Best places to stay in Lake Maggiore: Towns and hotels

Planning a trip to Lake Maggiore? Great choice!

This stunning lake straddles both Italy and Switzerland, offering a rich tapestry of landscapes, cultural experiences, and charming towns perfect for any traveler.

Here’s a list of the best areas to stay around Lake Maggiore, each with its own unique flair:

Where to stay in Lake Maggiore

Best areas where to stay in Lake Maggiore

  1. Stresa: Often considered the jewel of Lake Maggiore, Stresa is a must-visit. With its elegant lakeside promenade, bustling piazzas, and stunning views of the Borromean Islands, it’s the perfect blend of natural beauty and lively culture. Stay here if you enjoy having a variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options right at your doorstep, plus easy access to boat tours that explore the lake.
  2. Baveno: Just a stone’s throw from Stresa, Baveno offers a quieter, more relaxed vibe. It’s famous for its beautiful pink granite and charming waterfront. The town is a fantastic base for exploring the surrounding mountains or taking a ferry to the Borromean Islands. Ideal for families and those looking for a peaceful retreat without straying far from the conveniences of larger towns.
  3. Verbania: Situated on the lake’s west shore, Verbania is known as the garden on the lake, thanks to the stunning Villa Taranto with its famous botanical gardens. Verbania combines the charm of a small town with the amenities of a larger city, making it perfect for travelers who appreciate a mix of nature and urban exploration.
  4. Locarno (Switzerland): On the northern tip of the lake, Locarno in Switzerland offers a unique blend of Swiss precision and Italian flair. Famous for its sunny climate, vibrant cultural scene, and the annual Locarno Film Festival, this city is perfect for arts and culture enthusiasts. Don’t miss the Madonna del Sasso, a pilgrimage church with breathtaking views over the lake.
  5. Ascona (Switzerland): Known for its Mediterranean-style promenade lined with cafes, boutiques, and galleries, Ascona is arguably one of the most picturesque towns on Lake Maggiore. It’s an excellent spot for those who love leisurely strolls, fine dining, and a chic atmosphere. The town is also a gateway to exploring the nearby mountains and valleys.
  6. Cannobio: Located near the Swiss border on the Italian side, Cannobio is a charming town with a rich history reflected in its beautiful architecture and vibrant market. Its lakefront promenade and lovely beach make it a great choice for those looking to combine relaxation by the water with some historical exploration.
  7. Arona: Another great spot on the southern end of the lake, Arona offers a lively atmosphere with its large market, numerous shops, and restaurants. The town’s lakeside park is perfect for families, and its historic center provides a glimpse into the area’s past. Arona is also well connected by train and road, making it convenient for day trips around the region.

Each of these areas around Lake Maggiore has its own charm and attractions, making them perfect for different types of travelers.

Whether you’re into bustling market towns, quiet lakeside retreats, or cultural hotspots, Lake Maggiore has a place that will make your visit unforgettable. Pack your bags and get ready to explore the wonders of this beautiful Italian and Swiss lake!

Best hotels where to stay in Lake Maggiore

Absolutely! Here’s a curated list of some of the best accommodations around Lake Maggiore, offering something special in each of the key locations:

Stresa

  • Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees: This iconic hotel exudes luxury with lavish rooms, exquisite gardens, and a stunning view of the Borromean Islands. It’s perfect for those seeking a glamorous stay.
  • Hotel La Palma: Situated right on the lakefront, La Palma features a rooftop bar and pool, providing panoramic views of Lake Maggiore. Ideal for travelers looking to relax in style.
  • Hotel Villa & Palazzo Aminta: Offering a private beach and spa, this hotel is the epitome of luxury, perfect for a pampering getaway.

Baveno

  • Hotel Simplon: Known for its beautiful frescoes and lush garden, Hotel Simplon provides a tranquil setting with a backdrop of the mountains and the lake.
  • Hotel Splendid: Featuring a private beach and a floating pool on the lake, Hotel Splendid is great for families and couples alike.
  • Hotel Villa Ruscello: A family-run hotel with a warm atmosphere and excellent lakeside location, making it a cozy place to stay.

Verbania

  • Grand Hotel Majestic: A historic hotel with a private beach and a lovely garden, located right on the waterfront. The hotel boasts classical decor and modern amenities.
  • Il Chiostro: For a more unique stay, this former monastery offers simple yet charming accommodations with a serene courtyard.
  • Hotel Pallanza: An Art Nouveau building with stunning views of the lake, Hotel Pallanza offers comfort and elegance in equal measure.

Locarno (Switzerland)

  • Hotel Belvedere Locarno: This hotel offers elegant rooms with incredible views and is just a short walk from the historic center and Piazza Grande.
  • Caffè dell’Arte Boutique Rooms: Set in a restored historic building, this boutique hotel features uniquely decorated rooms and a quaint courtyard.
  • Hotel Garni Montaldi: Located in the city center, this hotel is perfect for those looking to explore Locarno on foot.

Ascona (Switzerland)

  • Hotel Eden Roc: Luxurious and chic, Eden Roc offers a private beach, a marina, and multiple swimming pools, plus gourmet dining experiences.
  • Hotel Ascona: Set on a hill with expansive views of Lake Maggiore, this hotel offers peace and relaxation in a beautiful setting.
  • Albergo Carcani: Facing the lakefront promenade, this hotel is right in the heart of Ascona’s vibrant atmosphere.

Cannobio

  • Park Hotel Villa Belvedere: Nestled in lush gardens, this villa offers an intimate and peaceful stay with a private pool and classic decor.
  • Hotel Giardino: This hotel mixes traditional charm with modern amenities and includes a pool, perfect for a relaxing retreat.
  • Hotel Pironi: A beautifully restored historic building in the center of Cannobio, Hotel Pironi is filled with charm and elegance.

Arona

  • Hotel Concorde: Directly by the lake, with many rooms offering views of Rocca di Angera, this hotel has a traditional feel with modern comforts.
  • Hotel Giardino: A cozy hotel with a welcoming atmosphere, located close to Arona’s main attractions and shopping.
  • Hotel Ristorante San Carlo: Situated slightly off the main tourist path, this hotel offers peace and tranquility with beautiful views over the lake.

Each of these accommodations across the diverse areas of Lake Maggiore offers its unique charm and amenities, ensuring travelers can find the perfect match for their stay, whether they’re looking for luxury, a romantic setting, family-friendly environments, or cultural immersion.

Best places to stay in Lake Maggiore

FAQs about where to stay in Lake Maggiore

Visiting Lake Maggiore offers a delightful blend of nature, culture, and relaxation. Here’s a handy list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) by tourists planning to explore this gorgeous area straddling Italy and Switzerland:

What is the best time to visit Lake Maggiore?

The ideal time to visit Lake Maggiore is from late spring (May) to early fall (September). During these months, the weather is typically warm and sunny, making it perfect for outdoor activities and enjoying the scenic beauty of the lake.

How do I get to Lake Maggiore?

If you are flying, the nearest major airports are in Milan, Italy. From Milan, you can take a train or drive to Lake Maggiore, which takes about an hour. There are also public buses available that connect to different towns around the lake.

Do I need a car to get around Lake Maggiore?

While not strictly necessary, having a car can be convenient, especially if you plan to explore the more remote areas around the lake. However, the towns around Lake Maggiore are well-connected by local buses and boats that regularly ply between the major towns and attractions.

What are the must-see attractions around Lake Maggiore?

Be sure to visit the Borromean Islands, particularly Isola Bella with its magnificent palace and gardens. The lakeside towns of Stresa, Verbania, and Cannobio are also not to be missed. Don’t forget to check out the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso and the Rocca di Angera castle for their historical significance and stunning views.

Can I take a boat tour on Lake Maggiore?

Yes, boat tours are a popular way to see Lake Maggiore and can be boarded from several of the major towns like Stresa and Locarno. These tours offer a wonderful opportunity to view the scenic landscape from the water and visit the beautiful islands.

What are some good hiking routes around Lake Maggiore?

For hiking enthusiasts, the area around Lake Maggiore offers numerous trails ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes. The Val Grande National Park, Italy’s largest wilderness area, provides spectacular opportunities for hiking amidst pristine landscapes.

What local foods should I try at Lake Maggiore?

Local specialties include fish from the lake, such as perch and pike. Risotto with perch fillets is a must-try dish. Also, explore the cheeses like Ossolano and Gorgonzola, and don’t miss out on tasting local wines, including those from the nearby vineyards of Ghemme and Gattinara.

Is Lake Maggiore suitable for a family vacation?

Absolutely! Lake Maggiore is very family-friendly with many hotels and restaurants catering to families. Attractions like adventure parks, zoos, and beaches along the lake make it a great destination for visitors of all ages.

What are the shopping options like around Lake Maggiore?

The towns around Lake Maggiore offer a variety of shopping experiences, from high-end boutiques in Stresa and Locarno to local markets in Verbania and Ascona where you can buy local crafts, fresh produce, and souvenirs.

What cultural events should I look out for during my visit?

Lake Maggiore hosts several cultural events throughout the year, including music festivals like the Stresa Festival, film festivals in Locarno, and various local festivals featuring traditional music, dance, and culinary specialties.

These FAQs provide a helpful overview for anyone planning a trip to Lake Maggiore, ensuring a well-rounded and enjoyable visit to one of Italy and Switzerland’s most beloved lakes.

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