Upper Italian Lakes - Journey to the Originality of Italy
Lake Garda and Lake Iseo lie in the heart of northern Italy. Travellers take a journey back in time to the origins of Italy amidst the blossoming park landscapes and the many centuries-old villages near the shores. The surrounding olive groves, palm trees and vineyards exude Mediterranean charm, each giving the two upper Italian lakes their very own character. And of course, all the activities that travellers can do on and around the water are not neglected here.
Lake Iseo is less well known to tourists and enchants guests all year round with its diverse landscape all around. Each town on the shores of Lake Iseo is worth its own trip. Lake Garda is the largest lake in all of Italy, and its clear, clean water and many bathing spots make it a paradise for a swimming holiday in Italy. In the following, we would like to take you on a short journey to the two upper Italian lakes and inspire you to soon discover this landscape with your own senses.
Lake Garda - a romantic holiday for two or with the family
With an area of 370m², Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. Climatically, it offers warm summer days and mild nights where it promises to cool down. In summer, the lake has a pleasant temperature of 20°C, but this can rise considerably near the shore. The northern shore is rather windy and offers many water sports, the southern shore is a popular tourist meeting place for recreation seekers and families. An insider tip is a trip to the western shore of Lake Garda, which is surrounded by bizarre mountain ranges and many sights, but is still far from large tourist crowds.
Places of interest and holiday tips on the western shore of Lake Garda
Giardino Botanico André Heller
The botanical garden has been transformed by the Austrian media artist André Heller into a small fantasy world with a very special magic. Heller bought the garden and enriched it with rattling water features, sculptures, the "Flora Collection of World Regions", orchid meadows and ponds with koi carp.
Vittoriale degli Italiani
If you're a fan of architecture and curiosities, this is the place for you. The Italian writer Gabriele D'Annunzio created a monument to himself in the park. The ensemble of buildings includes the bow of a warship, the artist's car and his aeroplane, which he used to drop leaflets during the war against the fascists. Gabriele D'Annunzio's mausoleum can be seen from afar, perched on a hill in the upper part of the park.
Valle delle Cartiere
The valley of the paper mills was already established in the 14th century at a time when Italy's paper mills supplied Europe. Guests can take a leisurely walk along the ruins and see relics such as the millstones that were once used to grind rags to obtain the raw material for papermaking.
Lake Iseo - the locals' lake and an insider's tip for holidaymakers
Lake Iseo became famous for the Floating Piers, walkable pontoons that the packaging artist Christo erected here in 2016 and covered with fabric tarpaulins. The Floating Piers connected the islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo with the town of Sulzano. For 16 days, visitors could walk over them on Lake Iseo and feel as if they were walking on the skin of a whale.
Lake Iseo itself is located to the west of Lake Garda and is more of a destination for locals, far less crowded in terms of tourism. At times, even in high season, holidaymakers here are only among locals when they visit the lake. Many small, hidden stairways lead to secluded bathing spots on the shores of the lake and there is also a lot to discover around Lake Iseo.
Recommended activities at Lago d'Iseo
The "Green Island" juts out of the water at 600 metres and can be reached from the shores by boat or ferry. The car-free fishing island invites you to explore on foot or by bike. Many paths lead past small villages, olive groves and cherry trees, and in about three hours you can completely explore the island on foot. On the island, it is worth visiting the Madonna della Ceriola chapel, which offers visitors a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.
Rock paintings of the Valcamonica
In the rock walls that run along the 70-kilometre-long valley through the province of Brescia, visitors will find fantastic testimonies to the history of mankind. A total of 140,000 figures are carved into the rocks, some up to 4 centimetres deep. The oldest images are 12,000 years old and show motifs from the hunter-gatherer period.
Town of Clusane
An insider tip for all those who like to slow down on their holiday is the village of Clusane.
The small fishing town lies quietly and picturesquely on the shore of Lake Iseo and invites you to take long walks with its winding alleys and idyllic harbour. From here, you can also take a boat trip to other places worth visiting, such as Sarnico.
Hotel on Lake Iseo: Romantik Hotel Relais Mirabella Iseo
The Relais Mirabella Iseo is located in the middle of Lombardy in the village of Mirabella in a setting where time sometimes seems to have stood still. The former family estate has been converted into a stylish hotel. From the rooms, guests enjoy a fairytale view of the Franciacorta wine-growing region. A total of 29 rooms invite you to stay in style within historic walls. The Relais Mirabella Iseo is surrounded by a well-tended park and the hotel's own farm. The restaurant cooks with fresh local produce and produces its own olive oil. The dishes are accompanied by the famous Franciacorta DOCG wine.