This comprehensive Lake Como travel guide explains the best time to go, how to get there and where to stay. It also outlines what to bring, what to do and what to do.
Lake Como, located in Northern Italy’s Lombardy, is a picturesque region that sits at the foot the Swiss Alps. It is well-known for its stunning scenery, Renaissance architecture and peaceful villas. Although Lake Como was once synonymous with luxury and a getaway for the wealthy and famous, it has since become a popular destination for travelers looking for beautiful views, sunshine and picturesque villages on the lake.
- Lake Como’s Best Time to Visit
The tourist high season in Lake Como is July and August. This is when temperatures reach 30 degrees Celsius regularly. You can still enjoy the sun-filled days, but there are fewer people. Consider traveling to Lake Como in spring (April to May) and fall (September to Oct).
- How to get to Lake Como
Lake Como, located just an hour from Milan is a great day trip or destination on its own. The region can be reached by car. However, the traffic can become congested depending on the season (the summer being the peak season), and parking is limited.
You can also take the train to Lake Como. The train journey from Milan to Lake Como takes approximately two and a quarter hours. Prices are very affordable.
The Hotel Montecodeno is a great mid-range option for those looking to stay in Varenna. The property is a short three-minute walk to Lake Como and is steps from the ferry dock. It also offers bike rentals.
The Hotel Royal Victoria is a luxurious Varenna hotel. The hotel boasts stunning views of Varenna, lush gardens, two restaurants and a swimmingpool.
Hotel Borgovico is a mid-range hotel in Como. This hotel is located just 400m from the train station, and only a 15-minute stroll from the historic center. It offers modern interiors and a delicious breakfast buffet.
Hotel Como is a more luxurious option for those looking for something a bit more classy in Como. The property is located just 1 km from the city centre and features a rooftop garden with swimming pool and a bar.
The Hotel Bazzoni is a great option for those who want to stay in Tremezzo. This property is located in the center of town and offers stunning views over Lake Como, as well as an outdoor swimming pool.
The Best Way To Explore Lake Como
It is the easiest way to visit the various towns of Lake Como. Each terminal has information about ferry schedules and ticket prices.
You can easily walk to the towns of Lake Como, or rent a bicycle from one the many hotels that offer this service.
The Best Things to Do in Lake Como
- Explore the Water
Ferry trips are not recommended. One of the best ways you can truly experience Lake Como, is to go out on the water. You have many options when it comes to equipment and activities, such as kayaking, motor boating and parasailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
- Visit the Enoteca Principessa Winery
This winery is located in Bellagio, right at the point where the lake splits into its two Y like branches. It will guide and educate you through the history of winemaking in the region. Enoteca Principessa should be visited by any wine lover traveling through Lombardy.
- Hike Monte Crocione
Consider hiking the 7-8-hour hike from Tremezzo to Monte Crocione if you are a nature lover. It offers stunning views of the alps and features a large cross from history at the peak.
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- Visit Forte Di Fuentes
Forte Di Fuentes is a Spanish-controlled area that dates back to 17th century. The fortress, built in the Northern region of Lake Como near Colico, was once used as a military base by the Spanish governor to Milan.
- Cooking Classes
There is no better way to enjoy the best Italian food than to learn how it is made. Learn how to make Italian cuisine and enjoy your senses. The best cooking classes in Bellagio, Como and Mandello del Lario are highly rated.
- Lake Como Packing Essentials
Style: Italians are known for their stylish clothing. You should pack a variety of sundresses and classy blouses that are both breezy and stylish. The jury is still out on whether shorts are a fashion faux pas in Italy, but if you are unsure, opt for maxi skirts.
It is a common fashion choice for Italian women to wear heels, so make sure you bring a pair of wedges or block heels. Flats and sandals are great for exploring.
Accessories: The classic accessories of Italy include the pashmina (which is especially useful as a cover up inside churches), large hats, crossbody bags and elegant jewelry.
Sun Gear & Bug Repellent: Keep yourself protected from the elements by packing bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun gear. Avon skin so soft is a non-deet bug spray option.
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Swimsuits: You can spend your time on the beach or in the hotel’s pool. Always bring a swimsuit.