The great lakes of Northern Italy

Cruising Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore

Exploring the enchanting waters of the great lakes of Northern Italy is definitely a must of visiting Italy as much as seeing Rome, Venice or Florence. We know it is quite hard to choose between the timeless shores of Lake Como, the majestic vistas of Lake Maggiore and the vibrant allure of Lake Garda as each destination promises a unique and captivating experience.

From our humble beginnings as a small DMC on the shores of Lake Como, we’ve blossomed into experts embracing all the Northern Italian Lakes and the vibrant city of Milan.  Our journey saw the addition of diverse tours, spanning various interests and destinations. Yet, our hearts forever lean towards the enchantment of boat tours—where culture, luxury, and relaxation dance on waves.

In this article we’ll try to give you some insightful tips about logistics, and the highlights of cruising the lakes of Northern Italy, uncovering hidden gems and must-see attractions along the way. Hopefully after reading you’ll have a better idea of which lake you should visit – if you don’t have time for all 3 of them! – a thing we can sure make possible.

Cruising the lakes of Northern Italy: public vs private transport

Northern Italy boasts an extensive and mostly efficient public transport system, including trains, buses and ferries criss-crossing each lake. Italians use them everyday for commuting and for weekend adventures… transferring from the airport or between locations is quite straightforward but it has its cons. Weighing the options we say that: public transport offers convenience and affordability, while private boats and drivers provide the ultimate luxury and flexibility. Dive deeper into this debate in our previous blog post regarding moving around Lake Como [click here].

The great lakes of Northern Italy

A guide to Italy’s Lake region:

Lake Como is the most known by international tourists and is located at about 1 to 2 hours away from the other great lakes of northern Italy: Lake Maggiore to the west and Lake Garda to the east. Lake Como is also conveniently close to all the main airports and, if you are staying long enough, it allows for day trips to Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda and Lake Lugano for bonus points! 

If you are landing at Milano Malpensa you could also choose to visit Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta first, move to Lake Como for a few nights and finally explore Lake Garda as a day trip or on your way to Verona or Venice.

If you have read our previous blog post regarding moving around Lake Como [if not click here] you know we suggest prioritizing convenience and comfort with private cruising around the lake, this stands true for Lake Garda, Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore as well. So “skip the car and embrace the boat”, as Laura said in one of her most appreciated “Laura for you” videos. You can watch it here.

Cruising Lake Como: Unveiling its Majesty

Lake Como, with its shimmering waters and surrounding peaks, is the ideal stage for an unforgettable cruising experience. Learn about the lake’s fascinating history and geography as you journey from charming towns to iconic landmarks. 

Private Boat tour Lake Como


  • The iconic Villa del Balbianello, nestled on a lush promontory, and home to the wonderful treasures of Guido Monzino, a great explorer and adventurer! 
  • The quaint village of Varenna, with its colorful waterfront and medieval allure. 

Visit these locations with our bestsellers tours: Central Lake or Half or Full day Grand Tour.


  • Bellano and North Lake Como are for those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures, walking through the awe inspiring gorge of Orrido di Bellano or learning more about how Mussolini was captured in Dongo trying to escape to Switzerland. 

Visit these locations with our: Unexpected Lake Como or North Lake tour.

If you want a more in depth overview of Lake Como click here to read our Guide to 10 things to see and do at Lake Como” .  Explore our best-selling tours for an insider’s perspective on this mesmerizing lake.

Cruising Lake Maggiore & Lake Orta: Discovering Hidden Treasures

Lake Maggiore, has crystal-clear waters and similarly to the other lakes is embraced by mountains. A heaven for discerning travelers seeking a harmonious blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Stepping onto the shores of this breathtaking lake, will immerse you in a world of unparalleled charm and tranquility. 

Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore


  • The unique Borromean Islands: three wonderful small islets each with their unique character and feel that are just waiting for you to discover them! 
  • Santa Caterina del Sasso monastery, we believe the photos speak for themselves when it comes to this jem literally nested in stone!
  • Orta San Giulio and traverse to Isola SAn Giulio for an even more authentic experience.


  • Venture off the beaten path to the shores of Lago di Mergozzo for a serene escape far away for the main touristy attractions.

Explore our curated tours [click here] for an unforgettable and incredibly varied journey through these breathtaking lakes or learn more on our previous blog “6 things to do at Lake Maggiore

Cruising Lake Garda: Embracing Timeless Beauty

Experience the grandeur of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, as you cruise past scenic villages and historic landmarks. Explore medieval towns, learn about Italian history in Salò and delve in the bright colors of this lake’s waters.

Castle of Lake Garda


  • Sirmione, with its iconic Scaligero Castle and natural hot springs.
  • Salò with its picturesque promenade, elegant charm and historic monuments.
  • Cruise around the enchanting Isola del Garda, a private island retreat steeped in history and surrounded by lush gardens.


  • The captivating town of Malcesine, setted at the foot of Monte Baldo where you can choose to take a cable way straight to incredible views!

Make your day uniquely yours on a day trip to Lake Garda with us,  we plan it with care and personalize it for each customer. And if you want to learn more read previous blog “Places you shouldn’t miss at Lake Garda” 

Set sail with us and uncover the unparalleled beauty of the Great Lakes of Northern Italy on an exclusive private boat cruise, our expertly crafted tours promise an unforgettable experience. Contact us today to start planning your dream cruise adventure!

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