You'll find Lake Orta located west of Lake Maggiore in the picturesque region of Piedmont. Small but with a wonderful landscape, it is an overlooked gem and is still quite unknown. It has very clean and clear water and is in fact amongst the cleanest lakes in Europe. This is an area known for its gastronomy, landscapes and culture and there is so much to discover here.
There are a number of charming towns and villages around the lake where you can find hotels and holiday apartments, such as Pettenasco, a small town on the eastern shore from where the view across the lake is breathtaking. Orta San Giulio is the main town and it oozes with charm, and Omegna is another charming town where you can find a weekly market on Thursday with a lively atmosphere.
The well-preserved historic town of Orta San Giulio is located on the tip of a headland facing the small island Isola San Giulio. Here you can find interesting monuments and buildings, cosy squares without traffic, a host of restaurants and many small specialty shops selling local delicacies. Another market is held here on Wednesdays.
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The area's absolute pride is the small island Isola di San Giulio, located in the middle of the lake with its curious profile of stocky structures, including the island's church and convent. The island's basilica San Giulio features many paintings and sculptures of great historical value. The island is easily accessible and can be visited by boat from Orta San Giulio for a small fee. There is one street around the island and you can quickly get around it in a few minutes as it only measures 650 metres in circumference.
A popular tourist attraction near Lake Orta is the mountain that separates the lake from Lake Maggiore, Mottarone, which with its 1,491 metres it creates a most picturesque landscape interspersed by windy mountain roads. You can enjoy a spectacular view from up here of all 7 Lakes: Orta, Maggiore, Mergozzo, Varese, Comabbio, Monate and Biandronno on a clear day.
For those of you interested in food and wine, Le Colline Novaresi (Novara hills) is a highly recommended prestigious wine (including Colline Novaresi DOC bianco). The area is also known for their many sausage and mushroom specialties and of course the lake's fish feature in the local menus. You can also find all kinds of meat dishes and many wonderful Italian specialities in general.
In addition, there is an interesting factory outlet called Alessi Factory Store in Omegna. The world famous Italian designer Alessi produces all kinds of kitchen paraphernalia in various lively colours and rumour has it that the savings at the outlet certainly make the trip worthwhile.
You can choose from our collection of handpicked holiday accommodation including self catering apartments and hotels in charming locations in towns on Lake Orta's shores, and in the hills around. You search using the search machine at the top of the page and see what appeals to you. Feel free to ask our Italy travel experts for advice - email us using the contact link at the top of the page, talk to a live advisor or leave an offline message using the chat box to the left of the page, or call us using the number to the right of the page. We are here to help you get the best out of your holiday.