Lake Maggiore Holidays

Discover Italy’s most beautiful lake islands and venture out on the walking and cycling trails on a Lake Maggiore holiday

Lake Maggiore holidays are all about leisurely strolls, relaxed bike rides, sightseeing and soaking up the lake views – there’s lots of things to see and do in the region. The Borromean Islands are its centrepiece - the garden isles of Isola Bella and Isola Madre are a must see while you’re here. They’re easily reached from Stresa and Baveno, on the west bank. It’s the second largest of Italy’s lakes and shares its shores with Switzerland and the Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont, known for their excellent food and wine.

What to see on a Lake Maggiore holiday

Ferries, trains and cable cars link the islands and resorts around the lake, providing an easy way for walkers and cyclists to reach some of the most beautiful scenery in the region. There are lots of trails in the area from flat lakeside promenades to more adventurous mountain routes. Hiring an e-bike is a great way to explore.

Grand hotels line the lake shores - Hemingway once stayed in the regal town of Stresa, along with a slew of European monarchs. Why not join the ranks of notable visitors who’ve spent time here on the lake? The town centre’s filled with family-run restaurants and charming little cafés. A little further up the coast you’ll find the smaller and quieter town of Baveno. Its lakefront promenade is perfect for passeggiata – stop at cafés and admire the opulent villas and gardens as you go.

Find more things to see and do in Italy.

Why book a Lake Maggiore holiday with Inghams

Lake Maggiore holidays are a firm favourite. We’ve selected hotels in the best locations on the lake – many have views across to the beautiful Borromean Islands. Long standing relationships with the local hoteliers mean that we’ve secured the best rates and offers in top hotels in the region. Our team know them really well too, so if you need any help deciding where to stay just give us a call. Breaks booked with Inghams mean your holiday is in safe hands.

  • from£539pp
Baveno

Baveno has been a well-known tourist resort since the early 19th century, reflected by the beautiful villas in the surrounding area. It enjoys lovely views of the Borromean Islands. There is a small harbour, an attractive promenade with lakeside cafés and a profusion of flower...

  • from£489pp

Stylish Stresa is Lake Maggiore’s leading resort. The idyllic Borromean Islands are a short boat ride away and Monte Mottarone, with its superb views, is easily reached by cable car. The lush gardens of Villa Pallavicino and Villa Taranto are well worth a visit.

Things to see and do

Fill your days on Lake Maggiore exploring the lakeside towns and villages or venture into the hills on a walk or bike ride. Ferries connect Stresa and Baveno to the beautiful Borromean Islands and its fantastic botanical gardens. You'll find lot's to see and do around the lake. When you're not out seeing the sights, find a lakeside restaurant or café where you can sit back and admire the scenery with an Aperol Spritz in hand. 

Nature enthusiasts will love the beautiful botanical gardens on the shores of Lake Maggiore. See the 17th century ‘Italian garden’ of Isola Bella and the rare plants and flowers in the palace gardens of Isola Madre – its known for its flowering azaleas. Keen gardeners will enjoy exploring Verbania – known as ‘the garden on the lake’, home to the botanical gardens of Villa Taranto and Villa San Remigio.

Food & drink

Lake Maggiore won't disappoint when it comes to food. Try the traditional antipasto: speciality cured meats, fresh breads, pickles and cheeses. The local cheeses are a delicacy - give the Ossolano d'Alpe and the Bettelmatt a try while you're here. This is the perfect starter or afternoon snack, best accompanied by a glass of local wine like Nebbiolo - a full bodied red from the Novara hills. There's lots of lovely restaurants to choose from in Stresa and Baveno, from authentic Italian Osteria to fine dining. Fish features on most menus with dishes like grilled seafood and cod stuffed ravioli. You'll notice lots of traditional pastry shops as you explore the region. Each bakery has its own specialities - we couldn't resist the sweet short crust Margheritine biscuits in Stresa.

Activities

Lake Maggiore is a great choice for a walking holiday. From Stresa you can hike up Mount Mottarone. The views are spectacular – you can see seven of the Italian and Swiss lakes on a clear day! Lake Maggiore's made for passeggiata. Take to the flower lined, lakefront promenades for your evening strolls. One of our favourite walks from Stresa is through the hamlet of Passera - the route weaves through the forest to the villages of Passera, Brisino, Falchetto and Belgirate. 

Pre book your excursions online or give us call

Three Lakes Tour £36 per person (full day)

Visit three lakes in one day: Maggiore, Lugano and Como. Begin in Stresa with a scenic drive along the shores of Lake Maggiore before crossing the Swiss boarder to visit Lugano. Explore the chic city – art lovers should look out for Bernardino Luini’s fresco ‘The Last Supper’ in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. On Lake Como, you’ll explore Tremezzo’s Villa Carlotta and its beautiful gardens and the city of Como.

Departs: Tuesdays

Milan from £35 per person (full day)

One of the most stylish cities in the world, Milan is the Italian fashion capital. Make the most of your time in the company of our local guide with a visit to the elegant Vittorio Emanuele Galleries and the Sforza Castle. There's free time to visit La Scala Opera or some of the famous boutiques too. 

Departs: Fridays

Macugnaga from £32 (half day)

In just 90 minutes we go from 260 metres above sea level in Stresa, through the Anzasca Valley where the ancient houses of the Walser people cling to the cliffs, to the foot of the second highest mountain in the Alps - Monte Rosa at over 4600 metres. Stroll through the picturesque alpine village of Macugnaga and enjoy the views across the mountain pastures. For views that are even more spectacular take the cable car.

Departs: Saturdays, from mid-June to mid-September – Optional cable car ticket (approx. €12), payable locally.

Ascona and Cannobio from £31 per person (half day)

Visit the elegant Swiss town of Ascona, a photographer's dream and home to an attractive lakeside promenade and interesting boutiques. After, head to the sleepy Italian village of Cannobio - its picture postcard setting is a favourite with local artists. 

Departs: Thursdays

Wine Tour from £34 per person (half day)

Where would Italy be without its renowned pasta and wine? This excursion gives you the chance to try some of the region's finest local produce. We’ll guide you through the beautiful countryside to the wine cellars of Ricetto, where you’ll learn about the art of wine production in the area. You'll have the chance to enjoy some Piedmont wines and tasty local snacks, 

Departs: Sundays

Excursion Package from £97 per person

Pre-book our excursion bundle, which includes the three half day tours: Macugnaga, Ascona and Cannobio as well as the Wine Tour and receive a free one day boat ticket to Baveno or Stresa and the Borromean Islands.

We act at all times as a selling agent for the suppliers. All excursions require minimum numbers to run and are subject to change. Some excursions may not be available to pre-book in low season but may be available to book locally subject to numbers. Prices will be confirmed at the time of booking. Please see our Terms & Conditions.

Currency: Euro

Fly into: Milan

Fly from: London Gatwick, London Stansted, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle, Birmingham, East Midlands, Bristol or Edinburgh

Flight time: approx. 2 hours

100% price parity - we will not be beaten on price

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