Spread across a 100-mile-wide stretch, the Italian lakes are some of Italy’s most scenic landscapes, made up of charming waterside villages, elegant palazzos and spectacular scenery. We’ve put together our top three ways to take on the Italian Lakes. What will be your great lake escape…
This seven-night getaway will take you to two of Italy’s lesser-known lakes. Yes, Lake Garda is the big star around this area, but these two smaller lakes offer just as much on the sightseeing front, however makes their more peaceful surroundings make for a relaxing break.
Lake Orta is the smallest of the Italian Lakes and at its heart is Orta San Giulio, arguably one of the prettiest lakeside towns in the whole area. We bet you won’t ever tire of walking its picturesque streets lined with cafes and boutiques.
In Lake Maggiore, keep one evening to head over to Isola Pescatori (one of the three Borromean Islands). The island is renowned for its fishing community, so a seafood supper here is a must. Most restaurants will have their own boats to take you back to the mainland, as public ferries stop around 7pm. So before you tuck into your pesce del lago in carpione (marinated freshwater fish) check you won’t be marooned on the island for the night.
Our top excursions –
Perhaps you feel fully Zen after time on the lake’s shores, and ready to hit the city. This Milan excursion will have you viewing Italy’s largest Gothic cathedral, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (the world’s oldest shopping mall) and the renowned La Scala Opera House, just to name a few. Find out more about our Milan from Lake Maggiore excursion.
Head for the hills…
Head for the hills and valleys on this Macugnaga and Mount Rosa excursion. Keep your camera at the ready for a drive up to Anzasca Valley and the pretty ancient village of the Walser people. From here, Macugnana can be found in the foothills of Monte Rosa in the Alps. This half-day excursion is a great way to see another of Italy’s diverse landscapes.
This epic 11-day northern Italy itinerary takes in two of Italy’s most famous lakes and stops in enchanting Venice. Spend the first three days enjoying square-side aperitivi in Piazza San Marco, exploring the Doge’s Palace and discovering the colourful islands. And, of course, don’t leave without experiencing a gondola ride.
Then it is time to make a beeline for Italy’s largest lake, Lake Garda. Here, regular ferries can take you from one charming lakeside town to another. Our favourite? Sirmione and its gelato alley – a street boasting countless colourful gelato stores.
From one lake landscape to another: your final stop is to Lake Como, famous for its grand villas. Not to be missed is the beautiful Villa Carlotta and its flower-filled gardens in Tremezzo.
Our top excursions –
Italy’s lake region is renowned for its delicious wine. Don’t just take our word for it, though – you’ll have the chance to sample them for yourself on our half-day fine wine excursion. Visit some of Lake Garda’s most famous wineries and listen as they teach you all about the production, before sampling some of the wines.
Grand villa tour…
The Fabulous Villas of Lake Como and Comacina Island half-day excursion is the best way to explore those famous villas. Hop on board the cruise and you’ll see the likes of Villa Balbianello (star of the James Bond film Casino Royale) and Villa Margherita (holiday home of George Clooney).
Lake escapes don’t get much better than this, which teams two classics. You have seven days to discover what each of these lakes has to offer, and it’s spectacular scenery. While in Lake Maggiore, visit the lake’s stunning islands, which include Isola Bella, one of the three Borromean Islands. The palace on the island is breathtaking, and comes complete with exclusive paintings, ornate furniture and exquisite marble. Spend your time in Lake Como strolling along the gorgeous promenades, wandering around the charming artisan shops of Varenna and visiting more of those stunning villas.
Our top excursions –
Great lake escape…
Why stop at just two of Italy’s lakes, when with our half-day Lake Orta excursion, you can tick another off of your list. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon strolling the charming streets of Orta San Giulio, and enjoying a relaxing boat trip to San Giulio’s Island.
Dating back to the middle Ages, Bergamo is one of the most enchanting towns in northern Italy. From Lake Como, you can pick up this full-day excursion which includes a walking tour, free time to explore and the chance to travel along the stunning south-eastern coastline of Lake Como.
Which Italian Lakes would you like to combine?