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Ultimate guide to the Italian Lakes

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Ultimate guide to the Italian Lakes
The Italian Lakes will whisk you away to a charming region of natural beauty and epic mountain scenery.
Holidays in the Italian Lakes allow you to relax and forget about the worries of everyday. Travellers have been heading to the lakes for years in search of romance and adventure. The lakes are spread out across the north of Italy and enjoy jaw dropping mountain views and each has its own special personality and character. So, without further ado, let’s introduce you to the great Italian lakes. Andiamo!
Image of a lake at Lake Garda in Italy

Lake Garda

The largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda is our favourite family-friendly destination and offers a variety of enjoyable activities both on and off its shores.
The impressive Dolomite Mountains surround Lake Garda, and the northern shore enjoys a mild breeze making this region perfect for water activities like sailing and windsurfing. Various architectural and archaeological marvels, such as the natural history museum and medieval castles are just waiting to be explored.
On the southern shore, you’ll find pebble beaches and lakeside promenades, perfect for an evening stroll. The weather is warmer here so spend some time among expansive vineyards that produce world-class wine, including fresh chardonnays and deep merlots.
Relax in the thermal waters with natural healing treatments in the ancient spa town of Sirmione. Or enjoy a fun filled day out at Gardaland, the top theme park in Italy.
Image of a lake at Lake Como in Italy

Lake Como

From Leonardo da Vinci to Mark Twain, this dazzling lake has been a source of inspiration for poets and artists for years. Today, Lake Como is a destination for jetsetters and celebrities, showcasing a glamourous and luxurious image.
The majority of the lakeside mansions and surrounding villages are opulent, blending boutique shops and Michelin-starred restaurants with authentic Italian trattorias and businesses. From tucking into a hearty bowl of pasta to sailing the lake on a luxury yacht, there is so much to do here. Be sure to visit the 18th century palatial villas such as Villa Carlotta, Villa Melzi, and Villa del Balbianello.
You will discover even more adventure the further north you go. With the extensive ferry network, it is so easy to hop around the lakeside towns.
Image of a lake at Lake Maggiore in Italy

Lake Maggiore

In the southern Alps, near to the border with Switzerland, Lake Maggiore enjoys a cool Mediterranean climate.
The little town of Stresa is the heart of the lake with its cobbled alleys filled with bars, restaurants, shops and authentic trattorias. Rich in historical and cultural treasures, the lake has a romantic air and charming appeal. Bring a picnic to the historic palaces and mansions like Park Villa Pallavicino or the 19th century Villa Taranto with its verdant botanical gardens.
Take a boat to the Borromean Islands, a collection of three small islands with lush gardens and Baroque style palaces. Lake Maggiore is in the perfect position for a day trip to the city of Milan or to the picturesque Lake Orta.  
Image of lake at Lake Orta in Italy

Lake Orta

Lake Orta, just 12 miles from Lake Maggiore, is the smallest lake in Italy, but is large in character and natural beauty. The waves of the lake extend along the horizon making for the most picturesque view. There is lots to see and do here including the Orta Sacro Monte, a collection of historic chapels, the beautiful island of San Giulio and medieval churches. Lake Orta is small, enchanting and quiet, a real hidden gem!
Image of lake at Lake Iseo in Italy

Lake Iseo

Even though Lake Iseo is just a short drive from Lake Garda, it feels like a faraway land in a fairy tale. Tucked away among the Alps impressive peaks, you’ll find charming towns with pretty harbours and a peaceful atmosphere. Lake Iseo, known for its distinguished wine tradition, is surrounded by wineries and vineyards where you can enjoy your day sampling some of the best vinos. Lake Iseo is much quieter and gentler, and more relaxed than the bigger lakes with less tourists and is somewhat still unspoilt, retaining much of its natural beauty. This lake is great for walking, cycling and hiking with many trails around the edge.

Discover the real Italy with Citalia      

Are you ready to explore the great Italian lakes? Citalia are the UK’s leading Italy specialist with over 90 years' experience in tailoring holidays to Italy. Experts are on hand every step of the way to ensure you make memories to last a lifetime. It’s never too late to start planning your Italian escape!      
Visit to discover the real Italy on your next adventure. Andiamo!
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