Baveno stretches along the western shore of Lake Maggiore, welcoming wanderers with its mountain-view waterfront. Here, Venetian villas and castle-like hotels have hosted VIP's for centuries. They’re an elegant backdrop to the lakeside promenade, where boats bound for the nearby Borromean Islands leave the harbour. Back in town, the parks and villa gardens of Baveno are made for walking, while more challenging paths climb into the Alps behind. See some bald patches on the slopes? They’re the famous quarries that have supplied pink granite to the churches and opera houses of Paris, Milan and Rome.
There’s plenty to peruse while exploring Baveno. The round, Romanesque Church of San Gervasio and Protasio with its characteristic rotunda sits on the Piazza della Chiesa, filled with frescoes and a quarry museum. Some of the villas come with grand public gardens. And the cafés that line the waterfront between the port and harbour are a great place to pause… preferably for a board of mortadella salami and herby alpine cheese. As for the best ice cream – duck into the cobbled streets of the old town for a scoop of pistachio gelato or sorbet-like granita.
Boats to the Borromean Islands
The Borromean Islands lie just across the water, best reached by the ferries – or, if you fancy travelling off-schedule, the water taxis – that depart from Baveno’s harbour. Each island has its own speciality. Isola Bella and Isola Madre lay out palaces with extravagant gardens (keep an eye out for the wandering peacocks). Isola dei Pescatori is home to the last remaining fishing boats on the islands, plus restaurants serving fresh lake fish dishes.
Walking through history
Baveno is truly a beloved resort town, and the countryside around it hints at its peaceful past. Walking routes zig-zag uphill through hamlets and past chestnut forests, and along old mule tracks once used by fishermen. Simpler strolls stick to the lakeside promenade, heading north to the ancient port and village of Feriolo. Remember to stop by the monument dedicated to the “picasass” stonemasons en route. These workers have long toiled in the quarries above Baveno, carving out the building blocks for some of the loveliest opera houses, churches and arcades in Europe.
All about adventure: from Maggiore to Milan
Treetop walks, suspension bridges, climbing walls, pools and a cyclocross course will keep you busy at Lake Maggiore Aquadventure Park - particularly if you have teenagers with you! If watersports are more your speed, there are wakeboarding and boating centres on the lake too. And you don’t need a car for a day trip. Stresa is only a few minutes away by train – or you can embark on a mini-adventure to Milan, which is less than two hours away on the historic Simplon railway line.
Why book a summer holiday in Baveno with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of Baveno's best activities at your own pace.
Plus, we've included two optional guided walks every week in Baveno. Join a professional mountain guide and really get to know the area (see more details in the ‘walking’ tab below).
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Baveno include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.