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Italian Lakes Holidays

Scenic escapes to idyllic lakeside towns

Trace your finger just south of the Swiss border on a map and you’ll find the glorious Italian lakes, the three most popular are Lake Garda, Lake Como, and Lake Maggiore. Now if you want to be surrounded by spectacular scenery on your next holiday, you needn’t look any further.

These sparkling lakes are dazzling. The water – which is perfect for boat trips and a bit of wild swimming – glistens under the Italian sunshine. The rolling green hills provide seriously fresh produce, as well as great trails for hiking and biking. Then there are the surrounding mountains, which are snow-capped in the cooler months and make a majestic backdrop for the lakes.

Cast your eyes away from Mother Nature’s handiwork and you’ll find the picturesque towns and villages surrounding the lakes are just as impressive. Spend afternoons wandering along cobbled lanes and dipping into cute boutiques, delicious-smelling cafés and elegant villas. You’ll also find more museums, palaces and gardens than you can shake a stick at, as well as some award-winning restaurants.

Holidays to the Italian Lakes can also take in some of Italy’s most iconic cities, like Milan, Venice and Verona – perfect if you’re torn between a getaway to the lakes and a city break. With cities, lakes, and mountains to explore, the hardest part of a break to Italian Lakes will be deciding where to spend each day.

All regions in Italian Lakes

Three tips for a top trip

Best attractions to see in Italian Lakes

Lake Maggiore

Postcard-worthy Lake Maggiore has a few extra cards up its sleeves when it comes to reasons to visit. In addition to the lovely lakeside towns, you’ll find a trio of pocket-sized islands in the middle of the lake. Isola Madre, Isola Bella, and Isola Pescatori form the Borromean Islands, and make a special daytrip. Hop on a boat over to the islands and tick off majestic palaces, kaleidoscopic gardens, and highly rated restaurants.

Lake Garda

If you’re a believer in the ‘bigger is better’ mentality, Lake Garda will be right up your street. It’s the largest of the three lakes, and its shores are home to no fewer than 15 waterfront towns, so there’s plenty of exploring to be done. The lake is nestled between seemingly never-ending swathes of green – from olive groves and vineyards to rolling hills and manicured gardens. And down on Lake Garda’s southern shores you’ll even find some beaches.

Lake Como

The wishbone-shaped body of water we know as Lake Como is perhaps the most beautiful of the three. It’s over 20 miles long and is skirted by the snow-capped Swiss Alps. Lake Como has glitz and glamour in its roots, given that it’s been a popular holiday spot for rich people and aristocrats since Roman times. Expect sun-dappled cobbled lanes, impressive villas and immaculate public gardens.

Your Italian Lakes questions, answered

The Italian lakes enjoy an almost-Mediterranean climate, despite their location in Northern Italy. July and August are the hottest months, during which the water is warm enough for swimming. The iconic lakeside gardens, meanwhile, start to bloom from March onwards.
You’ll find Italy’s three most popular lakes – Lake Como, Lake Garda, and Lake Maggiore – in Northern Italy, spread across Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, and Trentino-Alto Adige. If you’d like to combine your lakes holiday with a city break, Milan, Verona and Venice are all good options

Most visitors to the Italian lakes fill their time by exploring the lakeside towns and villages, popping into the grand villas and botanical gardens by the water, and enjoying good food and drink. You can also take daytrips to nearby cities – like Venice, Milan, or Verona.