Despite its name, the Lake Maggiore it is not the first, but the second largest of the Italian lakes immediately after Garda.
This, however, does not mean that it is small, on the contrary: its perimeter is about 170 km and measures more than 64 km in length.
You will understand, therefore, which to choose the best area to sleep on Lake Maggiore it may not be an easy affair.
Furthermore, the shores of the lake are divided between two Italian regions, Piedmont e Lombardy, and Switzerland.
Before deciding where to stay, then, it will be necessary to understand what you want to see and what you intend to do during your stay. At that point it will be easier to choose in which area to book your accommodation.
In this article I will help you evaluate the best location where to sleep on Lake Maggiore according to your needs and your holiday plans.
ARE YOU IN A HURRY? HERE ARE THE BEST HOTELS ON LAKE MAGGIORE!
- Stresa: Villa & Palazzo Aminta Hotel Beauty & Spa, Hotel La Palma, Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees
- Laveno: Hotel de Charme Laveno
- Baveno: Hotel Splendid, Grand Hotel Dino
- Cannobio: Park Hotel Villa Belvedere, Hotel Pironi
- Where to sleep on Lake Maggiore: which shore to choose?
- Piedmontese shore
- 1 - Arona
- 2 - Stress
- 3 – Baveno
- 4 - Verbania
- 5 – Cannero Riviera
- 6 - Cannobio
- Lombard side
- 7 - Sesto Calende
- 8 – Angera
- 9 – Ranco
- 10 – Laveno
- 11 – Luino
- Swiss shore
- 12 – Locarno
- 13 - Ascona
Where to sleep on Lake Maggiore: which shore to choose?
Given the size of the lake, it is clear that the territories and landscapes vary greatly depending on the area.
You pass by alpine landscapes of the northern part, to locations characterized by a Mediterranean vegetation in the South.
Le things to see on Lake Maggiore they are numerous and each shore has some particularly interesting places to visit or activities not to be missed.
In the map below I have divided the various locations according to their region of belonging:
- In red: Piedmont
- In blue: Lombardy
- In green: Switzerland.
La Piedmont side is perhaps the best known: here they are Stresa, Arona and Baveno, great places to stay if you're planning on visit the Borromean Islands.
La Lombard shore, on the other hand, it is a quieter area where you can spend a pleasant holiday on the lake in the summer, but where there are still some interesting attractions to visit such as the Rocca d'Angera andHermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso.
Finally there is the Swiss shore, the northernmost one and the one characterized by a mountain landscape. This is the right place for a holiday in the countryside and for those who love sports, walking or cycling.
I start by advising you where to sleep on Lake Maggiore on the Piedmont side, the best known and full of things to see.
Staying here you can easily reach the Borromean Islands, perhaps the main attraction of the whole lake.
1 - Arona
Arona it is the location on the southernmost Piedmontese shore that I will recommend to you.
The historic center is very well kept and from the lakeside you can enjoy one wonderful view on the Rocca di Angera which is located in the Lombard part.
In the city there is a large green area: the Borromeo Park. Here there are several animals in semi - freedom: if you are with children you can spend a few hours outdoors having fun in peace.
Arona, thanks to its location, is a perfect location for explore both the Piedmontese and Lombardy shores.
White Lilac Romantic B&B: I love this place! It offers a hearty breakfast, clean and well-appointed rooms, a swimming pool, and stunning lake views. The Top? Breakfast in the beautiful garden.
The Tired Cat: this little place is a gem. The rooms are modern, large and spotless, the breakfast plentiful, it is located not far from the center of Arona, reachable with a quiet walk.
HOTEL in ARONA
2 - Stress
Overlooking the Borromean Gulf, Stresa it is the most elegant of the destinations on Lake Maggiore.
Villas, elegant noble residences, large luxury hotels and well-kept gardens make this town a real gem.
In Stresa you can stroll through the small historic center and stop for a coffee in Piazza Cadorna, the main meeting place of the inhabitants, or you can let yourself be fascinated by Liberty style villas while strolling along the lakefront, particularly recommended at sunset when it becomes even more romantic.
If you are with children you can go to the Pallavicino Park where about 50 species of mammals and birds are housed in a pleasant natural context.
Not far from Stresa, moreover, you can reach the Alpinia Botanical Garden. Here, in about 40.000 square meters, about 100 species of plants from all over the world are housed.
Finally, Stresa is also the perfect place for reach the magnificent Borromean Islands: ferries depart from Piazzale Marconi.
As you may have guessed, staying in Stresa is the best choice to sleep on Lake Maggiore if you want to visit its most beautiful attractions.
I stayed atHotel la Locanda, a small family run hotel. The hotel is simple, welcoming and very clean and is located in an area where it is also easy to park for free on one of the adjacent streets. From here it is still easy to take the lakefront and walk 10 minutes to reach the center.
Another choice that I had evaluated (but had no availability, unfortunately) is thehotel Flora. This is a bit more high-end hotel than the Inn, offering lake views and a pool. One of the choices that combine comfort and good price in the area!
If you are looking for something much more chic then take a look atHotel Residence La Luna Nel Porto: it is located just 30 meters from the landing stage for the Borromean Islands and offers a private garden with terrace and lake view and modern customized suites.
HOTEL a STRESA
3 – Baveno
Not far from Stresa is located Baveno, a quieter location than the first, but still very convenient for visiting the main attractions of the area, including the Borromean Islands. In fact, from the lakefront, ferries depart for the islands.
These parts are located accommodations for all budgets: from luxury hotels to cheaper B & Bs.
Among the things not to be missed in Baveno I recommend a walk among the sumptuous villas for which the town is famous: Villa Fedora, Villa Henfrey-White, Villa Durazzo e Villa Barberis they are some of the most beautiful.
Hotel Villa Ruscello: If you are looking for an affordable option, this small hotel in Baveno is a great choice. Family-run and with a beautiful view of the Borromean Islands, it offers cozy and clean rooms (some with lake views). The hotel is nestled in a beautiful 4.000-meter garden!
Grand Hotel Dino: This beautiful building is the largest hotel in Baveno and the rooms are spacious, comfortable and clean. In some there is a charming balcony overlooking Lake Maggiore, with enough space for a table and chairs to enjoy a cup of coffee or an afternoon aperitif.
Ripa Baveno Castle: this property doesn't need much introduction, just read the reviews. This is an apartment in a castle! Great location, ideal for taking a stroll along the lakefront. The apartment has everything you need and more, the welcome is impeccable and if you don't want to dine out there is a fully equipped kitchen.
HOTEL a BAVENO
4 - Verbania
Verbania is the largest city on Lake Maggiore so here you will find all the services for a quiet holiday: from supermarkets to post offices, up to a large number of restaurants.
This locality is often called "the Garden of Lake Maggiore" because parks, gardens and public and private green spaces abound here. Among the most important are the gardens of Villa Taranto and those of Villa San Remigio which I recommend you visit.
Verbania, like Stresa, is an elegant and pleasant destination where time seems to have stopped at the Belle Epoque.
The town abounds in hotels and tourist accommodations, but as in the case of Stresa, prices could be a bit expensive and, especially in high season, the advice is to book in advance.
Depending on the neighborhood you choose, you may want to search for hotels in the area. If you prefer to start with the most recommended hotels in Verbania, here is a list to get you started.
Grand Hotel Majestic: located in a 19th century building directly on the shores of the lake, with a private beach, the Majestic offers rooms that almost always overlook the lake, a wellness center and a tennis court for free use, gourmet cuisine and luxurious accommodations.
Pallanza hotels: housed in an impressive XNUMXth century building on the shores of the lake, the hotel offers spacious and spotless rooms and a panoramic terrace perfect for sipping a drink.
HOTEL in VERBANIA
5 – Cannero Riviera
Cannero Riviera is a charming town on the Piedmontese shore of Lake Maggiore not far from Switzerland.
You could stay here if you intend to visit Locarno, but prefer to stay in Italian territory (much cheaper).
Furthermore, despite being a small town, Cannero offers some unmissable attractions such as the magnificent and fragrant Citrus Park.
If you are interested in museums, here you will find a very special one to visit: it is the Ethnographic and Brush Museum.
Do not miss the pleasant walk along the lakefront surrounded by luxurious and elegant residences.
Hotel Il Cortile: Located in an early 50th century building in the historic center of Cannero Riviera and just XNUMX meters from the shore of Lake Maggiore, the hotel offers an internal courtyard also equipped with a relaxation area. The breakfast offers various and quality products. The hotel is also equipped with an accurate restaurant service and a convenient private parking a short distance away.
Arancioamaro Hotel: another 3-star hotel with very good reviews, with large, bright and elegantly furnished rooms. The breakfast is continental. This is a lovely hotel with excellent value for money. The terrace and the rooms overlooking the lake are splendid.
B&B Casa Forster: located 400 meters from the lake and embellished with a garden and a terrace, the B&B Casa Forster offers free wi-fi and each room is equipped with air conditioning and free use of a tablet. All rooms have private bathrooms. You can enjoy breakfast in the breakfast room, on the terrace overlooking the lake or in the garden.
HOTEL a CANNERO RIVIERA
6 - Cannobio
Just 10 minutes from the Swiss border is located Cannobio, a destination not to be missed if you visit Lake Maggiore, but also an excellent solution to stay to discover the places in the surroundings.
Cannobio is characterized by a beautiful Old Town that you can visit with a well-marked ring route that will allow you to admire all the main attractions.
Also on the lakefront you can walk enjoying the landscape in peace.
If you are looking for a summer destination, Cannobio is the perfect solution: awarded several times with the Blue Flag it is famous for its beaches, the cleanliness of its waters and the numerous services it offers to tourists.
B&B Villa Dei Pini: this historic villa offers air-conditioned accommodation furnished in a classic style, overlooking the surrounding garden. Breakfast is served on the veranda overlooking the garden. WI-FI is free throughout the hotel.
Hotel Casa Arizzoli: a few steps from the medieval village of Cannobio, this family-run hotel offers a garden and free parking.
The house has been completely renovated, but retains its historic character, with the breakfast room with beamed ceiling. The WI-FI connection is free.
Love Beach B&B: a Bed and Breakfast that offers rooms with private bathroom, free WI-FI connection and bicycles (also free), a nice terrace and continental breakfast.
HOTEL a CANNOBIO
Let's move on to Lombard shore, to see five other places to sleep on Lake Maggiore.
7 - Sesto Calende
Sesto Calende is one of the cheapest places in the area: in addition to hotels and B & Bs, here you will also find some campsites where you can stop in a tent or camper.
Its location is also excellent if you want to visit both the Lombard and Piedmontese shores.
In the surroundings there are numerous outdoor activities that can be carried out: you can discover, for example, the Lombard Park of the Ticino Valley or reach by bicycle the near the village of Angera with his famous Rocca.
Hotel Sole: offers family rooms equipped with all comforts, free WI-FI connection in all common areas, such as the bar and lounge. The rooms have a patio and there is a nice terrace to relax on. Breakfast is continental or a la carte.
Ca dal Cicin: beautiful accommodations, equipped with flat screen TV, private bathroom and balcony overlooking the lake
It also offers a shared kitchen and free Wi-Fi in all areas.
B&B Coco Loco: this lovely B&B offers rooms with private bathroom, a garden and free WI-FI connection. The breakfast is Italian.
HOTEL in SESTO CALENDE
8 – Angera
angera is one of the most fascinating villages of Lake Maggiore and is considered a real widespread museum (they have been identified more than 40 monuments).
The village is dominated from above by the famous Rocca di Angera, an ancient fortification of the Borromeo family inside which, in addition to the magnificent rooms, you can visit the Doll Museum and Toy and that ofInfant Clothing.
Angera, like many of the localities in the area, has a pretty lakefront where it is pleasant to walk.
This locality it is also perfect for lovers of walking and outdoor activities: you can immerse yourself in the green area of the hill of San Quirico or, if you like birdwatching, you can go inside Bruschera Nature Reserve.
Hotel Dei Tigli: offers simple but clean and comfortable rooms, free WI-FI connection and bicycles (also included in the room rate) and is located in an excellent position, just 50 meters from the lake shore.
Locanda la Casetta: a small inn, in a building as well as an eighteenth-century, a rural-style place, it seems banal, rustic. The accommodations offer private bathroom, bathrobe (so you don't have to bring your own towels), slippers, courtesy set etc etc ...
The breakfast is based on homemade products. The place I love!
Cascina Chania: terrace, garden, private bathroom at a fantastic price, plus private parking (and trust me, it's not taken for granted). plus the Italian breakfast!
HOTEL in ANGERA
9 – Ranco
Ranco it is a very small inhabited center characterized by a marina and a few restaurants.
It is a quiet place to stay with children.
From here, then, you can move to explore the surroundings or go to the beach. One of the best is the Caravalle beach.
HOTEL a RANCO
10 – Laveno
laveno it is located right in front of Verbania and is an excellent solution to stay on Lake Maggiore also and above all thanks to the convenient ferry that connects the town with the Piedmontese shore.
From here, in fact, you can take the opportunity to explore Lake Maggiore in an alternative way: that is by water.
The historic center is very lively and the heart of Laveno is Piazza Ranzoni with its cafes and restaurants.
If you are interested in museums you could visit the International Museum of Ceramic Design dedicated to Laveno ceramic once famous all over the world.
Locanda Pozzetto: a 3-star hotel with rooms and lake views. The hotel is located in a historic building, with WI-FI connection and free parking.
Hostaria Del Golfo guesthouse code C00025: a delightful guest house, located on the shores of Lake Maggiore, with accommodations and rooms with a view. The rooms have all the comforts: minibar, flat screen TV, private bathroom and, unbelievable, ceilings with exposed beams.
Casa Rossa Hostel: a beautiful hostel, surrounded by a garden with rustic-style rooms and only 250 meters from the shores of the lake. there are many common areas including a lounge, a kitchen and table tennis. like all self-respecting hostels, it gives the possibility to directly book various activities such as sailing, paragliding, etc. Ask and it will be given to you.
HOTEL a LAVENO
11 – Luino
Not him I know her well and have known her for many years: my ex boyfriend had a house in Maccagno (which is located a few km) and I spent there I don't know how many summers.
Luino is a beautiful town, located a few kilometers from the Swiss border and its location is perfect for exploring both the Lombard and Swiss sides.
Also in this case there is a beautiful lakefront and, if you travel with the little ones, you can let them play in the Parco a Lago, a play area overlooking the water.
One of the reasons why this place is famous is the Wednesday market, known internationally and the pride of the city that has made it a real tourist attraction.
International Hotel Luino: located less than 300 meters from the lake shore, this 3-star hotel offers rooms with wooden furniture, satellite TV, air conditioning and private bathroom.
Leonardo residence: spacious apartments 50 meters from the lake. Some apartments have balconies with views, all provide equipped kitchenette and lounge with flat screen TV. The WI-FI connection is free.
Camin Hotel Luino: located on the promenade of Luino and completely overlooking the lake, this hotel is housed in a magnificent Art Nouveau villa dating back to the 19th century and characterized by high frescoed ceilings and stained glass windows.
Surrounded by a garden, which during the summer months is equipped with tables and umbrellas for breakfast and dinner, the Camin Luino is one of the most charming and comfortable structures located on this shore of the lake.
HOTEL a LUINO
Finally, all that remains is to recommend two places to sleep on Lake Maggiore on the Swiss shore.
This area is certainly the most expensive of the whole lake.
12 – Locarno
Once Locarno it was a destination for wealthy and famous people. Today things have changed and this is one of the most popular and popular destinations in all of Switzerland, probably also for the excellent climate it enjoys. It seems that Locarno is the sunniest city in the country.
The city hosts events and festivals throughout the year, making it a lively and perfect destination for the youngest too.
The heart of the city is Piazza Grande with its arcades and pastel colored facades, but the whole historic center is worth a visit for its buildings and monuments.
A characteristic of Locarno is its own Walk of Fame, a walk where you can see the casts of the hands of the artists who participated in the Moon & Stars, an event held every year and which saw the participation of artists such as Elton John, Billy Idol, Laura Pausini and many others.
Not to be missed, of course, is a walk on the lakefront and Park of the Camellias, a real symbol of the city.
If you are planning to spend a relaxing stay, Locarno has a thermal establishment: the Thermal Salini & Spa.
What else to tell you, Locarno is a destination suitable for every taste where to stay on Lake Maggiore.
HOTEL in LOCARNO
13 - Ascona
Finally there is Ascona, a small village perfect for a romantic getaway.
Un lakefront which has always been a source of inspiration for artists, an elegant old town characterized by colorful houses, typical shops and small boutiques and a marina where boats move to the rhythm of the lake give Ascona an almost fairytale-like and magical atmosphere.
Don't miss a visit to the Monte Verita, the hill that rises behind the village where, at the beginning of the twentieth century, an alternative community was born whose ideals were based on naturism and Theosophy.
Art lovers can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art which has more than 500 works.
Ascona is also a perfect destination for sports lovers: here there is a beautiful golf course and on the lake you can practice windsurfing and sailing.
HOTEL in ASCONA