Best towns to stay in Lake Maggiore
Stresa is a beautiful town on the northwestern shore of Lake Maggiore that can be enjoyed by families and couples alike. Here you can stroll along the lakeside and enjoy the many bars and restaurants. There are plenty of attractions on offer including a plethora of imposing villas such as Villa Ducale and the zoological park at Villa Pallavicino. There’s plenty to keep kids entertained with Mottorone adventure park and Alpyland just a stone's throw away, where you can also find zip lines for the bigger kids among us. There are plenty of hikes up in the hills which offer sweeping views over the lake and nearby Alps.
The perfect base to access Isola Bella and the stunning Borromean islands, Stresa has boats departing regularly from the small harbour. Here you’ll find a mix of hotels for all budgets, ranging from luxury hotels to low-key B&B’s.
Hotels in Stresa
Baveno is a great place to relax along the lakeside with a wonderful offering of high-quality restaurants to enjoy and spas to relax and unwind in. The area is well-known for its thermal waters, as well as pink granite quarries which supplied the stone for Milan’s Duomo cathedral. The beautiful lake promenade offers incredible views over the Borromean islands and Isola Bella can be easily reached from the town’s harbour.
The area is also a good base for adventure lovers as it offers plenty of hiking opportunities leading to beautiful lake views. It’s also a good base to visit the nearby Val Grande National Park, Italy’s largest wilderness area. The starting point of a couple of via ferratas begins near the town, which lead to incredible views over the lake. There’s a good mix of hotels with amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and restaurants, as well as boutique hotels, and B&Bs.
Hotels in Baveno
Arona is the gateway to Lake Maggiore and a great base to explore what the lake has to offer. With plenty of restaurants and bars, Arona is one of the busier towns that line Lake Maggiore and is therefore a good option for anyone looking for something a little livier. Here you can stroll along the lakeside, pausing to take in the views, and enjoying an aperitivo along with the locals in one of the many bars. There are plenty of shops to browse and the town is on the train line which runs along the western side of the lake.
Ferries from Arona will also allow you to discover many of the other towns along the lake, as well as Isola Bella and the Borromean islands. You’ll find a mix of hotels and B&Bs to suit all tastes, from family run hotels to boutique B&B’s.
Hotels in Arona
Verbania sits on the northwestern side of Lake Maggiore on the Borromean gulf and is the largest town on the lake. Here you can enjoy the slow pace of life, take in the beauty of the natural surroundings, and explore the many churches and historical buildings. Verbania can appeal to everyone as there are plenty of shops and restaurants to enjoy, as well as parks to picnic in and the beautiful botanical gardens of Villa Taranto in Pallanza.
From here It’s easy to discover everything that Lake Maggiore has to offer, including a trip to nearby Isola Bella, thanks to Verbania’s large ferry terminal. The town is also close to the Alps so there’s plenty of hiking on the doorstep for the more active holiday makers. As Verbania is the largest town on Lake Maggiore, there are plenty of hotel options to choose from to suit all budgets.
Hotels in Verbania
Luino is a bustling town at the Italian-Swiss border on the northeastern shore of Lake Maggiore. If it’s a bit of peace that you’re after then Luino is a great option for families, groups, or couples looking to explore the quieter side of Lake Maggiore. The picturesque town is best known for its lively weekly market that is held every Wednesday from morning until late afternoon. The market sells everything from food to clothing, and flowers to local handicrafts in around 350 stalls set in the town centre and on the lakeside.
There are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained with sailing schools and plenty of watersports to try out. There’s also a cycleway from Luino to Valcuvia, and plenty of hiking opportunities in the nearby hills. Luino has a good mix of hotels based in the town and surrounding area with plenty of smaller family run hotels and boutique hotels available.
Hotels in Luino
Orta San Giulio
Orta San Giulio is located on Lake Orta which is a smaller, lesser known gem of the Italian lakes. Here you will find charm and serenity set in a beautiful mountainous setting. Orta San Giulio is the main town on the lake and the best place to stay if you want to enjoy the serenity of the lake with a bit of liveliness. Wander through the pretty, narrow streets, pausing at quaint cafes along the way. Take a boat to equally pretty Isola San Giulio, or enjoy eating in one of the number of delicious restaurants in the town’s piazza.
There are many different secluded and luxurious hotel options available, making Orta San Giulio a perfect option for a romantic getaway. Lake Maggiore is within easy reach with just a 30 minute drive, meaning that you can enjoy the best of both lakes.
Hotels in Orta San Giulio
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option then Sesto Calende is a great place to stay during your trip to Lake Maggiore. Located on the southern tip of Lake Maggiore, sitting on the Ticino river, the town allows for easy access to discover both sides of the lake. Here you can walk along cobbled streets and along the riverside, stopping in one of the many cafes and bars to enjoy the views out across the river. From Sesto Calende you can easily reach the nearby town of Arona on the west coast of the lake, or Angera on the east.
There are plenty of walks to enjoy nearby, as well as water sports such as sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. You’ll find plenty of smaller family-run hotels and B&Bs available in Sesto Calende to fit different budgets. Sesto Calende is the quickest town to reach from Milan Malpensa Airport and from Milan by both car and train.
Hotels in Sesto Calende