best lakes in italy

Best Lakes In Italy

Ah Italy, you’ve given us ancient history, culture, the humble pizza, more pasta than one could possibly imagine. You have blessed the world with the newspaper, the telephone and jeans, what more could we ask of you. Yet Italy apparently has another trick up her well-tailored sleeve and it’s to introduce us to the true beauty and majesty of her lakes. From Garda to Como and all the lakes in between; we needed to put together a list of the best lakes in Italy. There are simply so many lakes to choose from, the next as stunning as the last.

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The best lakes in Italy are not just well-known lakes, as seen in many celebrity magazines, where famous faces choose to have a summer home. These lakes are surrounded by lush, dense forrest, offer a wealth of sporting activity or are simply so breathtaking, it would be a crime against nature not to mention them. Talking about the best lakes in Italy has basically become our new favourite past-time, along with planning our next adventure. So why don’t you join us and pick your favourite destination?

best lakes in italy

Weather

April to June

This period is perfect to avid hikers or steadfast watersports enthusiasts. That’s because it’s not too hot, it’s perfectly temperate. Up to 25c, with a refreshing light breeze. The only thing to be cautious of is during the spring. The Lakes in Italy are prone to pretty epic thunderstorms, the weather is forever changing; you are near the mountains after all.

July to September

If you love lounging in the Summer, frolicking in the Lake and generally taking life a bit slower, then this is the perfect time to visit. It gets scorching by the lakes in Italy during the Summer. But being that you are by the mountains, you still have a lovely light wind which keeps things from getting muggy. Even during August, the hottest time, the air is always fresh.

Autumn/Fall

This is an ideal time to visit if you love to mountain bike. Given the distinct landscape of the lakes, you can explore the surrounding plateaus on your bike to get a birds-eye view of the Lake. After a long hot summer, the ground is nice a dry and the temperatures, much more appropriate to don your MTB gear and get riding. Plus, after a long day riding, you can finish up with a drink by the shore and observe the generally more calm waters.

Best Lakes In Italy - Quick Find Navigation

Lake Garda

best lakes in italy

Airport

Verona

Hotel

€€

Food

€€

Best sports available on the lake:

Wakeboarding, paraskiing, waterskiing, windsurfing, swimming, sailing, canoeing, kitesurfing.

Get to know Lake Garda:

Lake Garda is a captivating place. From the South where the old cobbled streets and flat landscape make you think you are by the sea to the raw, rugged mountains of the north. Head to Sirmione to enjoy the thermal spa, then pop over to Limone and experience the ancient lemon growths and try some limoncello. Then hop skip and jump over to Malcesine and head to the castle then up the cable car for the most insane views and finish up at the most northern point of Riva for water sports. 

The stunning hazel waters are a refreshing break from the Summer sun or enjoy slow meandering walks with icecream in hand during the Winter. Lake Garda is a magical location and an extraordinary place to visit if you like sports, adventure and Italian style.

Ridestore Recommends:

Take a boat trip by night and see the lake lit up. Crack into a cold glass of bubbles and watch the water cascade against the cliffs. 

Lake Tenno

best lakes in italy

Airport

Verona

Hotel

€€

Food

Best sports available on the lake:

Paddleboarding, Lazer boat sailing 

Get to know Lake Tenno:

Lake Tenno is Lake Garda’s little sister. A smaller, more cute sister. But lake Tenno is stunning in it’s own right. It’s chalk lined lake bed create the most cobalt blue waters you have ever seen, in stark contrast to the dense, lush green surrounding forest and the rugged cliffs. 

It’s a tiny lake, but the colours are breathtaking. You can cycle up the long road from Riva Del Garda on Lake Garda, it takes around 3 hours (on a road bike) or you can hire mopeds from Torbole and enjoy the views are you climb. Either way, when you arrive you will see the juxtaposition between the Austrian influence in both the buildings at the atmosphere. Unmissable! 

Ridestore Recommends:

Enjoy the local strangolapreti (Gnocchi style dumplings), washed down with a cold one! 

Lake Maggiore

lake maggiore

Airport

Milan

Hotel

€€€

Food

€€€

Best sports available on the lake:

Paddleboarding, sailing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking 

Get to know Lake Maggiore:

Lake Maggiore and its shoreline are split between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy and southern Switzerland, creating a unique mix of cultures set against a gorgeous backdrop. Lake Maggiore is where you can explore your luxury living side as well as your love for water sports and nature in general. There is a really impressive offering of water sports as well as a chance to explore the surrounding area by mountain biking and hiking. Get up close and personal with the mountains by bouldering, climbing and via Ferrata. However make sure you put some money away, this ain’t a cheap spot, but it will be worth every penny. 

Ridestore Recommends:

Lake Maggiore is home to a whopping UNESCO sites, don’t miss out on taking in some history and culture too. 

Lake Como

best lakes in italy

Airport

Milan

Hotel

€€

Food

€€€

Best sports available on the lake:

Windsurfing, kiteboarding, sailing, rafting

Get to know Lake Como:

Lake Como located in the glorious region of Lombardy, the clear blue waters of the lake lie in stark contrast to the impressive mountains and surrounding scenery. Situated at the foot of the Alps, Lake Como provides one of the most picturesque landscapes in the world. If you’re going to visit the Italian lakes, you’ll be surprised to learn about the many things to do in Lake Como. You have to visit the village of Bellagio. This cute village earned it’s nickname “Pearl of the Lake” for it’s beauty. Bellagio is a labyrinth of narrow streets and steep steps, overlooked by old houses, bars, restaurants and elegant shops. 

Ridestore Recommends:

Go on a trek/ hike and admire the lake from above! #Photoop

Lake Ledro

Airport

Verona

Hotel

€€

Food

€€

Best sports available on the Lake:

Swimming, SUP, sailing, canoeing, Kayaking

Get to know Lake Ledro:

Lake Ledro is another lake hidden in the shadow of the impressive Lake Garda. Up and behind towards the town of Limone on the eastern short, Lake Ledro is not to be missed. Not only for its awe-inspiring natural beauty but for it’s unique friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The lake is known as being one of the cleanest in Europe and is usually temperately warm for a relaxed summer swim. It’s a top destination for walkers and nature lovers with a range of trails and tracks through the lush woods that surround the lake.

Ridestore Recommends:

Visit the lakeside village of Pieve for the characteristic historical centre.

Lake Pragser Wildsee

best lakes in italy

Airport

Innsbruck

Hotel

€€

Food

€€

Best sports available on the Lake:

Swimming, SUP, sailing, canoeing, Kayaking (BYOEquipment- there aren’t any sport centres)

Get to know Pragser Wildsee:

Pragser Wildsee is the largest natural Lake in the Dolomites, boasting crystal clear waters. It’s known by two names, mirroring the two languages spoken in the area, Lago di Braies in Italian, and Pragser Wildsee in German. Both names are used regularly for this gorgeous Lake in this mountainous local in Italy. There is a lovely walking path to be enjoyed where you can get a better glimpse of the very clear mountain water. The water which slowly enters the lake from glaciers, it cold and refreshing. You can see fish swimming in the lake, which is really cool. 

Ridestore Recommends:

Head to the famous “boathouse” to take your own interpretation of the now-viral IG picture over the icy blue waters. 

Lake Karersee

best lakes in italy

Airport

Innsbruck

Hotel

€€

Food

€€€

Best sports available on the Lake:

Swimming, SUP

Get to know Lake Karersee:

Every holidaymaker in the South Tyrol has to visit Lake Carezza, the most beautiful Alpine mountain lake in the area! This small mountain lake is well-known for its delicate, deep green waters and the stupendous view of the Rosengarten and Latemar mountain ranges. The lake is at its most ravishing at dusk or dawn when the Rosengarten-Latemar mountain ranges and the green of the Karerwald forest are reflected in the clear crystal waters. This is a natural wonder you won’t want to miss out on visiting! Numerous South Tyrolean legends surround the lake and many authors and painters choose these themes for their tales or paintings.

Ridestore Recommends:

Stay at one of the many Spa hotels on the shore and really relax. 

Lake Lugano

best lakes in italy

Airport

Milan

Hotel

€€€

Food

€€€

Best sports available on the Lake:

Swimming, SUP, sailing, windsurf, water ski, snorkelling and diving

Get to know Lake Lugano:

Arriving in Milan for a Summer lake adventure might lead you to head to Lake Como or Lake Maggiore, but the slightly lesser-known Lugano should blow any other lake out the water. This astonishing lake, laying on the border of Switzerland and Italy, offers beauty by the boatload and culture by the . . . well just a load of culture, okay! On the Italian side, Lugano is in the commune of Varese, historically speaking, Varese was the Versailles or Windsor of Milan. This era left behind some extraordinary villas, including Villa Panza, home to one of Italy’s finest collections of contemporary art. 

Ridestore Recommends

Water ski. . . enough said, right! 

Lake Alleghe

best lakes in italy

Airport

Bolzano

Hotel

€€

Food

€€

Best sports available on the Lake:

Swimming, SUP, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing

Get to know Lake Alleghe:

Alleghe maybe a remarkable ski resort, known for it’s snowy adventures, but at the mountain base you find the equally dazzling Lake Alleghe. A few steps from the ski resort itself, at 966 meters above sea level, lies the idyllic Lake Alleghe with its natural emerald green waters. On its waters, you can see the reflection of the peaks of striking Mount Civetta, as well as the charm of people enjoying water sports such as windsurfing or catch-and-release fishing. In this picturesque corner of the world, you can also enjoy a chilled ride by boat, paddle boat or canoe or simply have a coffee and watch the world go by. 

Ridestore Recommends:

Hire a motorbike or moped to tour the lakeshore. 

Lake Molveno

best lakes in italy

Airport

Verona

Hotel

€€

Food

€€

Best sports available on the Lake:

Swimming, SUP, canoeing, kayaking

Get to know Lake Molveno:

The Brenta Dolomites are calling! If you are looking for a vacay in the beautiful area of Trentino, in the ravishing landscape of the Dolomites, then look no further. Enjoy sports, nature and a plethora of outdoor activities, Molveno is the right place to go. Lake Molveno is peaceful and unspoilt, nestled deep within the magnificent UNESCO-protected Dolomites. If you love to hike, the possibilities are endless. 

Ridestore Recommends:

Head up the cable car for the most insane views! 

Wrapping Up

Et voilà! Or should we say “Ecco qui”. Either way, there you go folks, a little more information in what we believe to be the best lakes in Italy. Italy, much like it’s Swiss and Austrian neighbours is full of stunning lakes both big and small so get out there and get exploring. The North of Italy has so much to offer and those lakes are waiting for you!

best lakes in italy

PS

Hey Riders, note from your gal Angelica here. All information was correct at the time of writing through research and extensive knowledge and experience. However, things change during different periods in the season and some websites offer out of date information and links may change.

Maybe you have some better information to offer or any addendum or changes to make, in which case, feel free to email me on angelica@ridestore.com, and we can consider adding them in! Let me know. . .

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