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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore Holidays

Let your next adventure begin along the twinkling waterfront of Italy's second largest lake. You'll be welcomed by lush green mountains, cascading waterfalls and enchanting islands, all of which call the impressive Lake Maggiore home.

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Full of surprises

The sunny climate of the Mediterranean means you can head on holiday to Lake Maggiore anytime of the year.

Once you witness palm-lined promenades, magical mountain backdrops and astonishing sights, we have a feeling you'll be planning your next trip before you even step foot back in the UK. Showering you with beauty on every corner, you'll find Lake Maggiore straddling Italy and picturesque Switzerland.

Celebrating the architecture, cosmopolitan lifestyle and gastronomical delights are the popular villages of Stresa and Baveno. Situated on the western shore, you'll find these towns host plenty of independent shops, stylish restaurants and weekly markets. However, Baveno is a little more laid back for those searching for a relaxing retreat. It also has a small lakeside lido just outside of the village which in summer has live evening music, the perfect spot to catch the sunset.

Beach lovers will be in their element at the lakeside shingle bays, where sunbeds are ready and waiting. The inviting lake waters will lure watersport fans in and once the sun sets, sit back and watch the bars and clubs come alive.

It's not all about the lake views, there's plenty of action up in the mountain tops too. Grab a cable car up Stresa Mottarone, not forgetting to stop midway for a stroll through the Alpine Gardens. You can choose to catch the next ride or walk to the top passing magnificent Po Valley and seven blue lakes. Of course, with Lake Maggiore home to several islands, you could spend your days taking a water taxi to each spot.

Lose yourself on a foodie adventure

Restaurant-goers will be serenaded by violinists while feasting on classic Italian treats. Surrounded by stone-baked pizzas and pastas, your real Italian experience is at the heart of a traditional meal. Make the most of the local delicacies and sample the mouth-watering cheeses and fresh honey, mix it together for the ultimate combination.

As the lake sits between two countries it's the perfect excuse to cross over to Switzerland and sample some Swiss dishes. Both nations are known for their world-famous food, so expect bountiful flavours and tasty meals no matter which side you're on. Dinner wouldn't be complete without something to wash it down with. Let your tastebuds tingle with excitement with a sip of full-bodied wine, from the gentle hills of the Novara area. Enjoy a fine bottle of Ghemme Docg, Nebbiolo Doc and Barbera to top off your meal.

A royal history

Just north of Milan, this Italian lake played a huge part in the historical First World War, using the lake's access to Switzerland as an escape route from Italy. Since then, Lake Maggiore has become a sanctuary for the luxury-seeking holidaymaker. Isola Bella is one of the most historic islands situated on this stunning lake, standing out for its breathtaking gardens. Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife visited these awe-inspiring gardens as have many of the British royal family.

Now it's the home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, castles and crumbling rocks of fortresses. Spread over three islands, you'll find a bundle of cultural wonders, showcasing Lake Maggiore's impressive history.