Lake Iseo (or Sebino, as the Romans called it) is the 7th largest lake in Italy, and it's one of the most charming and romantic. Although the area offers several tourist facilities that can satisfy any requirements of modern tourism, it has retained its traditional charme, and the simple, friendly atmosphere of family-run hotels and trattorias. Thanks to its position, the lake enjoys mild weather all over the year, and sports and nature lovers can choose among different activities to practice: paragliding, sailing, windsurfing, trekking, climbing. Torbiere del Sebino (the peat bogs), in the southern part of the lake, is a unique nature reserve in Europe: the 2 sqm area boasts several kinds of birds and in springtime the ponds are covered with thousands of waterlilies.
The Piramidi di Zone reserve is also an outstanding itinerary, with its rock pyramids created by water erosion. Monte Isola, the largest lake island in Europe, contributes to the magic of the lake. For those who are fond of art, the lake surroundings are ideal to discover real jewels: Romanesque churches and abbeys, castles, frescoes and extremely well preserved ancient town centres. Local cuisine is based on lake fish prepared in different ways: grilled, baked, pickled or stewed. The most famous dish is stewed tench with polenta.
The Lake Iseo is the perfect place for lovers of nature, and since long it is appreciated for its modern welcoming organization, that was talented to maintain undamaged the typical environmental attractions and the simple atmospheres of its small hotels and the many small restaurants facing on its coastline. Windsurf, sails and motorboats cross the lake and represent the easiest way to reach the small and fascinating islands of San Paolo and Loreto: these islands can be also admired (from a completely different prospective) by the many hang gliders, which have here the ideal conditions to enjoy. The green hills and the changing colours of the waters, deep and abundant of fish, define the borders of the lake and exalt the extraordinary presence of Montisola, which is the largest lake island in Europe and the real symbol of the Lake Iseo.
Who is not dreaming to possess an island?
Montisola is really a dream, for some reasons still tied up to old times, when the inhabitants of its typical villages handed down the traditions of fishing net manufacture and the construction of boats. Traditions which are still nowadays a pleasant attraction for the visitors, who are incredulous to hire a bicycle or a boat for the island visit instead of catching a bus: on the island, in fact, it is banned the car circulation. Pleasant strolls can be made among romantic small ports and well conserved old village centres, through narrow streets, climbing to the height of Montisola to the sanctuary of the Madonna della Cerinola.
The traditional hospitality together with a modern tourist organization are the main characteristics of all the villages boarding the Lake Iseo; but it is important to remember that Iseo is also an amusing place for the younger, represented by many swimming pools, the practising of windsurf, sailing and canoeing. Moreover, this lake is inserted in a context of great environmental and historical richness, offering opportunities of excursions among the beautiful hills and vineyards of Franciacorta (excellence area of quality sparkling wines) or to the mountains of the Camonica Valley.
On the Iseo lake we have 83 hotels, 214 restaurants, 73 pizza-restaurants, 114 bars, 2 discotheques, 25 campings, 5 holiday farms.