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 and mountains around the lake are traversed by miles of ancient trails that carried generations of peasants, traders, and smugglers. On this tour we spend two nights in Varenna, Como's most beautiful lakeside town, and one night in Menaggio, a resort with a bustling historic center. Three hikes show us a less travelled side of the lake. We walk through forests and olive groves on our way to a to castle and a canyon. We follow a lakeside footpath with breathtaking lake and mountain views. For those with a love of nature, this is the way to savor the timeless charms of the lake.
Lake and mountain views
Villa Carlotta estate and gardens
Lakeside pebble beaches
Quiet scenic footpaths
Romantic lakeside villages of Varenna, Menaggio and Como
US$ 1,200 per person, double occupancy
May 21-24 (Open to Denver Bicycle Touring Club)
+ US$ 400 for single room occupancy
4 Days, 3 Nights
Start / Finish
Varenna / Como
Moderate: 2-7 miles (3-11 km) per day of hiking with some steep ascents/descents.
Terms and Conditions >
Day 1: Varenna
We rendezvous at our hotel in Varenna at 1:30 pm. You can travel by train from Milano to Varenna in the morning (1 hr non-stop from Milano). For those participating in the Via Claudia Bike Tour, before the Lake Como trip, a shuttle to Varenna will be provided. After lunch a 2-mile loop hike takes us up to Varenna’s hilltop castle. Vezio castle dates from the 12th Century and is right out of a fairy tale. Cross its drawbridge and climb the tower for sweeping lake and mountain views. Group dinner in a traditional trattoria in Varenna (included in tour price).
Day 2: Varenna
After breakfast we take a local train to Bellano. The train ride is quick, just 5 minutes, and runs along the lake shore. Today we hike back to Varenna, following a historic mule path high above the lake. This time worn footpath was part of a network of paths that led travelers from Milano to Switzerland. On our hike we pass through forests and olive groves. Stone walls, ancient chapels, and sleepy hamlets highlight the heritage of the region, before the arrival of tourism and technology. Along the path we enjoy spectacular views across the blue lake. A steep descent drops us back in the center of Varenna in time for a leisurely lunch.
Day 3: Menaggio
A 15-minute ferry ride takes us across the lake to the town of Menaggio. This town has Como’s best lakeside promenade. In the spring the promenade is bursting with colorful flowers that contrast with the azure lake waters. The heart of Menaggio is Piazza Garibaldi, a bustling waterfront square surrounded by small restaurants where you can try lake specialties, fresh fish, or the cuisines of the valleys, with polenta, game, mushrooms, and local cheeses. Our hotel is right on the lake and all of our rooms have lake views. From Menaggio we hike inland following the Sanagra River. This hike is rich in flora, fauna and antique rural settlements. We cross an ancient stone bridge that leads to a river gorge. We pass through a small village with some beautiful Baroque architecture.
Day 4: Tour Ends
After breakfast in the hotel a shuttle to the Milan Malpensa Airport will be provided.
Hotel Olivedo, Varenna
Varenna (2 nights)
This lakefront hotel is a two-minute walk from the center of Varenna. The historic 19th-century building has a terrace with panoramic views of Lake Como.
3 nights in lakefront hotels
1 group dinner on first night
Vezio Castle visit
3 spectacular lakeside hikes
Ferry crossing, Varenna to Menaggio
Shuttle to Malpensa Airport at tour end
Departure from Como, End of Tour
Your hiking tour will end in the town of Menaggio. After breakfast at the hotel we will take a private shuttle to the Milano Malpensa Airport (1.5 hr drive).
Great Walks of Italy
Lake Como is an exceptional area for hiking. You will find quiet footpaths with breathtaking mountain and lake views.
Want to save?
Consider one of our self-guided trips. We can schedule a self-guided tour whenever you want March 1 to October 31.
Why Lake Como?
On this tour you will experience modern and ancient Lake Como. You will see modern resort towns and ancient farmhouses, chapels, and hamlets.