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Lake Maggiore & Excursions

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Lake Maggiore, the northernmost part of which is in Switzerland, is Italy's second largest lake, and is surrounded by magnificent scenery, with a host of activities being available on and around it. In 2012, we stayed at the small town of Meina on the south-western shore from where we travelled by boat, train and ferry to visit the attractive towns around it as well as two of the Borromean Islands, the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Villa Taranto and the Castle or Rocca Borromeo of Angera with its amazing collections of automatons and dolls.

One day we took the Mottarone cable Car and chairlift from Stresa to the top of the mountain, spending time at the attractive Giardino Botanico Alpinia on the way back down; and one of the highlights of our stay at Lake Maggiore was a day on the 'Maggiore Express'. We set out from Meina Station and travelled by train to Domodossola. From there, we took the the Centovalli Railway, passing through spectacular scenery to Locarno at the northern end of lake Maggiore, and then took a ferry to Ascona, a neighbouring town, where we spent a couple of hours before taking the ferry back to Baveno and then a bus to Meina. The cost of all of this apart from the bus fare was included in the 'Maggiore Express' ticket, and for a small supplement, we were able to spend the whole of the following day travelling on the ferries, during which we visited the attractive towns of Pallanza (part of Verbania) and Cannobio

From Meina we went on excursions to Lake Orta including to the attractive small town, Orta San Giulio, on its shore, and the Island of St. Giulio with its very ancient Basilica; as well as to Lake Lugano and Lake Como. At the latter, we were able to spend a couple hours exploring the beautiful gardens of Villa Carlotta.

In June 2014, we returned to Lake Maggiore, this time staying at Cannero Riviera further north, towards the Swiss border, and not far from Cannobio. We re-visited several of the places that we went to on our first visit, and went on the 'Maggiore Express' again, this time travelling anti-clockwise, as well as visiting places that we hadn't been to before. The ferry from Cannero Riviera took us across the lake to Luino, which we visited a few times, sometimes on the way to and from other places. It is well-known for its large weekly market. One day we travelled by taxi to Lake Como, and then across the lake to Bellagio, and on another day we travelled by ferries to Isola Madre, the largest of the Verbano islands, and spent the afternoon exploring it.

To view our 2012 photos of this stunningly beautiful lake and the excursions that we enjoyed whilst staying there, click on the links below, and to see our 2014 photos click here.



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Lake Maggiore & Excursions - June 2014

Cannero Riviera, Italy