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Borromean Islands

Borromean Islands: Our most recommended tours and activities

Stresa: 1-Day Borromean Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour

1. Stresa: 1-Day Borromean Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour

Discover the beautiful Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands on this hop-on hop-off boat tour. Cruise from Stresa to the 3 Borromean Islands, Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Madre, and choose to include stops at 2 or all 3 of the islands. After making your way to the meeting point, board the modern boat and set off to Lake Maggiore's most characteristic places. Relax and enjoy the beauty of the lake as you go. As you cruise, hear fascinating facts about the sights with a geolocalized audio guide in English and Italian. Embark on a boat trip from Stresa Piazza Marconi and discover three Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore. First, visit Isola Madre which is the farthest island from Stresa. Explore the island, which is famous for its botanical gardens. See the free-living birdlife and admire the peacocks and pheasants who stroll calmly through the gardens. Discover the unique plants of the island, such as the famous Cashmere tree and Bougainville. You can also visit the villa with its puppet collection. Next, visit Isola dei Pescatori the only one of the Borromean Islands inhabited all year round. Explore its many charming alleys and stop to taste the typical dishes of the lake at one of the numerous restaurants. Finish your island tour with a stop at Isola Bella most famous for its palace, splendid caves, and Italian-style gardens. Admire the views from the famous terraces, enjoy some shopping in the elegant boutique stores, or visit the local handicraft market, before returning to Stresa.. Explore the islands' attractions and natural beauty at your own pace.

Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Bella Hop-on Hop-off Boat

2. Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Bella Hop-on Hop-off Boat

Discovery of the fishing village of Isola dei Pescatori, the only one of the Borromean Islands inhabited all year round. Explore its many charming alleys and stop to taste the typical dishes of the lake at one of the numerous restaurants. Then continue to Isola Bella, the queen of the Borromean Islands, where, in addition to the beautiful ancient village full of typical craft shops, you can decide to visit the Palazzo Borromeo with its wonderful gardens and peacocks ready to be photographed.

Stresa: Madre & Bella Borromean Islands Boat Trip

3. Stresa: Madre & Bella Borromean Islands Boat Trip

Embark on a boat trip from Stresa and discover two of the Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore. First, visit Isola Madre which is the farthest island from Stresa. Explore the island which is famous for its botanical gardens. See the free-living birdlife and admire the peacocks and pheasants who stroll calmly through the gardens. Discover the unique plants of the island, such as the famous Cashmere tree. You can also visit the villa with its puppet collection. Next, continue the tour to Isola Bella, most famous for its palace, splendid caves, and Italian-style gardens. Admire the views from the famous terraces, enjoy some shopping in the elegant boutique stores, or visit the local handicraft market, before returning to Stresa.

Stresa: Lake Maggiore and Borromean Islands Sunset Cruise

4. Stresa: Lake Maggiore and Borromean Islands Sunset Cruise

Navigate the waters of Lake Maggiore with your group of family or friends on a sunset cruise from Stresa. Explore the Borromean Gulf admire the sights and scenery from the water as you pass by Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Bella. The boat you use throughout this activity is suitable for small groups of people for parties or a romantic getaway with your partner. Larger groups can also be accommodated inside of the boat, protected from the weather while still being able to enjoy wide views of the lake through the boat's large windows and open terrace area. Finish off your cruise with a tour of the most famous Island, Isola Bella from the lake view. Sail around the Borromeo Palace and see the Italian gardens and terraces, where, if you are lucky, you will be able to see some white peacocks peeking out.

Borromean Islands Private Hop-On Hop-Off Boat from Stresa

5. Borromean Islands Private Hop-On Hop-Off Boat from Stresa

Avoid the restrictive schedules of most sightseeing tours and discover the beauty of Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands at your own pace. Avail of an exclusive private boat service between Stresa and the islands of Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Madre. Hop off and on as often as you like throughout the day. Relax aboard the comfortable boats as you take in the stunning views of the lake. Jump off at Isola Bella to visit the summer palace of Count Vitaliano VI. Stroll around the gardens of Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Madre. Find a nice spot for lunch in the fishing village on Isola dei Pescatori, the only island of the archipelago still inhabited.

Stresa to Isola Bella Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Ticket

6. Stresa to Isola Bella Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Ticket

Get stunning views of Lake Maggiore and the small islands and islets of the Borromean Islands on an exclusive boat service between Stresa and Isola Bella. Travel at your own pace and according to your preferred schedule. Leave the boat at any of the islands and hop back on the next boat when you want to continue. Relax aboard the modern vessels as they ferry you between the most characteristic places on Lake Maggiore. Hop-off at the romantic island of Isola Bella to visit the Palace Museum and its Italianate gardens at your own expense. Go for a stroll around the fishing village on the other side of the tiny island. Cross back to Stresa, where you can journey up into the hills to visit the botanical gardens of the Giardino Botanico Alpinia at leisure. 

From Stresa: Isola Pescatori Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Ticket

7. From Stresa: Isola Pescatori Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Ticket

Get stunning views of Lake Maggiore and stop at the small Borromean islands and islets on a hop-on hop-off boat service between Stresa and Isola Superiore Pescatori. A private boat service is also available. Relax and travel at your own pace with a flexible schedule. Leave the boat at any of the islands and hop back on the next boat when you want to continue.  Visit the quaint fishing village on Isola Superiore Pescatori. Enjoy its charming local craft market and stop for lunch or drinks at one of the restaurants or bars overlooking Lake Maggiore. Here you can taste local dishes which include fish from the lake such as including perch, whitefish, whitefish, and many more. After,  Go for a stroll around to discover the charm of this tiny island.  Cross back to Stresa, where you can journey up into the hills to visit the botanical gardens of the Villa Pallavicino.

Stresa: Lake Maggiore and Isola Bella Private Boat Tour

8. Stresa: Lake Maggiore and Isola Bella Private Boat Tour

Explore Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore, and the surrounding area on this private taxi-boat tour. Discover all the mysteries and history of the Borromean Islands with a professional tour guide exclusive to your group. Start your excursion in Stresa Piazza Marconi either in the morning at 9:30 AM, or in the afternoon at 2:30 PM. Then set off on your customizable tour whose duration and timing will be at your discretion (about 2-4 hours). Stop at Isola Bella and take a guided tour of its architectural beauties with your knowledgeable guide. Stroll through the beautiful baroque gardens, and admire the wonderful views of the Borromean Gulf.

From Stresa/Baveno: Verbania Pallanza and Island boat Tour

9. From Stresa/Baveno: Verbania Pallanza and Island boat Tour

Leave Stresa behind and take a relaxing panoramic cruise around the Borromean Gulf, and make a stop in one of its most famous villas, Verbania Pallanaza. Cruise around the Borromean Gulf, famous all over the world for its unique admire some of the most characteristic epoch-style villas in the Verbano area and stop at one of the most famous villas in this area, Verbania Pallanza. Set sail for this tourist cruise admiring one of the most evocative views of Lake Maggiore, the Borromean Gulf, before disembarking in Verbania Pallanza. See a place where tourism and culture are more alive, from a village that looks like a balcony from which to enjoy splendid views of the lake, such as Villa Giulia or Villa Rusconi Clerici.See some of the most fascinating gardens and parks in Italy while in the area, whose splendor and perfect state of maintenance highlight the fabulous lake atmospheres.

Borromean Gulf: Sightseeing Cruise

10. Borromean Gulf: Sightseeing Cruise

Set sail on this Borromean Gulf cruise and admire the area’s sights and scenery from the water. Pass by Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Bella. Marvel at the Borromeo Palace. Leave from Stresa towards Isola Madre, famous for its gardens with tropical blooms and for its villa that will leave you speechless. After having made a complete tour around the island, head towards the fishing village of Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen's Island), the only island to be permanently inhabited all year round. Spot a set of ancient houses rich in history. Finish off your cruise with a tour of Isola Bella from the water. Sail around the Borromeo Palace and see the memorable gardens and terraces, where, if you are lucky, you will be able to see some white peacocks peeking out.

  • Hop-on hop-off tours
  • Water activities
  • Transfers
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What people are saying about Borromean Islands

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 1,661 reviews

Everything is fine. The meeting point is on the lake and there is a yellow sail to recognize. They are very punctual, I recommend to be from boarding at least 5 minutes before to ensure your seat. I recommend going around all 3 islands because the fishermen's island is tiny and in 30 minutes you can go around. Spectacular beautiful island

Wonderful experience- highly recommend! Easy to hop off the boat to the islands & spend as much time as you like exploring and then hop back on as a boat comes every hour on the hour to the same drop off location.

A little hard to find the meeting location, it’s a light yellow flag on the water front. Boats were frequent and easy to hop on and off! Well worth It, we loved the islands

booked a family of 8, for isola madre, pescatore and bella. beautiful views and boat rides on time and very efficient. A must do !

The information was very good and you didn't have to search long. Top!