Lake Maggiore

Photo of Lake Maggiore

About Lake Maggiore

The steep inclines of Piedmont's lower Alps and gentle Mediterranean climate make Lake Maggiore's vegetation lush, and are the reason why so many rare and exotic plants thrive here. So the blue expanse of Lake Maggiore looks as if it's been plucked right out of a fairytale: it's surrounded by old castles, churches, and grand villas. The pretty towns and resorts along its shores have the architecture to match their wonderful gardens, and they play host to the majority of the best places to stay in Lake Maggiore.

Lake Maggiore is an area which straddles both Italy and Switzerland, so you'll find a differential in terms of accommodation between the two countries. On the Swiss side, Locarno and Ascona play host to several luxury establishments, whilst on the Italian side you'll find more traditional, low-key properties that have been run by the same family for generations.

Where to Stay - which town?

  • Locarno is a great base for exploring the north side of the Lake. Boasting the warmest climate in the whole of Switzerland, it is home to lemon and palm trees, and has a distinctly Italian flavour.
  • Neighbouring Ascona is a similarly Mediterranean feeling destination. with charming old town, lake front promenade, golf course and outdoor lido.
  • If you enjoy a bit of a poke round the shops, Stresa is one of the best places to stay on Lake Maggiore. You can get a lot of the Italian staples, including good leather handbags and Murano glass - at prices far lower than in Venice.
  • Stresa can be lively in season, so if you prefer a quieter setting, check out Baveno, just a short drive from Stresa.
  • Cannero Riviera is a charming lakeside town with much to recommend it: lovely Mediterranean style climate, beautiful flora (include world renowned Camellias) and pretty streets. The boat stop offers excellent connections to the Borromean Islands, Stresa and Locarno.
  • Ranco is located at the southern end of Lake Maggiore on its eastern shore. Come here for the historic buildings, lake views and the highly recommended Il Sole restaurant.

If you're planning a visit during the busy summer months then be sure to book ahead as the best places to stay in Lake Maggiore get quickly booked up.

The Best Places to Stay on Lake Maggiore

The Best Places to Stay in Locarno and Ascona

  • Castello del Sole is a luxurious getaway located on the shore of Lake Locarno. The contemporary accommodation is chic and tasteful, whilst the property's surrounded by a lovely garden full of fruit trees. With a spa to boot, it's a wonderfully relaxing spot.
  • Giardino Ascona is a stunning lakeside 5*, boasting light and airy contemporary rooms as well as a two Michelin star restaurant! A dreamy stay.
  • Art Hotel Riposo provides bright, colourfully decorated rooms in Ascona. With two restaurants to choose from and live music each night, it's a fun stay.
  • Giardino Lago is a stylish spot with fresh, boutique-style accommodation and bikes available to use for free. Make the most out of your location to get stuck into a range of watersports.

The Best Places to Stay in Cannero Riviera

  • The family-run Hotel Cannero enjoys a superb setting and boasts wonderful lakeside views. The bedrooms are traditional in style whilst there's also a piano bar, tennis court and a pool.
  • Park Hotel Italia is a great option for those on a budget - offering chic rooms in a top location from just £61. Work up a sweat on the tennis court before tucking into lovely Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.

The Best Island Getaways on Lake Maggiore

  • If you want to stay in one of the islands, we'd suggest you try Hotel Verbano. This is more of a restaurant with rooms, so it's also great for foodies. As well as the gourmet restaurant there are 12 really charming rooms, with romantic terraces looking onto astounding views. This is a really romantic spot, so would also work for those looking for a honeymoon destination.
  • Hotel Isole Di Brissago, set in a grand 20th century house, offers traditional rooms with vintage wallpapers and large bathrooms. What's more, there's a lovely restaurant and an outdoor pool in which to enjoy a refreshing dip.

The Best Places to Stay in Stresa

  • If you're looking for lakeside grandeur and a central Stresa location, book a room in the traditionally luxurious Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees. The hotel fronts onto the lake, a wonderful white facade with rows of little balconies. It oozes elegance and sophistication and also boasts great facilities including a spa and a gastronomic restaurant with lake views.

The Best Places to Stay in Ranco

  • If you want wonderful views direct from your hotel room, one of the best places to stay on Lake Maggiore is Il Sole di Ranco. This is another hotel priding itself on its menu, especially its seafood - sourced direct from the lake. With 14 rooms and ten suites, some suitable for families, this is a good option for those travelling for kids.
  • Albergo Belvedere is a quaint restaurant with rooms featuring wonderful views of Lake Maggiore. The rooms are simple and stylish, whilst you can also enjoy private candlelit dinners on request - ideal for a couples retreat.

The Most Romantic Places to Stay on Lake Maggiore

  • Locanda de Mai Intees, set in a charmingly traditional property, boasts wonderfully romantic and atmospheric rooms - complete with wooden beams and frescoed floors. Enjoy private diners for two in the dining room before relaxing in the whirlpool hot tub.
  • Casa Ambica is an intimate 5-room stay with a private attic room which is perfect for couples. The rooms are comfortable and simple, offering splendid views of the Maggiore Valley, plus there's a cosy lounge and lovely gardens.

Prefer An Apartment Or Villa?

If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Weather-wise you're best off visiting Lake Maggiore in the summer months, with the average temperature rising to 22°C in July and August. This however is peak season, so if you fancy visiting at a quieter and cheaper time (but still enjoying the good weather!) then consider coming in May or September.
  • International visitors can fly into Milan Malpensa Airport before taking a train up to Lake Maggiore, with the journey taking an hour and a half. Ryanair fly direct from Stansted to Milan, easyJet from Gatwick, Luton and Edinburgh, whilst British Airways go from Heathrow.
  • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure which is the best place to stay on Lake Maggiore for you?

Best Hotels in Lake Maggiore

  • Park Hotel Italia Lake Maggiore 31 rooms from £54

    An imposing lakeside property with spectacular views. Elegant interiors with high ceilings and sash windows. Light and airy rooms are traditional in design and boast private balconies. A traditional Italian and Mediterranean restaurant with panoramic views. Very reasonably priced. A tranquil abode.

    Hideaway  -  An elegant lakeside property. Gloriously tranquil and with plenty of outdoor activities to rejuvinate oneself.
    Value chic  -  Incredible value, especially for this location
    Great walks  -  Meander along one of the lakeside trails and soak in the stunning scenery.
    Sailing  -  A private pier is available for those arriving by boat.
    Check Availability
  • Castello Seeschloss Ascona 45 rooms from £84

    This magnificent Castello's setting on the shore of Lake Maggiore is truly special. The high-ceiling rooms are palatial, with large windows and ornate plaster-work and furnishings. With a heated pool and a restaurant offering lakeside dining with stunning views. A perfect romantic destination.

    Active Holiday  -  With such a maginificent setting, one is involuntarily drawn outdoors, to swim, hike, or perhaps just for a lakeside stoll!
    Back to Nature  -  Get up into the hills surrounding Lake Maggiore to see the beautiful mountain lake and its environs
    Great walks  -  Whether you want to do some serious hiking or just a gentle lakeside stroll, all is possible from the village of Ancona
    Cooking classes  -  The hotel organises cooking classes on request. Ask at reception for more information
    Check Availability
  • La Capuccina (NO), Lake Maggiore 9 rooms from £95

    A real agritourism experience in a renovated farmhouse headed by famed chef Gianluca Zanetta. The homely feel in this charming property, set near Lake Maggiore, will put you instantly at ease. The rooms are quaint and personalised while the restaurant is undoubtedly excellent.

    Foodies  -  Foodies will be bowled-over by renowned chef Gianluca Zanetta's contemporary take on regional dishes
    Country Escape  -  Charming, quiet, picturesque and producing superb cuisine; a rural idyll
    Great walks  -  Head out straight from the property and enjoy the beautiful countryside
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Check Availability
  • Hotel Cannero Cannero Riveria, Lake Maggiore 55 rooms from £104

    Charming old-fashioned establishment run by the same attentive and gracious family for decades. Spectacular position on Lake Maggiore with beautiful views. Spotless bedrooms, piano bar, lakeside terrace, pool and tennis court. Buffet breakfasts are a speciality. The perfect place to unwind.

    Foodies  -  Exquisite lakeside terrace for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    Views  -  Magnifcent views overlooking Lake Maggiore.
    Lakeside
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Check Availability
  • Albergo Belvedere VA, Lake Maggiore 12 rooms from £111

    A quaint little restaurant with rooms in a stunning location with views of Lake Maggiore. The simple and stylish rooms offer a laid back atmosphere. The renowned restaurant serves local food and boasts a terrace with panoramic views. A charming base for local explorers or more active types.

    Romantic Break  -  Special private candlelight dinners under the stars can be arranged on request.
    Families  -  Great for families, extra cots for children below 3 years can be provided.
    Views  -  Right by the Lake Maggiore with all rooms offering wonderful views.
    Fishing  -  A perfect base for anglers the hotel has their own fishing boats and can take you out for the day
    Check Availability
  • Hotel Verbano Stresa Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Lake Maggiore 12 rooms from £130

    Special restaurant with rooms set on an island of Lake Maggiore. Excellent local cuisine from romantic terraces overlooking the lake. Lovely bedrooms and living areas in creams, with brick fireplace, wooden beams, white washed walls, and private balconies. Ideal for a romantic break or a wedding.

    Views  -  All the rooms have stunning views over Lake Maggiore
    Romantic Break
    Honeymoons
    Foodies
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, CN Traveller
    Check Availability
  • Locanda de Mai Intees Azzate Varese, Lake Maggiore 12 rooms from £130

    A charmingly traditional private residence with an excellent gourmet restaurant. Rooms and suites have frescoed walls, mezzanine levels, wooden beams, parquet floors, and attractive fabrics. Plenty of activities, close to Lake Maggiore. Romantic, gourmet and family friendly.

    Foodies
    Sights nearby  -  In the centre of the Italian Lake district.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Traditional
    Check Availability
  • Giardino Lago Locarno (Minusio) 14 rooms from £163

    This hotel marries amazing views of the stunning Lago Maggiore with a stylish boutique feel that offers simple but attractive design features. Upon the lake, guests are encouraged towards a number of watersports, including fishing. The restaurant offers fine cuisine, and bicycles are free to hire.

    Lakeside  -  RIght by Lago Maggiore
    Elegant
    Country Escape
    Towelling robes
    Check Availability
  • Casa Ambica Gordevio 5 rooms from £142

    A 19th century house painstakingly renovated providing comfortable accommodation. Rooms feature chestnut wood furniture, art on the walls and bathtubs in all bathrooms. A cosy lounge area with a fireplace and a lovely garden outdoors. Fresh homemade breakfast is served every morning.

    Romantic Break  -  The attic room provides enough privacy and amazing views from its balcony. Good for couples
    Back to Nature  -  In a peaceful setting, this property offers wonderful mountain views of the Maggia Valley
    Great walks  -  Excellent scenic hikes through the mountains surrounding the property. Finish with a dip in the river close by
    Sights nearby  -  Must visit the church in Mogno
    Check Availability
  • Il Sole di Ranco Ranco Varese, Lake Maggiore 14 rooms from £156

    Lovely lakeside hotel and gourmet restaurant. Romantic views over Maggiore, elegant understated bedrooms and suites, pool, excellent food served on the terrace, lots of fresh fish from the lake. A gourmet choice for families and total relaxation.

    Foodies
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Oudoor pool
    Cooking classes  -  Check for timings.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
    Check Availability
  • Art Hotel Riposo Ascona, Lake Maggiore 31 rooms from £224

    An artfully designed hotel on the edge of the pretty town of Ascona. Brightly coloured rooms are hip and fresh and most boast private balconies and lake views. A choice of two restaurants both with outdoor dining. Live music held on some evenings. A trendy choice in a great location for exploring.

    Local exploring  -  A charming property well located by the lake in order to explore Ascona and the surrounding area.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a stroll through the pretty historic centre of Locarno.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Full of character
    Check Availability
  • Hotel Isole di Brissago Brissago 10 rooms from £226

    Hotel in grand 20th century house located on an island in Lake Maggiore. Gorgeous rooms have vintage style wallpaper, lakeside views and big bathrooms. Original floors and stucco ceilings with chandeliers, outstanding views, verandahs and popular restaurant. A unique and memorable stay.

    Hideaway  -  Staying in the 20th century building feels like having the whole island to yourself, with delightful botanic gardens to explore
    Sights nearby  -  Regular ferry services provide connections to the lakeside villages of Lake Maggiore, including Locarno, Porto Ronco and Ascona
    Great walks  -  Walk round the peaceful island; hotel can prepare packed lunches
    Outstanding location
    Check Availability
  • Eden Roc Ascona 42 rooms from £180

    Luxury abounds at the heavenly Eden Roc on Lake Maggiore. Some of the highlights include a superb spa, a choice of four excellent restaurants and a plethora of water-sports facilities on site. Perfect for those looking for a lavish holiday by a lake.

    Sights nearby  -  Visit the incredible nearby sanctuary of Madonna del Sasso in Orselina, a 15th century pilgrimage site.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Check Availability
  • Grand Hôtel des Iles Borromées Stresa Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Lake Maggiore 179 rooms from £217

    Luxurious lakeside opulence in a Five Star Grand hotel. A beautiful setting, sumptuous rooms and suites, delicious food, spa and plenty to do on the lake. A romantic spot, family friendly too.

    Romantic Break
    Spa breaks
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and Outdoor Pools
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
    Check Availability
  • Giardino Ascona Ascona 72 rooms from £259

    A five star property situated on the stunning Lake Maggiore. Set in Mediterranean gardens reflective of it's location on the Swiss Italian border. Contemporary light airy rooms the best of which have french doors leading straight on to the garden. A Two Star Michelin restaurant. Complete luxury.

    Active Holiday  -  Sat on a stunning lake and with golf, sailing and mountain biking all on offer.
    Foodies  -  Ecco Ascona has been awarded two Michelin stars.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and outdoor pools.
    Spa
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
    Check Availability
  • Castello del Sole Ascona 78 rooms from £331

    A luxury hotel situated on the lakeshore of Lake Locarno. Framed by mountains and sitting in gardens full of fruit trees. Spoiling rooms mixing traditional furniture in a contemporary setting. The bathrooms are large and very modern. A glorious spa for complete relaxation. A spoiling stay.

    Country Escape  -  With mountains as a backdrop and vineyards surrounding this is an idyllic spot to unwind in some country air.
    Families  -  Numerous activities to keep all entertained plus a playground and babysitting services for children.
    Sailing  -  Use the hotel boat and spend the day cruising on Lake Maggiore stopping off at market places and castles along the way.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
    Check Availability