Lake Como – Enjoy Some Tantalizing Lakeside Adventures
Italy on Trail
- The lake is shaped like an upside down Y
- Lake Como is also known as Lake Lario in Italian
- It’s Italy’s deepest lake
- In its entirety, there are 100 miles of coastline
- Lake Como has some highly picturesque towns along its shore, with everything from luxurious villas, top class hotels and designer shopping, to budget B&Bs and farmer’s markets
- Lake Como, just like Lake Garda is a magnet for nature lovers. The area is a mecca for outdoor adventurers, with everything from walking, to hiking, cycling, trail running, biking, sailing, to skiing on offer and more!
Where is Lake Como, and What is it?
Located in the Como Province in Lombardy – Northern Italy, Lake Como is part of the Italian Lake District, and is a fantastic mixture of everything nature has to offer, including pre-alpine mountains, deep blue waters, and plentiful peace and quiet to enjoy. The weather for the most part is mild all year round, and thanks to gentle breezes in the morning and evening, any mist is usually kept at bay.
Shaped like an upside down Y – The lake has two southerly ‘prongs’, one of which starts at the west by the city of Como and the other to the east by the city of Lecco. Two separate pools of water stretch northwards towards Switzerland forming one larger basin that reaches Colico in the northern portion of the area. This is where the highest mountains are, and typically where the most dramatic scenery is also.
The main base for starting a Como adventure could be Como itself, however Tremezzo, Bellagio, Varenna, Bellano, and Nesso are also popular, with Bellagio being a hub for the rich and famous!
Why go to Lake Como For Walking, Hiking, or Running?
Check out a picture of Lake Como’s scenery and you will be able to answer that question for yourself! The varied scenery is stunning and offers plentiful opportunities for all sorts of outdoor activities.
There can be plenty of hiking and trail running to be enjoyed along Lake Como’s surrounding mountians, the Lepontine Alps, the Grigne, the Lariano Triangle – Triangolo Lariano, to name but a few.
The northern portion is where the mountains are, and down towards Como you will find flatter landscapes, which are ideal for those who want to enjoy biking without the hills. There are also countless walking trails around Lake Como, including the Regina Strada Route, which runs through Nesso.
The Lake Como Greenway is also a fantastic short trail for a jog or leisurely 10km walk. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the scenery, without breaking too much of a sweat!
Want Something More?
A good place to start if you’re in search of longer distances is the 50km Sentiero delle 4 Valli – The Four Valley Hiking Trail, wich is divided into three easy to follow sections – More details Hiking-official-lake-como pdf 1.7MB
Walk the Via dei Monti Lariani – 125km long distance footpath. The trail follows the western shore and covers the distance of the lake. For more details download the above pdf.
Hit the water and try your abilities at windsurfing, head off to Domaso – known as the windsurfing capital of Lake Como.
Lake Como is large and varied, and each town has a slightly different feel, so checking out a few of these is a must do. On top of this, don’t miss the opportunity for a boat trip or two. Most towns have sailing opportunities, and Bellagio has the largest selection.
Books and Maps
- Cicerone Press:
“Walking the Italian Lakes” by Gillian Price
50 day walks ranging between 2-13 miles, in the Italian Lakes – Como, Garda, Iseo, and Maggiore.
- Sunflower Books:
Walking the Italian Lakes “Landscapes of the ITALIAN LAKES” by David Robertson and Sarah Stewart
- Kompass Maps 1:25000 offer maps of the Area.
- www.lakecomo.it has plenty of suggestions, brochures and maps available to download with route descriptions and details for all levels of walks.
- www.explorelakecomo.com has advice and ideas useful for general planning.
What Trail Events can I enter Around Lake Como?
Trofeo Dario & Willy – takes place in May
Trail del Viandante – takes place in May
Montrasio Imperial Trail – takes place in June
Resegup Skyrace – takes place in June
Trail delle Grigne Sud – takes place in September
Marathon Trail Lago di Como – takes place in September
Como-Valmadrera Trofeo Rusconi Skyrunning – takes place in October
Trofeo dei Presidenti – Staffetta Skyrunning Monte Palanzone – takes place in October
Bellagio Skyrunning & Vertical – takes place in October
When to go to Lake Como
Lake Como is a year around kind of deal. Spring and Autumn are ideal if you don’t like high temperatures, however the summer months are typically the busiest, and this is when you will find the best of the weather.
Generally speaking, May and September are ideal times for those who like something in-between.
Lake Como is only 50km away from Milan, with both Malpensa and Linate being the nearest airports – you can read our guide to Italian Airports HERE where you can connect to Lake Como via bus, train, or you could hire a car and drive yourself. Alternatively, Bergamo airport has regular local services, and you can then connect via road to Milan or Como.
Trenord operates a train service in the area
The following are all local bus services, which run different routes
You will find buses running along the western coastline of the lake, from Como to Menaggio, or from Como to Bellagio. Alternatively, there are many hydrofoils which zip around the lake from Como.
If you want to enjoy the area on your own steam however, hire a car!
Como’s Educational Silk Museum – The area is famed for the textile industry and Como is sometimes called the City of Silk
Giardini di Villa Melzi d’Eril – The stunning gardens in Villa Melzi d’Eril, Bellagio
Villa Carlotta, built in the XVII century by the Milanese marquis Giorgio Clerici, with its botanical gardens and museum
Villa del Balbianello another of Lake Como’s beautiful Villas.
Maria Elisabetta Bellini is Italyontrail.com’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.