Best Things to Do in Lake Maggiore, Italy

Best Things To Do in Lake Maggiore, Italy

CIAO! Italy is famous for its beautiful lakes and the small towns surrounding it. Upon arrival, I felt like being transported to an entirely different world because everything is so beautiful. Let me tell you all about the first stop of our honeymoon: an old town called Stresa on Lake Maggiore. Definitely a MUST-VISIT!

Island Hopping – in Isola Bella

Lake Maggiore Fast Facts

How to get there (from Manila, Philippines)

Name of Airport: Linate Airport, Milan

Distance of Lake Maggiore from Milan (via car hire): 1.5 hours

Highlights: THE ITALIAN LAKE!!! Visiting the islands on Lake Maggiore

Currency: Euros

Time of travel: Around June-July (This is the peak season but it’s summer!)

When I look back at ALL the places we visited during our honeymoon, I can’t help but smile when I think about Stresa. There is a certain charm with this town and the hotel we stayed in was lovely. It was summer so I was happy to be able to pack the usual outfits that I wear here in the Philippines. When we were there in June, there was even a heatwave warning from the embassy but temperature-wise, it just felt like Manila but more dry and less humid.

Chilling on our patio in Hotel Du Parc | BigSkyNation Wifi

All throughout the trip, I was able to stay connected with this handy WiFi device from BigSkyNation. It’s so efficient because aside from the reliability, the battery life is so long! If you want to book one here online, you can use my code stylecat10 for a discount.

Best Things To Do in Lake Maggiore

1 Explore the quaint restaurants and cobblestone walkways in Stresa

With a population of around 5,000 people, Stresa is a charming lakeshore town. They have a central piazza where everyone hangs out for a meal or gelato and it’s surrounded by shops specializing in leather, scents and ceramics.

Happy hour around Stresa

In terms of the price points, you could mostly see locals around so I can imagine most of the food and drink restos are reasonably priced. One thing is for sure: When in Italy, the food is amazing EVERYWHERE!

2. Check out The Villa Pallavicino Zoological Park

The Villa Pallavicino Zoological Park

Ultimate garden and farm goals! The hotel owner suggested to pay a visit to the Zoological Park. I’m glad we did! It’s an activity suitable for both adults and children. You’ll be charmed by the exotic animals in a lush botanical garden setting. I tried to feed the goats but I was quite unsuccessful. It was a fun day nonetheless!

The Villa Pallavicino Zoological Park

3. Take a public boat trip to the islands

Isola Bella, The Borromean Palace and Gardens

What’s great about the public boat, they provide you the public boat schedule and you can literally hop on and hop off at ease. We wandered around Isola Bella – one of the islands on Lake Maggiore. Constructed in 1632 onwards, Isola Bella has beautiful Italian style baroque gardens.

Isola Madre Botanical Gardens and Palace

Exploring Isola Madre is one of my favorite moments in Lake Maggiore. If you have energy, explore 2-3 islands but if you have limited energy, I highly suggest Isola Madre! You’ll see English style gardens, exotic birds and the Borromean Palace a home belonging to the nobility of centuries gone by. The Borromean house is so lovely and so rich with history.

4. Take the Cable Car ride up to Mottarone

The Stress-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car Chairlift

I am so glad we did this one! Departing from Stresa Lido, the cable car ascends to the top of Mottarone which takes you 1491 meters above sea level. You’ll be greeted by an exceptional panoramic view from the Mount Rosa Massif and a view over the seven lakes. 

Panoramic view from the cable car

This is what you’ll see when you get to the top. The weather is nice and cool too! If you’re feeling energetic, you can take the Alpine Roller Coaster on your way down.

Behind us is Lake Maggiore – the 2nd biggest lake in Italy

Where we stayed: Hotel Du Parc

Address: Via E. Gignous, 1, 28838 Stresa 

For our accommodation, Nick booked this lovely century-old hotel that is just a 5-minute walk to the center of Stresa. I liked how it was near but not exactly at the center because it would get noisy during the evening? It was such a convenient location!

Our room (#1) had a huge balcony with a panoramic view of the lake. I instantly fell in love with the vintage furniture, the gravel driveway and the huge gardens. I also loved the wide selection of cheese and colds in the daily breakfast buffet. So good!

Here’s a view by our balcony right outside our room

with Mr. Higson

As I did 98% of the wedding planning, I would like to give credit to my amazing husband who planned 98% of our honeymoon. This balcony shows it was a great start of an amazing trip! :)

When leaving Lake Maggiore, the hotel owner highly suggested to drive to Lake Orta. I am so glad we did it! Lake Orta is located on the island of St. Giulio and around an hour away from Maggiore. When you get there, you’ll be enchanted by a medieval-looking town by the lake – truly worth the drive!

Watch my vlog on Lake Maggiore!

Ending this post with a vlog of our wonderful experience in Lake Maggiore. Enjoy your trip! Ciao!


Mrs. H