Photo of Lake Orta

About Lake Orta

Lake Orta is the little sister of Lake Maggiore, separated by Monte Mottarone. Much, much smaller than the other Lombardy lakes, it may not just be size which has kept you from hearing of Orta, people who love the charm and serenity of this lovely lake are reticent to wax too lyrical about it, or the best places to stay in Lake Orta, for fear an increase of popularity may spoil what makes Orta special.

Orta's lush mountain setting, fair weather and beautiful architecture are cut from the same cloth as her neighbours. There's a beautiful island in the lake's centre, sometimes shrouded prettily in mist. It is this mist, and the way that the light here seems to change almost constantly, which makes Orta seem most magical.

Orta San Giulio

Orta San Giulio is the main town, and amongst the best places to stay if you want to enjoy the gentle pleasure of the area's nightlife. Orta has around twelve hundred inhabitants, quite a number of whom can prepare excellent traditional Italian cuisine.

The streets here are narrow and the buildings have a slightly faded elegance about them. There's plenty of excellent architecture: a bit of baroque, a 15th Century church on the hill, and a Romanesque basilica.

Venture up the hill if you want an even more wonderful view. The land up here was made into a National Park in 1980, its greenery hides more lovely churches and chapels to explore.

What not to miss:

  • Wander through the pretty street in Orta San Giulio stopping at quaint cafes along the way.
  • Take a boat to Isola San Giulio (the central island) that is achingly quaint. This island is beautiful to look out across to at all hours. By day its lovely terraces beckon and by night it's lit up so as to appear to be floating on air. Probably the largest structure on the island is the Benedictine monastery, which has a surprisingly opulent interior of frescoes and statues.
  • Eat an al fresco dinner in the piazza in Orta San Giulio, looking out at the floodlit basilica on Isola San Giulio as the sun goes down.

Despite the area's relative anonymity the best places to stay in Lake Orta do get booked up, especially during the peak summer months, so be sure to make your reservation early.

The Best Places to Stay on Lake Orta

The Best Hotel Views on Lake Orta

  • If you're here for the views one of the best places to stay on Lake Orta is the Vila Crespi. This wonderfully grand villa is an exciting place to approach, when you arrive you'll probably only have eyes for the views from the lovely terraces. The restaurant has two Michelin stars, so this is also a must for foodies. And the four poster beds, grand chandeliers and the rest of the traditionally opulent decor makes this ideal for honeymooners.

The Best Places to Stay on Lake Orta for Foodies

  • Another top foodie destination - and this time a bit friendlier on the wallet - is the Hotel Il Giardinetto. This restaurant with rooms is right on the water. In fact its sun decks and terraces actually hang over the lake. With rooms starting from £69 per night, this is also incredibly good value.

The Most Relaxing Places to Stay on Lake Orta

  • If it's total relaxation you're after, book the Hotel San Rocco. Once a convent, this hotel has retained its serenity during the renovation and now has a spa with a extensive menu. If you find the water relaxing there are excellent views of it from almost every room. Or you can hire a boat and enjoy it close up.

The Best Places to Stay on Lake Orta for Contemporary Style

  • For something contemporary and comfortable, one of the best place to stay on Lake Orta is La Bussola. Three stars with a lovely terrace restaurant and pool area, this is a great choice for families.

Prefer an apartment or villa?

  • If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.

Travel information

  • Fly to Milan Malpensa airport, just 24 miles (40 km) from Lake Orta.
  • Best time to visit - Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) are ideal times to visit the Italian Lakes with comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds.
  • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars for the best prices.

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


Monthly Weather in Lake Orta

Best Hotels in Lake Orta

  • La Contrada dei Monti Orta San Giulio, Lake Orta 17 rooms from £79

    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Sacri Monti churches, a colleciton of 16th and 17th century churches.
    Sailing  -  Take a boat to San Giulio island and visit the Romanesque basilica.
    Great walks  -  Along the ancient footpath at the Sacro Monte.
    Lakeside  -  On Lake Orta
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    Located along a cobbled Piedmont lane provides a traditional stay in this historic town. Bright rooms are decorated in yellows and period pieces with terracotta tiles, exposed stone walls and beamed ceilings. Local and continental food can be enjoyed indoors or in the sun. Do note there is no wifi. See More

    Check Availability
  • Locanda di Orta Orta San Giulio Novara, Lake Orta 9 rooms from £74

    Roof terrace  -  Fabulous gastrobar roof terrace.
    Value chic
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Private Hot Tub  -  One of the suites has a private balcony with hot tub

    Charming, traditional, cheaper than most. Wonderful rooms and suites have stone walls, private balconies, good sized beds. The highlight - rooftop gastro-bar, wine cellar and bistro. Very family friendly and affordable. See More

    Check Availability
  • Hotel Il Giardinetto Pettenasco Novara, Lake Orta 59 rooms from £112

    Romantic Break
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Restaurant  -  Creative regional cuisine
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews

    Fantastic restaurant with charming rooms on the water of Lake Orta. Gourmet food on romantic terraces, sun decks overhanging the lake, pastel rooms with wonderful views over the lake. A romantic choice for an authentic Italian break. See More

    Check Availability
  • La Darbia Ameno, Lake Orta 20 rooms from £113

    Families  -  The self-catering apartments are great for families travelling with children; the kids' playground is a highlight too
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the romantic, rural setting of this resort and the thoughtful touches, like the daily breakfast basket
    Country Escape  -  Set on a verdant hill overlooking Lake Orta, this hotel makes a great escape to the country
    Sights nearby  -  Visit San Giulio Island on Lago d'Orta, a tiny island that is home to the basilica of San Giulio and a Benedictine monastery
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, I Escape

    This holiday village is nestled on a hill overlooking Lake Orta. The private apartments are bright and airy, featuring rustic furnishings, cosy linens and lake views; book Ca'da Sass for a private garden overlooking the lake. Take a dip in the pool before dining at the hotel restaurant; a chic stay. See More

    Check Availability
  • La Bussola Orta San Giulio Novara, Lake Orta 42 rooms from £117

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Private Hot Tub
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking

    A great Three Star hotel with an excellent terrace restaurant, swimming pool and gardens. Stunning views over Lake Orta, large contemporary rooms and suites, and good meeting facilities. A great choice for a romantic and understated break. See More

    Check Availability
  • Hotel San Rocco, Lake Orta Orta San Giulio Novara, Lake Orta 80 rooms from £120

    Views  -  Superb views over Lake Orta
    Total relaxation
    Spa breaks
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller

    Renovated lakeside convent with a great restaurant, spa, and relaxing views. Rooms and suites in contemporary style have stand alone bathtubs, parquet floors, and white furniture. Extensive spa perfect for relaxation. A good choice for spa breaks with fabulous views. See More

    Check Availability
  • Villa Crespi Orta San Giulio Novara, Lake Orta 14 rooms from £217

    Foodies  -  The restaurant has two michelin stars
    Romantic Break
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Restaurant  -  With two michelin stars
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenPet friendlyViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux

    A glorious period villa with a fantastic restaurant and gorgeous gardens. Romantic bedrooms and suites have four poster beds, chandeliers, walnut floors and huge marble bathrooms. Stunning views over the lake from outdoor terraces. Very romantic, very good food. See More

    Check Availability
  • Casa Fantini (NO), Lake Orta 11 rooms from £343

    Country Escape  -  A design-led hotel boasting a quiet and picturesque spot on Lake Orta
    Great walks  -  Take long picturesque walks in the surrounding countryside (guides are on hand for those who wish)
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyViewsParking

    A stylish boutique hotel on the Pella side of Lake Orta welcomes design-conscious travellers into a contemporary and modern space with excellent views of the lake. Spacious rooms are decorated in monochrome tones with floor-to-ceiling windows and wonderfully indulgent bathrooms. A chic rural space. See More

    Check Availability