A trip to charming lake Orta, a detour to the alps by the Swiss boarder, and on to Lago Maggiore. Enjoying trecking and great views of the lakes.
Hotel Giardinetto, lago Orta
We arrived at Malpensa airport, and drove to Pettenasco, on the east side of Lago Orta. Accomodation at Hotel Giardinetto. The hotel is a sweet place right by te lake, withe a pool and a great lakeside restaurant. We had a small room with a terrace with a lake view. (53 minute drive from Malpensa to Orta San Giulia.)
Hotel Giardinetto (photo above) is 2 km from Orta San Giulia, the most attractive little town on the lake.
Orta San Giulia
No wonder they arrange hundreds of weddings in this pretty town every year.
Great restaurant in Orta San Giulia
In Orta San Giulia we had a great dinner at: La Locanda del Buon Riso (photo below), Via Albertoletti Caire 13 (Salita della Motta). The prusciotto crudo and melon starter is the best I have ever had in Italy.
A walk above the eastern bank of lago Orta
We drove to Agrano, a small town above lago Orta. (Short walk # 10, p. 58). An easy walk that is a real gem! A beautiful river cascades into sparkling pools - perfect for a cooling dip (photos below).
A walk on the western bank
We did a nice walk in the hills above the west bank of lago Orta with great views of the lake.
Crepe for lunch in Pella
Our walk ended up in the lakeside town Pella where we had really good crepes with cheese and prusciotto cotto for lunch, at a small gelateria/cafe (photo below).
In the alps - Valsesia - close to the Swiss boarder
We drove to Alagna (photo below) in the Valsesia in the alps west of lago Orta. The Valsesia is the valley with traditional wood and stone buildings, Walser villages. Alagna is mainly a winter sport resort beyond the Monte Rosa. It is near the head of the Valsesia valley. It has a cable car, the Funivia dell'Indren, which is well worth riding for the out-of-this-world views from its upper station at 3,260 m. Numerous summer hikes are possible from here, and from Alagna itself. (more demanding climbs to the ring om mountain refuges below Monte Rosa. Experienced and properly equipped hikers can reach the Rifugio Margherita at 4,559 m, Europe's highest mountain refuge.)
We stayed at Hotel Indren hus, but I would not stay there again it.
Trekking from Alagna:
The weather was bad with rain and fog; thus we settled for Trail no 6. L'alpe Pile in Parco Naturale Alta Valsesia. This is a 45-minute stroll to the Alpine meadows of the Alpe Pile, to Refuge “G.Pastore”, (photo below) that has rooms, a bar, restaurant and bathrooms
I would have liked to go trecking from one refugio to the next, in this area. In clear conditions it must be spectacular.
Trail n°6 starts immediately after the chapel S.Antonio, about 4km from Alagna. At the start the mule track winds up a level stretch of terrain, and just before reaching Alpe In d'Stigu, it becomes a long staircase of 350 steps, the end of which opens widely onto the meadows of Alpe Pile (1575 m) with a spectacular view of the Valsesian walls of Monte Rosa.
Unfortunately, we did not get to see the view due to the bad weather. (photos below). But it was still pretty.
On our way up to Alpe Pile we stumbled upon a herd of sheep with their shepherd.
Maybe next time we'll reach the top - the highest hut in Europe:
Trail no 3. Val d'Otro: The easy walk (allow 60 min) in the Val D'Otro south of the village. http://www.alagna.it/home.php?sid=115&n=The-Otro-Valley
Note to self: Dette hotellet, Alberi Liberi, får utrolig bra omtale både på TA og Booking, men det ligger i Riva Valdobbia og man må kjøre 5 min til Alagna for restaurant: http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/tre-alberi-liberi.no.html?sid=98c25a97538cd50fa42edd9ee16729ee;dcid=1;srfid=d8935bd02a620b46e08421498f3b0d1556e62ba9X8#hash-blockdisplay1
Lago Maggiore - west bank
We stayed in Cannero Riviera on Lago Maggiore. This is a quiet and attractive lake side town, renowned for its mild winters and Meditarranian vegetation, hence the name Riviera (photo below).
Walk from Cannero to Cannobio
We took a walk through the hills from one pretty lakeside town to the the next.
Walk 2 (p. 35 in Sunflower guide book: Italian lakes. Walks and car tours)
Walk 6 (Cicerone guide. p. 59. Walking the Italian lakes). A walk through villages above Cannero Riviera)
Walk 7 (Cicerone guide. p. 63. Walking the Italian lakes). The Cannero-Cannobio traverse
Cannobio is an attractive little town north of Cannero (photos below).
Hotel in Cannero
We stayed at both Park hotel and hotel Cannero Riviera. When I go back I will return to Park hotel and get a lakeside room with a balcony.
We took the ferry from Cannero, travelling south to Stresa. Photo below: Verbania, with its duomo.
From the boat: Isola Bella and Isola Madre, islands in lago Maggiore (photos below):
I will definetly return to hotel park in Cannero, and to hotel Giardinetto in lago Orta. There are a lot of attractive places from the southern shore of Maggiore to Stresa. Stresa is too busy with tourists, but Verbiana is a nice town.
Cannero Riviera to Malpensa airport: 1 hour and 7 min. Arrividerci!