Lake Como family walking holiday 8 days / 7 nights or tailor made
The tour leads over the summits of the Triangolo Lariano, the triangular piece of land surrounded on two sides by Lake Como and on the third by the plains of the river Po. This situation guarantees splendid views all around; the snow-topped Alps in the north, the steep Grigna in the east and at sunset the Mon Viso in the west on the French border!
Just beneath is the lake with its characteristic villages, showing, in sight and sound, the fine examples of Romanesque church towers.
Departure is high up; uphill climbs are limited and the walks are easy. This makes the tour suitable to do with children.
The tour starts and finishes near Como, a beautiful city with a rich history. The walled centre, with its narrow alleys, fine squares and impressive dome, reaches right to the shore of the lake.
The tour goes over the summits of the Triangolo Lariano, but since departure is high up, uphill climbs are limited and the walk is easy going.
Over the course of the week, you gradually work your way towards Bellagio, the so called 'Pearl of the Lake', situated on the lakeside.
The walk goes through ancient chestnut forests, over gentle summits and mountain meadows. ‘Rifugi’, small local inns and resting places, will offer you a sumptuous selection of local specialities, tempting you to a tasty break with an inevitable glass of wine.
Although mainstream tourism on Lake Como is expanding beyond the lake and also visiting the mountains, fortunately this tour can still be considered off the beaten track. This means that you are not walking on an easy to follow 'hikers highway', but on a network of trails, forest tracks, old donkey roads (and sometimes a stretch of asphalt) where you have to find your way with the use of text, map and orientation.
Every day you can choose between different routes, the easier ones (2.30 / 3 hours of walking time) leading around the peaks, the tougher ones (4 / 5 hours) leading over them.
Maximum difference in altitude going up: 580 m. going down: 750 m.
The possibility to choose between routes of different lengths makes this tour suitable for children.
It is possible extending the tour by booking extra nights.
Shortening the tour is also possible. See here what the options are.
Accommodations and meals
The accommodations are a cross-section of small business owners in the mountains while tourism takes place on the waterfront. So don't expect stylish rooms, hydromassage or sun loungers next to swimming pools but lots of cordiality and family atmosphere.
The first night is spent in a hospitable B&B in Brunate, from where your tour will depart. Brunate is a small town perched on a steep hill just outside Como, accessed by a small and windy road or by a characteristic funicular railway. If you should arrive by car, you will leave your car here. The second night is spent in a simple 'Locanda'; The building is not that charming but the landlady will pamper you and the food is good.
Halfway through the tour you will stay two nights in an isolated Agriturismo (farmers stay): during the day you can walk down to the lakeside or stroll around the higher area, or you can just relax on the farm.
The fifth night is in an B&B affiliated with a restaurant that’s known in the region for their traditional cuisine: full house on sundays. They have just taken the step to build a new sustainable part next to the old restaurant.
The tour ends in Bellagio, a beautiful little village situated at the tip of land between the two branches of the lake. Here you stay in a B&B 'Art Deco style' outside the village.
If you arrived by public transport you will stay the last two nights in Bellagio for then going back to Como by boat. If you arrived by car you will make the cruise on day 6 for staying the last two nights in Brunate.
Lodging is based B&B and 4 times dinner is included; one place serves the local 'polenta' in every possible way in honour of tradition and past times.
On days that you walk from one lodging to the next, you will be provided with a packed lunch.
Luggage transport is included.
Start: from mid April until the end of October
In August the tour can be started (night 1, Brunate) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Monday.
During the other month the tour can start (night 1) on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Watch the climate table for Lake Como
accommodation based bed and breakfast (7x), luggage transport, packed lunch on walking days (4x), dinners on day 2, 3, 4 and 5 (4x),
description of the routes (in English or Dutch), maps, background information.
GPS-Tracks on request.
Getting there, city taxes, lunch on the days you stay in the same lodging two nights running, ferry ticket Bellagio – Como,
dinner on the day of arrival and day 6 and 7.
(It is possible extending the tour by booking extra nights in the city or in the countryside.
Shortening the tour is also possible. See here what the options are.)
1. Arrival Brunate-Como
2. Brunate – Alpe del Viceré - approx 11 km, 3 to 4 hours of walking, max 470m↑, 400m↓ - B,L,D.
3. Alpe del Viceré' – Pian del Tivano - approx 14 km, 4 to 4,5 hours of walking, 14 km, max 435m↑, 355m↓ - B,L,D.
4. Pian del Tivano - choice of 3 optional walks from 6 up to 9 km - B,D.
5. Pian del Tivano – Piano Rancio - approx 12/18 km, 2,5 to 5 hours of walking, max 420m↑, 680m↓ - B,L,D.
6. Piano Rancio – Bellagio (Brunate) - approx 10 km, 3/3,5 hours of walking (+2 hours cruise), 770m↓ - B,L.
7. Bellagio (Brunate*) - optional hikes, B.
8. Departure from the hotel in Bellagio (Brunate) after breakfast, B.
*In case you arrive by car the last two nights will be in Brunate instead of Bellagio.
Included meals are signed: B=breakfast, L=packed lunch, D=dinner.
Day to day
Day 1: Arrival in Como.
Como is situated immediately after the Swiss-Italian border. The first lodging is in Brunate, a small village in Art-Deco style up the mountain above Como. A small road winds up from the city, but the place can also be reached by a little funicular running up from Como. On the day of arrival dinner is not included but there are restaurants nearby.
Day 2: From Brunate to Alpe del Viceré.
Thanks to the fact that the first lodging is high up, walking upwards is reduced whether the view is splendid; on a clear day this first hike offers views on the snow-topped Alps in the north, the flatlands of the river Po in the south and the lake beneath. Walking through beech forests and mountain meadows the track leads to Alpe del Viceré, the meadows where the vice king, (sun of Napoleon) once kept his horses during summer.
Day 3: From Alpe Viceré to Piandel Tivano.
Almost every day a choice can be made between daytrips of different length or difficulty; today the choice is to go over or around the Monte Palanzone after which it goes downhill to the quiet Piano di Nesso for then proceeding to Pian del Tivano. A varied hike through fields and forests with beautiful views all around. (Of course the weather has to be good for enjoying the views.)
Day 4: Pian del Tivano.
You will stay in a beautiful situated 'agriturismo' (farmstay). It is a good spot for a day of rest but if you cannot sit still you can make a roundtrip down to the lakeside or visit the villages nearby..
Day 5: From Pian del Tivano to Piano Rancio.
Also this day a choice can be made between going over or around the mountain. San Primo is the highest summit of the area (1700) so –if the whether collaborates- stunning views are guaranteed: From here the entire lake with its quaint shore side towns can be seen. Especially during spring it’s a tour through the seasons; while at the lakeside summer arrived yet, near the summit of the San Primo flowers like Helleboris and Crocus are still celebrating the end of wintertime.
Day 6: From Piano Rancio to Bellagio / Brunate.
This day the trip goes downhill direction ‘civilised world’. Hiking along meadows, the edge of woods, hamlets and villages, it goes to the village Bellagio, beautifully situated on the tip of the Triangolo Lariano and therefore called the ‘Pearl of the Lake’. Hikers that reached Como by public transport will stay the two last nights in Bellagio. Hikers that came to Como by car will take the boat for a two hours trip back to Como (ticket not included in the price, for logistic reasons) for then going up to Brunate for spending the last two nights in the B&B where they left their car.
Day 7: Bellagio / Brunate
Bellagio offers a lot for making this a beautiful day; A cruise to the other side, a swim in the lake, a walk through the historic centre, or a visit to Villa Melzo or Villa Carlotta… Staying in Brunate you can spend the day in the city; Como has a charming walled centre and is famous for its silk production. Also, starting from Brunate a last trip by foot can be made, downhill to the lakeside; in the woods enormous stones can be found, caved into mysterious tombs, unknown when made and unknown for whom… Fascinating!
This last two nights in Bellagio / Brunate do not have dinner included. This leaves the possibility to having dinner elsewhere –at the waterfront for example but both lodgings have a restaurant on the ground floor and there are others around the corner
Day 8: Departure after breakfast.
Hikers that leave from Bellagio can make the beautiful cruise back to Como taking charge of their own luggage (ticket not included in the price).
Video made bij 46° hikers