I can’t believe that after four years of living here we are still finding hidden gems that we’ve never heard of in Italy (within driving distance!). We’ve explored quite a lot of the Italian lakes region but somehow hadn’t heard of this charming little lake. Lake Iseo is located in Lombardy, in northern Italy, and it’s situated between the more famous Lake Garda and Lake Como. It is much smaller than its neighbors, but its lack of fame makes it much quieter and less touristy as well. Surrounded by mountains, the scenery is stunning and you can easily spend a few days here enjoying the Italian charm.
\ \ Stay \ \
We found a gem of a place to stay and would highly recommend it, particularly for families. This is not sponsored, just a positive review from a pleased family! Costa Verde Natura in Clusane sul Lago features self catering apartments along with a pool, children’s pool, playground, and onsite bar. The best feature of the property is that it is set on a little nature preserve where lots of birds live and it also has lake access with free use of the property’s paddle boats and kayaks. We also really appreciated the free use of bikes including kids bikes and bikes with baby seats! There is a wonderful bike path along the lake so it’s a perfect way to explore the nearby area.
\ \ Explore \ \
1) Monte Isola
The one thing you can’t miss on a trip to Lago d’Iseo is a ferry ride to Monte Isola, the island in the middle of the lake. There are about 1,800 people who live on this car free little island and you can either rent bikes or walk around to explore.
2) Spend some time on the lake
Whether swimming, kayaking, or paddle boating, the lake is gorgeous and too inviting to resist spending some time on! If you’re in the mood for some swimming, you can hit the little grassy beach of La Spiaggetta.
3) Explore the small lakeside villages
We really enjoyed exploring some of the towns, especially by bike! These towns feel much less touristic than some of the neighboring Italian lake towns…in fact, I’m not sure if we heard any English spoken the entire time we were there. It’s nice for an authentic Italian experience.
4) Eat/ Mangia!!!
Of course no trip to Italy is complete without sampling the delicious Italian fare and the food in this region is certainly worth sampling. The area is known for their lake fish, tinca, and for the tasty sparkling wine, franciocorta.
We are so pleased to have discovered another of Italy’s little hidden gems and hope you will check it out too! You could easily pair this with another trip to nearby Milan, Bergamo, or Lake Como. I’ve attached links to the latter two for more travel inspiration. Happy travels!