The Italian lakes form one of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes, with its distinctive micro climate, resulting in each lake having its own special character and charm. The three most famous lakes – Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda are within easy reach of Milan. Trains from Milan take one hour to Arona on Lake Maggiore, one hour to the town of Como and 90 minutes to the town of Sirmione on Lake Garda.

Explore Italian Lakes

The Italian lakes, with their deep Alpine waters and majestic mountains, form one of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes. Bound in the north by the Dolomites and stretching down towards the Plain of Lombardy, they are all a result of glacial activity. This has created distinctive ‘micro’ landscapes, resulting in each lake having its own special character and charm.

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Parts of Lake Como have the air of a bygone era, when holidays were elegant and slow paced. Its location is dramatic, with towering mountains along its edge. Take a steam cruiser for a breathtakingly scenic ride and visit the charming stately gardens. For the sports minded, the small town of Menaggio on the western shore is a popular destination, with an 18-hole golf course close by, various water-sports and some excellent walking and hiking. Wherever you choose to stay you cannot fail to be enchanted by the awesome and spectacular natural beauty of this region.

Flying time from London to Milan 2hrs

Distance from Malpensa/Linate Airport
Bellagio   85km/73km
Menaggio   88km/99km
Tremezzo   83km/95km
Moltrasio   62km/74km
Did you know?
Lake Como has always attracted the rich and famous because of it's scenery and beautiful gardens most recently George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Madonna and Cindy Crawford to name a few.

Things to do:
Visit Villa Melzi truly magnificent gardens which overlooks the lake.
Visit the Museo Didattico della Seta (Silk Museum) in Como
Try the funicular railway in Como
Hire a boat or a seaplane to explore the lake


The second largest lake, Maggiore is home to the charming town of Stresa, which sits in the shadow of Mottarone. Stresa has a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere, with excellent restaurants and cafes, elegant boutiques and fine architecture. Opposite lie the Borreomean islands, visited for their botanical gardens and the Palazzo Borromeo. Cannero is a quiet, picturesque little town, with lovely views from its steep cobbled streets, which lead one down to the waterfront.

Flying time from London to Milan 2hrs

Distance from Malpensa/Linate Airport
Stresa   68km/107km
Verbania   86km/99km
Pallanza   86km/99km
Did you know?
In 1936 to avoid uppaid taxes a Bugatti Roadster was sunk in the lake, what was left of the vehicle was eventually dredged in 2009 and sold at auction for 260,500 euros in Paris.

Things to do:
Visit The Borromeo Islands
With it's mild climate visit the lakes many tropical gardens
Take the 'Bucket Lift' in Laverno with fantastic views across the lake


Garda is the largest of the lakes; its southern shore of rolling hills contrasting dramatically with its northern shore, where the towering Dolomites provide a spectacular backdrop. The scenic towns along its shoreline, with their palm tree lined promenades and elegant villas, have inspired poets and writers for centuries. On its south west shore, charming Gardone is one such town, particularly noted for its profusion of exotic parks, including the famous Hruska Botanical Gardens. Then there is Sirmione, an old Roman spa town, with its cobbled streets and castle of Rocca Scaligera.

Flying time from London to Verona 2hrs

Distance from Verona Airport
Gardone   78km
Sirmione   36km
Garda   36km
Limone   95km
Did you know?
Lake Garda being 52km in length and 16km wide was formed by massive melting glacier during the last ice-age which flowed from Piedmont.

Things to do:
Visit Verona and spend a night at the outdoor Opera
Take a day trip to Gardaland (one of Europe's best theme parks)
Try windsurfing in Riva

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