We used this service to get to the Isola Bella one day. These boats should not be confused with the ferries running from a harbour near the cable car station - these have only limites schedules out of season.
You can buy the tickets on the street, just near a small park and a parking lot and near the tourist office - the guys selling them are easily recognizable by the maritime look and insisting manners.
The service runs quick and efficiently and as we only bought a ticket for Isola Bella, we got the full trip on the boat, passing Isola Madre and Isola Superiore (Isola Pescatore) until we were let off at Isola Bella.
On the way back the boat came punctually and took us back to Stresa. There are only a certain number of people allowed on the boat, and the captain is keen on counting people.
It is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to visit one of the islands - or do some island-hoppong.
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