TravelCrystal Summer

Enjoy Lake Maggiore's classic charm and sophistication

Crystal SummerBy Sunday World
The stunning views across Lake Maggiore
The stunning views across Lake Maggiore

Old world charm, flower-filled lake islands and shores spanning two countries make Maggiore one of Italy's most elegant destinations.

Lake Maggiore's classical charm and sophistication might make you think you've stepped back into 1920s Italy.

The lake straddles Italy and Switzerland, so it's perfect if you'd like to explore two countries or are interested in visiting Milan, Zermatt or Lake Lugano during your stay.

The resorts of Stresa and Baveno are on the western shore within the secluded Borromean Bay - both have lakeside promenades brimming with cafés and bars overlooking the Borromean Islands.

These three picturesque islands can be reached by ferry or cruise boat and are a unique feature of the lake.

Isola Bella, the beautiful island, hosts an old Borromean stately home surrounded by spectacular gardens, where white peacocks roam freely.

Isola dei Pescatori, the fisherman's island, is still a working island today and is filled with small markets, individual shops and restaurants.

Finally Isola Madre, the mother island, is the quieter of the three islands and has some beautiful botanic gardens to explore. Its palatial architecture and beautifully groomed gardens set the town of Stresa apart from the other resorts on the lake. The old villas nestle between the buildings, sometimes holding art galleries and local exhibitions. The town itself is made up of three main piazzas and cobbled, traffic-free streets that lead around the town.

Each of these holds a string of individual shops, bars and cafés, and the weekly market is certainly worth a visit. The quieter town of Baveno is just 2km from Stresa. This laid back town is home to a few fashionable bars and restaurants - a small lakeside lido just outside of the village stays open late in the summer, playing music into the evening.

There's also a recently built water park with pools, water chutes and climbing activities for children.

The Hotel Villa Paradiso is in the quiet hamlet of Meina, 13km south of Stresa. The hotel sits up high from the lakeside, with beautiful views across to the eastern side of the lake.

Each resort has a train station, giving you easy access to Milan and other towns on the western side of the lake. There's also a regualar ferry service that runs from Stresa, Baveno and Meina across to the other side of the bay where you'll find the town of Verbania, where you can catch another ferry to the northern and eastern shores of the lake.

Crystal Summer offers holidays that are set amongst some of Europe's most stunning locations -  with awe-inspiring mountains, beautiful beaches and peaceful lakes as a back-drop to your fantastic summer holiday.

Visit www.crystalsummer.ie or call 01 433 1010 today!