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Exploring Lake Como

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Homepage > Italy > Exploring Lake Como
  • Duration: 7 Nights
  • Difficulty: Level 2-3
  • Tour Type: Self Guided
  • Availability: Daily from 1st April to 25th October
  • Location: Menaggio
Tour Details

Let me introduce you to our self-guided walking tours Italian lakes style! This particular hiking vacation is based around the beautiful Lake Como. This particular hiking vacation is a self-guided walking holiday on Lake Como.  Straddling Italy and Switzerland, the beautiful glacial Lake Como and Lake Lugano have been a popular holiday destination since Roman times. Evidenced by the stunning array of lavish villas and sumptuous gardens which line their shores.

Away from the affluent holiday centres is a feast of walking trails exploring the forested valleys, mountain tops and traditional villages which have retained their unique character.  This week-long hiking vacation in Italy takes in the highlights of the Monti Lariani and the Ticino mountains with a selection of walks of varying lengths and difficulty. During the trip, you also have the time to visit some of the beautiful villas and experience the excellent regional cuisine allowing a complete appreciation of the area.

Starting Location


Price Includes

  • 7 nights bed and breakfast in 3 star hotels
  • Transfer on day 6 from Menaggio to the start of the walk in Cavargna, luggage to Porlezza
  • Navigation by Smart Phone App
  • GPS Files on Request

Price Excludes

  • Transport before and after tour
  • Single Rooms
  • Flights
  • Public Transport
  • Entrance to Attractions
  • Travel Insurance
  • City Tax
  • Extra Nights
Trip Info


In Menaggio we use Hotel Bellavista and in Polezza Hotel Europa.

Walk Characteristics

The walks are along well-trodden footpaths, forest trails not always well marked, cobbled paths and small sections on small country lanes.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.


Day 1Lake Como – Arrive in Menaggio

On arrival at the lakeside town of Menaggio on the shores of Lake Como, make your way to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the town and take in the views of the rugged mountains across the lake.

Day 2From Varenna to Dervio 7.8 miles 12.4km 637/624m up/down 5 hours.

Take the boat from Menaggio to Varenna. From here you follow the East side of the lake following the “Sentiero del Viandante” (the Wayfarer’s path). Today you will experience an ancient cultural landscape with traditional architecture and outstanding views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Just above Varenna, make a short detour to visit the castle in Vezio, It’s worth it! Return by boat to Menaggio

Day 3-5A selection of walks on Lake Como.

Walk on the Monti Lariani (Lario being the ancient name of Lake Como) with a variety of suggested walks of differing lengths and difficulty.

WALK A From Menaggio through the Val Sanagra Nature Reserve 9.6 miles 15.5km 695m up/down, 5 hours.

This loop walk starts in Menaggio takes you to the Val Sanagra, this is an unknown area which is rich in history and culture.  From Menaggio you will reach Loveno, this is a noble village with many Villas. Then you will continue on to Pianuro vast pastures still used for grazing livestock. The trail then follows the Sanagra stream, a typical alpine watercourse, with several ancient mills and iron foundries that through time have formed some impressive gorges. The walk passes through Barna, a really lovely hamlet where time seems to have stopped still. 

WALK B Ascent to Monte Grona and Monte Bregagno  8.7 miles 14km 1000/1000m up/down 6.5 hours

The walk starts in Breglia, a small village above Menaggio which is reachable by bus. The path reaches two of the most significant peaks of the western side of the Lake; Monte Grona and Mote Bregagnino. From the top of Monte Grona (1736m) you have one of the best views of the Pre Alps. From the peak, you can see the three local lakes (Como, Lugano and Piano), and the peaks of Monte Bregagno, Legnone, Pizzo di Gino, Grigne.  Even on clear days, you can see the Alps from Monviso to Bernina. There are three different ways to get to the top of the Monte Grona from the Rifugio Menaggio, including an alpine ascent using the “via ferrata”.

Day 5From Menaggio to Rezzonico on the Antica Strada Regina 5.6 miles 9km 330/350m up/down 3 hours

Today you shall walk along with the Antica Strada Regina that leads along the west coast of Lake Como, it was built by the Romans. It was an important road connection between Como and the alpine passes. The old trail was used to the end of the 18th century when the current lake road was built. This stretch starts at Menaggio and runs along cobblestoned paths to the characteristic village of Rezzonico. From the top of the hill, there are great views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Day 6Morning transfer to Cavargna and walk to Porlezza 10.2 miles 16.5km up 600m down 1300m 5 hours.

Today you first have a morning private transfer which takes you to the hilltop village of Cavargna from where a spectacular climb takes you to the Church of Saint Lucio, right on the border between Italy and Switzerland. A superbly panoramic footpath leads you through woods and meadows 1550m down to Porlezza, situated at the northeast end of the Lake Lugano, and very close to the border.  This rural farmland and forest walk with imposing views is one of the area’s highlights.

Day 7Porlezza to San Mamete via Alpe Vecchio. Return to Porlezza by public bus 7 miles 11.3 km, 1100m up/down,  5 hours.

Today you can either relax in the wonderful town of Porlezza or take our optional walk into the mountains above Lugano lake which is a beautiful terrain of forests, waterfalls and tiny villages. You begin with a quite challenging ascent since you are climbing up the steep side of the mountain, but once you make it to the Alpe Vecchio you are greeted by a really beautiful mountain hut on the plateau, you can relax and admire the landscape. The way down to the village of San Mamete is along lovely forest paths. Here, you take the bus back to Porlezza.

Day 8Departure

Depart after breakfast.


How to get there

Lugano and Milan’s Linate/Malpensa Airports are the closest ones and are served by many flight and then by bus or train to Menaggio

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