During the summer vacation season in Italy, a lot of locals and visitors often flock to the beaches for some much-awaited rest and recreation. However, some people may enjoy the entire beach experience a little bit less than others. Sometimes, too, perhaps some bona fide beach-lovers may just simply want a quick change of scenery before diving back into the Mediterranean. For that reason, we’ve rounded up a quick list of some of Italy’s best lake destinations for summer vacations in Italy!
One of the most popular and most visited lakes in Italy, especially during the summer, Lake Garda is located just in between Venice and Milan. The lake itself is known for its clean, crystal-clear waters that many water sport enthusiasts love, while its surrounding area also has many points of interest including picturesque towns, gorgeous natural landscapes, theme parks, medieval castles, and resorts. The plethora of activities that visitors can enjoy at Lake Garda include sailing, windsurfing, paragliding, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, as well as golf.
For those who prefer less sporty activities, Lake Garda also offers many opportunities for well-being and relaxation, thanks to its numerous wellness centers and spas. The spas are particularly popular thanks to the water that is used at these establishments. The thermal water stems from the lake itself, and contains minerals such as sodium chloride, bromine, and iodine, which are known to have many health benefits.
For families with children, there are also a handful of fun and interesting theme parks in the area that are worth visiting, such as the fantasy-themed Gardaland. There is also Canevaworld which has several sections within its grounds, including an aqua park and an area that has a medieval theme, complete with knights and jousts!
Lake Maggiore is the second-largest lake in Italy. It is located on the south side of the Alps and straddles the Piedmont and Lombardy regions. It holds many attractions, especially for visitors who enjoy water sports such as jet skiing and windsurfing, and for those who prefer the mountains, there are also many lovely spots for hiking and trekking.
On top of these, the area around Lake Maggiore also has several castles and fortresses that are worth visiting, and there is also the beautiful medieval church of Santa Caterina del Sasso that is built into the cliffs. It also boasts of Villa Pallavicino Park which is both a botanical garden and a zoo, as well as the picturesque Villa Taranto Botanical Gardens.
Located in beautiful Tuscany, the crater lake of Lake Bolsena, is this region’s a hidden jewel. Because it is a lesser-known tourist spot, the area remains pristine and is truly a breath of fresh air in many ways. Other than water sports, the area surrounding the lake is well-loved by many hikers and mountain bikers. The main town also has a historic center, and its castle and castle walls are also worth checking out. Best of all, however, is the local cuisine that one can sample around Lake Bolsena. One can expect only the best and freshest ingredients to be used in the dishes here, all thanks to the local government’s support for organic farming and the agriturismo establishments that welcome tourists and visitors.
Located in the province of Lombardy, Lake Como is one of Italy’s most gorgeous and most popular freshwater vacation destinations, as it has been since Roman times. It is also a fantastic location for weddings, honeymoons, and is a favorite among photographers.
Shaped like an inverted “Y”, its shoreline is dotted with beautiful resort villages and villas, and it is surrounded by picturesque mountains, hills, and forests. As with many other lake destinations in the country, it offers a plethora of activities for visitors, including various water sports, hiking, camping, boat trips, and cruises. It is also worth noting that nearby is the hillside sanctuary of Sacro Monte di Ossuccio which features fifteen baroque-inspired chapels that commemorate the Mysteries of the Rosary. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This is merely a few of the many beautiful mountain and lake vacation destinations in Italy, and each one has its own unique charm that continues to attract visitors year after year and season after season. So which one would you like to visit next?
PS: Still, if you’re still looking into which beaches to ALSO visit this summer, check out our FREE eBook that feature the best summer spots in Italy!