12 Most Beautiful Places on Lake Maggiore to Visit

by Emil Backup
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Are you thinking about visiting Lake Maggiore this year? Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Lake Maggiore. These pretty sights and destinations will blow your mind.

Lake Maggiore is the jewel that straddles Italy and Switzerland, offering a smorgasbord of experiences that can make any traveler’s heart skip a beat. Imagine waking up to the sight of misty mountains reflecting on the placid waters, or sipping an Aperol Spritz as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink. This isn’t just a destination; it’s a mood, a vibe, a state of being that you won’t understand until you’re here, feeling it all seep into your soul.

But what makes Lake Maggiore truly enchanting are its hidden gems—the quaint towns, the secluded beaches, the historic landmarks, and the lush gardens. Whether you’re an adventurer at heart, a culture vulture, or someone who just wants to unwind and soak in nature’s grandeur, there’s something here for you. And let’s not forget the food—oh, the glorious Italian and Swiss cuisine that will make your taste buds dance!

In this article, we’re diving deep into the most beautiful places in Lake Maggiore that you absolutely cannot miss. We’re talking about spots that offer not just eye-popping beauty but also rich history, unique culture, and opportunities for both relaxation and adventure. So grab your travel journal and a pen; you’re going to want to take notes.

Ready to embark on this journey? Trust me, by the end of this read, you’ll be packing your bags and checking flight prices. Lake Maggiore is not just a trip; it’s an experience that stays with you, long after you’ve left its shores.

The top things to do in Lake Maggiore right now.

The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Lake Maggiore

Eager to explore the most stunning spots around Lake Maggiore? Situated between Italy and Switzerland, this lake offers a diverse range of experiences. 

Whether you’re drawn to vibrant cities and rich culture or you’re in the mood for a tranquil retreat amid nature, Lake Maggiore has something to suit your taste. Here are the must-visit locations in Lake Maggiore you won’t want to miss:    

1. Cannero Riviera

Ah, the allure of Cannero Riviera is hard to resist. Picture yourself strolling along the lakeside promenade, the sun casting golden hues on the water. This charming town is a haven for those seeking a tranquil escape. With its mild Mediterranean climate, you’ll find palm and citrus trees adding an exotic touch to the landscape.

What sets Cannero Riviera apart is its unique blend of natural beauty and historical charm. The ruins of the Cannero Castles, just off the shore, add a touch of mystery to the town’s scenic views. It’s no wonder this spot is often dubbed one of the most beautiful places in Lake Maggiore.

Foodies, rejoice! The local cuisine here is a delightful mix of Italian and Swiss flavors. Imagine savoring a plate of freshly caught fish while enjoying the Lake Maggiore scenery. And if you’re into water sports, the town offers a range of activities from kayaking to paddleboarding.

End your day with a visit to the weekly market, where you can pick up local produce and souvenirs. Trust me, Cannero Riviera is not just a destination; it’s an experience that captures the essence of what Lake Maggiore beauty is all about.

Glimpses of tranquility in Cannero Riviera, weaves a timeless tale of mesmerizing beauty.
Glimpses of tranquility in Cannero Riviera, weaves a timeless tale of mesmerizing beauty. | Image credits: TripAdvisor

2. Cannobio am Lago Maggiore

Step off the boat and instantly feel the vibrant energy of Cannobio. This town is a magnet for travelers and it’s easy to see why. Pastel-painted shopfronts greet you as you wander along the waterfront, each one more charming than the last. The beach here has earned Blue Flag status year after year, making it one of the most scenic places in Lake Maggiore for a refreshing dip.

Cannobio isn’t just about the views; it’s also a cultural hub. Meander uphill along cobbled streets lined with quaint shops and cafes. Don’t miss the chance to explore some of the town’s historic churches, where you can learn about its fascinating past. This is where to go in Lake Maggiore if you’re keen on combining leisure with a touch of history.

Adventure seekers will find plenty to do as well. The town boasts an on-site water sports center, offering everything from jet skiing to windsurfing. Imagine the thrill of skimming across the lake’s surface with the wind in your hair!

As the sun sets, the waterfront comes alive with locals and tourists alike, all drawn by Cannobio’s irresistible charm. This is the essence of Lake Maggiore scenic spots, a perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and modern amenities.

Captivating moments in Cannobio am Lago Maggiore, where the charm of lakeside tranquility unfolds gracefully.
Captivating moments in Cannobio am Lago Maggiore, where the charm of lakeside tranquility unfolds gracefully. | Image credits: Exploralp.com

3. Feriolo Promenade

Imagine a place where time seems to slow down, allowing you to savor every moment. Welcome to Feriolo Promenade, a slice of paradise that beckons with its serene atmosphere and stunning vistas. The promenade is a feast for the eyes, adorned with colorful flowers and offering panoramic views of the lake and mountains. It’s a photographer’s dream and easily one of the prettiest places in Lake Maggiore.

The promenade is more than just a walkway; it’s a social hub where locals and tourists mingle. Street musicians often fill the air with melodies, adding a magical touch to your leisurely stroll. If you’re wondering where to go in Lake Maggiore for a romantic evening, this is your spot.

Food stalls and cafes line the promenade, each offering a unique culinary experience. From local Italian delicacies to international cuisines, your taste buds are in for a treat. And if you’re a fan of artisanal crafts, the occasional pop-up markets are a must-see in Lake Maggiore.

As the sun sets, the promenade transforms into a tranquil haven, the perfect place to reflect on the beauty surrounding you. Feriolo Promenade encapsulates the Lake Maggiore beauty in a way that few other places can.

Strolling along Feriolo Promenade, where the allure whispers tales of tranquil beauty.
Strolling along Feriolo Promenade, where the allure whispers tales of tranquil beauty. | Image credits: komoot

4. Giardini dell’Isola Bella

Ever dreamed of wandering through a garden that seems plucked straight from a fairy tale? Giardini dell’Isola Bella is that dream come to life. This terraced garden is a marvel of landscape architecture, with its intricate designs and exotic plants. You’ll feel like royalty as you explore its maze-like pathways, each turn revealing a new surprise. It’s no exaggeration to say this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Lake Maggiore.

The garden isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s also rich in history. Built for the Borromeo family, the garden has been meticulously maintained for centuries. Every flower, every statue, tells a story, making this a destination that’s as educational as it is beautiful.

And let’s talk about the views. From the garden’s higher terraces, you get an unparalleled panorama of the lake and surrounding mountains. This is the spot for that perfect Instagram shot, capturing the scenery in all its glory.

As you leave, don’t forget to visit the garden’s gift shop, where you can pick up unique souvenirs like handcrafted jewelry and local art. Giardini dell’Isola Bella isn’t just a garden; it’s a living museum that showcases the very best of what Lake Maggiore has to offer.

5. Hafenpromenade Ascona

Picture this: A bustling waterfront filled with the chatter of locals, the clinking of wine glasses, and the soft hum of boats docking for the evening. Welcome to Hafenpromenade Ascona, a lively stretch that captures the essence of Lake Maggiore’s vibrant culture. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be captivated by the array of colorful buildings that line the promenade, each one housing a café, boutique, or art gallery. This is the place to be if you’re keen on experiencing Lake Maggiore’s beautiful places firsthand.

The promenade is more than just a scenic walk; it’s a hub of activity. Street performers often grace the area, their music and acts adding a layer of excitement to your visit. If you’re a fan of water activities, you’re in luck. The harbor is a popular starting point for boat trips, offering a unique perspective of Lake Maggiore scenic spots.

Food is a big part of the experience here. The promenade is dotted with eateries serving everything from traditional Italian dishes to international fare. As you dine, you’ll have front-row seats to one of the most beautiful cities in Lake Maggiore—Ascona itself.

As night falls, the promenade takes on a magical quality, illuminated by the soft glow of street lamps and the twinkling lights of boats in the harbor. Hafenpromenade Ascona is not just a place; it’s a mood, a vibe, an experience that defines what visiting Lake Maggiore is all about.

Lost in the serenity of Hafenpromenade Ascona, where Lake Maggiore dances with the charm of tranquility.
Lost in the serenity of Hafenpromenade Ascona, where Lake Maggiore dances with the charm of tranquility. | Image credit: komoot

6. Isola dei Pescatori

Unveil the magic of Lake Maggiore by setting foot on Isola dei Pescatori, also known as Fishermen’s Island. This tiny island is a world of its own, brimming with rustic charm and a sense of timelessness. Meandering through its narrow lanes feels like stepping back in time, each corner revealing a new surprise. It’s a Lake Maggiore beauty that you simply can’t miss.

The island is home to a small community of fishermen, and their influence is evident everywhere. From the nets hanging out to dry to the fresh catch displayed in local eateries, the island lives and breathes its fishing heritage. This is one of those places to see in Lake Maggiore where you can truly experience local life.

Dining here is an experience in itself. The seafood is as fresh as it gets, often caught just hours before it lands on your plate. Paired with a glass of local wine, it’s a culinary adventure that captures the essence of Lake Maggiore destinations.

As the day winds down, take a moment to appreciate the island’s natural beauty. The views of the lake from here are simply breathtaking, especially during sunset. Isola dei Pescatori offers a unique blend of culture, cuisine, and natural beauty, making it one of the best places to visit in Lake Maggiore.

Isola dei Pescatori, a picturesque retreat on Lake Maggiore, where time stands still amid serene landscapes.
Isola dei Pescatori, a picturesque retreat on Lake Maggiore, where time stands still amid serene landscapes.

7. Lungolago Luino

Feel the pulse of Lake Maggiore come alive as you explore Lungolago Luino, a promenade that’s a hub of activity and scenic beauty. The walkway is lined with benches, perfect for taking a moment to soak in the views. With the lake on one side and a backdrop of mountains on the other, it’s a scenery that captures the imagination.

Shopping enthusiasts will find their paradise here. The promenade is just steps away from Luino Market, one of the largest outdoor markets in Europe. From local crafts to gourmet food items, there’s something for everyone. This market is a must-see in Lake Maggiore, especially if you’re keen on taking home a piece of this enchanting region.

But Lungolago Luino offers more than just shopping. The area is rich in history, evident in the statues and monuments that dot the promenade. Each piece tells a story, adding depth to what is already one of the most beautiful places of Lake Maggiore.

As evening approaches, the atmosphere turns electric. Street performers come out, cafes set up their outdoor seating, and the whole area transforms into a social hub. Whether you’re here for the shopping, the history, or simply to enjoy the view, Lungolago Luino is a destination that encapsulates the best part of Lake Maggiore.

Tranquil moments unfold along Lungolago Luino, painting a serene masterpiece on Lake Maggiore's shores.
Tranquil moments unfold along Lungolago Luino, painting a serene masterpiece on Lake Maggiore’s shores.

8. Porto Di Cannobio

Discover a hidden gem where the waters meet the sky: Porto Di Cannobio. This harbor is more than just a docking point for boats; it’s a gateway to the pretty places in Lake Maggiore. The harbor is framed by lush green hills, creating a picture-perfect setting that’s a feast for the eyes and the soul.

What makes this harbor special is its versatility. It’s a starting point for various water activities, from sailing to fishing. Adventure enthusiasts can rent a boat for the day and explore secluded spots around the lake. If you’re wondering where to go in Lake Maggiore for a day of aquatic fun, Porto Di Cannobio should be at the top of your list.

The harbor is also a culinary hotspot. Seafood restaurants line the waterfront, each offering a unique twist on local dishes. Imagine enjoying a plate of risotto with freshly caught fish, all while taking in the Lake Maggiore beauty that surrounds you.

As the day comes to an end, the harbor transforms. The setting sun casts a golden glow on the water, and the area takes on a tranquil, almost ethereal quality. It’s moments like these that make Porto Di Cannobio one of the most scenic places in Lake Maggiore, a spot that offers both adventure and serenity.

Porto Di Cannobio: where the tranquil waters of Lake Maggiore greet every visitor with serene beauty.
Porto Di Cannobio: where the tranquil waters of Lake Maggiore greet every visitor with serene beauty.

9. Rocca d’Angera

Elevate your Lake Maggiore experience—literally—by visiting Rocca d’Angera, a medieval castle perched high on a hill. The castle offers a unique blend of history and panoramic views, making it one of the most beautiful places of Lake Maggiore. As you ascend the stone steps, you’ll pass through ancient halls and courtyards, each steeped in centuries of history.

The castle is home to a fascinating Doll Museum, showcasing a collection that spans different eras and cultures. It’s a quirky addition that adds a touch of whimsy to your visit. If you’re keen on exploring Lake Maggiore’s beautiful places with a side of culture, this is your go-to destination.

Don’t forget to venture out to the castle gardens. Designed in the Italian style, these gardens are a labyrinth of beauty, with meticulously pruned hedges and vibrant flower beds. It’s a scenery that’s as captivating as it is tranquil.

As you stand on the castle’s highest tower, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the lake and surrounding mountains. It’s a moment of pure awe, a chance to fully appreciate the Lake Maggiore beauty that lies before you. Rocca d’Angera is not just a destination; it’s an experience that enriches both the mind and the soul.

Rocca d'Angera crowns the beauty of Lake Maggiore, a fortress echoing tales of timeless charm and tranquility.
Rocca d’Angera crowns the beauty of Lake Maggiore, a fortress echoing tales of timeless charm and tranquility.

10. Santa Caterina del Sasso

Step into a sanctuary of serenity at Santa Caterina del Sasso, a cliffside hermitage that’s a marvel of architecture and spirituality. This sacred site is a blend of Romanesque, Lombard, and Gothic styles, creating an atmosphere that’s both ancient and timeless. 

The hermitage is accessible by a steep staircase carved into the rock or by a more leisurely boat ride. Either way, the journey is part of the experience, each step bringing you closer to one of the most beautiful places to visit in Lake Maggiore.

Inside, you’ll find a series of chapels adorned with frescoes and sculptures that tell tales of faith and devotion. The artistry is exquisite, capturing the essence of the place in a unique and spiritual way.

But it’s the view from the hermitage that will truly take your breath away. Overlooking the lake, the vista is a panorama of natural beauty, a sight that adds a touch of the divine to your visit. Santa Caterina del Sasso is more than just a religious site; it’s a place where the spiritual and the natural come together in perfect harmony, making it one of the most scenic places in Lake Maggiore.

Santa Caterina del Sasso: A spiritual haven on Lake Maggiore, where tranquility and history harmonize beautifully.
Santa Caterina del Sasso: A spiritual haven on Lake Maggiore, where tranquility and history harmonize beautifully.

11. Seepromenade Rivapiana

Uncover a tranquil escape at Seepromenade Rivapiana, where the lake’s azure waters meet a stretch of pristine shoreline. This promenade is less crowded than others around the lake, making it a destination perfect for those seeking peace and solitude. The atmosphere here is relaxed, inviting you to slow down and appreciate the smaller details.

The promenade is adorned with vibrant flower beds and ornamental trees, adding a splash of color to your leisurely walk. It’s a setting that easily ranks among the most beautiful spots in Lake Maggiore, especially when the blooms are at their peak.

For the active traveler, the area offers a range of water sports, from paddleboarding to kayaking. It’s a great way to get up close with Lake Maggiore’s beautiful places while getting a bit of exercise. Equipment rentals are readily available, making it convenient for spontaneous adventures.

As you stroll along, you’ll find quaint eateries offering lakeside dining. Picture yourself enjoying a glass of local wine as the sun sets, casting its golden glow over the water. It’s moments like these that make Seepromenade Rivapiana a must-see in Lake Maggiore, a place where natural beauty and leisure come together in perfect harmony.

Seepromenade Rivapiana: A lakeside stroll along Lake Maggiore's edge, where tranquility and beauty embrace harmoniously.
Seepromenade Rivapiana: A lakeside stroll along Lake Maggiore’s edge, where tranquility and beauty embrace harmoniously. | Image credits: komoot

12. Tour Isola Bella

Step off the boat and into a world of opulence and grandeur on Isola Bella. This island is home to a sumptuous palace and a terraced garden that can only be described as a work of art. With its intricate architecture and lush greenery, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best places to visit in Lake Maggiore.

The palace itself is a marvel, filled with ornate rooms that showcase a blend of Baroque and neo-Classical styles. Each room is a feast for the eyes, from the gilded ceilings to the intricate tapestries. It’s a top sight in Lake Maggiore that offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of Italian nobility.

Outside, the terraced gardens are a spectacle in their own right. Sculpted hedges, blooming flowers, and classical statues create a multi-layered paradise. It’s a setting that easily qualifies as one of the most scenic places in Lake Maggiore, especially when you reach the top terrace for a panoramic view of the lake.

Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates Lake Maggiore’s beautiful places, Tour Isola Bella offers a rich and varied experience that’s bound to captivate your senses.

Exploring the secrets of Lake Maggiore on the Tour Isola Bella, where enchantment meets timeless beauty.
Exploring the secrets of Lake Maggiore on the Tour Isola Bella, where enchantment meets timeless beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Visiting the Beautiful Places in Lake Maggiore

Looking to expand your knowledge about the most scenic spots in Lake Maggiore? Here are some common questions I get a lot about the best Lake Maggiore attractions.

What is the prettiest part of Lake Maggiore?

The beauty of Lake Maggiore is diverse and spread across various locations, making it hard to pinpoint just one “prettiest” part. However, the terraced gardens of Isola Bella and the serene atmosphere of Santa Caterina del Sasso are often cited as some of the scenic attractions in Lake Maggiore.

  • Isola Bella: Known for its opulent palace and terraced gardens.
  • Santa Caterina del Sasso: A cliffside hermitage offering panoramic lake views.
Serene reflections on Lake Maggiore, where nature's beauty and tranquility create a timeless, mesmerizing escape.
Serene reflections on Lake Maggiore, where nature’s beauty and tranquility create a timeless, mesmerizing escape.

What is the most picturesque town on Lake Maggiore?

Cannobio am Lago Maggiore is often considered the most picturesque town. With its colorful facades, historic architecture, and vibrant market, it offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. It’s a must-see in Lake Maggiore for photographers and romantics alike.

What is the best area of Lake Maggiore?

The “best” area depends on what you’re looking for:

  • For Nature Lovers: The area around Feriolo Promenade is ideal for those who enjoy natural scenery and outdoor activities.
  • For History Buffs: The vicinity of Rocca d’Angera offers historical sites and a majestic castle.
  • For Leisure: Ascona is known for its lakeside promenade, luxury hotels, and vibrant nightlife.

Which is prettier, Lake Como or Lake Maggiore?

Both lakes have their unique charms. Lake Como is known for its dramatic scenery, with steep cliffs and luxurious villas. Lake Maggiore offers a more diverse range of attractions, from islands and gardens to quaint towns. If you’re looking for variety, Lake Maggiore might have the edge.

Is Lake Maggiore cheaper than Lake Como?

Generally speaking, Lake Maggiore is often considered more budget-friendly than Lake Como, especially when it comes to accommodation and dining. However, the cost can vary depending on the specific location and the type of experience you’re seeking.

Should I go to Lake Maggiore or Lake Como?

It depends on your preference:

  • Lake Maggiore: Choose this if you’re interested in a diverse range of activities, from boating and island-hopping to exploring historical sites.
  • Lake Como: Ideal for those looking for dramatic natural scenery and a more luxurious, romantic atmosphere.

Both lakes offer stunning beauty and plenty of activities, so you can’t go wrong with either choice. It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and what you want to get out of your trip.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Beautiful Places in Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore is a destination that effortlessly combines natural splendor, historical richness, and leisurely pursuits. Whether you’re an adventurer at heart, a history aficionado, or someone simply looking to unwind, this lake has something to offer. From the opulent terraces of Isola Bella to the tranquil shores of Seepromenade Rivapiana, the most beautiful places in Lake Maggiore are as diverse as they are captivating.

While Lake Como has its own unique allure, Lake Maggiore stands out for its variety and accessibility, often at a more budget-friendly price point. It’s a place where every turn reveals a new vista, every town has its own distinct character, and every visit leaves you yearning for more.

So, whether you’re planning your first trip or returning to rediscover old favorites, Lake Maggiore promises a rich and fulfilling experience. It’s not just a destination but a journey through some of Italy’s most breathtaking landscapes and charming towns. One thing is for sure: a trip to Lake Maggiore is a feast for the senses, a balm for the soul, and a journey you won’t soon forget.

Best things to do in Lake Maggiore for all types of travelers.
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