Lake Orta is an intimate destination tucked beneath an awning of thick green woodlands and offers an atmosphere of romance in northern Italy. Located in the westernmost of the Italian lakes and far smaller than its neighbour, Lake Maggiore, the lake provides serenity and escapism. Nearby the village of Orta San Giulio also provides an ambient journey into the medieval era.
Lake Orta is the least visited of all the northern Lakes and its specific sights are delightfully quiet. While some people prefer Como and Maggiore due to their abundance of attractions, Lake Orta is beloved for its tranquil and scenic splendour. The eastern bank offers glorious views across the lake towards the mountains, while the road along the western side winds through hills and remote villages. Orta San Giulio is the lakeside focal point and is as charming a destination as any in northern Italy.
Lake Orta is relatively small, and it's possible to drive all the way around it in half a day. Hiring a car is the easiest way to explore the area, especially anywhere along the west of the lake. Milan Malpensa Airport is just 38 kilometres from the lake, but it can take up to two hours to travel from here to Orta San Giulio by public transport.Taxis provide a much quicker option.
A popular day trip, Monte Mottarone rises to the east of Lake Orta, providing a pleasant drive and hike to the summit. The whole region extends from here, with Lake Maggiore to one side and Lake Orta to the other.