Lago Maggiore or Lago Lugano

My wife and I are planing 4 days in the lakes area. Any recommendations on the perfect lakeside town? Thanks,
Dave

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17718 posts

David, It would help to have a bit more information on what type of sights you're interested in seeing? My initial suggestion would be to stay in Stresa (Lago Maggiore) as there are lots of possibilities for sightseeing in that area. In addition to enjoying the town, you could...... > Visit the famous Borromeo Islands. Isola Bella has a beautiful palace and magnificent gardens (complete with Peacocks). Isola dei Pescatori has some nice restaurants, complete with lakeside patios. > Take the Cable Car to Mt. Mottarone, possibly touring the Alpine Gardens or take the chair lift right to the top for an incredible view. > Take a day trip to Locarno, Switzerland via the scenic Cento Valli railway, returning by boat in the evening to Stresa. While in Locarno you could tour the impressive Madonna del Sasso Franciscan Monastery, spend some time in the Casino, window shop in the posh Bucherer jewellry store or have lunch in one of the restaurants around Piazza Grande. You could also take the Cable Car to Cardada (above the city) and enjoy a fine hot meal on the patio of the restaurant next to the Cable Car terminal, which has an incredible view of the city and lake. Lugano and area is also beautiful, but Lago Maggiore might provide more touring opportunities. Happy travels!

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
959 posts

Everybody's idea of what constitutes the "perfect lakeside town" is probably not the same, however I second the suggestion of Stresa, it's a lovely lakeside town. We stayed there a couple of days and took the boat to Isola Bella - marvelous. We also stayed in the city of Lugano on the lake and I liked that also. It's not a big city but has more of a "city" feel than Stresa, but that may not be your idea of the perfect lakeside town. While we were there we took the train to Belinzona for a day trip to see the three castles.

Posted by David
San Diego, Calif, usa
10 posts

Thank you both for the Stresa recommendation. We do prefer the older, smaller towns and we will be leaving from Malpensa at around noon. Sounds like there is easy access to the lake boats. Any suggestions as to where to stay in Stresa? Also, any idea how long of a drive is it to Lugano? Thanks,
Dave

Posted by steven
white plains, ny, usa
648 posts

Yet another vote for Stresa . As has been already noted , go out to Isola Bella and Isola Pescatori , wander the village and stroll on the stunning lakefront promenade ( you will think you went to heaven ) . We were there in October and were charmed . Stayed at the Hotel Moderno in the town center , beautiful clean and cozy room , Very friendly management , would go back in a heartbeat .

Posted by David
San Diego, Calif, usa
10 posts

Thanks for the input. Obviously we will plan on staying in Stresa. Other hotel recommendations, moderately priced?
Thanks again.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3301 posts

I love Cannobio the best (northwest shore of lago maggiore). However Stresa is also nice and closer to Isola Bella, which is an absolute must. Also the nearby Isola dei Pescatori is nice (aka Isola Superiore). But during those 4 days, visit Cannobio and Cannero Riviera, you'll love those small villages.

Posted by steven
white plains, ny, usa
648 posts

Roberto , I just read your post about Cannobio . When we returned home in October after having been in Stresa , we were so bitten by Maggiore that I started looking around at other destinations along the lake . I then discovered Cannobio ! I hope anyone following this thread follows your advice . When we return to Italy , Cannobio is at the top of the list . Thanks!!