The best lidos and lake spots on the Swiss-Italian lakes

August, 15 2019 ( Updated May, 03 2022)

Whether you’re having some family fun on Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda, Lake Como, or Lake Lugano, the best lidos and beaches can be enjoyed on all the famous Swiss-Italian lakes:

Swim at the magnificent Lake Maggiore

With the clear lake waters of this magical lake reaching 20-22°c in July and August, Lake Maggiore boasts a fantastic range of lake beaches, as well as lidos to spoil couples, groups, and families alike. A host of inviting beaches are scattered at pleasing intervals along the shoreline. Many beaches can be reached easily by car, with the largest offering on-site car parking.

Such is the case at Maccagno’s lake beach - a popular tourist attraction. With its lakeside restaurants, pedalo, canoe, and boat hire services featuring alongside a kids’ play area, volleyball courts, and even skateboard ramps, ultimate family fun is guaranteed! Ispra’s own lido beach and Arolo beach further along the shore in Leggiuno both provide a welcoming vibe for holidaymakers and skinny dippers at Lake Maggiore.

People relaxing and sunbathing on a beach made of grass on Lake MaggioreRelax at the lidos of Lake Maggiore 

On the opposite side of Lake Maggiore, Cannobio beach is a family holiday destination, with pedalo hire and water sports featuring alongside a pleasing grassy park with picnic tables, a kids’ play area, and a lake beach. In nearby Stresa, visitors can soak up the smaller Lido di Baveno. With on-site water sports facilities, this popular little idyll provides the perfect spot for sunbathing and splashing around (please note that similar to Cannobio beach, sun loungers, chairs and parasols will incur a small hire charge).

Lake Maggiore boasts some spectacular lidos too! Arguably the best on the lakes are the lidos in Ascona and Locarno, where you will fall in love with Lake Maggiore’s beauty as you relax after a refreshing swim. 

Ascona lido offers an inclusive option for larger groups and families. A kids’ play area, volleyball courts, and water slides complement the spacious grassy area and sandy beach, making it perfect for classic summertime family fun.

If you’re hungry for more, then the modern Locarno lido takes water-based fun to another level! With well-being facilities, a gym, and an Olympic size swimming pool alongside indoor and outdoor pools and a pool with special water effects, kids and grown-ups alike will have a fantastic day at Lake Maggiore! A lake view café also provides the perfect spot for savouring a morning breakfast, a lunchtime snack, or an evening meal at sunset.

Lake Maggiore also boasts proximity to Aquadventure Park, an oasis of family-friendly amusement and a major tourist attraction in summers! With 3 waterslides, 3 pools and 2 beach areas to soak up (one of which is free) the park is a popular tourist attraction. 

Swimming and relaxing at Lake Garda

If you’re exploring the resorts of Lake Garda, you'll be happy to hear there are plenty of great spots to swim as well as a number of lake beaches to soak up that make it one of the best Italian lakes for swimming.

Father and son about to swim in Lake Garda with mountain viewsDive into Lake Garda or go windsurfing

Bracco Baldo beach in Peschiera del Garda promises a beautiful laid-back haven for pooches and their humans! The dog-friendly setting invites visitors to take a refreshing swim in Lake Garda, whilst the pebble beach tempts many to relax and unwind on a sunbed.
It is worth mentioning that whilst dogs are free to swim and play, they must be kept on a leash when near the sunbeds on the main beach. The delightful, rustic beach is ideal for those looking to bring some snacks or a picnic along for classic family fun, as currently there is no on-site shop or café.

When in Sirmione, the best lake beach to swim at Lake Garda has to be the beautiful Jamaica Beach, with its crystal-clear waters lapping the rocks and tempting beach bar. Those staying along the northern tip of Lake Garda can immerse themselves in a relaxed beach day at Sabbioni beach in Riva del Garda -  a perfect city to enjoy some top-class dining and also do activities even in the unpredictable April showers.

If you’re in search of something more organized, then the lidos of Mirabello beach and Lido Palace will certainly appeal. The lido is home to a luxury spa too, whilst Mirabello beach provides everything you need for enjoying a beach day by the lake, with an on-site beach restaurant.

Lake Como and its swimming spots

Once you’ve taken in the beauty of Lake Como’s villas, gardens, and various characteristic villages, the best way to cool down is to let the lake waters lap against your feet. Lake Como offers a super range of lidos, alongside more relaxed (but no less scenic) options that make Lake Como one of the best Italian lakes for families.

The luxe Lido di Lenno provides an intimate feeling, pristine sandy lake beach, with crystal waters and day beds accompanying the fashionable bar and restaurant, perfect for after-swim sessions in Lake Como. With the Villa Balbianello water taxi pontoon, you’ll also be able to hop off and hop into the water!

Beautiful lake view from Villa Balbaniello on Lake Como with red flowers and a statue of a womanA stunning view of Lake Como from Villa Balbianello

As the sun sets, Lido di Lenno becomes a popular destination for the Milanese to enjoy some cocktails and drinks. This can be said for the equally appealing Lido di Bellagio, on the central peninsula of Lake Como. This lido is larger in size and offers a pool, as well as more space to people watch and be seen.

Family fun also awaits at the varied amusements on offer at the Lido di Menaggio. This large modern lido features an outdoor pool, a kid's outdoor pool and a sandy lake beach, accompanied by a grassy space, a kid’s play area, a volleyball court and a cocktail terrace with DJ music.

Along the Tremezzina shore, the Lido di Cadenabbia offers a strategic setting in between the top tourist attractions of the villa, the central lake ferry stop and the pretty resort towns of Menaggio and Tremezzo. The outdoor pool and stylish restaurant will invite you to while away a morning and afternoon between sightseeing trips. The central part of Lake Como also offers some low-key swimming spots, such as the grassy Lido di Ossuccio (a relaxed family-friendly swimming spot, with picnic tables) and the public shingle beach at Lierna.

If you’re in the south of Lake Como, then the memorable setting of Lido Villa Olmo is a superb choice when looking to relax and unwind. The lido offers 2 outdoor pools alongside a grassy park, a sandy lake beach with swimming areas and a host of family facilities, as well as a popular beach bar. All set against the unforgettable backdrop of Villa Olmo and the pleasing, passing seaplanes of Aero Club Como.

A Swiss lake with an Italian taste, Lake Lugano

If you’re staying in the Swiss city of Lugano, then a trip to the city’s lido is a must, especially for those who are itching for a swim at Lake Lugano!

So, whether it’s to maximize your time off during a business trip or to relax with your family, Lugano Lido offers the perfect antidote to a day out in the city. With its family pool, kid’s pool, and an Olympic size pool, the all-weather lido also offers lake access and plays host to water sports events and competitions.

If you are looking for lake swimming spots near Lugano, along the 'Olive Trail', is the Lido San Domenico. This relaxed, lakeside lido provides the perfect spot for enjoying a refreshing lake swim in the sunshine. The Lido in Melide also offers a fantastic spot for enjoying a swim at this Swiss lake.

Valle Verzasca in Ticino Switzerland where people swim and dive from a scenic bridgeValle Verzasca, known as “Maldives of Switzerland” for its crystal-clear waters

When the summer is hot and in full swing, the famous beauty of Valle Verzasca will appeal to grown-ups in search of a gorgeous swimming spot. Home to the iconic Goldeneye dam and idyllic mountains, the flowing clear waters of the Maggia river provide a scenic backdrop. (Please note the current can be particularly strong, whilst the temperature can be icy at certain times of the year). Nearby, families can enjoy the river swimming spot at Valle Maggia, with its sandy beach and shallow ‘paddle-friendly’ waters.

Before dipping into the Swiss-Italian lakes for a swim, take a look at our holiday homes in Switzerland and Italy

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