Skiing on Lake Maggiore is surprisingly good! Whilst Lake Maggiore might not be the first option that comes to mind when you’re planning a skiing holiday, it offers several options for both the serious skiier and novice. A Winter holiday on Lake Maggiore also offers a low cost way of trying skiing for the first time. Or, it’s also a way to experience a less intense ski holiday, combining days on the slopes with days spent visiting the towns and villages round the lakeside. You’ll also be guaranteed some absolute wonderful lake views from the ski Lake Maggiore resorts.
On the Eastern banks of Lake Maggiore is Passo Forcora. This has a practice run with a button lift (about 300m long) as well as two longer runs with chair lift (about 1000 metres long). You can hire skis for a handful of euros. A half of full days ski pass (09.00 – 16.00) are both easily affordable too. Incidentally, there are special rates for children and under 5s go free. There is also a lovely chalet selling food and drinks – lunch comes highly recommended! And the hot chocolate (cioccolato con crema) is to die for! It’s a great place for anyone who loves skiing, but especially for beginner or novice skiers and children. For the really little ones, there is a separate area reserved for sledging.
Another great ski resort on Lake Maggiore is at Cardada above Locarno. You can take a funicular, cable car and chairlift all the way from the lakeside in Locarno to the ski slopes at Cardada. Once at the top, you’ll find absolutely spectacular views back down to the lake. Cardada boasts five pistes, the longest of which is 1.8 km. Four of the pistes are south facing so skiiers can enjoy the absolutely breathtaking lake views on their descent. Again, mountain restaurants serve traditional local cuisine. Cardada is the ideal place for beginners too. The Scuola Sci Cardada (Cardada Ski School) organises courses in skiing and snowboarding with experienced and qualified instructors, for people of all ages.
A third option for a spot of Lake Maggiore skiing are the slopes at Motterone above Stresa. Here there are twenty one runs (10 blue, 8 red and 3 black runs) across a 25 km area. Again, it’s especially suitable for beginners however there is a more technical track, known as the Alpe Courts, which starts from the top of Mottarone and winds for 2.5 km before arriving at a scenic area on the seven lakes. The resort also boasts a good snow-making system, able to cover 5 km of slopes. The ski resort can be reached by car. Again, there is a ski school with the opportunity to take lessons. These can be booked ahead online.
With Lake Maggiore both falling into Italy as well as Switzerland, you have the well-known Swiss ski resorts of Airolo, St Bernadino, Maccugnaga, Domobianca, the Aosta valley (Pila), Alagna and St Moritz all within easy reach of the lake.