Why is it a super time to visit the Lakes this September?

September, 12 2019 ( Updated September, 17 2019)

Lake Como
Lake Maggiore
Lake Lugano
Lake Garda
Lake Orta

The best reasons to visit the Lakes this September

Varenna lakeside view

Off all the lakes close to the Swiss Italian border, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda and Lake Lugano draw quite the crowd. Boasting natural beauty, fantastic outdoor sport opportunities, palatial sights, buzzing historical towns and VIP kudos to boot, they are a must-see holiday destination to dip into.

Although summer’s now coming to an end, there are many plus points for visiting the Lakes once the throng of crowds have been. In fact, there’s a whole luggage bag’s worth! Read our top reasons below for visiting the Lakes this September:

1.     September savings

Travelling outside of the peak July and August months will entitle you to mid-season rates, opposed to high-season rates. This goes for hotels, flights, package holidays and excursions. With just 1 week often making all the difference, your piggybank will thank you for it!

2.     The new school term starts

With kid’s back to many UK schools in the 1st week of September and European kids back usually around the 17th of September, a holiday at this time of year always = less families and less crowds! As well as not being swamped by holidaymakers at the main tourist sights, it also means grown-up groups, solo travellers and couples can feel like they have the beautiful Lakes for themselves. There’s nothing more romantic than that!

An elderly couple sittng on a bench overlooking Lake Orta

3.     The perfect climate

With average daily temperatures easily reaching highs of 22° and comfortable lows of 14°, the Swiss Italian Lakes in September offer a temperate appeal for lakeside walks and bike rides, alfresco meals in the sun, sightseeing action days and breath-taking mountain climbs, without the fear of heatstroke or sunburn.

4.     Hassle-free sightseeing

Alongside the Borromean Islands, the most fascinating Lake Maggiore sightseeing hotspots including the UNESCO Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso and the atmospheric Visconti castle provide the perfect ambience for whiling away a scenic afternoon, without worrying about being overwhelmed by the crowds, or the midday sun. Exploring the Golden Triangle towns of Lake Como (Varenna-Bellagio-Menaggio) are a must for those staying on Lake Como. With unique attractions, historical Old Towns and picturesque lakeside cafes, these three lakeside resorts are the jewel in the crown. A car-passenger ferry service runs between the towns and also offers easy access to the Tremezzina shore, perfect for scenic sightseeing on foot, alfresco dining and Lidos.

Aerial view of Santa Caterina del Sasso hermitage on Lake Maggiore

Lake Garda also boasts some top tourist sites for an early autumn trip, including the Ancient Roman archaeological site of Grotte di Catullo in Sirmione. The best-loved amusement parks of Gardaland, Caneva Aquapark and Caneva Movieland are also here, inviting big kids to soak up some thrills and spills for the day, without the lengthy queues.

An aerial view of Caneva Aquapark

Nearby Lake Lugano, the Bellinzona castles form a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site. A must for culture enthusiasts, these ancient fortifications are now home to various museums with art, archaeological and social history collections to keep you engrossed. The picturesque Italian architecture of Bellinzona Old Town is also worth discovering, as are the 16th century wall frescoes which adorn theSanta Maria delle Grazie. Lugano city and its surroundings offers a wealth of cultural attractions to explore too, including the fantastic modern LAC (Lugano Arte e Cultura) centre, the picturesque lake villages of Morcoteand Gandria.

5.     Villa gardens

The villas on the Swiss Italian Lakes exude exclusivity. As visitor numbers lessen in September, the famous world-class botanical gardens and villa museums beckon visitors to enjoy them in peace. On the banks of Lake Como, Villa Balbianello, Villa Carlotta and Villa Olmo remain temptingly open; with a host of cultural and musical events occurring there throughout the early autumn. The well-manicured gardens provide an appealing backdrop for tranquil lake view walks; with plenty of scope (and space) for painting and reading a book. On Lake Maggiore, the Villa Taranto gardens and the beautiful Borromean Islands (home to the Palazzo and those wow-factor grounds of Isola Bella) invite visitors to sightsee at leisure, without the hassle and disruption of holiday crowds. The Italian shores of Lake Garda boast the botanical zen gardens of Andre Heller and the unique grounds and amphitheatre of Vittoriale degli Italiani, located in the former villa residence of Gabriele d’Annunzio.

The Isola Bella gardens on Lake Maggiore, complete with peacocks

6.     Lido bliss

For those who enjoy sunbathing in milder climes, sitting by the pool or lake in the September sunshine offers the perfect restful antidote. With the kids back in school, you’ll find the local lidos and lake beaches are far less crowded, with the opportunity to bagsy a good sun lounger, and the attention of the barman. The best lidos on Lake Como worth dipping into are Lido di Menaggio, Lido di Bellagio, the Tremezzina shore lidos and the natural lake beaches of Lenno and Lierna. There’s a wealth of choice of lido beaches on Lake Maggiore too, from the beaches of Ascona, Angera and Stresa to Meina’s Lido beach and the lakeside lidos of Verbania; there’s a picturesque sunbathing spot for you. Miami Lido Beach on nearby Lago d’Orta is also worth unwinding on, if you’re there for the day sightseeing. The lido beaches of Lake Garda are a pure delight; with the Sirmione beaches proving popular alongside Desenzano Beach, Pini Beach to the north and Spiaggia Marniga Beach.

The unspoiltbeaches and lidos of Lake Lugano offer a host of spots to soak up, from Lido San Domenico and Lido di Agno to Lido Brusimpiano and the pristine sandy beach of Lido di Lugano.

With less demand on the top visitor sights, there’s every opportunity to make some time for lakeside relaxation during your stay.

7.     Restaurant reservations

Have your eye on a favourite restaurant? You’re more likely to get that reservation! With the Swiss Italian lakes home to some captivating culinary hotspots, September is the time to reserve the best table in the house. Inviting you to savour sublime dishes cooked with fresh regional autumnal ingredients with those top views will serve up the perfect holiday memories!

8.     Walks

A scenic trail in the early autumn sun is a magical moment for any keen walker. When travelling in September, the chance to explore the most popular climbs on the Swiss Italian Lakes in optimum comfort is not to be missed!

Aerial view of Castello di Vezio, above Varenna on Lake Como

The best trails on Lake Como include the Sacro Monte di Ossuccio climb, the historical Greenway del Lago route and the hikes up to Castello di Vezio above Varenna and San Martino above Griante. On Lake Lugano you’ll find a super hiking route (and panoramic lake views) from Monte San Salvatore above Lugano city, whilst other popular hikes include up Mont Bre and (more sedately) along the idyllic Olive Trail (Sentiero dell’Olivo’) which runs for 3.5km along the Castagnola lakeside to Gandria. Lake Maggiore offers plenty in store for the avid walker. One memorable outing is to take the Alpino-Mottarone cable car from Stresa and then hike from the Alpine garden cable car stop to the spectacular summit of Monte Mottarone. Another picturesque climb with the added welcome option of a cable car ride, is the ascent to Madonna del Sasso, a Baroque church and sanctuary overlooking Orselina. An idyllic moment can also be had walking through the streets of Vogogna, a medieval village with 14th century fortifications, strategically placed along the border of the Val Grande National Park.

The Mottarone cable car

Just 15 miles from Lake Maggiore, the unspoilt villages and shoreline of Lake Ortaare not to be missed too. One of Italy’s smallest lakes, walkers will enjoy exploring on foot many of its hidden treasures, from Sacro Monte of Orta perched high above the hillside to Isola San Giulio and Orta San Giulio, these gorgeous beauty spots are all worth taking in, on foot. On Lake Garda, one of the most picturesque walking (and cycling) routes to relish is the 10km route along Via Ponale, which links Lake Garda to the Ledro valley. For walkers craving an elevated scenic climb, the Salò circuit, St. Barbara and Monte Oro climb from Riva del Garda and the Nago-Torbole circuit to Monte Brione all promise incredible views.

Cyclist on Via Ponale, Lake Garda

With less traffic also on the lake roads this September, road cyclists can enjoy the open road at leisure.

9.     Cultural treats

With the Swiss Italian Lakes  also boasting a fantastic seasonal array of cultural events, outdoor activities and musical highlights this September, visiting Lake Como, Lake Garda, Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore in September is just the ticket!

We hope you enjoy a super and very scenic lake escape this September…

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