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Exploring Lake Iseo Italy with kids

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Lake Iseo is a hidden gem in the Italian Lake District which stretches across Northern Italy. It is less well known than its famous neighbours Lakes Come, Garda and Maggiore but it offers no less spectacular sceneries and unique landscapes. Plus, it delivers a tranquil (almost tourist free) experience and that alone makes it stand out. How to discover the best things to do at Lake Iseo? The easiest way to explore the lake is to travel by car.  The travel time from Bergamo, home of Milan Bergamo Airport, Orio al Serio Airport (BGY), to our first stop – Panchina Gigante 74 – is approx. 50min.



Lake Iseo hiking

Have you ever heard of a big bench? The Big Bench Community Project is a project born in 2009, thanks to the American designer Chris Bangle, who decided to build large benches in the Langhe region (Piedmont) to support the local community and tourism... Over the years, the project grew bigger and expanded all over Italy.

When you visit Lake Iseo, one of the main things you want to check out would be Panchina Gigante 74. This is a wonderful place at the top of the hill where you get to see the beauty of the lake in all of its glory.  

There are a couple of on-street parking spaces near the hiking trail that leads to the Big Bench. If none of them is available, then look for a parking down the hill near the church. It will take longer to climb up though. The hiking trail itself is low attitude and easy even for kids, it is not suitable for prams. No special hiking gear required. 

It did take us around 20 min to reach the viewpoint, but it was a fun experience especially for our 4 y/o daughter.   

TIP: There are big stones on the way where kids can rest their legs for a few minutes.

When you reach the top, you are reworded with stunning views. You can sit on the Panchina Gigante and enjoy these views “as if you were a child again”.

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Piramidi di Terra di Zone (Iseo Lake Italy)

After Panchina Gigante 74, we went on to the Piramidi di Terra di Zone (Pyramids of the Earth in Zona). It’s a natural reserve where you can see various stones shaped in the form of pyramids. They are authentic natural sculptures up to 30 meters high and formed by erosion, an unusual feature for alpine lake environments. To better understand this phenomenon, there is a circular hiking trail in the reserve that lasts about an hour and has specific information points that tell you about the best pyramids in the area. The hiking trail is steep and can be challenging in places but it’s a very cool location, and the great thing is that it also oversees the lake too.

TIP: If your children are having trouble on this trail, find a wooden stick on the ground and give it to them. Not only does using a stick provide support instead of a hiking pole and can help your child move forward, but playing with sticks comes naturally to most kids, it also improves their fine and gross motor skills.


There is a large free car park and a café with playground. I recommend trying their hot chocolate. This is real chocolate (not chocolate powder). TIP: Both the playground and the hot chocolate can be used as a reward for completing the trail.

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Monte Isola

The trip to Lake Iseo is not complete without a boat trip to Monte Isola, the largest inhabited lake island in Europe. The service from Sulzano runs around the clock, even in winter. In the summer there is also a direct service from Iseo. 

If you have more than 1 day to visit the area, I recommend spending a full day on the island. It is almost traffic free, motorcycles may only be used by residents, and only a few regular minibuses are allowed to drive around the island.

Peschiera Maraglio, Carzano and Novale are just some of the attractions of the centuries-old Isola mountain. These picturesque villages were once inhabited by fishermen. Even today they remain their unique charm, surrounded by Lake Iseo, forests and olive groves.

If you want to do some sports like hiking or cycling, you are in good hands here. There are hiking and cycling routes of varying degrees of difficulty. Cycling is a great way to escape the crowds and explore the island's remote areas.

The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Ceriola is not to be missed. You can get there on foot or by minibus from anywhere on the island. The sanctuary offers unique 360-degree views of the lake.

Despite being in a remote part of Italy, the peace and tranquillity of Lake Iseo is amazing and well worth a visit! We definitely would recommend everyone to check it out.

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SULZANO: There is a playground next to the ticket office with a great view of the island where the kids can have some fun while waiting for the boat.

Follow our family travel adventures for more tips and recommendations. 

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Iseo Lake Experience

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Archeopark in Boario Terme

Archeopark is a family-friendly museum that takes you on a journey through early human history. 

Visitors can experience ritual walks in the stone labyrinth, cross a lake in the dugout canoe, explore Paleolithic to Iron Age villages, and engage in interactive activities such as archery, lighting a fire or baking bread. There are also many educational workshops, guided tours and other activities to help you learn more about how our ancestors lived.

At Archeopark, families will be sure to have a memorable experience exploring the past together!

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Top rated: Hotel Lovere Resort & Spa 4* check reviews here

Luxury: Cocca Hotel Royal Thai Spa 4* check reviews here

Great value: Ambra Hotel Iseo 3* check reviews here

B&B: B&B Il Centrale check reviews here

Agriturismo: Agriturismo Gesi check reviews here

Hotels in Lake Iseo

Camping: Camping Del Sole Village check reviews here

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