Spend a day at Lake Iseo

If you want to immerse yourself in Italian villages, Lake Iseo, just one hour from Milan, is your destination. The green of the mountains is reflected in the water of the lake. The Queen, Monte Isola in the centre and the astounding beauty of this area will truly amaze you.

If you are planning a trip, here are five ideas for an unforgettable day.

The great classics

They say that the great classics never die. So, our first proposal to you is the combination of Monte Isola – Franciacorta. Monte Isola is the jewel of Lake Iseo, what you might call an essential place to experience. The largest inhabited lake island in Europe and one of the most beautiful villages in Italy can be reached by regular boat services. After enjoying the view of the lake from the boat, you will disembark on this fascinating microcosm, which still preserves the traditions and sensations of fishing villages. The best way to experience it is to walk around and visit some of the 12 small towns, tasting the local delicacies as you go.


Upon your return to the mainland, continue your wine and food experience at one of the wineries in the renowned Franciacorta region (reservations are required). The wineries organise the classic guided tours of the production areas, followed by tastings, not to mention the picnics among the vineyards, sensory walks and much more.


A stroll through the villages

Two towns on Lake Iseo have been included in the club of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy“. The first, which we mentioned in the previous paragraph, is Monte Isola, a marvel in the eyes of visitors. It is the perfect embodiment of the Italian lifestyle of the islands, with its slow pace, colourful houses, aromas of cuisine and the inhabitants’ scooters. It is an excellent destination both for the customary relaxing ‘Olive Walk’ between Peschiera Maraglio and Sensole and for venturing out on trekking trails to its summit.


The second village is Lovere, half an hour’s drive from Bergamo, with its characteristic mediaeval structure and elegant buildings that enhance its beauty. Strolling through the historic centre, don’t forget to take a little peek inside the Basilica of Santa Maria in Valvendra: you’ll be impressed. And if you’re passionate about Art, the Galleria dell’Accademia di belle Arti Tadini (Tadini Academy of Fine Arts Gallery) is of great historical and artistic interest, the oldest museum in Lombardy dating back to the 19th century.


The two villages can also be visited with a tour guide or with a personal driver.


By bicycle

Are you a bike lover? On Lake Iseo you will find routes of all kinds: on the flat, on dirt roads, in hairpin bends and on high ground. The eastern shore of the lake is completely delineated by the Oglio Cycle Route, which begins at the Tonale Pass and ends in the Po Valley. Along the route, the scenic Vello-Toline cycle path certainly stands out, which is also suitable for children.

Another suggestion for reaching Lake Iseo by bike is the Brescia-Paratico route, starting from the magnificent historic centre of our provincial capital. For the return journey, it may be convenient to take the train back from Iseo.

If, on the other hand, you are well-trained or use an electric bike, many itineraries can be done during the day, allowing you to reach the higher areas around the lake. Zone, Vigolo, Fonteno and Colli S. Fermo, among others, will surprise you with unique views.


Take a look at the tours accompanied by certified mountain bike guides, both on these routes and in the more remote wilder areas of Franciacorta, with stops and tastings in wine cellars.


A day's walking

How about a day of walking suspended between the lake and the mountains? Well, we have the perfect route just for you!

It’s called the “Antica Strada Valeriana” (The ancient Valerian road) because in ancient times it was the only way to connect the city of Brescia and the Valle Camonica. Can you imagine it full of nomads, donkeys laden with goods, inns for sheltering animals, travellers’ stopover points, and votive shrines Recovered for tourism purposes, it is now the most popular walk on Lake Iseo: a real path. It runs along the eastern shore of the lake, between Pilzone d’Iseo and Pisogne, and is 23 km long and is normally done in sections. But with a day at your disposal, you can easily do the whole thing! Don’t worry: you can come back by train 😉