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215 215 9814

Lake Orta Travel Guide: Notes to Discover Lake Orta

April 27, 202313 min read.

Lake Orta offers visitors a unique combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage. In this Lake Orta travel guide you will find the necessary information to plan your trip.

General Information of Lake Orta

If you are considering a trip to Lake Orta, here you will find everything you need to take the first step to discover Lake Orta and relax in this beautiful destination.

Lake Orta, also known as Cusio, is one of the smallest lakes in northern Italy, located in the Piedmont region. Despite its size, Lake Orta is a true hidden gem and one of the most charming tourist destinations in the area.

Lake Orta is the perfect place for those looking for a calm and relaxing environment. Its crystal clear waters and gentle hills create an idyllic landscape that inspires peace and serenity. From Orta San Giulio, a small town located on the shore of the lake, you can appreciate the impressive panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

In addition to its natural beauty, Lake Orta has a rich history and cultural heritage. Orta San Giulio, for example, is known for its impressive medieval architecture and narrow cobbled streets, offering a unique experience of authentic Italy.

Lake Orta is also a perfect place for lovers of water sports, offering many opportunities to swim, windsurf, sail or rent a boat. It is also a popular destination for walkers and cyclists, with many scenic routes and trails to explore.

In short, Lake Orta is a perfect getaway for those looking for a combination of natural beauty, cultural heritage and history, and outdoor activities. If you are planning a trip to Italy, do not miss the opportunity to visit this beautiful place!

Buildings surrounded by a mirror of water, vegetation and mountains

Buildings surrounded by a mirror of water, vegetation and mountains

Picture of Andrea Bozzi on Unsplash

Location of Lake Orta

Here's where Lake Orta is located:

Map of Orta Lake on Google Maps

Places of Interest to Visit in Lake Orta

Lake Orta is a destination with a rich history and culture and fascinating landscapes to clear your mind and soak up the beauty. Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit when exploring Lake Orta.

Orta San Giulio

This small medieval town located on the lake shore is one of the main attractions of Lake Orta. With its cobbled streets, colorful houses and beautiful churches, Orta San Giulio is a delight for lovers of history and architecture.

San Giulio Island

This small island located in the center of the lake is home to an impressive basilica and several religious buildings. The Island of San Giulio is a quiet and spiritual place that offers spectacular views of the lake and the Alps on the horizon.

Sacred Mount of Orta

This hilltop religious complex offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding area. With its 20 chapels depicting scenes from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Sacro Monte di Orta is a jewel of Italian Baroque and an ideal place for lovers of art and history.

Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso

This sanctuary located on top of a hill is one of the most emblematic places of Lake Orta. With its impressive architecture and panoramic views of the lake and the Alps, the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso is a popular pilgrimage site and a must-see tourist destination.

Lump

This small town located on the opposite shore of the lake is an ideal place to enjoy spectacular views of the lake and the Alps on the horizon. Pella is also a popular spot for water sports, including windsurfing and sailing.

Mottarone

This mountain located in the surroundings of Lake Orta offers impressive views of the lake and the surrounding Alps. With its cable car and its many hiking trails, Mottarone is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers.

What to Eat and Drink in Lake Orta

Lake Orta is known for its delicious cuisine and high-quality wines. If you are visiting this beautiful region of Italy, you cannot miss the opportunity to try some of its typical dishes and drinks.

Among the most popular Lake Orta dishes are polenta, a kind of corn puree that can be eaten with different accompaniments, such as cuniscia, a sauce made of onion, bacon and cheese; or the fonduta, a melted cheese that is served with bread and other accompaniments.

Other popular dishes include lake trout, a fresh fish dish served with a variety of sauces, and osso buco, a meat stew served with risotto.

As for the wines, Lake Orta is known for its production of high quality red and white wines. The region's red wines are often rich and full-bodied, with notes of red fruit and spices.

White wines, on the other hand, tend to be lighter and more refreshing, with hints of citrus and herbs. Among the region's most popular wines are Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto.

Of course, you cannot stop trying the famous Italian desserts while you are at Lake Orta. Panettone, a sweet bread with candied fruits and raisins, and tiramisu, a mascarpone cream cheese and coffee dessert, are just some of the many desserts you can try in the region.

In a nutshell, Lake Orta offers a wide variety of delicious dishes and drinks that will satisfy even the most demanding palates.

Whether you are looking for a traditional Italian dish or a fine local wine, Lake Orta has something for you. Don't hesitate to try everything this region has to offer!

Cocoa dusted tiramisu

Cocoa dusted tiramisu

Picture of melanie boers on Unsplash

Living the Culture in Lake Orta

The culture of Lake Orta is rich and varied, deeply rooted in the history and traditions of the region. The locals are known for their hospitality and friendliness, and are proud to share their culture and customs with visitors.

Religion plays an important role in the daily life of Lake Orta, with numerous churches and chapels spread throughout the region. The most famous of all is the church of San Giulio, located on a small island in the middle of the lake, and which has a long and rich history dating back to the 4th century.

Another important aspect of the culture of Lake Orta is its relationship with nature and the environment. The region is surrounded by mountains and forests, and has a wide variety of flora and fauna. The locals are aware of the importance of protecting the environment and work hard to preserve the natural beauty of the region.

When it comes to arts and crafts, Lake Orta is known for its high-quality embroidery, lace, and fabrics. These skills have been passed down from generation to generation and even today you can find workshops and shops selling handmade products.

In conclusion, the culture of Lake Orta is rich and diverse, deeply rooted in the history and traditions of the region. From its relationship with religion and nature to its artisan skills, Lake Orta offers a unique and unforgettable cultural experience.

How to Get to Lake Orta

Lake Orta is easily accessible from several major cities in the area.

If you're traveling by plane, the closest airport to Lake Orta is Milano-Malpensa International Airport, which is about a 45-minute drive from the lake. From the airport, you can rent a car or take a private shuttle to get to the lake.

Another option to get to Lake Orta is by train. The nearest train station is the Orta-Miasino station, which is only a few minutes' drive from the lake. From here, you can take a taxi or a local bus to reach your destination.

If you prefer to drive, Lake Orta is well connected by road and is easy to reach from several major cities in the region. From Milan, for example, you can take the A8 motorway towards Varese and then continue on the A26 towards Gravellona Toce. From there, follow the signs for Lake Orta.

Finally, if you travel by boat, you can also reach Lake Orta from other nearby cities, such as Stresa or Arona. These boat trips offer spectacular views of the lake and its surroundings, and are a unique way to enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

As you can see, getting to Lake Orta is easy and convenient, thanks to its strategic location and its good connection to several major cities in the region.

Whether you travel by plane, train, car, or boat, Lake Orta awaits you to enjoy its breathtaking views and enchanting atmosphere.

How to Get Around Lake Orta?

If you wonder how to get around Lake Orta, you should know that this area has several options available to move around the area and explore its wonders.

A popular way to get around the lake is by boat. There are several ferry services that connect the different cities and towns that surround the lake, allowing you to enjoy stunning views of the water and surrounding mountains. Also, many of these services are quite frequent and offer a convenient and efficient way to explore the lake.

If you prefer to explore the region by land, there are several transportation options available. You can rent a car in one of the nearby cities, allowing you to explore the area at your own pace and stop at the places you want. There are also taxi services available, which can be especially useful if you want to explore the more remote areas of the lake.

Finally, if you like to walk, there are several hiking trails that surround Lake Orta, allowing you to enjoy the natural beauty of the area and explore some of the smaller, less traveled towns. Also, many of these routes are well marked and suitable for all skill levels, making it a great way to actively explore the lake.

Getting around Lake Orta is easy and convenient, thanks to the different transportation options available. Whether you prefer to travel by boat, car, taxi or walk, the lake is waiting for you to explore and discover all it has to offer.

Private Transfer

If you are looking for the most practical and safest option to get to Lake Orta and visit the places of interest of this destination, here you will find the information you need to book your private transfer with Greca.

Best Time to Visit Lake Orta

Lake Orta is a popular tourist destination throughout the year, thanks to its mild and pleasant climate and its beautiful natural landscapes. However, the best time to visit Lake Orta depends on your personal preferences and what you want to do during your visit.

If you are looking to enjoy the sun and outdoor activities, the best time to visit Lake Orta is during the summer months, from June to August.

During these months, temperatures are warm and pleasant, averaging around 25°C, making it a perfect time for swimming, water sports and sunbathing on the beach.

If you prefer to avoid the crowds and enjoy a quieter atmosphere, the best time to visit Lake Orta is during the spring and autumn months, from April to May and from September to October.

During these months, temperatures are cooler, averaging around 15-20°C, which is ideal for outdoor activities such as walking, cycling and enjoying the natural landscapes of the lake.

Finally, if you like winter and winter sports, the best time to visit Lake Orta is during the winter months, from December to March.

During these months, the lake freezes over, offering a unique ice skating experience, and the surrounding mountains are an ideal place for skiing and other winter sports.

Festivals of Orta Lake

Lake Orta is known for its beautiful natural scenery and rich culture, which is celebrated in a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. Next, we present some of the most outstanding festivals of Lake Orta:

  1. Festival of San Vito: This festival is celebrated in the month of June in the city of Orta San Giulio in honor of San Vito, the patron saint of the city. During the festival, processions, live music, fireworks displays and a huge fair take place.
  2. Almond Festival: This festival is held in the city of Pettinengo, in the province of Biella, in October, and is a celebration of the almond harvest in the region. During the festival, you can enjoy a variety of local almond products, as well as cultural and entertainment activities.
  3. Orta Jazz Festival: This festival is held in the city of Orta San Giulio in July and features a wide variety of jazz artists from around the world. The festival takes place in the beautiful setting of Piazzetta Mario Motta, in the historic center of the city.
  4. Christmas Market: During the Christmas season, many towns and villages on Lake Orta are dressed up in lights and decorations, and Christmas markets are held. The Orta San Giulio Christmas Market is especially popular and offers a wide variety of local products, crafts and typical Christmas food.

In a nutshell, Lake Orta is home to a variety of festivals and events that celebrate its culture and heritage. From the San Vito Festival in June to the Christmas Market in December, there is always something to do and see in Lake Orta all year round.

Is It Worth Visiting Lake Orta?

Of course! Lake Orta stands out for its incredible landscapes and the warmth of its people. In addition, the region is known for its fascinating festivals and its historical buildings.

In turn, due to its proximity to Milan, Como and Lake Maggiore, many travelers combine their visit to Lake Orta with these destinations, so you will find these sites in several of our offers.

Are you looking to marvel at the most incredible landscapes? Do you want to know a fascinating culture? Do you want to enjoy incredible gastronomy?

If your answer is "yes", at Greca we have several proposals for tourist packages to Lake Orta, which you can modify and adapt according to your needs and times.

There are travel packages for all tastes. Choose your own adventure according to your needs!

More Travel Guides!

If you have been interested in our travel guide to Lake Orta and want to continue learning about this and other wonderful destinations, we invite you to look at the section of all our Travel Guides. Plan your next adventure with Greca!

01
Are there water activities available on Lake Orta?

Yes, there are a variety of water activities available on the lake including boating, windsurfing, kayaking, and water skiing.

02
Are there cheap accommodation options in Lake Orta?

Yes, there are cheap accommodation options in the cities and towns around the lake, such as hostels, campsites and apartments.

03
Is it possible to walk around Lake Orta?

Yes, there is a hiking trail around the lake called "Cammino della Regina", which offers beautiful panoramic views.

04
What is the best time of the year for sightseeing in Lake Orta?

The best time to visit Lake Orta is from May to September, when the weather is warmer and more outdoor activities are available.

05
Are there public transportation options available in Lake Orta?

Yes, there are buses connecting the towns and villages around the lake, as well as a train station in Orta-Miasino.

06
What historical places are there in Lake Orta?

The lake is home to numerous historic sites, including the Sacro Monte di Orta, a series of 20 chapels dedicated to the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, and the Palazzo Penotti Ubertini in Orta San Giulio, an 18th-century palace.

07
Are there shopping options at Lake Orta?

Yes, there are shops and markets in the towns and villages around the lake that offer local products and handicrafts.

08
What are the best panoramic views of Lake Orta?

Some of the best panoramic views can be found from the Torre di Buccione in Orta San Giulio, Monte Mottarone and Monte Sacro.

09
Where is the best place to watch the sunset on Lake Orta?

The Piazzale della Madonna del Sasso in Orta San Giulio offers a panoramic view of the lake and is one of the best places to watch the sunset.

10
Are there hiking options in the mountains around Lake Orta?

Yes, there are several hiking trails in the mountains around the lake that offer panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings.

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