The Italian Lakes are among the most beautiful in Europe. Most famous of all, and thought by many to be the most beautiful, is Lake Como, immortalized in the opening lines of the classic of Italian literature, ‘I Promessi Sposi’ (The Betrothed), by Alessandro Manzoni.
The Italian Lakes are among the most beautiful in Europe. Most famous of all, and thought by many to be the most beautiful, is Lake Como, immortalized in the opening lines of the classic of Italian literature, ‘I Promessi Sposi’ (The Betrothed), by Alessandro Manzoni. It deserves its fame, surrounded as it is by high mountains, its shore dotted with pretty villages and towns. Located north of Milan, close to the border with Switzerland, this is northern Italy at its most beautiful – good food, a relaxed attitude to life, leisurely walking, and a comfortable climate. This is a 3 centre holiday, allowing you to enjoy the Best of Lake Como.
Price: £255.00 per person – March and November.
£750 – April to October (excluding Easter and August)
£770 -Easter and August
Single room supplement £325
Day 1: Arrival Como.
Arrive in the beautiful town of Como – enjoy time exploring the town.
Overnight in town centre.
Day 2: Circular walk from Brunate.
Take the funicular railway to the small village of Brunate – beautifully situated above the town of Como and enjoy a panoramic walk along the ridge with beautiful views to the Alps to the north and the lake below. Walk to the ruins of the a medieval castle and then descend to the lake again passing the lakeside village of Torno before taking the boat back to Como for a second night.
Distance 10km – 16km (approx. 4.5 to 7 h walking)
Day 3: Como – Menaggio.
In the morning explore the lovely old town of Como with its Romanesque churches, Duomo and historic centre. Then take the boat from Como to Menaggio where you will be met and taken up to the charming village of Breglia – high above Menaggio. Take a short walk to Madonna di Breglia and San Domenico. Return to your hotel and relax on the terrace enjoying wonderful views.
Distance 4.5km – 8.5km (approx. 2 to 3.5 walking)
Day 4: Circular walk from Breglia.
Walk from your hotel to the mountain hut Menaggio – a less strenuous walk but with great views of the lake below. From the “Pizza Coppa” you can enjoy a panorama of the whole of the surrounding area from Lake Lugano to the north to Lake Como below.
Distance 9km – 10km (approx. 4 to 5 hours walking)
Day 5: Menaggio to Varenna.
After breakfast you will be taken to the boat station at Menaggio and you take the short boat journey across the lake to Varenna where you spend the next 3 nights. Varenna is one of the most beautiful villages on the Lake with views across to picturesque Bellagio and the mountains towering above it. Walk to the Fiumelatte, the shortest river in Italy. Either return the same way or continue to Lierna, whose gardens and vineyards have a truly Mediterranean flavour.
Distance 6km – 10km (approx. 1.5 to 4 hours walking)
Day 6: Varenna.
Walk directly from your hotel along the Sentiero del Viandante, an ancient path along the lakeside. Pass the old Vezzio Castle, walk through a terraced landscape to the picturesque village of Bellano. From here return by boat or bus, or continue walking to Dervio.
Approx 2.5 to 4.5 hours walking.
Day 7: Bellagio and Lake Como.
Today, you will explore the entire central section of Lake Como by boat. There are a number of ‘must see’ spots you can investigate, depending on your interests: the splendid Villa Carlotta, with its beautiful gardens overlooking the lake, the charming Menaggio, and, of course, Bellagio, the “Pearl of the Lake,” situated on the Punta Spartivento, where the two arms of Lake Como meet. Here, you’ll take an incredibly scenic walk through the delightful countryside, through 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 local villages by boat or relax with a drink somewhere on the lakeshore before returning to the hotel.
Approximately 2.5 hours walking, plus extra options. Or if you prefer you can go to Bellagio and walk to San Primo – ask for details -= approx. 5 hours.
Day 8: Departure.
The nearest airport to the start of the route is Milan. There are two airports in Milan – Linate and Malpensa. You take a train from the airport to Milan Cadorna and take the train from there to Como.
Timetables can be consulted at www.malpensaexpress.it and there is usually a train every half hour.
From Milano Cadorna, take the train ‘FerrovieNord’ to Como Lago, the final stop.
There is a direct train every hour, and there are other indirect routes that change in Saronno. The nearest station to the hotel is St Giovanni.
Tickets can be bought on the spot.
There is also a bus service from Milan Malpensa to Como.
There is a train station in Varenna with good service to Milan – (about 1 hour).
If you need to return to Como then please take the ferry.
Country house hotel in Breglia with breakfast and dinner included.
2 nights in 3 or 4 star hotel or charming B&B in Como
3 nights in 3 star hotel in Varenna (rooms with lake views when possible).