PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
Holidays to Lake Orta take you to the best kept secret of the Italian Lakes in Northern Italy. It remains one of the most untouched areas in Italy, and one of most beautiful. The incredible architecture of the town of Orta San Giulio, with its pastel coloured buildings, picturesque streets and lakeside location add to the enchanting island of Isola San Giulio to make this destination a real hidden gem.
Perfect for couples, this lakeside retreat offers a peaceful break and a chance to casually wander around taking in the scenery and culture. For historians and culture seekers, there is plenty to intrigue and entertain; visit the UNESCO-protected Orta Sacro Monte, a collection of centuries-old chapels located in Orta San Giulio or the Church of Santa Maria Assunta on the western side of the lake, with its striking classic medieval façade.
Stay in one of our superior hotels to make your stay truly unforgettable. Hotel Giardinetto offers a tranquil retreat on the shores of Lake Orta. Enjoy dinner on the lakefront terrace and relax by the pool after a day spent exploring the area. Or you could opt for Hotel San Rocco, a former monastery dating back to the 17th Century, located on the lakeside.
With almost 90 years of experience, at Citalia we know Italy better than anyone else, helping you to enjoy Lake Orta like no other.
Visit San Giulio Island and take the ‘walk of silence’ around the island. If you are lucky you may hear the hauntingly beautiful chants of the Benedictine nuns as you circumnavigate the small island. Explore the island’s charming little church with its wonderful frescoes and get a feel for the spirituality of the island; the perfect trip for those seeking true calm.
For those wanting to travel further afield, Lake Maggiore is 19km away and is home to Isola Madre, a magical island which is a botanical garden on water. Part of the Borromean archipelago, this island is home to a mixture of exotic plants, flowers and birds such as peacocks. It’s easy to spend an afternoon experiencing the restaurants and little shops, and taking in the stunning views from the island.
As one of the smallest Italian lakes, Lake Orta has stayed off the radar, helping to preserve its natural charm and peaceful nature. With its pretty lakeside towns, picturesque views and stunning local cuisine, it has everything you need for a relaxing holiday away from the crowds.
Take a day trip to Omegna, a town at the lake’s northern tip, and wander along the riverside passageways and over beautiful bridges, exploring the historic centre. The perfect place to experience real Italian culture, Omegna is a local town with local people – you won’t find any tourist shops here. Great for cyclists too, there are plenty of circular routes to enjoy such as the 40km loop around Lake Orta.
Build your Lake Orta holiday beyond your hotel and take a train to Milan, Italy’s fashion capital. A contrast to quaint Lake Orta, the city offers sophisticated shopping, historic architecture and world-renowned galleries, a must-see while you’re in the region.
The closest airport to Lake Orta is Milan Malpensa (MXP). Direct flights to Milan are available from Birmingham, Edinburgh, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton and Manchester and take approximately 2 hours.
Lake Orta is a summer destination, with the season generally running from April to October. Temperatures are at their hottest in July and August and this is when Orta is at its busiest. The climate in the spring and autumn is still warm which makes it perfect for visiting at the beginning or end of season too. For those who want to avoid the busiest crowds but still enjoy warm temperatures, May, June and September are ideal months to visit.
Lake Orta is a tranquil getaway and while it is one of Italy’s smaller lakes, it is by no means lacking in fine dining experiences and speciality dishes.
For those wanting to try some local dishes, pasta with donkey or horse meat is a delicacy of the area and will give you a real flavour of authentic Italy. Traditional Italian dishes like these are deeply rooted in the Italian culture, with the recipes often passed down from generation to generation. Many restaurants in the area serve these authentic dishes alongside more conventional choices if you prefer.
Cheese lovers will be in their element with local cheeses which are a real jewel of local cuisine. Every town and hamlet in this northern Italian region produces its own cheese specialty so it’s a real must-try for those visiting the area. Try Murazzano for a rich cheese with an aromatic taste or Robiola di Roccaverano, a fresh cheese with a delicate taste which is excellent when paired with local red wines.
The wines of the Piedmont region are mostly created from the Nebbiolo grape and tend to be red. Two of the most popular varieties include Barolo and Barbaresco as they complement the strong flavours of Lake Orta’s traditional cuisine. Making wine in Italy is an art so make sure you sample the different varieties on offer while in the home region.