Lake Maggiore

Top ways to experience Lake Maggiore and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
187 reviews
Excellent
133
Very good
48
Average
2
Poor
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Terrible
4

Scotlandmac
Glasgow, UK12,084 contributions
Sep 2022
First visit to this lake having been to Como and Garda in the past.Not disappointed, in fact loved all we saw.Stresa was a great overnight stop with beautiful walkways along the shore and quite elegant all round.We splashed out and stayed at the Grand Hotel Bristol ..there is a line of VERY elegant hotels along the front with great balconies overlooking the lake.
Cannobio was a pastel coloured gem of a village and my favourite overall.
After some fantastic views around the French and Swiss Alps I was ready for some time beside water and this lake fitted the bill perfectly.
Cost us about 70 euros given tolls , from Chamomix but well worth it to escape poor mountain weather .Balmy temperatures in mid Sept and not too busy.
Written November 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

23RUN
Nottingham, UK504 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
We stayed in Locarno and Pallanza and got the boat between. The lake is beautiful, surrounded by great scenery and interesting places. There is great scope for a full holiday and if you’re an older person you get discount on lots of stuff in Switzerland, free buses, so easy to have a sustainable time.
It’s a lovely place to explore.
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alessandro F
Milan, Italy25,782 contributions
Feb 2022 • Solo
Lake Maggiore o Verbano is a pre-Alpine lake of fluivo glacial origins, its shores are shared between Switzerland and Italy.
The name Maggiore means The mayor and derives from the fact that is the largest of the lakes in the area and second lake of Italy, because the largest one is Lake of Garda
Written February 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Voyager19739
Sioux Falls, South Dakota11 contributions
Like the other northern Italian lakes, Lake Maggiore's credentials as a tourist destination go back a long way. The early twentieth century saw a spate of illustrious visitors enjoying themselves in luxurious lakeside villas and verdant gardens.

The most popular Lake Maggiore resorts are on the western shores of the lake. Stresa is a lovely town with beautiful villas and gardens (some open to the public), a good climate and lake views. From the town a cablecar takes you up Monte Mottarone, where from a height of over 4,000 ft you can enjoy views of the Alps and the other lakes.

If you spend time at Lake Maggiore, you will soon become familiar with the name of the Borromeo family, who still own the islands named after them. Their most celebrated scion, St Charles Borromeo, was born in the castle in Arona, at the southern end of the west shore. A gigantic statue in the town celebrates San Carlo; if you climb up inside the hollow structure, you can admire the view through the Saint's eyes.

The Borromean Islands are unmissable Lake Maggiore tourist attractions. There are three open to the public, containing beautiful gardens, small settlements and restaurants.
Written January 6, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ritaz
Chillicothe, Ohio1 contribution
I stayed Stresa as a 3 day extension of a 12 day cruise on the Rotterdam. It is one of the most beautiful places I have been in my travels. Lake Maggiore is located in Nothern Italy with a small portion being in Switzerland. You can see snow on the Alps and there is palm trees, tropical plants and flowers blooming in October. I took a coach tour along the Lake to Switzerland and back on the train thru the Mountains. There were houses with stone shingles and cows with bells in the meadows.

The Regina Palace Hotel is beautiful but very expensive. The restaurant in the hotel could be improved. The service staff is very disorgized. There are many restaurants which are much cheaper to eat.
Written October 22, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Journey4two
166 contributions
Apr 2012 • Couples
We really enjoyed our stay in Lake Maggiore. After having stayed in Lake Como region after, we preferred Lake Maggiore. It's a beautiful, serene lake with many attractions such as the famous island villas, different towns you can visit, etc. Ferries are a very convenient and most scenic method of transportation. We stayed in Stresa, which we really enjoyed. Lake Maggiore seems less touristy than Lake Como, and the prices of food and everything else was definitely more reasonable. Additionally, the food was fantastic here (granted you know where to go).
Written May 8, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

snowwhiteMilan
Texas136 contributions
Jan 2013 • Family
Lake Maggiore is one of the better lake districts in northern Italy. There are three lovely islands to visit such as, Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola Pescatore or sometimes called Superiore. You can take the ferryboats to see them or hire a private motoscaffo, either way, these are islands not to miss. Isola Bella has the most spectacular Renaissance Garden in the whole of Europe and the time to see it is April when everything is in bloom. At night from the town of Stresa you can dream and gaze at the lighted garden on the island, truly a memorable sight. In fact, grab a chair at one of the many bar/coffee houses and just soak up the imagery. This lake has a backdrop of some of the most beautiful alpine mountain crests and peaks.
To the south portion of the lake is the fantastic Angera Castle, a must see. The visit to the very top of this castle is worth all the stairs and inside there is a great little bar/tea house. If you are a sailor, Lake Maggiore is one of the best for sailing and boat rentals abound. Swimming here is popular, some of the best areas are between Stresa and Baveno in fact there is a great beach club open to the public near the Dino Hotel. Be sure to visit Suna and Pallanza near Intra these are great areas for walking along the lake. If you go to Intra you can have a great wine and cheese tray at La Casera. Be sure to spend some time in Stresa, the world famous hotels are a sight to see and the town is fun to wander and shop and do some wine tasting.
Written April 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ATL_guy_7
Atlanta, GA22 contributions
Jun 2014 • Business
We hired a car to drive us from Milan to Stressa. As we approached the Lake with the Swiss Alps in the distance, the beauty of the landscape and scenery just blew my mind! Our driver found us a private boat to take us around to the interior islands (slightly more than the large tour groups, but totally worth it). He took us around the two smaller islands, Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori, then dropped us off on Isola Bella for a couple of hours for lunch, shopping, and exploring. It was like stepping back in time to a pristine old town with cobblestone streets lined with beautiful flowers and greenery, and lots of narrow alleys that go all through the town. We didn't go into the Palazzo or the Gardens, but could see them well from the water. This was a once in a lifetime 'bucket list' type experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Milan.
Written October 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

eurowander2013
Milan, Italy6 contributions
Aug 2014 • Couples
There is much more to Milan than just shopping, and you don't even have to travel so far away. My husband found a promo on the web site of Trenord and for 22€, you get a train ticket from Cadorna stn to Laveno then a ferry takes you to all the islands around Lago Maggiore-Isola madre, Isola superiore and the postcard-like Isola bella with its famous garden. You're brought back to Stresa stn where you can take the train back to Milan-all for 22€. Be warned, though, that you'll need a whole day to do this and you need to set out early in the morning to have more time to savor the beauty of the islands. The train stops at all stations so travel time might stretch to another half hour but the view will more than make up for it so make sure to get a window seat. For the shopaholics like me, you'll find a lot of curio shops in Isola bella and dont forget to try the island perfumes and scented soaps. I think the Trenord promo is only up till Oct but the regular fare shouldn't be that much.
Written August 31, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jean-Philippe H
La Creche, France57 contributions
Aug 2014 • Family
If you go in the Major lake, then you have to visit the Boromées islands. They are three: Madre, Pescatori and Bella. You can take a boat at Stresa for instance, different companies are available. You can combine a ticket for the boat and for visiting one or two islands (Madre and Bella). The tickets can be purchased independantly and directly on each island.
If you don't plan to visit the botanical garden of the Madre island, then there is not a real interest to go there by boat as you can do nothing except to take a drink or visit the single shop.
The Pescatori island is the island where you will eat and do shopping. A beautiful view on the other islands too.
Bella island is clearly the island to visit with its beautiful palace and amazing garden. To visit absolutely!
Written August 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Lake Maggiore (Lombardy) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Lake Maggiore

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