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Lago Maggiore...Too Crammed with tourists???

Lago Maggiore...Too Crammed with tourists???

Old Dec 10th, 2018, 09:08 AM
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Lago Maggiore...Too Crammed with tourists???

We are considering a return to Maggiore and Como after many years....in late May,early June.We are concerned about the clog of tourists;what my husband calls "the Dubrovnik crush"...returning to Dubrovnik after 15 years and having to flee the crowds.While I know we would be spending lots of time on the water and on the islands,I wonder what the towns are like,and whether we would feel we were in the midst of a mob??ALSO....I would be so pleased to hear about smaller towns on Maggiore or Como to stay in,and....hotel suggestions.Fodorites are the best travelers and such generous sharers!!!
4carolina is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2018, 09:49 AM
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Don't worry, you will be almost alone until May 23rd. The 2 following weeks will get more busy because of Ascension day and Whitsunday, with many people from Switzerland and Southern Germany. All will become more or less empty again after June 11th. If the weather is fine, there are always day trippers from Milan during weekends.
Places with touristic infrastructure along Lake Maggiore:
Italian side, lake shore: Arona, Belgirate, Stresa, Baveno, Pallanza, Intra, Cannero, Cannobio, Maccagno, Luino, Laveno;
Italian side, a bit above the lake (if you have a car): Nebbiuno, Colazza, Premeno, Trarego, Brezzo di Bedero;
Swiss side, lake shore: Brissago, Porto Ronco, Ascona, Locarno, Magadino, San Nazzaro, Gerra;
Swiss side, a bit above the lake (no car needed, excellent public transport): Brenscino, Ronco sopra Ascona, Orselina, Piazzogna, Ronco Gerra.

Most popular places, somewhat crowded during holidays (but never Dubrovnik-like):
Locarno, Ascona, Cannobio, Intra, Pallanza, Baveno, Stresa, Laveno.

The biggest problem in this season will not be the crowds (if any), but the weather. May-June can (but must not) get very rainy.
End May - early June is the season of rhododendron and other mountain flowers on the mountains above the lakes.

Last edited by neckervd; Dec 10th, 2018 at 10:27 AM.
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Old Dec 10th, 2018, 11:18 AM
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It is heartening to see that some would-be tourists are trying to lessen the crush by staying away.I'm not sure the local merchants are happy about it, however.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2018, 01:07 PM
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neckervd has said it all and if you don't know it she is a Swiss who knows everything about those lakes so take everything she says as gospel. Stresa seems would be neat then - I loved it and boats go everywhere. Bellagio on Como may be mobbed anytime but other towns not - I'd avoid Bellagio and mybe visit it thought there was not much there there when I was there that interested me. And even in October Bellagio was totally jammed with day trippers arriving by boat - when the boats came in and ejactulated tourists any visions of an old fishing village vanished - today's angling is more for tourists' euros than fish. Lots on neat places along the lake - I liked Menaggio - short enough bus ride to Lugano.
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Old Dec 10th, 2018, 02:24 PM
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The Dubrovnik effect is largely driven by cruise ships. The lakes are a magnet for tourists, and world tourism is growing and tour buses do make it to some of the lake areas. But too far from cruise ships. We based in Lake Orta in September and visited Maggiore and didn’t feel overwhelmed with other tourists. Our trip report if interested:
Lake Maggiore/Lake Orta/3 Nights September

Fall 2017, we based in Lake Como and Lake Garda. We enjoyed both. Como was more crowded but there are plenty of places to get away from the crowds that often are worst for a few hours in the middle of the day, worst in the center of villages like Bellagio and hardly a problem once you get a short walking distance from a bus or ferry. Garda was great and except for an unexpected wine festival not crazy busy. If interested our two-part trip report:

Trip Report: Part 1 Northern Italian Lakes & Cities (12 days October)

Trip Report: Part 2 of 2): Northern Italian Lakes & Cities (12 days October)
whitehall is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2018, 02:55 PM
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Hmm, I visited Lake Como (sleeping in Varenna) and Lake Maggiore (sleeping on Isola Superiore) in late September 2015 and I thought both were fairly crowded - although certainly not at Dubrovnik levels. I had some trouble getting a reservation in Varenna. Isola Superiore was quiet at night but mobbed during the day. Isola Madre was less crowded than Isola Bella, and I prefer it.

thursdaysd is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2018, 08:52 PM
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Thank you so much for your replies,and based on them I am feeling a bit more comfortable with planning to spend days on the lakes.I will follow Palenq suggestion,and ask "neckervd",,,,,sooooo,i.............If YOU were narrow the field of towns to stay in to 3 or 4...which towns would YOU focus on to stay in for 5 or 6 nights,and where would you stay ???You provided a great list and I would be grateful for your suggestions.We will have a car.Also to all of you,your favorite restaurants,please.We will be arriving around 28June.
4carolina is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2018, 01:12 PM
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Would love to hear from people who have spent time on Lago Maggiore or Como in the last year or two,and to know what the experience was like,late May and early June.....
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Old Dec 14th, 2018, 02:17 PM
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It's been about 4 years and we stayed in Cannobio. It was uncrowded.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2018, 03:10 PM
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We were pretty much alone on Lago Maggiore last December. I've been in September and July also and both were fairly crowded, but never uncomfortably so.
StCirq is online now  
Old Dec 15th, 2018, 04:04 AM
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I was quite alone this week in Lecco and at norhtern end at colico. For sure I was the only non italian speaking of that day.
But who goes to lake Como mid december ...
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Old Dec 15th, 2018, 06:01 AM
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" We will be arriving around 28JUNE"
" Would love to hear ..... what the experience was like, late MAY and EARLY JUNE"
neckervd is offline  
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