The Hotel Santoni Freelosophy in Torbole is situated in a strategic spot, allowing you to reach the main windsurfing spots around Lake Garda with no hassle. There are two main thermal winds in Lake Garda: Pelèr blows from north to south since the very first light of dawn till about 11:00 AM; Ora then starts blowing right after, in the opposite direction, all the way through noon till the evening.
As far as Pelèr, the morning wind, goes we have two main choices: we could either head down along the coast to Verona or the one towards Brescia. Whenever the wind is particularly strong, though, it's also possible to sail the Pelèr wind directly in Torbole.
The Hotel Santoni Freelosophy in Torbole, right on the northern tip of Garda, allows us to comfortably choose whichever spot we prefer to windsurf in the morning, taking full advantage of the Pelèr: after of heading down the eastern gardesana towards Verona for about 15 minutes, we come across Malcesine; if we were to go down the other side of the lake, on the western gardesana, we would then come across Pra de la Fam, after about half an hour.
Info about the “Pelèr spots”
It's one of the main and most renowned spots around the Lake. Right before entering the village of Malcesine, driving down the long straight road, you'll see a vast parking lot on the right-hand side. That's the spot!
The main wind here is Pelèr, which usually blows with a minimum strength of about 4 bft. It can however, as it usually does, get a lot stronger. You can comfortably park your car few meters away from the water's edge, to then rig and jump right in. During weekends it's best to come here really early as the parking lot tends to fill up completely before 6.00 AM. Pelèr usually starts blowing at night in Malcesine, so it's possible to windsurf at the very first light of dawn, all the way till about 11:00 AM. Remember to have some spare change to pay the parking with, otherwise you are most likely to find not such a welcoming fine when you come back from your session. The most used sail sizes range from 4.2 to 4.7. Thanks to its position about 15km down the coast from Torbole, there's already quite enough fetch to generate big chops, which will launch you into the sky on your way out! The spot is often packed with numerous local freestyle and slalom athletes training. The Point-7 team, the renowned Torbole-based sail-brand, is there almost every single day. After the session, we advise you take a nice relaxing stroll in Malcesine to have a cappuccino.
The most renowned spot for Pelèr on the west coast of the Lake, on the side of Brescia. It's slightly farther away from Torbole than Malcesine, but it's an absolute must. Unlike Malcesine, the wind kicks in at Pra de la Fam only when the sun starts peeking over the mountains, thus warming up the rocky mountains right behind the spot. You usually get in the water by 8:30 AM during summertime, with the wind blowing almost all the way to noon. This spot works best when the sky is completely clear, thus allowing the sun to heat the rocks up properly. Whenever it's cloudy, the wind tends to be gustier and it's best to sail in Malcesine.
Nevertheless, the most used sail sizes here range from 4.2 to 5.2. There are, unfortunately, way less parking spots available than in Malcesine. The spot offers longer and more organized chop, being farther down the coast as well as warmer air and water temperaturs than Malcesine, as you'd be sailing when the sun is already shining. After your session, you can chill out and recollect some energy directly on the small but cozy beach, right on the spot.
Info about the “Ora spots”
TORBOLE SUL GARDA
Torbole is a typical northern-Garda village, which still preserves its antique nature in its centre, reminding of the olden days fishing village. Its geographic location, the temperate climate and natural beauty make it one of the go-to locations to make sure your guests are fully satisfied.
Goethe himself, in 1786, wrote enthusiastically about Torbole and its extraordinary thermal winds, describing them as “ one of nature's wonders, a mesmerizing spectacle.”
The south wind, which blows almost every single day, has earned Torbole the coveted nickname of "windsurfing and sailing paradise", and it's one of the most televised and under-the-spotlight locations Europe-wide. Torbole offers many different spots to windsurf its famous afternoon Ora. Starting from the most upwind, on the east coast, there's Conca d’Oro, home of Shaka Surf Center. Here you'll find a comfortable and spacious parking lot, with a wide grass patch to rig all your equipment on. Conca d’Oro is slalom and freeriders' heaven. The most used sail sizes range from 5.7 to 8.6, with slalom boards. Our advice is to get into the water in Conca and cross the whole Lake to jibe full speed just under Ponale.
Once your session is done, you can chill at the bar right on the beach and enjoy the pictoresque sunset with a delicious drink in your hand
We then come across Molo Paradiso, which is, despite the lack of parking spots, the favourite freestyle spot of all local freestylers as well as beginners learning to waterstart.
In Torbole we stumble upon the first major surf school of the area, Vasco Renna Surf Center right beside the prestigious Circolo Surf Torbole, the organizational headquarters for most of the main windsurf-related competitive events happening in Lake Garda.
Moving along towards Riva del Garda, right after river Sarca, there's Segnana Watersports, by far the biggest Windsurf (as well as Kite, SUP, Bike, Sail) centre of the area. The huge grass patch right in front of the school's office allows all its guests to take full advantage of the beautiful landscape of Garda Trentino and soak up as much sun as they can. The bay in front of the school is the ideal spot to learn windsurfing, in absolute security and comfort, by taking on of the daily beginners and funboard classes.
After cross the tunnel beneath monte Brione, we enter Riva del Garda. The very first spot we then find is Porfina, just after the port of San Nicolò, ideal for its southern winds which can get a lot stronger than the other spots, as it tends to be funnelled by the mountain close-by. Freestylers and freeriders are the main locals of this spot, and its spacious parking lot and grass patch. Moving along we then find Sailing du Lac, which is still under flagship of Segnana Watersports, and it's the most renowned sailing centre of the area, but there's also the possibility to windsurf, canoe and SUP. The school is surrounded by a wonderful reserve which begs for a visit.
Last but not least, on the way to Limone, about 5 minutes away from Riva del Garda by car, is the legendary PierWindsurf. In this very same spot where, in 1996, the first ever King of the Lake took place thus creating the new windsurfing discipline we refer to as modern Freestyle.
PierWindsurf is the hi-level pro-center of the Segnana Watersports group, allowing its guests to rent top-of-the-line equipment as well as taking private lessons with certified instructors. It's also one of the very first centres, world-wide, offering individual lesson and rental of foil windsurfing. This is by far the most consistent and windiest sport for the Ora and it's absolute freestyle kingdom. It's actually possible to sail with the morning Peler as well, along with the magic afternoon Ora. The most used sail sizes in PierWindsurf range from 4.7 to 6.2.