Lake Como Rambling

tours / Other

Lake Como Rambling information and booking

from
$1320
  • Duration
    8 days
    Days
  • Group size
    1-15
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    moderate
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 7 nights hotels

Highlights

  • The Chic and Charm of ‘Bellisimo’ Villages
  • Classic Alpine Scenery
  • Lakeside and Mountain trails

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Lake Como is a gorgeous blue watery ribbon carved between the adjacent mountains, for a length of 46 km, during the last ice age by powerful glaciers. It has an average depth of 154 m but at its deepest dives to 410 m. It branches into two legs at a junction between the attractive villages of Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio on opposing lakeshores. At the end of the western limb of the lake is the attractive city of Como, which is the starting point of this tour. The area was no secret to the Romans who once built villas along its length, and many of the wealthy came to retire by the lake. Many of these villas have admirable gardens which benefit from the mild climate induced by the stabilising presence of 22.5 km³ of lake water and are able to include tropical as well as temperate plants. With the advent of resort type tourism from Victorian times, hotels were built for wealthy European and American tourists who promenaded around the lakeshore and into the surrounding hills to take the air. You too can discover the attractions and beauty of the area with the selection of walks, ferry crossings and the variety of hotel locations.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • 7 nights 2-3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • 2 transfers menaggio-breglia (on day 3 and 5)
  • Information pack including route notes & maps
  • Emergency hotline

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Como, either by train or bus
Visit the very interesting historic town centre (Como) and maybe stroll along the lake to soak up the tranquil old world atmosphere. Accommodation: Como - Our 3 star hotel is situated centrally and is only a short distance from the train station.
Day 2 Brunate to Torno, optional ascent of Monte Boleto 9.5 -13 km approx/3.5-5 hrs
Take the Funicular up to the village of Brunate and begin a wonderful panoramic walk along a well kept path along the ridge, high above Lake Como, with views on both sides. Have a panoramic coffee break in Brunate, and there are also many great viewpoint spots for a good picnic, especialy if you opt to walk to the summit of Monte Boleto (1238 m). At the ruins of a medieval castle we descend towards the lake again and continue down to the pretty village of Torno, and take the boat back to Como. Distance 9.5km-13km. Approx 3.5-5 hr walking. Options for an extra day in Como: Around Como there are many villas and estates to visit. Go and see Villa Olmo and Villa D’Este as well. Travelling by boat to some other lake side villages in this southern part of the lake is also a worthwhile experience. Cernobbio, for example, surrounded by beautiful villas, has a wonderful relaxed atmosphere. Accommodation: Como - Our 3 star hotel is situated centrally and is only a short distance from the train station.
Day 3 Como to Breglia. Town walk approx 2 hours then short circular walk 2.5km/1 hour
The first part of the day is dedicated to the old town of Como, renowned for its Romanesque churches, its wonderful Duomo, medieval town walls and frescoed churches. It is also known for its impressive villas, its fine ‘fin-de-siècle’ hotels and its rationalist and even fascist architecture along the lake shore. Stroll through the alleys and along the lake to get the real feel of the city. From Como you travel, taking your luggage with you, by boat just after lunch to Menaggio, admiring all the charming villages from the lake. In Menaggio your taxi meets you and takes you up to the mountain village of Breglia, along a panoramic road. After settling into the hotel Here, take a first stroll to Madonna di Breglia, a ‘church with a view’, and then on to San Domenico, a shrine with an even better one! Return to your hotel to relax on the terrace and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Distance today varies due to the options taken. Accommodation: In the small hamlet of Breglia, you stay in a comfortable 2-star hotel (although we feel it should have a higher star rating), high above the lake, in the mountains above Menaggio.
Day 4 Breglia to Rifugio Menaggio return to Breglia 10.5-13km/3.5-5.5 hours
Directly from your hotel in Breglia you take a circular walk which brings you up to a mountain hut above Menaggio. The walk is relatively easy, but nonetheless offers unforgettable views of the lake! First you walk through the old part of the village, then beautiful forests and of course you come across a number of spectacular viewpoints over Lake Como. A last steep section brings you up to the mountain hut where it is possible to have lunch. A short extra walk brings you to the saddle of 'Pizza Coppa' from where you can admire the whole region, from Lake Como to Lake Lugano (Switzerland). An optional detour takes you to the top of Monte Grona (alt. 1736 m), but this is steep, scrambly and above the general grading level of this tour. Taking a gradually descending path, with still spectacular views on Lake Como and the surrounding mountains, you return to Breglia. Distance 10.5-13km. Approx 3.5 -5.5 hr walking, depending on progress. Accommodation: In the small hamlet of Breglia, you stay in a comfortable 2-star hotel (although we feel it should have a higher star rating), high above the lake, in the mountains above Menaggio.
Day 5 Ferry to Varenna then walk 'Sentiero del Viandante' to Lierna 8.5 km/4.5hours
A car takes you down to Menaggio, from where you take the boat (taking your luggage with you) to the charming village of Varenna, deemed ‘Italy’s most romantic village’, and then up to your hotel, but you will need to be prepared to start the walk when you arrive, or spend a while in the village. Varenna has inspiring views of the lake and the distant mountains and brightly painted houses adorned with flower-filled balconies, a bustling waterfront and a maze of meandering cobble-stoned streets. It is a delightful place to explore. Take a walk on one of the historical pathways of the area, the so-called ‘Sentiero del Viandante’, which brings you to the curious ‘Fiumelatte’, Italy’s shortest river. This was researched by Leonardo de Vinci. Continue if you wish on steeper paths to Lierna, a quiet town on the lake shore, before returning by train to Varenna. Or perhaps you’ll just want to relax and eat in a trattoria somewhere in the village. Distance 8.5km. Approx 4.5 hr walking. Accommodation: The last three nights are spent in a very good 3-star hotel in the wonderful little village of Varenna, located in the central part of the Lake.
Day 6 Northern stretch of the ‘Sentiero del Viandante’ up to 19.5km/4.5 hours
Today you walk the northern stretch of the ‘Sentiero del Viandante’. There are several options: you can either walk a shorter or longer stretch. From Varenna you walk to Bellano, which has an optional short gorge section (admission fee), and from there on to Dervio which has a small medieval quarter. From here you can take a train back to Varenna, or take a short there and back walk further on along the lake to the romantic medieval village of Corenno Plinio, sitting on Lake Como with its castle and tiny harbour. Views over the water from this path are marvellous and you move through a pretty terraced landscape. Those who wish can combine the walk with a visit by train and bus to the abbey of Piona, one of the most intriguing places by Lake Como. Distance 19.5km for the full walk Approx 4.5 hr walking. This can be increased by visiting the abbey or reduced by returning to Varenna from Bellano by train or ferry. Accommodation: The last three nights are spent in a very good 3-star hotel in the wonderful little village of Varenna, located in the central part of the Lake.
Day 7 Lago di Como 7-11km/2.5-4 hours (but various options)
Today you can visit the whole central section of the Lago di Como by boat, buying a ferry pass for about 15 E gives you access to the ferries all day long! According to your interests there are several spots where you just ‘must’ go such as the splendid Villa Carlotta, with its beautiful gardens overlooking the lake, charming Menaggio and of course Bellagio, 'The Pearl of the Lake', situated on Punta Spartivento, where the two arms of Lake Como meet. Here you can take an incredibly scenic walk through delightful countryside and to the charming fishing village of Pescallo and up to the scenic hamlet of Visgnola. Down at the lake you walk back along the wonderful gardens of Villa Melzi. Then there is time to explore any number of the local villages by boat, or relax with a drink somewhere on the lake shore, before returning to the hotel. Distance 7-11km. Approx 3-4.5 hr walking Accommodation: The last three nights are spent in a very good 3-star hotel in the wonderful little village of Varenna, located in the central part of the Lake.
Day 8 End of tour
Depart Varenna after breakfast.