Tourist Information on Lake Maggiore & the neighboring Lake Orta includes information on the weather at Lake Maggiore, how to get to Lake Maggiore, as well as things to see and do while at Lake Maggiore & Lake Orta.
Lake Maggiore is 10km wide and around 65km long. It's located right on the Italian-Swiss border: its northern tip is in Switzerland, its eastern shores touch Lombardy, while its western shores lie in the region of Piedmont. The most famous resort on Lake Maggiore is Stresa, mentioned in Hemingways “A Farewell to Arms”. The town of Stresa is on the Piedmont section of the lake.
Like Lake Garda and Lake Como, Lake Maggiore is a popular lake to visit, but for those seeking a more restful and relaxing vacation it's better to consider spending some time at the smaller, but calmer, Lake Orta. Here, the principal town is San Giulio, which is also the hub for tourists wanting to visit other sites of the lake.
If you want to stay on Lake Maggiore, note that Stresa is the hub of local transportation and the main destination for most tourists. With its proximity to Switzerland as well as some major Italian cities, Lake Maggiore suffers greatly from the heavy traffic that seems to be present all year round. Its fine villas and beautiful gardens are still waiting to be discovered, even if its reputation has been a little tarnished over the years.
Besides Lake Orta, those seeking to get away from the hassles of modern-day life should travel out to the Borromean Islands on the Lake Maggiore: Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Madre, named after the Borromeo family that have owned them since the 12th century. Isola Bela – Beautiful Island – boasts a palace with delightful views of the lake, terraced gardens, wildlife and sparkling fountains built to create a romantic atmosphere for the wife of the count Carlo Borromeo, Isabella, in the 16th century.
Isola dei Pescatori – Fishermen's Island – is a series of little lanes and houses inhabited by fishermen for centuries, and it's the smallest of the three islands. And, Isola Madre – Mother Island – is the largest of the three islands and boast a huge botanical garden. To find out what to see and all guided tours on offer at Lake Maggiore, and for more tourist information on the lake and the Borromeo Islands you can visit the main tourist office in Stresa, Via Principe Tomasso, 70, where you'll find useful maps and tourist information on Lake Maggiore and the neighboring Lake Orta.
Weather and Climate at Lake Maggiore
Lake Maggiore is located on the Italian-Swiss border, with plains in the southern side that invite, in summer months, the warm winds originating from Africa and the Sahara region. Its northern shore faces the Alps, while the valleys carved by previous glaciers in Winter act like wind tunnels bringing down the cold air in the form of heavy winds that can make the waters of Lake Maggiore rise up like the waters of an open sea.
In the winter everything closes down, so it's not the best time to visit the lake. Spring and fall are the best months of the year to visit; when the climate is ideal, the clear blue sky creates the perfect visibility and the flora of Lake Maggiore is at its best. Apart from at the weekend, you'll find Lake Maggiore relatively tranquil, and, especially in these seasons, that is perfect to venture off the well-trodden paths to hike and walk amongst the hills and mountains surrounding the lake.
In the summer, the climate of Lake Maggiore can be very hot and humid, and often in these months the high pressure of southern air clashing with the colder mountain air can result in thunderstorms. In addition, the roads around the lake can be overrun by Italian, German, and Swiss tourists making it hard to reach your chosen destination. If you visit Lake Maggiore during the Summer, use the water transport services to avoid delays caused by the traffic and to enjoy the true beauty and serenity of the lake. Travelling by water is probably the best way to travel around Lake Maggiore from spring to fall.
Tourist Offices at Lake Maggiore
Main Tourist Office:
Via Principe Tomaso, 70
Stresa, Lake Maggiore
Telephone: 0323 30150
Here you'll find free maps and other tourist information on Lake Maggiore.