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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 2-3 star hotels
Meals
  • 2 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1250USD

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Overview

Trip Code: JCO

Trip highlights


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

Lake Como is a gorgeous blue watery ribbon carved between the adjacent mountains, for a length of 46km, during the last ice age by powerful glaciers. It has an average depth of 154m but at its deepest dives to 410m. 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 22.5km³ 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 lake shore and into the surrounding hills. You too can discover the attractions and beauty of the area with the selection of walks, ferry crossings and variety of hotel locations.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Make your own way to Como. Visit the very interesting historic town centre which includes palaces, the Duomo, the Basilica of Sant'Abbondio and beautiful public gardens. Maybe stroll along the lake to soak up the tranquil old world atmosphere. You may wish to book an extra night in 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. Accommodation: Two nights are spent in a centrally located 3 star hotel, only a short distance from the train station.

Meals:  Nil

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, especially if you choose to walk to the summit of Monte Boleto (1238m). At the ruins of a medieval castle descend towards the lake again and continue down to the pretty village of Torno and then take the boat back to Como.

Meals:  B

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. Just after lunch, travel by ferry with your luggage from Como to Menaggio, admiring all the charming villages from the lake. After settling into the hotel, 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 this small hamlet, you stay for two nights in a comfortable 2-star hotel high above the lake, in the mountains above Menaggio.

Meals:  B,D

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 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 (1736m), 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.

Meals:  B,D

Traxi transfer 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’, catch a taxi (own expense) up to your hotel, where you can leave your luggage but unlikely able to check in so be prepared to start the walk when you arrive, or spend some time 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. Accommodation: Your last three nights are spent in a very good 3 star hotel

Meals:  B

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), 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. This can be increased by visiting the abbey or reduced by returning to Varenna from Bellano by train or ferry.

Meals:  B

Today you can visit the whole central section of the Lago di Como by boat. Buying a ferry pass for about 15E gives you all day access. 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.

Meals:  B

Depart Varenna after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 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 & GPX files

  • 5 dinners, all lunches & beverages
  • Luggage transfer
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • City Tax 2-4 Euros per day, per person locally payable to the accommodations

Grading

moderate  

Moderate. Most of the trails are well maintained. Some of these walks have shorter versions, which include only the sections on easy, mostly paved paths, clearly visible and easy to follow. Longer options are available for some of the walks (e.g. days 2, 4, 5 and 6), with some steeper climbs and descents on rougher surfaces. Fitness: Clients should have a reasonable level of fitness and should be able to walk for up to 4½ hours during a day for easier options and longer for moderate grade walks. Snow may be encountered especially early in the season and up to late June at the highest levels.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Mar to 15 Nov

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High Season Surcharge 01 Apr - 15 Oct

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1250USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$490
  • 2022 Single SupplementUSD$530
  • Solo TravellerUSD$550
  • 2022 Solo TravellerUSD$600
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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