A visit to the ‘great lakes’ paradise in the Lombardy region is a must for all water sport lovers.

Lombardy is actually known as the region of the lakes: with its five major attractions and numerous smaller basins, it is the Alpine arc area with the greatest concentration of bodies of water.

Of the five largest Italian lakes, only two are entirely Lombard: the Iseo and the Lario (better known as Lake Como). Let's find out a bit more about them …

 

 

1.   LAKE ISEO

Bathing on Lake Iseo is permitted along all the shores. The sailing centres here were amongst the first to be established in Italy and rowing is practiced all year round. The airstreams that blow from the valleys provide excellent adrenaline-charged conditions for windsurfing, kitesurfing and wakeboarding enthusiasts. Local boating clubs organise sailing trips from the picturesque towns of Sulzana and Sarnico. There are numerous diving options for underwater thrills provided by local clubs.  For further information please go to

2.   LAKE LARIO OR LAKE COMO

All water sports are also catered for on the crystal clear surfaces of Lake Como (ranked third largest of all the Italian lakes but first for perimeter and depth): kitesurfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, diving, cannoning with experienced guides around the lake and sport fishing. Thanks to favourable currents, sailing can be practiced mainly in the Alto Lago (Upper Lake) localities but there are also sailing centres along the Lario’s eastern shore. To organize your favourite activity...

3.   LAKE GARDA

Thanks to the favourable climate windsurfing and sailing are undoubtedly the most prevalent sports practiced on Lake Garda (Italy’s largest lake). Torbole, Riva, Malcesine and Gargnano are the most popular spots where two winds blow with a certain intensity and regularity: Ora, which blows from south to north from late morning until late afternoon and Pelér, which blows from north to south from early morning until noon. This constant and reliable air flow is the relentless motor behind the competitive sailing events that are organized on Lake Garda. Canyoning is undoubtedly the most suitable sport for more adventurous enthusiasts who can enjoy jumping into the icy water of the streams, steep waterfalls and ravines. The north-west shores of the lake are the most suitable locations for this sport. Maximum safety is assured thanks to the presence of expert guides and professional-standard equipment. To organize your favourite activity on Lake Garda....

4.   LAKE MAGGIORE OR VERBANO

Lake Maggiore (or Verbano) is the second largest Italian lake and, thanks to the year-round mild climate, many water sports can be practiced in all seasons: canoeing, yachting, sailing, water skiing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding, diving and flyboarding. Lake Maggiore is one of the most spectacular places in the world for sailing: the Tramontana and the Inverna winds blow across its surface. The former arrives in the morning from the mountains towards the plain, while the latter shows up in the afternoon, blowing in opposite direction and enabling all sailing fanatics to enjoy their favourite sport throughout the day.

5. LAKE IDRO

The largest of the smaller lakes - Lake Idro (or Eridio) - is also the highest amongst all of the Lombard pre-Alpine lakes. Of glacial origin, it is located within the province of Brescia on the border with Trentino. Its elongated shape is surrounded by high wooded mountains and steep banks. Thanks to the presence of the Ander, the constant wind created by channelling alpine breezes through its rocky walls, the lake is a mecca for sailing and wind-surfing lovers. Due to the south - north afternoon airstream the lake is traversed from east to west by streams of wind-surfers and sailboats. The northern part of the lake at Ponte Caffaro, where the wind has greater pressure, is dedicated to kite surfing enthusiasts. In the mornings the surface of the lake is calm and provides perfect conditions for rowing, indeed several sports clubs head to Lake Idro to train every year.

NOT TO BE MISSED

Manerba del Garda - the Island of Rabbits.

As the name suggests, one of its attractions of this tiny island is the presence of numerous rabbits that are now well-accustomed to the company of humans. Furthermore, when conditions permit, the island can be reached on foot by means of a strip of seabed that connects it with the mainland near the Camping San Biagio site. In very low tide the water level is knee-high. For the less adventurous, and in case of bad weather, a paid taxi-boat service is available. The Isola dei Conigli environs are very popular with scuba divers and the Scoglio dell'Altare (Altar Reef) is undoubtedly one of the best-known diving locations on Lake Garda. The reef descends to a depth of 150 metres and is famous for two large ledges covered with yellow sponges and for a grotto that conserves large shoals of royal perch, pike, tench, eel and bleak fish.

For a charming day out immersed in nature, Villa Pallavicino at Stresa on Lake Maggiore is well worth a visit. Part botanical garden and part zoo, the park surrounding the villa has magnificent magnolia trees, sequoias, an imposing Lebanese cedar and well-kept lawns bordered by rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. The greenhouses contain more exotic species and the animals are relatively free to move around. Strolling in the park you are likely to spot over 40 different species: llamas, zebras, Tibetan goats, fallow deer, kangaroos, flamingos, swans and brightly coloured parrots.

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