Lake Maggiore Holidays

Luxury on the Italian lakes

If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing la Dolce Vita, then Lake Maggiore, with its grand palaces, ornate gardens and vintage charm, is the place for you. The second biggest lake in Italy, it straddles the regions of Lombardy and Piedmont and stretches over the Swiss border.

The vast body of water lies along the southern side of the Alps, but the warm climate means that the vegetation is almost tropical. In spring, wild flowers bloom, painting the landscape a riot of colour. Lake Maggiore holidays are the perfect hybrid of natural beauty and cosmopolitan charm. The popular towns of Stresa, Angera, Meina and the port of Arona are crammed with classical sculptures, hanging flower baskets and lakeside cafés that demand you to stop for an aperitivo.

But the Borromean Islands are the jewel in Maggiore’s crown – a collection of bijou islets in the middle of the lake. Named after the noble Borromeo family, who still own some of the islands, they contain Baroque palaces and fairytale gardens home to more than 10,000 species of plants. Holidays to Lake Maggiore offer the perfect escape for nature lovers, urbanites and anyone with a fondness for a dusting of gold leaf.

All resorts in Lake Maggiore

Three tips for a top trip

Get around by boat

Avoid the peak season traffic and take a water bus to your destination. You’ll save time while enjoying panoramic views across the Alps and Lake Maggiore.

Don’t miss the sun

When planning your trip to Lake Maggiore, do some research on where the sun will be while you're there – a number of the lakeside resorts are heavily shaded by the mountains.

Bring your boots

Lake Maggiore is a hiker’s paradise. For panoramic views, follow one of the hiking trails that start at the base of the lake and wind their way into the Alps.

Best attractions to see in Lake Maggiore

Palazzo Borromeo

Set on top of a terraced garden full of roaming white peacocks, the palace and Isola Bella are open to the public, as is the palace’s spectacular collection of Old Masters.

Stresa's historical centre

The town of Stresa's time-stamped historical centre is a must-visit. It's home to a trio of bustling piazzas lined with cute boutiques and cafés. There’s also a market every Friday morning, where you can pick up everything from local cheese and olive oil to leather goods and flowers.

Luino flea market

The little town of Luino is home to a huge flea market. First held in 1535, these days you'll find everything from vintage clothes to honey.

Your Lake Maggiore questions, answered

Lake Maggiore is arguably most beautiful in May and June, when the wild flowers come out. Take a boat to Locarno for the best views.
In winter, the popular ski resorts of Mottarone and San Domenico are only a six-mile drive from Carciano, near Stresa.
The northern location and proximity to Switzerland are reflected in the region’s rich cuisine – think hearty stews, cheese ravioli and risottos paired with red meat and freshwater fish.