Things to do in
Lake Maggiore

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Top sights in Lake Maggiore

Our most recommended things to do in Lake Maggiore

Stresa: 1-Day Borromean Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour

1. Stresa: 1-Day Borromean Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour

With this hop-on hop-off boat tour you can explore the beautiful Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands. The exclusive boat service travels between Stresa and the 3 Borromean Islands – Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Madre. This tour allows you to travel at your own pace – you can leave the boat at any of the islands and hop back on the next boat when you want to continue. The tour is one of the most used services for reaching the amazing locations of the Borromean Islands and Lake Maggiore. The modern and comfortable boats take you to the most stunning and characteristic places on Lake Maggiore, the Borromean Islands, and Stresa. Ideal for those who like the freedom to travel at their own pace, this tour allows you to simply relax and enjoy the beauty of the lake.

Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Bella Hop-on Hop-off Boat

2. Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Bella Hop-on Hop-off Boat

Discovery of the fishing village of Isola dei Pescatori, the only one of the Borromean Islands inhabited all year round. Explore its many charming alleys and stop to taste the typical dishes of the lake at one of the numerous restaurants. Then continue to Isola Bella, the queen of the Borromean Islands, where, in addition to the beautiful ancient village full of typical craft shops, you can decide to visit the Palazzo Borromeo with its wonderful gardens and peacocks ready to be photographed.

Stresa: Madre & Bella Borromean Islands Boat Trip

3. Stresa: Madre & Bella Borromean Islands Boat Trip

Embark on a boat trip from Stresa and discover two of the Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore. First, visit Isola Madre which is the farthest island from Stresa. Explore the island which is famous for its botanical gardens. See the free-living birdlife and admire the peacocks and pheasants who stroll calmly through the gardens. Discover the unique plants of the island, such as the famous Cashmere tree. You can also visit the villa with its puppet collection. Next, continue the tour to Isola Bella, most famous for its palace, splendid caves, and Italian-style gardens. Admire the views from the famous terraces, enjoy some shopping in the elegant boutique stores, or visit the local handicraft market, before returning to Stresa.

Stresa to Isola Bella Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Ticket

4. Stresa to Isola Bella Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Ticket

Get stunning views of Lake Maggiore and the small islands and islets of the Borromean Islands on an exclusive boat service between Stresa and Isola Bella. Travel at your own pace and according to your preferred schedule. Leave the boat at any of the islands and hop back on the next boat when you want to continue. Relax aboard the modern vessels as they ferry you between the most characteristic places on Lake Maggiore. Hop-off at the romantic island of Isola Bella to visit the Palace Museum and its Italianate gardens at your own expense. Go for a stroll around the fishing village on the other side of the tiny island. Cross back to Stresa, where you can journey up into the hills to visit the botanical gardens of the Giardino Botanico Alpinia at leisure. 

Borromean Islands Private Hop-On Hop-Off Boat from Stresa

5. Borromean Islands Private Hop-On Hop-Off Boat from Stresa

Avoid the restrictive schedules of most sightseeing tours and discover the beauty of Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands at your own pace. Avail of an exclusive private boat service between Stresa and the islands of Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Madre. Hop off and on as often as you like throughout the day. Relax aboard the comfortable boats as you take in the stunning views of the lake. Jump off at Isola Bella to visit the summer palace of Count Vitaliano VI. Stroll around the gardens of Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Madre. Find a nice spot for lunch in the fishing village on Isola dei Pescatori, the only island of the archipelago still inhabited.

Stresa: Lake Maggiore and Borromean Islands Sunset Cruise

6. Stresa: Lake Maggiore and Borromean Islands Sunset Cruise

Navigate the waters of Lake Maggiore with your group of family or friends on a sunset cruise from Stresa. Explore the Borromean Gulf admire the sights and scenery from the water as you pass by Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Bella. The boat you use throughout this activity is suitable for small groups of people for parties or a romantic getaway with your partner. Larger groups can also be accommodated inside of the boat, protected from the weather while still being able to enjoy wide views of the lake through the boat's large windows and open terrace area. Finish off your cruise with a tour of the most famous Island, Isola Bella from the lake view. Sail around the Borromeo Palace and see the Italian gardens and terraces, where, if you are lucky, you will be able to see some white peacocks peeking out.

From Milan: Stresa, Alps, & Lake Maggiore Half Day Tour

7. From Milan: Stresa, Alps, & Lake Maggiore Half Day Tour

On the borders of Piedmont, Lombardy, and Switzerland, spectacular Lake Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy and known for its incredible beauty. Your tour will take you from Milan to picturesque Stresa, on the western shores of Lake Maggiore. Stresa is a lovely town with beautiful villas and gardens, some of which are open to the public. With a comfortable climate, Stresa offers stunning lake views, and you can also take the cable car up to Monte Mottarone for views of the Alps and the lakes. Next, hop on board for a cruise on Lake Maggiore, and admire the stunning scenery as the boat takes you out to the Borromean Islands. You'll visit Isola Bella, or "beautiful island," just offshore from Stresa. On this rich historical island you'll visit the Palazzo Borromeo, an exquisite palace dating back to the 17th century. You'll also be able to explore the beautiful palace gardens.

Cannobio: Guided Walking Tour with Aperitif

8. Cannobio: Guided Walking Tour with Aperitif

Your special walking tour begins right in the center of Cannobio, which is a little gem on Lake Maggiore. Your meeting point will be at 5:30PM in the old town. Whilst walking through its narrow streets you will learn of old traditions, curious stories, legends, and even of a miracle! The tour is designed to show you different points of interest of this ancient lake town, and continues on with a guided visit to the Sanctuary of S. Pietà on the stunning lakefront. At the conclusion of the tour, a very welcome aperitif complete with a lake view awaits all the tour participants!

From Stresa/Baveno: Verbania Pallanza and Lake Panorama Tour

9. From Stresa/Baveno: Verbania Pallanza and Lake Panorama Tour

Leave Stresa behind and take a relaxing panoramic cruise around the Borromean Gulf, and make a stop in one of its most famous villas, Verbania Pallanaza. Cruise around the Borromean Gulf, famous all over the world for its unique admire some of the most characteristic epoch-style villas in the Verbano area and stop at one of the most famous villas in this area, Verbania Pallanza. Set sail for this tourist cruise admiring one of the most evocative views of Lake Maggiore, the Borromean Gulf, before disembarking in Verbania Pallanza. See a place where tourism and culture are more alive, from a village that looks like a balcony from which to enjoy splendid views of the lake, such as Villa Giulia or Villa Rusconi Clerici.See some of the most fascinating gardens and parks in Italy while in the area, whose splendor and perfect state of maintenance highlight the fabulous lake atmospheres.

Baveno: Lake Maggiore Electric Boat Trip

10. Baveno: Lake Maggiore Electric Boat Trip

Lakenergy E-boat is ideal for a romantic outing or for an outing with good friends and family to enjoy nature away from the crowds. Boat trips with electric power to explore the lake and its islands. Enjoy a swim off the lake! Easy and relaxed to drive boats because are for everyone - Without a boat license - Without smells - Without noises Autonomy max 6 hours Safety equipment included on the boat Capacity max 6 people Respect the ambient and nature with our electric engine!

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Maggiore

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What people are saying about Lake Maggiore

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 1,043 reviews

A convenient way to visit three islands in lake Maggiore in about 5 to 6 hours to see the parks and the palaces of the Borromeo family. The transportation is pretty efficient and waiting in the queues is not too long. Nice restaurants are available on several islands.

Prompt and clear service. Easy to choose and plan for a special day at Lake Maggiore and its main beauties, a tribute to American relatives visiting Italy for the first time.

Everything went great. Very friendly and accommodating. When we put it on, we were immediately informed when he would be back.

A must see if you pass by this lake. Fabulous palace, superb island with shops and restaurants

Always ask for the place of elvarsuemebt and the color to be sure to be in the right place