Italy | Italian Lakes District: Como and Bellagio
It's not just for celebrities. Hikers love it here too!
"First we’d like to thank you for arranging a wonderful trip. We all found Lake Como an amazing place, and a beautiful place to hike around. Of course, the Italian food is always a treat at the end of the day."- Warren and Judy Goodnow
Relaxing stays in the famous lakeside villages of Como, Bellagio and Menaggio.
Stunning views of the Alps, including Monte Rosa (15,203 feet), the highest mountain in Switzerland and the second highest peak in Western Europe.
Hiking along ancient roads to hilltop churches, medieval villas and mountain huts serving delicious Italian specialities.
If Lake Como, Italy is best known for its lavish villas, authentic Italian cuisine and romantic lakeside views, then its best kept secret is the surrounding mountains and the myriad hiking trails that explore them. Glacially carved over 10,000 years ago, and forming the shape of an upside-down Y, Lake Como offers remote and beautiful day hikes, exquisite accommodations, and a sumptuous taste of Italy.
You begin this hiking tour of Lake Como in the medieval town of Varenna. Often called “the pearl of Lake Como,” Varenna beguiles visitors with its colorfully painted houses, a hilltop castle, and romantic waterfront views. From Varenna, you circumnavigate the picturesque middle portion of Lake Como, enjoying scenic mountain vistas by day, and lakeside views by night.
Transfers by water ferry allow you to enjoy the tranquility and calm beauty of the lake, while adventurous day hikes access the ridges and mountain tops that form the stunning backdrop around the lake. From the winding streets and decadent villas of Bellagio, to the Roman footpaths, olive groves, and medieval villages that pepper the landscape between Menaggio and Lenno, this hike offers a wonderful opportunity to sample old Italy, while enjoying views of the Alps’ most notable mountain ranges and peaks.
Choose from our standard itinerary or customize the trek by adding or subtracting days. We are happy to offer harder or gentler hikes where possible.
Travel independently to Varenna. Overnight in a lovely hotel in the center of town.
Today’s hike is a pleasant ramble through the high alpine environment of the Gringa Massif. Traverse beneath the Piancaformia ridge to the Rifugio Bietti for lunch and stunning views. For a truly challenging return, climb to the Bocchetta Guzzi behind the refuge. Return to your hotel in Varenna via taxi.
Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain: 1500 ft.
Begin today’s hike with a water ferry ride to Menaggio and a short bus transport to the small town of Breglia in the hills above Menaggio. Hike to a fine lunch of regional Italian cuisine at the rifugio, served with some of the best views of the lake.
Distance: 5 – 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2000 – 3000 ft.
Start the hike from Menaggio by transferring by bus or ferry to Cadenabbia to begin the infamous Greenway del Lago di Como, a nice walkway going through the villages of Tremezzo, Mezzegra, Ossuccio, Sala Comacina, and Colonno. We recommend visiting Villa Carlotta and the intriguing Villa Balbianello once you arrive in Lenno.
Distance: 6.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: n.a.
This hike takes you through a historic tour along an old Roman road to the 11th century Monasterio San Benendetto. Return to Lenno via the Madonna al Soccorso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is an option to hike up to Rifugio Buffalora on the ridge. Ferry to your hotel in Bellagio.
Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2000 ft.
Today’s hike offers spectacular hiking and scenery along mule or cart tracks built and used by the Romans along with easy rambling trails. Pick up a picnic lunch and start the day with a taxi ride to Piana dei Sormano. Follow a meandering carriage road and trail thereafter to Passo Bocchetta di Molina to enjoy the lunch. Continue all the way to the Brunate funicular just above Como for a pleasant ride into Como. Stay in a contemporary hotel situated in Old Town.
Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1000 ft.