The beautiful glacial Lake Como has been a popular holiday destination since Roman times, evidenced by the 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 walking programme takes in the highlights of the Monti Lariani and the Ticino mountains with a selection 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.
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. During the following days, take time to explore the small towns, viewpoints, forests on either side of Lake Como, the beautiful gardens of Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo and Villa Melzi in Bellagio. Dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants in town.
Start the trip with an easy lake side warming-up walk. After breakfast take the boat that crosses the lake 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. Just above Varenna, make a short detour to visit the castle in Vezio. It’s worth it! Return to Menaggio by boat.
A morning private transfer takes you to the hill top 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. Return to Menaggio by public bus.
Walk on the Monti Lariani (Lario being the ancient name of Lake Como) with a variety of suggested walks of differing lengths and difficulty. Dinner is on your own.
Walk A: From Menaggio through the Val Sanagra Nature Reserve (14 km)
A loop walk starting in Menaggio takes you to the Val Sanagra, an unknown area rich in historical and cultural traces. From Menaggio you reach Loveno, a noble village with many Villas, then on to Pianuro a vast pastures still used now by livestock. Then the trail follows the Sanagra stream, a typical alpine water course, with several ancient mills and iron foundries that through time has formed impressive gorges. The walk passes through Barna, a lovely hamlets where time seems to have stopped.
WALK B: Esino Lario - Rifugio Bietti Buzzi - Esino Lario (20 km)
Take the ferry from Menaggio to Varenna from where you take a local bus or a taxi to the start of the walk in Esino Lario. Walking through the Regional Park of Northern Grigna is an experience. This very particular mountain range has a unique orography with spectacular pinnacles and steep cliff sides that precipitate into sheer valleys carved deep into the rock and The itinerary brings you to “Porta di Prada”, a striking rock arch caused by the natural erosion of the limestone.
WALK C: From Breglia to Monte Grona and Monte Bregagnino (13 km)
The walk starts in Breglia, a small village above Menaggio reachable by bus. From the top of Monte Grona (1.736 m) you have one of the best views of the Pre Alps; from here you can see the three lakes (Como, Lugano and Piano), and the peaks of Monte Bregagno, Legnone, Pizzo di Gino, Grigne. On clear days you can see the Alps from Monviso to Bernina. The route passes from Rifugio Menaggio, one of the most famous mountain huts in the area, situated on a natural terrace from where you have an exceptional view on the southside of Lake Como. 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”.
WALK D: From Menaggio to Rezzonico on the Antica Strada Regina (9 km)
Morning walk on the Antica Strada Regina that leads along the west coast of Lake Como, was built by the Romans. It was an important road connection between Como and the alpine passes. The old trail was used till 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.
The trip and our services end after breakfast and you bid farewell to the beautiful lake as you depart for the airport with public transport unless you have pre-booked a private transfer with us.
4 nights in double rooms in 3/4* hotel with breakfast
Hotel Bellavista is centrally located in Menaggio and has a very beautiful view of Lake of Como. Rooms are comfortable and clean and some of these have a view on lake. Furniture is a little bit old, there is free Wifi, private parking, restaurant and in summer season the swimming pool is free. Staff is gentle and courteous. Breakfast is served in veranda in front of lake.
From any airport, take the local bus or train to Milano Centrale. Therafter, to reach Menaggio you need to take a local train from Milano Centrale to Como San Giovanni. For further information please visit www.trenitalia.it.
If you are landing at Bergamo Orio al Serio (BGY), then you need to take the Airport Bus to the train station in Bergamo. From there, you have to reach Milano centrale or Monza by train, to catch the connection to Como San Giovanni.
Check times on http://www.asfautolinee.it/content/it/orari-rete-extraurbana.
As an alternative, you can take a local train from Milano Centrale to Varenna and then take a boat to Menaggio.
On departure from Porlezza, you always have to change either in Menaggio ro in Lugano to reach Milano or Bergamo aiports.
GPS tracks available on request.
What is included:
· 4 nights in double rooms in 3/4* hotel with breakfast
· People transfer Menaggio-Cavargna
· Maps and detailed itinerary
· Telephone support 24 hours
What is not included:
· Journey to the place of arrival and departure
· Luggage transfer
· Lunches and dinners, except where otherwise noted
· Visits and entrance fees - tips
· Anything not specified under "The price includes"
You may require in addition to the services included in the fee:
· Single room supplement
· Half Board Supplement
· Any transfer to get to the starting point or to return from the point of arrival, which can be quoted on request.