Top 10 spots to visit on Lake Iseo, in all seasons

Nature, sport, art, culture, events, shopping, good food and great wine. Where can you find it all? On Lake Iseo of course, just one hour drive from Milan, in the beautiful lake region of Italy.

Would you like to know the best places to go?

Read on and discover 10 top tips for experiencing Lake Iseo all year round.



Tour of Lake Iseo

We begin with an enjoyable trip around the lake: 65 km of beautiful roads discovering quaint villages and panoramic views. Travel by car takes less than two hours and by bike between three and four hours. In Summertime you may also travel around the lake by ferry, for another perspective, for this you should take half a day.

All year round it’s possible to visit Monte Isola and from there you can view from afar the two other smaller islands of Lake Iseo, which are private and closed to visitors.


Monte Isola, do not miss it!

Monte Isola, the largest inhabited island of European lakes: full of colourful boats, narrow alleys, steep stairways, stone villages. The lakefront is filled with quintessential shops and restaurants, the aroma of gelato and coffee draws you in. Walk among the olive trees and in the woods, until you reach the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Ceriola, up there, have your camera ready for the most amazing panoramic shot.

Interesting point: in 2016 the island was the protagonist of the work of art by the artist Christo named ‘The Floating Piers’, which had over one and a half million visitors in just 16 days. Can you imagine it?

Full of ancient stories and traditions, maintaining crafts of the past, a place sure to win you over.


Lovere, one of "The most beautiful villages in Italy"

Lovere has been listed as one of The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy since 2003. The welcoming historic center, artistic heritage, elegant buildings and a stunning lakefront with squares and cafes are well worth a visit.

For a real treat, do not miss the fifteenth-century Basilica of S. Maria in Valvendra, the view of the town from the Civic Tower, and the collection of the Galleria dell’Accademia Tadini, with works by Canova (open from April to October).


Iseo, Sarnico and Pisogne

Along with Lovere, Iseo Sarnico and Pisogne represent the main towns of Lake Iseo.

Iseo, the tourist capital of the lake, still has the structure of a medieval village with alleys and tower houses. Worth seeing are the Pieve di Sant’Andrea, the Church of Santa Maria del Mercato and Piazza Garibaldi, where the life of the town is concentrated and where the largest open-air market in the entire area takes place every Friday morning. It’s truly not to be missed! A lively shopping and tourist area, it stands out for its elegant boutiques, numerous restaurants and lots on offer for sports enthusiasts.

On the southern shore of the lake, you will find Sarnico. A town full of life, very popular for walks along the lakefront and as you wander through the characteristic alleys in the historic center you will discover shops of all varieties. An interesting fact: Sarnico is also the birthplace of the Riva shipyards and hosts some of the elegant Liberty villas of the architect Sommaruga, which can be visited during events.

Pisogne, on the other hand, is the last town on the northeastern shore of the lake and is the meeting point between the lake and the mountains. The quaint old town is made up of narrow streets and ancient pastel-coloured buildings, town square filled bars and restaurants, a perfect spot to enjoy the sunset. The lakefront here is long and very beautiful, a perfect place for a walk with children, or if travelling alone you are sure to feel very safe here. You must visit the Bishop’s Tower, the Parish Church of Santa Maria in Silvis (only during mass) and the Church of Santa Maria della Neve, with a remarkable number of frescoes by the Brescian Renaissance painter Girolamo Romanino.


Ancient Valeriana road

If you love trekking this is one you simply must do! Today, this has proven to be the most popular itinerary on Lake Iseo. The pathway is marked with unmistakable yellow and brown V’s, it winds around the eastern part of the lake between Pilzone d’Iseo and Pisogne and is just over 24 km long.

Olive groves, meadows, woods, churches and small villages: nothing is missing in this itinerary in nature where the view of the lake is unparalleled.


The Gorges, as if from a James Bond movie

To see them, you must drive along the western road of Lake Iseo, preferably from north to south, and once you’ve passed Lovere, halfway between Castro and Riva di Solto, you’ll find yourself in a scene straight out of 007. Imposing vertical slabs overlooking the lake: you’ve arrived! The spectacle of the gorges is before and above you. Stop at Bogn di Zorzino: the inlet, the sheer cliffs and the crystal-clear water that laps against the small pebble beach deserve a special moment, capture a photo, or even two!


Zone: the erosion pyramids and other wonders of nature

Some people call them fairy chimneys because of the magic and wonder that this place evokes. We are talking about the Zone erosion pyramids, a geological phenomenon that has allowed the formation of earth spires protected by large boulders. A nature reserve to be admired, but also you can experience it up close by venturing down the steep path.

Zone is also the starting point for many other paths, among which we recommend the ascent to Monte Guglielmo and Corna Trentapassi.


Vello-Toline: walk or cycle

To the north of the lake, on the eastern shore between Marone and Pisogne, what was once a historic stretch of lake road is now a beautiful cycle/pedestrian path.

5 km for young and old, sportsmen and women alike, who want to enjoy a pleasant, safe and always windy walk along the lake. Here you don’t need any suggestions: the photo opportunities are endless!


The Big Benches, the ideal place for selfies

Chris Bangle‘s invitation to his Big Bench Community to create giant benches in beautiful locations has been well received on Lake Iseo and in Franciacorta.

Seven benches have been installed, each of a different colour, accessible via paths of varying difficulty, but for the most part accessible to everyone, including families with small children.

You certainly can’t miss them! On Lake Iseo we also organise aperitifs 😉


The Natural Reserve Sebino and ever enchanting Franciacorta region

In Franciacorta, between the lake and the vineyards, there is a natural oasis, where it is appropriate to say: Be quiet, Let Nature talk.

The Torbiere del Sebino Nature Reserve is a small paradise where numerous species of birds nest, and you can observe them as you walk along the paths and wooden walkways through the reeds and pools of water. The shortest loop is 4 km, a total of 9 km. At the beginning or end of your walk, we recommend a stop at the Monastery of San Pietro in Lamosa in Provaglio d’Iseo: there, volunteers will recount the story of how it all began, amidst history and legends.

At the edge of the reserve, there is a whole world to explore, perhaps on foot or by bicycle, along paths that can lead you to a wine tasting in the winery, giving you a new lease of life! You are in Franciacorta after all: raise your glass!