalls, the vegetation: I can’t get enough of it.
I’m staying in Salò and drive via the coastal road towards Tremosine. This road already treats me to beautiful vistas over Lake Garda. I entered some of the hamlets on Google Maps, resulting in a route of about 1.5 hours without stops. I decide on the spot whether or not to stop. For picture-taking, this ride would actually have been easier with a scooter.
The most spectacular part of the drive is the Brasa gorge. The road is less than two meters wide here. Therefore, you can only drive through it one car at a time. It is tranquil at the end of May, but I understand from other travelers that it is challenging to drive here in the high season because of a good deal of oncoming traffic.
Pieve’s horror terrace
The hamlets of Pieve and Campione are the largest of the bunch. Because the Terraza del Brivido is in Pieve, you should definitely make a stop here. This terrace offers a fantastic view over Lake Garda, but also demands some perseverance. The balcony protrudes over the rock wall at an altitude of about 350 to 400 meters. I find it challenging to enter with my fear of heights and hardly dare to walk on it. I anxiously hold onto the railing and forget to enjoy the view. Proud to have stood on this famous horror terrace, I’m happy to safely sit down for a drink a few meters from the balcony.
Are heights not an issue for you? Then you can go down the Sentiero del Porto along the rock wall and catch the bus back to Pieve. Please don’t wear flip-flops. There are warnings everywhere that the descent is not easy.
The village of Pieve is lovely for a short walk. Explore some narrow alleys, admire the flowery balconies and visit the church of Pieve (San Giovanni Battista). Then continue to the other hamlets of Tremosine sul Garda.
Slightly non-atmospheric Campione
I end the drive in Campione, a surf town. Surfers and sailors gather here to conquer Lake Garda by water. Out of season, it is a sleepy town. I was hoping for a cozy waterside beach club to end my Strada della Forra ride, but it’s incredibly windy, so never mind. I don’t find it very attractive here, to be honest. Construction is in full swing, and the cheap white plastic chairs are not screaming my name.
Would you also like to drive this route through Tremosine?
On this map in Google Maps, I have marked several hamlets. You end up in Campione – which is hopefully more fun on a sunny day. Let me know if it is!
More travel inspiration for Italy
Useful links for your Italy trip
- Travel guides. I love the practical travel guides from Lonely Planet, buy them at Bol.com or Book Depository. The latter has longer delivery times but is often cheaper.
- Flights. Be sure to check out Transavia, but do compare all your options! Definitely check out Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
- Trains to Italy. Travel by train to Italy from the Netherlands with NS International.
- Local transport. Book busses and trains in Italy with Omio or Busbud.
- Accommodation. All-time favorites: Booking.com, Natuurhuisje, and Airbnb. Or try BelVilla. Rather stay in a hostel? Try HostelWorld.
- Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator. For tours with locals, go to WithLocals or Hi,hi Guide. And for bike tours, try Baja Bikes.
- Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers.
- Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
- Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? There are plenty of choices. For the Dutch, try: ANWB vakanties or Tui, Sawadee, Corendon or will you choose Vakantie Discounter?
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First published: July 2020. The article has been updated since.