5 Best Lakes in Italy To Visit

Georgina Willcox | 28 January 2022

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The Italian Lake District is the perfect escape for those looking for a holiday in Italy full of relaxation, beauty and culture, amid a stunning natural backdrop. From the picturesque scenery to the delicious Italian food and charming town squares. With over 25 years’ experience, Travel Department has become a specialist for Italian Lake holidays, offering a range of guided tours to Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. All you have to do is decide which lake you'd like to visit first! 

You’ll never be bored on a trip to this stunning region of Italy, read on and discover the best Italian lakes. 

What Italian Lakes Should I Visit?

1. Lake Garda

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Lake Garda is surrounded by luscious green hills to the south and imposing mountains to the north. The landscape is dotted with beautiful lemon groves, vineyards and olive plantations; the perfect setting for a picturesque getaway! One of the highlights of Lake Garda is the unique opportunity to unwind and recuperate by the lake. To take full advantage of the sightseeing opportunities, we would suggest taking a Lake Garda boat tour, as there are so many charming little towns dotted along the waterfront. You can take in the towns of Limone, Malcesine and Riva del Garda easily, giving you a real taste of life by the lakeside. On our Lake Garda holidays there is also the opportunity to visit other iconic sights and cities in Italy, such as Venice and Verona. 

2. Lake Como

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Similarly, you’ll be bowled over by the natural beauty, ornamental gardens and tranquil atmosphere of Lake Como on a lakeside escape. Lake Como is the perfect location for a laid-back, relaxing retreat. Whether it be enjoying a day along a lakeside beach, exploring some of the region’s stunning gardens or sitting back with a coffee in one of the area’s beautiful cafés, you’ll enjoy a therapeutic atmosphere with mesmerising views. If you wish to take a Lake Como boat tour, we suggest you visit the town of Bellagio, the ‘Pearl of Lake Como.’

Enjoy a stroll through the old town centre, do some shopping and admire the villas overlooking the waterfront. As the streets are cobbled and there are some parts where you have to walk uphill, make sure to wear sensible shoes when you explore Bellagio. We also recommend taking a day trip from Lake Como to experience the Bernina Express, a UNESCO World Heritage Railway, which takes you through the Swiss Alps. Experience a holiday in Lake Como with us and enjoy a relaxing Italian getaway.

3. Lake Maggiore

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This lesser known lake in Italy is a haven of alpine landscapes embellished with lush gardens and sheltered villages, overlooking the shimmering blue waters of the lake. From beautiful scenery to impressive architecture and botanical gardens, there’s no shortage of things to see and do on our Lake Maggiore holiday. It's also considered to be a playground for the rich and famous, so you can even keep an eye out for your favourite celebrity while enjoying an ice-cream by the waterfront. While you will undoubtedly be distracted by the magnificent landscape on our lakeside holidays, try to make some time to enjoy the rich culture and intriguing history of the Italy lakes.

History enthusiasts will enjoy exploring quaint Medieval villages and the region boasts many attractions of both historical and cultural significance. We suggest taking an excursion to the Borromean Islands, it's a wonderful boat trip and you can visit Isola Bella with its Baroque Palace and Gardens. If you need a break from sightseeing, then why not explore the quaint local shops that line the streets of the charming lakeside towns. The region is also renowned for its glorious food. Authentic Italian pasta, glossy home-grown olives, the freshest Alpine fish and mouth-watering desserts are just some of the dishes on offer.

4. Lake Iseo 

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Some people are not aware of the existence of this lovely lake in Italy! Located between Lake Garda and Como, its charm lies in its undiscovered character and beautiful natural scenery. One of the highlights of Lake Iseo is Monte Isola, which in Italian means, ‘a mountain on an island.’ It’s Italy’s largest lake island and, as there are traffic restrictions that allow only a few people to own a car on the island, it’s sometimes referred to as the ‘peaceful pearl of the lake.’ Iseo is the biggest town of the lake and filled with a maze of old little squares, cafes, shops, restaurants and you can enjoy a beautiful lakeside walk with a gelato in your hand. 

5. Lake Orta

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We believe a trip to Lake Orta is highly worth a visit. Lake Orta is considered a hidden gem and some of the locals believe it is more beautiful than Lake Maggiore and Lake Como; they even refer to it as “La Cenerentola” or Cinderella. Enjoy the scenic and enchanting town of Orta San Giulio, situated on the shores of Lake Orta. Take a stroll around the cobblestoned streets and relax with a gelato or coffee in the main square of Piazza Motta. You can enjoy a guided excursion to Lake Orta as part of our Jewels of Lake Maggiore holiday.

Are you feeling inspired to explore the most beautiful lakes in Italy? Find your perfect lakeside getaway, check out our fantastic range of guided holidays to Italy. Our lakeside holidays include return flights, hotel accommodation, transfers and excursions. Our expert local guides will also be available to assist you throughout the tour with recommendations for what to see and do in your leisure time.

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