Lakes near Milan: 6 spectacular natural enclaves

Do you want to discover the beauty of this Italian region? Find out more about six lakes near Milan you can reach by car.

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Would you like to explore the lakes near Milan? If you are in this area for a few days, it is important to keep in mind that there is a lot to see and enjoy outside the city limits. It's as simple as getting in your rental car, starting the engine and heading out in search of natural enclaves that will leave you speechless.

Milan is one of the most popular Italian cities among tourists because it is full of life and culture. But it also happens to be a good starting point to discover other nearby places and the beauty of the surrounding lakes. Enjoy the city and, once you have savored the most iconic spots, you can follow this itinerary.

Lake Como

This trip couldn’t possibly start anywhere else but Lake Como, located an hour's drive from the city

Upon arrival in Como you can stroll through the historic center and enjoy its cobblestone streets. Don’t forget to visit its gothic cathedral and the Broletto, a municipal palace. Afterwards, head to the boardwalk to take in the panoramic view of the lake and surrounding mountains.

In the afternoon, you can take a lake cruise. From the boat you will have a perfect view of the villas surrounding this famous body of water and their impressive gardens. After the excursion, go for dinner at one of the many restaurants overlooking the lake.

Lake Maggiore

On the second day of your trip you can continue to enjoy the lakes near Milan. On this occasion we recommend visiting Lake Maggiore, located an hour and a half from the city. From there, head to Stresa, a beautiful town that offers stunning views of the lake and the Alps.

After some sightseeing in the center, board the ferry and sail to the Borromean Islands. Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori are two of the most beautiful spots in the area, and are full of picturesque enclaves that are simply enchanting.

Make sure to return to Stresa in time to enjoy the sunset views over Lake Maggiore, to give a very special day the perfect send-off.

Lake Garda

As you can tell, there are a number of lakes near Milan. You can get to Lake Garda in two hours by car. To do this you have to go to the town of Sirmione, which is south of the lake.

There you can visit the Scaligero Castle and, if you have time, relax in the Terme di Catullo. You can then continue your trip to the town of Garda, located at the eastern end of the lake. Here you can enjoy the views from its beautiful promenade, or you can take a ferry to sail across the lake and enjoy the panoramic view of its surroundings.

Lake Orta

Although it is not among the best known by tourists, Lake Orta is unmissable. It is located about 130 kilometers northwest of Milan. One curiosity is that it is also known as the Lake of Poets, because of its very romantic atmosphere.

Visit the town of Orta di San Giulio, on the western shore of the lake. You will love getting lost in its narrow streets full of medieval charm. And don't miss the opportunity to visit Isola San Giulio, located in the center of the lake. There you will find an ancient basilica and a monastery that are well worth a visit.

Lake Iseo

If you love photography, or simply want to enjoy spectacular views, this is the destination for you. Lake Iseo is 100 kilometers from Milan, and is known for having the largest lake island in Italy.

This would be Monte Isola, which is right in the center of the lake. The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Ceriola is located there, offering breathtaking views of the region.

Lake Varese

Only 60 kilometers from Milan is the city of Varese, a perfect place to enjoy nature. You can go on bike tours and visit botanical gardens. But what is truly unmissable is the Sacro Monte di Varese, declared a World Heritage Site.

From there you can enjoy a unique panoramic view, and also be able to walk the many trails that surround the lake. A day surrounded by nature will help to recharge your batteries before returning home.

There are many lakes near Milan that you can reach in under an hour, or two hours at the most. So don't miss out on the opportunity to visit them. And, if you need a rental car in Milan, you know where to find us.

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