After my recent trip to Italy with Bookings for you
*, I conquered more than one wobble in my ever expanding list of fears (why does this get greater as we get older). I drove in Italy. Yes I know, no biggie to some. Huge huge biggie to me! I’m used to travelling around Italy
by road, but always with someone else behind the wheel. Last year, I clutched onto my ever expanding pregnant belly as Joe (my husband) navigated his way around the hair pin bends and ‘OH SWEET LORD
’ 100m drops of the hill turnings. Yet, I’d only ever experienced this as a passenger. Much less pressure eh? Well, although driving isn’t a necessity to explore Italy, is sure is one fun way to get around Lake Maggiore.
Here are my tips and tricks for transportation in this region:
1) Car Rental
Uh oh! The big taboo subject for me of car rental. After reading horror story after horror story of being stung by expensive rentals, damage fines and fuel charges I was petrified. Add to this the terrain of the mountains and my FIRST time driving on what I deem as ‘the wrong side of the road’ and I was definitely about to conquer a little fear of mine. I was mega chuffed, it was actually fine. We arrived quite late due to a delay and I had to drive at nighttime. Whilst there were hair pin bends and stomach flip moments, the majority of the drive was pretty smooth. I followed the car in front of me for ten minutes or so and felt much more comfortable. This is a super convenient way to explore and have freedom over your itinerary during your stay. TIP: take a video of your car hire at the beginning detailing any damage. Take up the option to pre pay your fuel is the fee isn’t too high. We did this and actually got a refund for the fuel we didn’t use.
2) Boat Crossings
I was pleasantly surprised by how easy the boat crossings were. A short walk along the front from our resort (Golfo Gabella
) we were met with a small ticket office and ferry terminal. We were visiting on a Sunday
morning and it was rather busy due to the Cannobio market, but it was easy! It cost us around 16 euros return (8 each) and is easily one of the best ways to explore new towns along the lake.
3) Private Boat Rental
I’m a HUGE speed boat lover. I think this is absolutely the best way to explore this stunning area and so so affordable. The 40. Hp boats don’t require a boating licence and can be picked up for around 80 euros an hour. Although, it’s wise to try negotiate some more time as we got 2 hours for 90 euros in Cannobio. You can navigate your way round the lake, stop for a dip and do as the locals do!
4) Bike Hire
I’m talking putting the peddle to the meddle! Charl & I rented Electric bikes from Golfo Gabella Resort during the day to get used to our surroundings. Whilst I’d biked in Lake Garda before, it was exhausting and tough work for a holiday go-Er. These nifty electric bikes are outstanding. Literally making every hill feel as though it’s flat land! I’ll be renting one of these again and going further afield next time. TIP: ensure you have a bike lock and key with you (the resort had these for us). It gives you the flexibility to lock up and dive in the lake if you find a spot that takes your fancy. Or if, like us, you’d like to stop for a coffee.
I couldn’t possibly suggest you walk to Lake Maggiore from the airport. However, the airport does have excellent links to the region. If you have a little spare time or if your landing timings are more prosperous than ours were, train would be a fantastic option to get around. TIP: Just don’t forget to scan your ticket before boarding the train or you can be met with a hefty fine.
What do you think to these options for exploring Lake Maggiore? Any that I’ve missed? Let me know if you’ve ever driven in another country too! Join my driving gang!
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*This post was written in collaboration with Bookings for You. Although my trip was covered by them, my words, opinions and love for Italy are my own!