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Often regarded as the most beautiful of Italy’s northern lakes, Lake Maggiore is known for its clear blue waters, mild Mediterranean climate and sloping green clad shoreline. The area has long drawn the imagination of visitors passing through the Simplon Pass from central Europe into Italy for whom the lake was one of their first iconic vistas.

The lake itself, acts as a border between the region of Piedmont on the western shore and Lombardy to the east. To the north, it stretches up into Switzerland and the picturesque Locarno area. The jewels in the crown though, are undoubtedly the Borromean Islands, nestled on the western shore between the towns of Stresa and Verbania, within the picturesque Borromean Gulf.

This whole section of the lake, so popular with the European aristocracy during the years of the Grand Tour, is lined with beautiful Belle Époque villas and extensive botanical gardens, just waiting to be explored.

Lake Maggiore has an old-world charm about it. It’s best experienced from the water, by touring the lake and visiting some of its islets, with their sprawling palazzos, landscaped gardens, and whimsical grottoes.

Italy specialist Caroline

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Audley Travel Country Specialist Victoria

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Places to visit in Lake Maggiore

Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting Lake Maggiore, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travelers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.

Suggested itinerary featuring Lake Maggiore

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Lake Maggiore, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Lake Maggiore

Places & hotels on the map

    Places in and around Lake Maggiore

    Accommodation choices for Lake Maggiore

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Lake Maggiore. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.