The Spectacular Lake Maggiore “Lago Maggiore” is a wonderful holiday destination between the mighty Alps, bordering with both Switzerland and Italy. It is the second largest lake in Italy with a length of 65 kilometers. The northern tip of Lake Maggiore is in Ticino, Switzerland but the larger portion of the lake touches two Italian regions i.e. Piedmont and Lombardy.
The beautiful lake is surrounded by the Mediterranean vegetation, thanks to its mild weather, both in summer and winter. Lake Maggiore is famous for the wonderful gardens in the surroundings that grow rare and exotic plants. There are many villages and towns of both Switzerland and Italy around the lake as well as some beautiful islands and mountains.
14 Wonderful Attractions around Lake Maggiore
Gardens around Lake Maggiore
The lovely mild climate makes Lake Maggiore an ideal place for beautiful gardens to prosper and bloom. These enchanted gardens are sheltered by the vast Alps and are spread from Italy to Switzerland along the lake. Most of the plants are Mediterranean and some of them are rare ones. Villa Taranto is famous because you can enjoy a park which is home to several thousand different special of plants which are blooming in a wonderful and colorful surrounding.
The famous garden attractions also include the Botanical Gardens where the rare plants are placed incredibly along with the ponds, fountains, and sculptures.
Monte Tamaro near Lake Maggiore
Monte Tamaro is located in Switzerland and near the Lake Maggiore. If you are seeking adventure, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding or a zipline 1500m above the sea level, Monte Tamaro is a wonderful attraction. However, you will need your own bike if you want to have fun with the mountain biking. You can go up via a cable car while enjoying the lovely views of the Switzerland side.
Valle Verzasca and Valle Maggia
Valle Verzasca and Valle Maggia both are located in Switzerland side near the lake and are both awesome places to visit. These valleys are famous among photographers and have many picturesque spots. The water that flows in the valley is crystal clear and there are different water ponds around which look amazing. The valley of Verzasca is also famous because of the James Bond movie, “Golden Eye” in which the Bond jumped from the Dam. The dam is now a very famous bungee jumping spot and many tourists flock to it and admire its beauty.
Laveno Bucket Lift near Lake Maggiore
If you want to try something different, then try these cable cars that look like buckets which take you above from Laveno to Mount Sasso del Ferro. You can stand in these buckets which have space for two persons and enjoy the climb with beautiful surroundings. The ride is amazing and the view on the top is mesmerizing. There are some beautiful terraces on the top from where you can enjoy the lovely views and watch the people who are coming up by the buckets.
Day Trip to Locarno
Locarno is a beautiful Italian speaking town near the Lake Maggiore across the border in Switzerland. Locarno itself is a very famous tourist destinations with many tourist attractions and is also a famous base for the tourists who want to enjoy the lakes and mountains.
You can read my blog “Locarno Switzerland | 12 Amazing Tourist Attractions” to get detailed information about the town.
Cannobio and Cannero near Lake Maggiore
Cannobio and Cannero are two lovely small resort towns situated along the Lake Maggiore. You can get to them via boats while enjoying the lake and views of Alps. If you go early, you can spend some time on Cannobio and then, on your way back, spend some time at Cannero as well. Both are very colorful and pretty with Cannobio being larger and having facilities of water sports. You can relax near the lake shore, windsurf, sail, or enjoy pedal boats. These are amazing places to enjoy a relaxing day with water sports and amazing food near the lake shore.
Borromean Islands of Lake Maggiore
Borromean Islands are one of the most famous tourist attractions located in the center of Lake Maggiore. Borromean Islands consist of the islands of Bella, Madre, dei Pescatori, La Malghera and San Giovanni. All these islands are collectively called as Borromean Islands but each of them has their own charming environment that makes them unique. You can reach these islands by boats as there are many public and private boats that go to these islands regularly.
These islands were inhabited by the Borromeans of Milan, who transformed these rocky islands into marvelous gardens which are botanical masterpieces. There are also some wonderful historical buildings on the Borromean Islands. You can easily visit three islands in a day or if you prefer it slow, then go for two of them. Isola Bella and Isola Madre are the most visited islands because of their delightful gardens.
Isola Bella is the most famous of all the Borromean Islands because of its wonderful gardens and the amazing white peacocks. Isola Bella was also famous because of the famous parties that were thrown by the Borromean families. You can easily spend 5 to 6 hours on this island and can visit gardens and shops that have some souvenirs.
Isola Madre is also a very famous island, especially for those who love to see the beautiful gardens. There are around 19 gardens in the island filled with beautiful flowers and exotic plants.
Isola dei Pescatori
Isola dei Pescatori is also called as a Fisherman’s Island because most of the residents here are fishermen. This means, that this island is a great place for seafood lovers as there are many amazing seafood restaurants here with many traditional and tasty dishes.
Luino Market near Lake Maggiore
Luino Market is displayed every Wednesday on the eastern side of the Lake Maggiore and is highly popular among tourists and locals. The market has displays of traditional stuff and food from the areas and towns around the Lake Maggiore. You can try different dishes and buy souvenirs and clothes.
Day Trip to Lugano
Lugano is also a pretty little town in southern Switzerland near the Lake Maggiore. The small town has many tourist attractions, fancy restaurants, and designer shops. The Swiss-Mediterranean town is also a famous base for the tourists who love to come here and enjoy the mix of culture and cuisine. The small city is settled on the shore of glacial Lake Lugano and surrounded by mountains.
Madonna del Sasso
Madonna del Sasso is a monastery located near the Lake Maggiore and near the town of Locarno. This is one of the most photographed locations located at a cliff-side. You can reach the cliff by boat and then walk up a series of steps to reach the monastery. You can also reach here by funicular from the center of Locarno. The balcony of the church offers amazing views of the surroundings. The inside of the sanctuary has amazing and eye-catching frescos and ceiling decorations.
Hiking around Lake Maggiore
There are numerous possibilities of hiking around the lake as the lake has a length of 64 kilometers along with the mountains, towns, and villages. It depends on your own choices to choose different paths according to your fitness levels and mood. The hiking in this area is a pure pleasure because of the views of the lake, mountains surrounded by exotic Mediterranean plants.
Besides hiking there is also a wonderful zipline “Lake Maggiore Zipline” which is a must try. The long and fast zipline will take through the splendid green scenery of the Terre Alte over the lake with a speed of 120km/hr.