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WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE MAGGIORE

Where to stay in Lake Magiorie

Which is the best town to stay in Lake Maggiore?

Set in Lombardy and Piedmont, and with its northernmost point protruding into Switzerland, Lake Maggiore is considered to be Italy’s most peaceful lake. The Alps provide a stunning backdrop, while the climate remains distinctly Mediterranean. Lake Maggiore is less crowded than Como and Garda, and its surroundings are wilder. The lake became a popular destination in the late 19th century and has a distinct Belle-Epoque air to it. Surrounded by mountains, old castles, churches and beautiful villas, the Lake has many pretty towns dotted along, giving many options to base your stay.

 

Lake Maggiore is a haven for families and active holiday makers with plenty of hiking, biking, golf, horse riding, and climbing nearby. The lake waters are ideal for sailing, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, and stand up paddle boarding (SUP). If you’re looking to enjoy the best of the villas, regal promenades, and a visit to the Borromean islands, then Stresa and Verbania make an ideal base. If you’re after something quieter, then consider Baveno or Luino. Arona is slightly livelier, whereas nearby Sesto Calendo offers budget-friendly options. Nearby Orta San Giulio sits on Lake Orta, just a 30 minute drive from Lake Maggiore and allows visitors to enjoy the best of both lakes. All towns are within easy reach of Malpensa airport, and Stresa, Arona, and Sesto Calende are the closest to Milan.

BEST HOTELS TO STAY IN LAKE MAGGIORE
Hotel   Avg price
Hotel Sole
Sesto Calende
119€ - 126$
Hotel Ristorante San Carlo
Arona
134€ - 142$
Hotel   Avg price
Hotel Bocciolo
Orta San Giulio
119€ - 126$
Hotel Splendid
Baveno
123€ - 130$
Relais Villa Porta
Luino
152€ - 161$
Hotel   Avg price
Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees
Stresa
235€ - 249$

 

If you are interested in where to stay in Lake Maggiore you could also be interested in where to stay in Lake Como or in where to stay in Lake Garda.

Best towns to stay in Lake Maggiore

 

Stresa

Stresa

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

Baveno

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

Arona

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

Verbania

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

Luino

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

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

 

 

Sesto Calende

Sesto Calende

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

 

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