The Lake at Your Feet - Windermere or Lago Maggiore?
Both of these magnificent lakes are considered part of the Great European Lakes (which also includes Lake Como and Lake of Geneva).
Members of the Hapimag Community have exclusive access to stunning accommodation in each of these incredible locations and we were lucky enough to be shown a peek at both so we asked ourselves the question – Windermere or Maggiore?
Windermere - Victorian Heritage
Windermere is the largest natural lake in England. Shaped like a ribbon it is formed in a glacial trough, contains 18 islands and is approx 18km long with a maximum depth of 66m.
It has many famous associations especially with literature, being the inspiration behind the setting of Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons” and of course the Beatrix Potter children’s books of Peter Rabbit – Potter spent many family holidays in the Lake District.
Windermere was also the scene of the world water speed record back in June 1930, when Sir Henry Seagrave broke it by reaching a new average speed of 158.94 km/h. Tragically the attempt also ended his life. Several more world water speed records were set on Windermere during the 1950’s.
The holiday apartments in the Hapimag Resort Bowness-on-Windermere, built in the local cottage style, are located near the lake. Here you can discover the breathtaking lake scenery and the gentle hills of the Lake District National Park on long walks and hikes through unspoilt natural countryside.
Experience the glistening, deep-blue lake at all times of day, wander through great fields, breathe in the pure air and the fragrance of damp grass and moss. On the magnificent greens of the local golf courses, playing golf is a special pleasure.
If you want things more leisurely, you can go on boat trips on the numerous lakes, or take a trip on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite steam railway, and you will feel like you’re back in the good old days of Queen Victoria – an unforgettable experience for young and old.
The influence of that period lives on in the picturesque little town of Bowness, where in the evening you can go for a leisurely stroll and taste local specialities, such as Cumberland sausages and sticky toffee pudding. Then wind down the day over a pint of real ale in a cosy pub.
Lago Maggiore - Romance of the Riveria
Lake Maggiore is substantially bigger than Windermere, stretching across both Switzerland and Italy. It is also much deeper with its bottom almost everywhere below sea level, and its deepest point and incredible 372 metres! It is however a long and winding lake, so although vast in quantity of water there are few points when much of it can be seen which lessens the overwhelming effects of its great size.
Its enormous length means it is home to 42 lakeside towns and villages and it also has 11 island ‘collections’ within it. Lake Maggiore also has literary connections, featuring in American writer Ernest Hemingways novel ‘A Farewell to Arms’.
The Hapimag holiday apartments are located in the Italian town of Cannero in the tranquil northern part of the lake. Stroll along the lakeside, breathe in the mild air and try out the famous Bonet chocolate pudding. Relax on a lounger with an interesting book and feel the sun on your skin, with the faint scent of citrus and Mediterranean blossoms in the air.
Villages are dotted around the surrounding hilly landscape, a feature typical of this region of Italy. A boat trip brings visitors to one of the famous weekly markets in Luino, Cannobio or Verbania.
The view from the water to the mountain world on the horizon with its flower-saturated meadows and picturesque villages hugging the lakeside is unforgettable. In the warm season, Lake Maggiore provides the opportunity for activities such as canoeing, pedalo riding and water-skiing.
Even wine connoisseurs will be spoilt for choice. Visit a wine cellar and sample renowned vintages from Piedmont such as Barolo or Barbaresco.
So Windermere or Maggiore? With so much beauty to view in both locations its likely that both will satisfy lovers of lake holidays. The climate will no doubt be a factor of when you visit. The summers in this part of Italy can be semi-tropical with temperatures high into the 90’s. Winters in the Lake district definitely lend themselves to seasonal festivities. Both areas can receive high rainfall so take your umbrella but spring in either is a glorious time to spend by the waterside.
Of course the answer will be different for each of us, depending on time of year and what kind of activities you are looking for, but there is no doubt that lakeside living offers incredible opportunities for leisure and relaxation.
Members of the Hapimag Holiday Community can stay in top quality accommodation at either of these resorts, along with approx 60 other top locations around Europe. Find out more about Hapimag here.
Image credits, Hapimag AG