Destinations / Ski, Lakes & Mountains / Lake Maggiore (Italy)
Lake Maggiore holidays are absolutely magical. Situated on the south side of the Alps, Lake Maggiore actually crosses into Switzerland, and the Italian portion of the Lake veers between Lombardy and Piedmont regions in the north west of the country. Ever a dramatic and imposing presence with the backdrop of the mighty Alps, it is actually Italy's 2nd largest lake with the name "Maggiore" meaning greater or greatest.
Perfect for holidays, Lake Maggiore enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate and is renowned for gorgeous gardens with exotic plants and lush foliage. Isola Madre, Isola Bella, Villa Taranto in Verbania and Alpinia botanical garden above Stresa are most notable. Gardeners will go wild here! There are 11 islands on the Lake and the most famous are the Borromean Islands (Isola Madre, Isola Bella and Isola Pescatori). The regular ferry service and many pleasure boats that skim along the shores of the lake ensure that all towns and villages are really accessible.
Fabulous gardens aside, Lake Maggiore also has magnificent palaces and stunning villas, sprinkled like confetti on the shoreline, that have lured the wealthy, the jet set and the aristocracy worldwide. On a romantic note, it is said that the lake water is crystal clear and translucent due to unrequited love and subsequent teardrops shed by lovers and poets.
It is not surprising that Lake Maggiore is marvellous for holidays. The great outdoors has immense attraction here as the healthy pursuits of hiking, climbing, sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, day-tripping and sightseeing are popular. In addition, historical and cultural treasures cannot be overlooked. Towns along the lake shore have architectural gems and hamlets and villages have their own intrinsic local ambience with traditional piazzas for evening strolls and lovely family owned trattorias for delicious cuisine.