Lake Maggiore

Unique Lake Maggiore Day Trip from Milan

Milano, Italy

From USD 109.50

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 7 to 10 hours (approx.)
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Every Sunday and Monday Leave urban Milan for the day and spend some time at picturesque Lake Maggiore, located in Italy's Lake District. Explore the chic town of Stresa, learning about the area's history from your guide and perusing the shops. Then hop on a boat for a cruise around the lake, and take in the scenery of the water and surrounding mountains. Visit Isola dei Pescatori, where you have free time to explore, and then explore Borromeo Palace in Isola Bella, before making the return trip to Milan.
  • Lake Maggiore Day Trip from Milan
  • Wander the beautiful Italian village of Stresa
  • Hop on a boat for a Lake Maggiore cruise
  • Explore the Borromean Islands including Isola dei Pescatori and Isole Bella

What's Included

  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Professional guide
  • Boat cruise
  • Gratuities
  • Entrance to Palazzo Borromeo and Isola Bella Gardens
  • Food and drinks, unless specified

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

  • Milan Visitor Center - Zani Viaggi
    Largo Cairoli, 18, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

    Please be ready at the meeting point 15 minutes before the departure of the tour.

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

Our Pick up service takes place in the center of Milan. The bus takes approximately one hour to Pick up all of the passengers, subject to traffic conditions and the number of passengers booked for that particular tour. For this reason, pick up times are shown as an interval “Starting from 8:30” means that we will pick up you at your hotel at 8:30 or after in order to be in time for the beginning of the tour. The service includes hotel pick up, not drop off. The drop off will be in Largo Cairoli 18.

What To Expect

After meeting your guide in the center of Milan, hop on the comfortable coach for the easy ride to Lake Maggiore. Also referred to as Lake Verbano, this beautiful body of water, lined with rustic villages on its shores, is the second largest lake in Italy. Hop off the coach in the town of Stresa, a chic lakeside town that is a magnet for the fashionable set. Take some time to explore the town, strolling down its streets, popping into boutiques and ambling along the shore. 

When the time comes, board a boat for a cruise around the lake. Marvel at the villas perched on the shore, the verdant gardens and the mountains in the distance. Cruise around Isola Madre toward Isola dei Pescatori, Island of the Fishermen, where you disembark. Enjoy some free time here to explore the island on your own. Walk along the shore of the island or sit down at a local eatery for a lovely fish lunch (at own expense). 

Get back on the boat and head to one more of the Borromean Islands. This time it is Isola Bella, Beautiful Island, where you can visit the Borromean Palace (entrance not included) and gardens or discover the many shops, boutiques, and cafés housed in historic buildings. Finally, you will rejoin the boat and cruise back to Stresa for your return Milan.

Lago Maggiore

2 hours Admission Ticket Included

Island of the Fishermen (Isola dei Pescatori)

1 hour Admission Ticket Free

Palazzo Borromeo

2 hours Admission Ticket Included


2 hours Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 50 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveller Photos

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Featured review
My husband and I took this tour on Monday the 5th August and we were not disappointed. We traveled in a very comfortable Air conditioned coach all perhaps 13 of us. Our tour guide Stephano (I think) was very informative and knowledgeable. The highlight for us was definitely Isola Bella, the gardens so very beautiful. In my opinion more so, than Monet's gardens in Giverny of which we also saw with Viator 2 years ago. If you love gardens, the sea air, little boat trips and pretty island villages then this is the tour for you. We absolutely loved it!


89 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 89 reviews
Beautiful day at Lake Maggiore
BenoitBlair, May 2023
Fabulous trip, Lake Maggiore is absolutely stunning and the tour guide were brilliant. We had a fantastic day. The driver of tour bus was very skilled and efficient.
A Wonderful Tour, Not to be missed!
Sheryn_E, Aug 2019
My husband and I took this tour on Monday the 5th August and we were not disappointed. We traveled in a very comfortable Air conditioned coach all perhaps 13 of us. Our tour guide Stephano (I think) was very informative and knowledgeable. The highlight for us was definitely Isola Bella, the gardens so very beautiful. In my opinion more so, than Monet's gardens in Giverny of which we also saw with Viator 2 years ago. If you love gardens, the sea air, little boat trips and pretty island villages then this is the tour for you. We absolutely loved it!
Lake Maggiore and Isola Bella
vhuth5, July 2018
We had a wonderful time on our trip to Lake Maggiore and Isola Bella Lake Maggiore is beautiful and the boat ride was wonderful. My favorite part of the trip was to see Isola Bella and take a tour of the beautiful Borromean Palace and gardens. It was amazing. I would like to go back some day to see the palace and the gardens. We stopped on Isola Pescatori for a short time. The tour from Milan was only for a half day. Our tour guide said that it used to be a whole day tour. I wish we could have spent more time on Isola Bella and Isola Pescatori.
To get out to the islands and see...
Lynette_P, Apr 2018
To get out to the islands and see the beautiful gardens was amazing! Definitely worth the trip!
I am very angry at the false...
Min Z, Oct 2017
I am very angry at the false advertisement and dishonest practice by this tour provider. One of the big attractions for Lake Maggiore is Isola Bella which houses the Borromeo palace and a famous stepped garden. And I have been looking forward to visiting the island and the famous marionette collection and the palace's fantastic Baroque decoration. It did NOT happen. Because the Isola Bella closed its season on Sunday Oct. 22 and our tour was on Monday Oct. 23. Instead, we were redirected to a botanic garden in the area which Rick Steves a source I trust labeled as underwhelming. Because the local tourist industry tie its schedule to the Isola Bella season closely, most of the shops in the town Stresa were closed and the lovely town was half dead. On top of that, we were only told the bait- and -switch scheme when the bus left the city and we were all trapped on board. After the tour, I did some research. The Isola Bella schedule is posted a year ahead on its website so the tour group should have known that and I just could not believe they never bothered to tell the customers who booked the trip for Monday Oct. 23. 90 of the description of the trip detail is false. And I will make complaint to the customer service group at Viator as well. I have nothing against our guide, Salvatore. He was unfairly put into a tough/unethical situation and it could not easy. He had difficulty meeting my eyes when I made my dissatisfaction known to him. FYI, Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Rocca Borromeo will be open every day from 23rd March to 21st October 2018.
I loved this trip, right group size...
Coral H, Sept 2017
I loved this trip, right group size, the guide was great and the driver, the lake and the visits to the islands and palace were lovely, I think it was a hard act to follow with the last part of the trip in Strasa, by the time you get to walk around it it's lost its sparkle. But it was still great and I'd go again.
A well planned day in a gorgeous...
AmadeuJose_D, Sept 2017
A well planned day in a gorgeous area of the world. A most enjoyable tour without too many people in the group.
OMG You have to do this. Isola Bella...
Kerry M, Sept 2017
OMG You have to do this. Isola Bella is stunning and Isola Pescatore for lunch is a treat. totally worth it.
The day trip to Lake Maggiore was...
Roy Z, Sept 2017
The day trip to Lake Maggiore was wonderful! Antonella, our tour guide, was great. She was very pleasant and knowledgable. She was very organized and kept the tour running smoothly. We had an absolutely wonderful day. I would definitely book another tour with Viator.
Had a stellar day - best tour guide...
Lisa D, Aug 2017
Had a stellar day - best tour guide of our entire week. We lucked out with beautiful weather and a small group less than 20 in mid-April. Stresa is beautiful. We loved seeing all the hotels from the art deco period. I think Stresa is better than Como, but that is just me. Boat ride was perfect, castle tour and gardens were lovely, lunch was scrumptious go with the guide's waterfront suggestion if you can. There are a lot of cheaper, smaller spots as well where you can just get a slice of pizza and find a nice lakeside bench, too. The return drive took a different route so you got to see more of the lake and beautiful mansions on the lakeside. This tour was the best value for the price of everything we did - felt very first class.
Enjoyed the trip to the Palazzo...
Clarito A, Aug 2017
Enjoyed the trip to the Palazzo Borromeo Isola Bella!!!
The landscape and views of lake...
Vicki G, June 2017
The landscape and views of lake maggiore is truly stunning, the gardens were beyond my expectation. I give the destination a 5/5. The day trip was efficient but I would prefer more time on Isola bella and less time in the streets of Stressa, which was quaint shopping. Palace guide was excellent.
This was a well organised tour. The...
kimalw, June 2017
This was a well organised tour. The bus was very comfortable and I liked the fact that we were taken home by a different road to give us a view of the lake. The tour leader was helpful although he said his name so quickly I didn't pick it up and he perhaps needed to give clearer instructions about how to find the meeting point on Isola Bella and the guide we had at the villa on Isola Bella was full of information. We were given a good amount of free time on both islands. The day was full but not too long.
We unfortunately had a rainy and...
Sarah_H, May 2017
We unfortunately had a rainy and cold day for this trip. Our group was small 9 total and our tour guide was by far the best of the 4 Viator tours we took while in Milan. The boat ride was choppy due to the weather and as the boat is small, it sadly doesn't allow for a view of the lake while on board. The Palace was beautiful and tour informative and the gardens gorgeous despite the rain. I would love to go back and actually enjoy this trip in warmer, dryer weather. I'd have give this trip more stars if it weren't for the weather which is unfortunately not predictable.
My husband and I had a wonderful...
Kimberly_N, May 2017
My husband and I had a wonderful time on this trip. It was a packed day, leaving promptly from Milan for Lake Maggiore. Our first stop was Isola Bella for a tour of the amazing Borromean Palace and gardens. It was really beautiful, despite the overcast weather. The peacocks were a big delight. We had lunch on a nearby island Fisherman's Island and it was fairly crowded for the holiday weekend. We managed to get a good table on the water to enjoy our lunch. Then we were back on the mainland for some strolling in Stressa before getting back on the bus for Milan. Our tour guide Carlos was wonderful! He was a great source of information and truly loved the area.
The weather was dismal, raining like...
Allan G, May 2017
The weather was dismal, raining like cats and dogs as we left Milan however, Carlos, our guide, was very positive, saying that we need only to venture into the rain to walk through the gardens of the Palace Borromeo, which, even when raining, is worth doing. How right he was! The one and a half hour bus trip up to Lago Maggiore was a wonderful expose' of the history of Lombardy, narrated, of course, by Carlos, whose knowledge was amazing. The driver was excellent, as well, especially in the very slippery conditions. Once we arrived at Stressa, Lake Maggiore still raining, we quickly got on to our boat and headed out into the lake to Isole Bella we had a fascinating tour of the Castle Borromeo, where our guide, Emmanuela, took us through this amazing place. She, like Carlos, was absolutely brilliant with her knowledge of the castle and Borromeo family. This tour lasted about an hour and covered the bottom two floors of the Castle - and caves underneath - because the family still use the upper floors. So, these are, of course, out of bounds. We were then able to venture out into the gardens and walk around the stunning gardens - huge lemons, grapefruit and ancient azaleas and other trees - for about an hour. In the rain! But - totally beautiful! We then went back to our boat and went across to Fishermans' Island Isole Pescetore for lunch, at a family owned restaurant that Carlos had recommended and booked for our group. On the way over to the island we took a vote and decided to have a two hour lunch rather than one because of the weather! What a wonderful experience lunch was and not at all expensive the quality of the fresh lake fish offered was amazing and enjoyed by all who partook. After lunch we returned to Stressa for an hour of free time. Due to the weather still raining, most of us found a wine bar or cafe and chilled out until our bus arrived and we started back to Milan. My wife, Susan, and I cannot speak highly enough of Carlos and Emmanuela and the tour company, Zani Viaggi. We highly recommend this trip. If you can do it on a sunny day it will be a fantastic experience, if not a sunny day, it is still worthwhile on a wet one.
We are a family of 2 adults and our...
Wendy_G, Jan 2017
We are a family of 2 adults and our 11 year old son who love visiting Italy and immersing ourselves in its beauty. This tour was always on our wish list so on our visit to Milan, we decided to book this tour before we left. We did the tour on 2nd October 2016. Our driver was Domenico, our Guide was Carlo and again the tour company was Zanni Viaggi. We caught a small ferry boat to Isole Bella village and had a tour of the villa and its gardens, then were given free time to enjoy the gardens at leisure and wander about the island. It was beautiful and the white peacocks at the gardens are beautiful and very tame. The gardens were still lovely at this time of year and we captured some amazing video and photographs. From here we caught another ferry to Isola Pescatori and had a superb seafood lunch which was not included in the tour, but you could book with the tour guide and go as a group. We decided to do this as we really wanted to sample the fish that were caught in the lake. We were not disappointed, the seafood was divine and the servings very large, and the prices were excellent. From here we boarded the small fishing boats again and headed back towards Stresa and we were given some more free time to wander about this lovely town. We will be returning here definitely because the people and the scenery was beautiful. We were staying at an apartment in Milan and purchased a ceramic gift for our apartment host, and purchased another one for ourselves to remind us of this visit. We then reboarded our tour bus and drove along the lake for a lakeside panorama which was lovely and scenic. The day was quite cloudy so visibility wasn't as good as the day we did Lake Como, but you could still not miss how gorgeous this area is. We loved the small fishing island as well and hope to return to this area and spend some time just boating around the lakes and their little islands and absorbing the culture. If you want to have a relaxing day and sample some lovely local seafood then I highly recommend this tour. It is suitable for adults and children and is a very relaxing and laid back day so would suit all ages.
Lunch on Isola Pescatore looking...
David_E, Nov 2016
Lunch on Isola Pescatore looking back at Stresa, and touring Isola Bella and the ride there: all that made the trip worth while.
Brought as a present for my partner...
Susan H, Oct 2016
Brought as a present for my partner. A really amazing day. Wonderful memories and loads of photos.
We had a really enjoyable time. The...
Gabrielle_M, Oct 2016
We had a really enjoyable time. The coach was comfortable, the guide was good and the trip was well-planned. It lasted just about the right amount of time too. The Borromeo Palace was extremely interesting and we had a very good specialist guide there. Stresa was a delight and the islands well worth a visit. All in all, this trip represented good value for money and we were please we had done it.

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