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Self-Guided Lake Como Hiking Tour

Self-Guided Lake Como Hiking Tour
Lake Como is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. Romantic waterfront views, scenic mountain vistas, and elegant lakeside villages have attracted visitors since Roman times. Less known are the myriad of footpaths surrounding the lake. The hills, mountains, and forests around the lake are traversed by miles of ancient trails that carried generations of peasants, traders, and smugglers. With different levels of difficulty, accessibility, and beauty, choosing the right hike can be daunting. This tour takes the guesswork out and allows you to maximize your vacation time. Follow our detailed route notes into a national park past a cascading river and mountain gorge. Choose a coastal path that meanders through ancient villages just far enough above the lake to offer tranquility and fine views. Hike through a mountain meadow with breathtaking views high above the lake. We offer multiple hikes so you can choose the sights that most interest you. For those with a love of nature and a free spirit, this is the way to savor the timeless charms of the lake.

Day 1 and 2 Varenna  Travel to Varenna on your own. Direct trains connect Milan and Varenna (10 per day, 1 hour travel time). Check into your hotel and have lunch. Hike to Varenna's hilltop castle. Cross a drawbridge and climb the castle's tower for sweeping lake and mountain views. On Day 2 take a train to Bellano and hike back to Varenna. The hike follows historic mule paths high above the lake shore. 

Day 3 and 4 Menaggio  Ferry from Varenna to Menaggio (13 per day, 15 minute travel time). Choose among 3 hikes over two days. One hike leads to a natural park rich in flora, fauna, and antique rural settlements. A mountain stream leads past ancient mills to a steep canyon. A second hike follows a road built by the Romans to connect Como with the alpine passes. Stroll through pastel colored villages with sweeping lake views. The hike ends in Rezzonico, a town with a castle, a medieval center, and an inviting beach. A third hike takes you half way up a mountain for breathtaking lake and alpine views. This hike ends at the Villa Carlotta, a dazzling 18th century waterfront villa. Explore the villa's exquisite gardens and wander its grand halls.

Day 5-6 Como  Ferry from Menaggio to Como. Ride a cable car to the village of Brunate, high above the lake. A remote path through verdant hills leads downhill to Torno. Catch a ferry from Torno's picturesque port back to Como. Frequent trains make for an easy departure on Day 6.

Reserve This Tour Detailed Itinerary

US$ 700 per person
(Single Supplement)

Traveling alone?
A single supplement of US$ 250 is required for single rooms. Prices are based on double room occupancy. This increases the tour price to US$ 950. 

Group of three?
Tour prices are based on double room occupancy. Groups of three on self-guided trips have two options:
Option 1: Request a triple room. With a triple there is no single supplement. Option 2: Pay a single supplement (US$ 50/night) for the single room.


Any date from March 1 to October 31
6 Days, 5 Nights
Route Rating
Moderate to Challenging: 2-7 miles (3-11 km) per day of hiking with some steep ascents/descents.

Start / Finish
Varenna / Como
  • Lake and mountain views
  • Varenna castle
  • Villa Carlotta
  • Quiet scenic footpaths
  • Romantic lakeside villages

What's Included

Cancellations: Terms and Conditions

Tour Summary
Map and Distances

What if it rains?

On this tour you don’t hike from hotel to hotel. Transportation between hotels is by ferry. You change hotels and then hike. In inclement weather you can tour the towns or visit historic villas.

Great Walks of Italy
Explore Lake Como at your own pace. We provide detailed route notes, great accommodations, restaurant suggestions, and sightseeing notes. You choose the dates. We take care of the details.