The Best Lakes in Italy

The 5 Most Beautiful Lakes in Italy

Italy is well-known for its classic delicious food, stunning architecture, and rich history. But did you know that the country is also home to some of the most beautiful lakes in the world? From clear waters to imposing mountain backdrops, these lakes are definitely worth a visit. Our family has explored many regions of the country and we think these are the best lakes in Italy:

Lake Como

Me and my baby girl (not such a baby anymore) taking a dip in Lake Como at the Spiaggia Publica.

Lake Como is undoubtedly one of the most famous lakes in Italy. Located in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, this “Y” shaped lake is surrounded by mountains and dotted with picturesque villages.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, and windsurfing. Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even take a plunge into the refreshing waters!

The wisteria that grows along the shores of Lake Como in May is just breathtaking!

Our family lived here for 3 months and fell in love with Lake Como! It tends to get busy in the summer, but the spring is so dreamy when the wisteria is blooming all around the lake! There are several ferries that will take you between its picturesque towns and you won’t need a car.

One of our favorite things to do in Lake Como is to rent a boat for the day and explore the lake. It would really take several days to explore the entire lake, but pick a leg of the Y and spend the day ogling at all the insane mansions along the lake and having a picnic on the boat.

Yes, it seems cliche to go here, but there’s a reason it’s so popular. I really think it’s one of the most beautiful lakes in Northern Italy.

Lake Garda

Views from Malcesine, which is one of our favorite towns in Italy! Every corner looks like a great photoshoot spot!

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and is located in the North of the country between Venice and Milan. The lake is popular with both locals and tourists alike thanks to its diverse range of activities and attractions. From water sports and golf to wine tastings and spa treatments, there’s something for everyone at Lake Garda.

We loved renting boats on Lake Garda. This day was pretty choppy though.

We love renting motor boats on Lake Garda, although it can be fairly choppy due to the wind that it gets.

But if you’re interested in windsurfing or kite surfing, the north of the lake is world-renowned for the sport and you’ll see hundreds of people out surfing the waves. It’s quite the site to see.

If you’re visiting Italy with kids (or just love amusement parks), you’ll definitely want to visit Gardaland, an amusement park located by Lake Garda that’s been open since 1975. The resort includes Gardaland Park, Gardaland Sea-Life, Legoland Waterpark, Gardaland Hotel, Adventure Hotel, and Magic Hotel. It’s like the Disneyland of Italy! There are a variety of levels of rides, so there’s something for every visitor!

Gardaland is like the Disneyland of Italy. So much fun for kids and kids at heart!

Lake Garda is one of the best lakes in Italy if you want to do more than hang by the lake.

Lago di Braies (or Pragser Wildsee)

Lago di Braies before anyone got there!

Last but not least on our list is the stunning Lago di Braies (also known as Pragser Wildsee). Possibly the most famous lake in Italy, this man-made lake situated in South Tyrol was created in 1807 when a dam was built on a stream running through the valley. Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy thanks to its turquoise waters and breathtaking mountain views. This is possibly one of the most iconic lake shots on the internet.

Lago di Braies used to be part of Austria before it was annexed after WWI, hence the additional (and original) German name, Pragser Wildsee.

The moody boats on one of the most gorgeous lakes in Italy

If you visit Lago di Braies, I highly recommend getting there around 7:00 in the morning. The lake will get insanely crowded, but it’s not terrible in the morning. There is a parking lot by the hotel that you pay to park at and walk over to the lake (only a few feet away). It’s worth the early wake up call. Or you can stay at the hotel on the lake, which would be even better. Beware there is a 2-night minimum and it books up months in advance!

Rowing these boats is harder than it looks! We only lasted 30 minutes. It’s a great way to catch some views from the middle of the lake though.

The boat rental station opens at 7:30 in the morning. The cost for the boat rental is 29 Euros/hour. If you go out for only 30 minutes, you get 10 Euros back.

There is also a great, easy 1-mile hike you can do around the lake to take in the gorgeous views.

You will also find a small cafe carrying hot chocolate, coffee, pastries, and other goodies if you’re hungry after your hard row or hike.

Lake Maggiore

Isola Bella is located in the middle of Lake Maggiore

Situated between Lombardy and Piedmont in the Northwest, Lake Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy. The lake is teeming with wildlife including several species of fish, reptiles, and birds. Visitors can take advantage of the many hiking trails in the area or take a leisurely stroll along one of the numerous promenades

You can also take a trip to Isola Bella, a little island located in the middle of Lake Maggiore.

Lake Trasimeno

If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, Lake Trasimeno may be just what you’re looking for. Located in Umbria, this serene lake is often called “The Quietest Place in Italy.” With its warm waters and sandy beaches, it’s no wonder why this lake is such a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. It’s obviously one of Italy’s lesser-known lakes, which makes it perfect if you want something off the beaten path.

Italy has no shortage of beautiful lakes—in fact, it would be impossible to list them all! But these 5 lakes are definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for some natural beauty and relaxation during your time in Italy.

Have you found more beautiful lakes in Italy? I’d love to hear about them.

8 thoughts on “The Best Lakes in Italy

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