sentiero del viandante
sentiero del viandante

The Wayfarer's Path, Other Side of Lake Como

Level
2
Distance
51 km
Duration
6 days | 5 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 629
CO2 footprint
84 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSW500

The Eastern branch of Lake Como: a lesser known side of the most famous Italian lake is currently in the midst of a new and well-deserved renaissance, the catalyst of which has been the development and promotion of our new trip  “Sentiero del Viandante” - the Wayfarer’s path.

We begin in Lecco, well-known by Italians for being the setting of one of the best known epic of Italian literature, Alessandro Manzoni’s “The Betrothed”. Effortlessly charming, Lecco boasts beautiful lakeside piazzas and a breezy waterfront, perfect for strolling and having part of your ice cream stolen by curious ducks and swans – a pleasure Como has somehow lost.  

Then the trip continues northwards along the coast, to beautiful Varenna, a pastel-colored village adorned with flowery terraces, lush gardens and a charming, vine-covered walkway fittingly called “the lovers’ walk”- and what’s more romantic than walking  along the lake, surrounded by picture-perfect mountains?  

On our way the mysterious Castle of Vezio, dominating the lake, offers one of the most beautiful views of the region: the two branches of the lake conjoining in a glistening expanse of fresh water – sweet water in Italian, akuaduulza in the local “laghee” dialect, – with Bellagio sitting at the crux of the inverted Y that forms Lake Como. 

Six days to grasp the beauty and potential of an often over-looked northern lakeside heaven, the perfect complement to a brand new trip to northern Italy and a surprising, more genuine take on a well-known destination – the pristine and spontaneous side to Italy’s most lavish lake.  

Highlights

  • Explore the lesser-known shore of Lake Como.
  • Admire the panoramic view of the two branches of the lake from the top of Vezio Castle.
  • Walk along the "Via dell'Amore" in Varenna, a suspended footbridge over the lake.
  • Marvel at the spectacle of the Orrido di Vezio, a real canyon in the heart of the town.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lecco

Arrive in Lecco

On arrival at the lakeside town of Lecco 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. If you are lucky you might have the chance to see the swans on the lakefront. During the following days, take time to explore the small towns, viewpoints, forests and castles.

Day 2

Train to Abbadia Lariana and walk to Lierna, 11 or 19 km

Train to Abbadia Lariana and walk to Lierna, 11 or 19 km

In the morning a short train ride will take you to the start of the walk in Abbadia Lariana. Abbadia Lariana is a fabulous place to stop for refreshing swim before starting your walk towards Lierna. Today you walk mostly on a well-maintained mule track and footpath on the right side of the Lake up and down the shore. It is worth a visit to the Church of San Giorgio in Mandello, a precious jewel of Romanesque art with frescoes from the late fifteenth century. Remember to have your camera loaded as there are many panoramic viewpoints over the Lake. It is possible to walk the whole section from Lecco adding approx. 8km to the walk, this first section runs mostly on beaten trails in the wood just above the lake. The walk is not very panoramic but it is easy and mostly flat. At the end of the walk take the train back to Lecco.

Distance: 11 or 19 km km

Elevation gain: +748/-700 m

Day 3

Train to Lierna and walk to Varenna, 9,5 km

Train to Lierna and walk to Varenna, 9,5 km

Today’s walk is the most demanding in terms of difference in height. The itinerary starts climbing on mule-track which later becomes path mostly in the wood. Be very careful when the terrain is wet and slippery. Along the route we suggest you to stop for a pic-nic lunch by a breath-taking viewpoint overlooking Bellagio and Lake Como. Just before descending to Varenna, make a short detour to visit the castle in Vezio village. It’s worth it! You can enjoy a 180-degree view of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The Vezio Castle has stood for more than a thousand years. It is an ancient military outpost of early medieval origin built by the Lombard Queen Theodelinda to defend and control the lake and surrounding villages. Today’s destination is Varenna, a jewel full of history and unique character.

Distance: 9,5 km

Elevation gain: +850/-866 m

Day 4

From Varenna to Dervio, and train to Colico, 10 km

From Varenna to Dervio, and train to Colico, 10 km

Start the day with an easy lake side warming-up walk. After breakfast say goodbye to Varenna following the East side of the lake take the “Sentiero del Viandante” (the Wayfarer’s path) and experience a rich and ancient cultural landscape with traditional architecture and outstanding views of Lake Como and its surrounding mountains. Halfway through the walk we suggest you a visit to the “Orrido di Bellano”. This is a natural gorge created by the Pioverna river that has cut out gigantic potholes and fascinating caverns over the centuries. Its dark ravines and the hollow rumble of gushing water have inspired many authors and made this one of the most popular tourist attractions on lake Como. The Cà del Diavol (Devil's House) evokes fear and the idea of satanic rituals, capturing all the mysterious charm of this place. The itinerary then follows a well beaten mule track to Dervio. You then take a train to Colico.

Distance: 10 km

Elevation gain: +575/-560 m

Day 5

Train to Dervio, walk from Dervio to Colico, 13 km

Train to Dervio, walk from Dervio to Colico, 13 km

The last section of the walk is the most beautiful in terms of panoramic views. You will have many chances to stop for pic-nic enjoying the atmosphere. From Dervio the path climbs up the mountain on a steep cobblestone stair and then descend gradually towards Colico. Almost halfway through the walk you will be able to see the snowy peak of the Alps appearing in front of you. In Colico you have the chance to go for a refreshing swim at the beach in the middle of the town. If you arrive early we suggest you to visit the The abbey of Piona, or more precisely, the Priory of Piona, a typical building of Comacina art in exposed squared stone, which can also be reached from the lake by boat, is a rare jewel of Lombard Romanesque architecture. Located on the Olgiasca peninsula, in front of Gravedona on the extreme tip of the Lecco branch, it offers a splendid panoramic view of the western coast of the Lario, as well as the opportunity to savor the tranquility and peace enjoyed by the Cistercian monks who still live there today.

Distance: 13 km

Elevation gain: +658/-674 m

Day 6

Arrivederci Colico!

Arrivederci Colico!

The trip and our services end after breakfast and you bid farewell to the beautiful lakes as you depart for the airport with public transport, unless you have pre-booked a private transfer with us

Details

Is this for me?


A great trip for beginners as well as experienced hikers, this trip allows you to discover the lesser known, East side of Como Lake. As you walk, you'll enjoy continuous, great views on the lake and Mountains surrounding the lake. Vertigo-sufferers may find some sections a bit challenging. The stages are all connected through a railway line, so it's easy to skip one of you'd like to enjoy a rest day. 

Included


What is included

  • 5 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • maps and detailed description of the itinerary in digital form, app
  • Pilgrim's Passport
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.
  • official camino guidebook, shipped to the first hotel
  • travel documentation in printed form (maps and detailed description of the itinerary), shipped to the first hotel

Accommodation


Hotel Alberi - Lecco

https://www.hotelalberi.it/it

Hotel del Sole - Varenna

https://www.solevarenna.altervista.org/

B&B La Casa del Poeta - Dervio

https://www.bblacasadelpoeta.it/

Hotel Risi - Colico
https://www.hotelrisi.com/

When to travel


The Italian and Swiss Lakes district experience warm summers with afternoon thunderstorms common. July is the warmest month with an average temperature of around 20 °C with maximum reaching the low 30°C. Snow can still be found on the high peaks until the beginning of summer.
It is recommended to inquire about the weather expectations before you set out for the day, especially in mountainous surroundings. 

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


On arrival, you can reach Lecco by train.

On departure, you can leave from Colico by train.

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486
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