Lake Orta is one of Italy’s lesser known lakes and lies to the west of Lake Maggiore. The poet, Robert Browning, described Orta as being where ‘the Alps meet heaven’.
The small town and the famous island, Isola San Giulio with its famous monastery, are largely traffic-free and lined with little cafés and restaurants. If you’re looking for somewhere truly Italian but with a slower pace of life than ritzier Como or Maggiore, you can do no better than come to Orta.
For a unique lakes and mountains experience you can combine your stay on Lake Orta with our mountain resort of Champoluc, set in the heart of Monte Rosa Mountains.
You can also combine your stay in Lake Orta with any resort on Lake Maggiore or Lake Como so you can compare the two lakes.
Resort Code: ITLO
Languages spoken: Italian
Time difference: GTM +1
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Transfer 1.25 hr by coach
Car hire available: No
Evening resort bus service: No
Local bus services:
Parking available: No
Resort Ski bus available: No
All excursions (except Stresa) start from Stresa and above prices do not include taxi transfer from Lake Orta (approx €20 to €50 per person).
Prices shown are for guidance only. Please note we act at all times as selling agent for the suppliers of activities & excursions. See terms & conditions.
POPULAR WALKS include:
Pettenasco Walk / 2 hrs / Easy
The Pettenasco walk is dedicated to Peter Benson, creator and founder of Amnesty International in 1961. A relaxing lake view walk close to the water along the path starting from the Hotel Approdo for about 1km. Alongside the path there are four little free beaches with wonderful views and benches to stop and relax.
Peninsula of Orta San Giulio / 2 hrs (approx) / Moderate
From Piazza Motta, follow a path that skirts the lake and gently follows the curve of the peninsula of Orta until you reach the tip of the peninsula, Punta Movero, where you can stop and enjoy a wonderful view over the lake and the island. Follow the path flanked by the lake on one side and past woods and farms on the right, until the end of the peninsula, where you will begin the climb that leads to the Sacro Monte. Here you walk through a natural reserve, visiting the 21 ancient chapels that describe the life of St Francis of Assisi. At the northern end is a Franciscan Monastery from where stunning views of the lake and the Island of San Giulio can be enjoyed. You descend on the opposite side of the Sacro Monte all the way back to Orta San Giulio and Piazza Motta.
Orta - Vacciago - Corconio / 3 hrs / Easy
Start the walk from the village of Orta San Giulio on the way to Legro, better known as ‘the Painted Village’ due to the fact that many houses there have an external wall decorated with painted scenes from films shot on Lake Orta. Continue uphill passing local houses and fields before getting to the small village of Vacciago, where you will walk through elegant old houses and buildings and will discover the old church of St. Antonio. You will then leave Vacciago walking down to the gorgeous hamlet of Corconio, known as the baroque part of Orta San Giulio, where you find the beautiful Villa Bonola as well as the the tiny baroque church of Santo Stefano erected in the 17th century. Corconio, in a clear day, offers superb views of Mount Rosa (15,200 feet high), an imposing peak of the Alps which hides behind Lake Orta. Walk back to Orta San Giulio.