Lake Como XL; hiking at Lake Como - Extra Long 8 days / 7 nights or tailor made
This self guided tour leads through one of the most panoramic areas of the Lake Como region; the Triangolo Lariano.
First, the walk goes over the summits, offering splendid views on the three branches of Lake Como below and on the plains of the river Po.
The second half of the tour follows the Strada Regia, the old pathway that connected the villages on the lakeside in early days.
The path runs over the slopes of the mountain, just above the lakeside.
If the first part of the tour, running over the summits, gives a marvellous view of the natural ambience, the second part shows the cultural history by passing through small villages, along Romanesque churches and mysterious prehistoric tombs.
Daytrips are quite demanding, at least in length. The first half of the tour, starting in Como / Brunate, goes over the summits, but since departure is high up, uphill climbs are limited and the walk is easy going. Halfway the tour you have a 'day off' in Bellagio, a spectacular situated village. During that day you can cross the lake for making a hike on the other shore.
The second part of the tour, in two days back to Como / Brunate but running along the lakeside, mainly goes through woods and along gardens, passing villages and hamlets. This part is easygoing but, again, quite demanding in length.
The routes run along forest tracks, old donkey roads and sometimes a stretch of asphalt.
Differences in altitude are around 500 m. each trip, except the one on the other side of the lake (780 m. up and down) and the downhill trip towards Bellagio (at least 1230).
Walking time varies from 5 to 7 hours a day.
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.
Accommodations and meals
The first night is spent at 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 can park it near the lodging. Coming by public transport you can take a funicular up to Brunate.
In Brunate and Bellagio you will stay in hospitable B&Bs, in the mountains in an 'agriturismo' (farmstay) and along the lake in a cosy B&B again.
Lodging is based B&B and 1 day dinner is included; the lady of the Agriturismo will most likely prepare you a local dish.
On days that you walk from one lodging to the next, you will be provided with a packed lunch, except during the last day of walking.
Luggage transport is included.
The tour can be started every day of the week, except on fridays, from mid April onwards until the end of October.
Watch the climate table for Lake Como.
Accommodation based bed and breakfast (7x), luggage transport, packed lunch on 3 walking days (3x), dinner on day 2.
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 and on the last walking day, dinners except on day 2.
(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 in Brunate-Como
2. Brunate- Pian del Tivano (6.30-7 hours, 20 km,↑ 340, ↓ 450 meter, B,L,D).
3. Piano del Tivano-Bellagio (4.30 -6.30 hours, 21 km, max.↑ 555, ↓ 1480 meter, B,L).
4. 'Day off' in Bellagio with optional trip (4- hours, 11 km, ↑↓ 780 meter, B).
5. Bellagio-Nesso (4.30 hours, 16 km, ↑↓ 220 meter, B,L).
6. Nesso-Brunate (6.30 hours, 23 km, ↑ 600 meter, B).
7. Brunate (B).
8. Departure from the hotel in Brunate after breakfast (B)
start: every day from mid April onwards til the end of Oktober.
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 funicular running up from Como.
You will stay in hospitable B&B with a great view over the city and flatlands below and coming by funicular railway the owners of the B&B will pick you up from the upper station. Dinner is not included here but there are restaurants nearby.
Day 2: From Brunate to Pian del Tivano.
Thanks to the fact that the first lodging is high up, walking upwards is reduced this day whether the view is splendid; on a clear day this 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 over Monte Palanzone and then through chestnut woods downhill to the quiet Pian di Nesso and the nearby Pian del Tivano.
You will spend the night in a beautiful situated 'agriturismo' (farmstay) where the family keeps cows. Dinner is included.
Day 3: From Pian del Tivano to Bellagio.
This day the tour goes over or around the mountain San Primo, the highest of the area (1700); if the whether collaborates, good views are guaranteed. 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.
After the summit it goes downhill direction ‘civilised world’. Hiking along meadows, the edge of woods, hamlets and villages, the track leads to the village Bellagio. Here you stay in a beautiful B&B 'Art Deco style' outside the village. Dinner is not included this night but the village offers a broad choice of restaurants, also nearby.
Day 4: Bellagio.
Bellagio is beautifully situated on the tip of the Triangolo Lariano and therefore called the ‘Pearl of the Lake’. As a consequence every tourist that visits the lake spends a bit of time in this village. An idyllic lakeside terrace with a cappuccino or a gelato alla stracciatella is not a bad idea here, but a scenic walk at the other side of the lake is an attractive alternative. Even if the distance is small, the other side feels absolutely different.
Night in the B&B, dinner not included.
Day 5: From Bellagio to Nesso.
‘La Strada Regia’; The Regal road’ is the name of the old way that runs between Como and Bellagio. It’s going through hamlets and villages, running along old walls and abundant vegetable gardens, passing Romanic churches, and chapels. Did the first part of the tour, going over the summits, give an idea of the natural environment, this second part, running just above the lakeside, offers a glimpse at the cultural history of the area (and today’s lakeside life!).
You will stay in a cosy B&B from where it's a short walk to the waterfront. Bring along your swimsuit!
The B&B doesn't provide packed lunches but there's a grocery store around the corner that can make you 'panini' and sells drinks and fruit and so on.
Day 6: from Nesso to Brunate.
The hike is mainly leading through the woods today. Once and a while the forest permits a view on the lake, mainly while walking through small villages (bits over paved roads). The woods are beautiful, sometimes mysterious, sometimes impressive. No wonder enormous stones can be found, caved into tombs, unknown when made and unknown for whom…
At the end of the day you will come back in the B&B where you started the tour. Dinner is again not included but there are restaurants around the corner.
Day 7: Brunate
Once back in the first lodging you can spend the day in the city of Como; the ancient city is walled and beautifully situated on the lakeside.
There are some fine examples of Romanic architecture, villas surrounded by splendid gardens, various art exhibitions and there is a museum dedicated to silk, the product Como is famous for.
Day 8: Departure