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Stephanie North, City Break Specialist

"Lake Maggiore is Italy’s largest lake, surrounded by picturesque hills to the north and mountains to the south. In Laverno Mombello take a two person cable car to the top of Sasso del Ferro for a spectacular panoramic view of the lake region. After enjoying a picnic or terrace lunch, take the ferry to Pallanzo where you can explore the lovely Villa Taranto gardens."

Lake Maggiore at a glance

The most westerly of the Italian Lakes, Lake Maggiore extends for 68 kilometres passing through alpine mountains, rolling foothills and the plain of Lombardy. Its mild Mediterranean climate enables tropical plants to grow year around and its lakeside resort towns boast a number of beautiful gardens.

Many villages and towns call Lake Maggiore home and each has their own unique attractions and atmosphere. Stressa, a popular destination on the western shore, has a special allure, attracting both royalty and celebrities alike to its picturesque setting. A perfect base for exploring the other towns of the lake, Stressa boasts incredible botanical gardens, charming historic sites and a popular fresh produce market.

Aside from the many lakeside villages, there are also a collection of islands on Lake Maggiore. Just a short boat ride away, the Borromean Islands offer enchanting English style gardens, grand luxurious palaces and a traditional fishing village to explore.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Picturesque setting
  • A peaceful short break
  • Historic attractions

Getting around

Transportation on and around Lake Maggiore consists of a variety of boats and ferries.

The Lake Maggiore express train offers an excursion around the lake where it stops at different towns along the way. A boat service, included with a train ticket, stops at the Borromean Islands.

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Lake Maggiore designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Lake Maggiore hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Languages Italian
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Don't miss the Largo San Salvatore, built by monks in AD 10000. The chapels at the site of the church contain frescos, some dating back to the 15th century.

Distance from airports
Milan Malpensa 56 km

Tours and Excursions

Hop On/Hop Off Ferry Tour

The ferry service connects Stresa and the beautiful Borromean Islands, stopping at Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre. Your hop on/hop off ticket gives you the freedom to travel between the islands and explore at your own pace – you can disembark at any of the islands and hop back on when you’re ready to continue.

Lake Orta Day Trip

Visit nearby Lake Orta and its picturesque main town on this afternoon tour departing from Stresa. With its narrow medieval streets and stunning position, Orta Town is considered one of Italy’s must-see destinations. When booking the tour you can choose to travel straight to Orta by coach or take a cruise by boat from the lakeside town of Omegna via San Giulio Island. 

Zermatt and Matterhorn Day Trip

Take the scenic journey over the Alps and into Switzerland. At the village of Täsch you will leave the tour bus and take the rack and pinion railway up to Zermatt where you will find yourself surrounded by some of the Alps’ best-known peaks including the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and the Gornergrat. In Zermatt you can spend your free time exploring the village or perhaps take a trip up to the Sunnegga plateau on the Mountain Metro.         

We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.