Introducing Lake Iseo & Around
Less than 100km from both Bergamo and Brescia, Lago d’Iseo is the least-known of the lakes. Shut in by mountains, the lake’s eastern shore is comprised mainly of tunnels, but the western shore offers an extraordinarily beautiful drive through the narrow rock overhangs (beep your horn before you round the blind bends).
Approaching Lago d’Iseo from the southwest brings you to Sarnico (population 5880), with its lovely Liberty villas and a smattering of hotels and restaurants.
At the lake’s southeastern edge, the main town, Iseo (population 8380), is a pleasant enough spot, though there are few sights, other than a 2-sq-km protected wetland, formed from 18th-century peat beds. In late spring the pools are smothered in water lilies. Iseo’s tourist office (
From Iseo you can catch a boat to Monte Isola (www.monteisola.com), Europe’s largest lake island, at 5 sq km. Only the doctor, police and the priest are allowed to drive on the island, making its little fishing village a peaceful retreat. You can walk or bike the 15km-long trail that encircles the island, and pitch up at its simple campground Campeggio Monte Isola (
The Franciacorta – a patch of rolling countryside synonymous with its renowned wines – spills around the lake shore as you head north.
Perched on the lake’s northwestern tip, the port town of Lovere (population 5430) is a gem, with a working harbour and a wealth of walking trails nearby. Its cobbled old town curves around the harbour, shadowed by a leafy lakefront promenade. On the hill at the western end of the harbour is the lake’s hostel, Ostello del Porto (
North of Lago d’Iseo, the Valle Camonica weaves its way to the vast Parco dell’Adamello and, further north, to the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio . The area borders Trentino-Alto Adige and takes in the better parts of the Lombard Alps. The two national parks offer many walks and are dotted with Alpine huts where you can rest up.
About halfway between Darfo and Edolo, the Parco Nazionale delle Incisioni Rupestri (
The area north of Edolo offers some reasonable winter skiing, particularly near Ponte di Legno, at the northern end of the valley, and the nearby Passo del Tonale. Brescia’s tourist office stocks plenty of walking, camping and mountain-hut information. In the valley there are tourist offices at Darfo Boario Terme (