Lake Como at your own pace - all year round
Splendid views, ancient villages and beautiful villas, all in a wonderful natural setting, that is what this flexible package is all about.
Several B&Bs, each on a different shore of the lake, are the starting point for walks that let you enjoy the beauty of the lake.
You can stay for a number of nights in an accommodation, make the walks that suit you and then go to the other shore to enjoy the lake from a different perspective and to visit other places.
The mild climate and a choice of walks of different level and at different altitude makes this possible throughout the year.
The views of Lake Como, the colors, the smells and the flavors, give the area a typical Mediterranean atmosphere.
The contrast between the white-topped alps in the background and the sub-alpine landscapes gives it an irresistible charm.
The shades of the North suddenly leave space for an explosion of warm colors, sweet scents and mild temperatures, celebrated over the centuries by dozens of travelers in letters, diaries, travel impressions and sketchbooks of drawings: This is the area more pleasant than all of Lombardy - noted the painter Johann Jacob Wetzel next to his sketches in 1819 - the climate is so mild that even during winter there is no need to repair oranges.
The landscape of Lake Como is a sum of nature and history: Human activities shaped the territory by subtracting the land from the mountain, creating the typical terraces. On the slopes and at the waterfront are rural villages where narrow streets, steep alleyways, courtyards and common areas intersect and overlap; stone buildings, traditionally stone roofs, churches, chapels.
But also the aristocratic inhabitants of Lombardy had always been sensitive to the Mediterranean lake Como, that particular waterfront close to their cities, and since the sixteenth century they have choosen it to built their precious homes. Refined villas were built along the banks or on the hills in panoramic spots of extraordinary beauty and with them large parks and gardens.
This is in short where you will walk by, what you will encounter and will enjoy: ancient landscapes and fine architecture in a splendid natural setting.
The basic package consists of 3 nights in an area (accommodation based B&B and 2x packed lunches).
You will receive all the information regarding the hikes in this area, consisting of route descriptions, maps, timetables and transfer vouchers for the mountain hikes.
Subsequently you can extend your stay, choosing one of the following options:
You can book extra nights in the accommodation you are (based B&B)
You can book extra nights in another area (accomodation based B&B)
You can book nights + hikes* in another area with a minimum of 3 nights (based B&B and 2x packed lunches).
(*route descriptions, maps, timetables, transfer vouchers for the mountain hikes)
Areas - to choose from or to combine
Steep cliffs and mountain walls make that the eastern bank has never been a transit area. It's therefore a rural area with small villages on the coast and hamlets halfway the slopes where it feels as if time has stood still. The best way to experience this is walking the 'Sentiero del Viandante' (Wayfarers Path) that runs all along the coast, passing through and above the villages.
The most known place on the eastern bank is Varenna, connected by boat to Bellagio. Here you find the Castle of Vezio, splendidly situated above the village, and the Villa Monastero on the waterfront. But along the pathways you will find numerous gorgeous spots ranging from ancient houses and watermills to castles, churches and chapels.
Accommodation Eastern coast:
In Bellano, on the eastern shore of the lake, the B&B is an old stonehouse on the Sentiero del Viandante, situated outside the village center and offering a great view over the lake. It is a simple but attractive accommodation with a friendly hostess, speaking English, also giving Italian language courses to strangers.
Breakfast is included and in summer served outside, near the vegetable garden, viewing over the lake.
From the B&B a 5 minutes walk brings you down to a small beach on the lake; great for a swim after a hike in the mountains.
For dinner you will find restaurants in the village center, 15/20 minutes walking distance, but having a pizza delivered is possible as well. The train station, from where you hop on and off the train for the further away stretches of the Sentiero del Viandante, is on 2 km distance.
The triangular piece of land surrounded on two sides by Lake Como and on the third by the plains of the river Po is called the Triangolo Lariano. At its northern point sits Bellagio, famous for its location and called The Pearl of the Lake. For centuries, Bellagio was the only attraction of this piece of land, but nowadays there is a growing interest in the back country as well.
The highest point of the area is Mount San Primo. It 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 south of the jetty in Bellagio lies Villa Melzi and close to the tip of the promontory is Villa Serbelloni that opens the gardens to the public during the season.
Accommodation Triangolo Lariano:
The B&B in Bellagio is situated in a quiet hamlet, 2 km from the center of the so called 'Pearl of the Lake'.
The village of Bellagio can be very crowded during high season but in the hamlets, in the woods and up in the mountains you will be surrounded by an undisturbed an authentic environment.
The B&B in Art Deco style has a garden with a small swimming pool and the restaurant beneath serves tasty sourdough pizza's.
There are other restaurants nearby and a broad range to choose from in the village.
Period and price
Arrangements can be booked all year round.
Watch the climate table for Lake Como
Best period (weather, tourist flows, services available): April, May, June, September, October.
March and November: Armed with a coat and a mackintosh... Keep an eye on the weather forecast for a great (autumn colors) last minute!
December, Januari, Februari: If you want to have the lake all for yourself and do not mind gloomy days.
July and August: If you like hot weather and do not mind sharing the main attractions with many other tourists.
To possibly avoid: The week around the 15th of August (Ferragosto), when Italians traditionally go on a summer break.
accommodation based bed and breakfast, packed lunch where mentioned, route descriptions, maps, timetables, transfer vouchers for the mountain hikes, transfer to and from the accommodation on arrival and departure.
GPS-Tracks on request.
Getting there, local transport except other than the ones covered by vouchers, city taxes, meals other than the ones mentioned as included.