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As a glorious, forked lake in Italy’s Lombardy region, Lake Como draws holidaymakers to its glistening depths day after day. With stunning vistas, charming towns and a wealth of water sports and hiking routes on offer, a Lake Como holiday truly has something for everyone.
The Lake Como region has been celebrated as an area of incredible beauty for centuries. Sprawling expanses of shimmering freshwater, snow-capped Alps, lush pine trees and grandiose architecture provide continued wonderment for travellers to the area, while adventure seekers can head to the mountains for a spot of skiing and hiking. With relaxation and thrills in equal measure, holidays to Lake Como are extra special.
From the mountainous beauty of the north to the serenity of the south, Lake Como in Italy casts an enchanting spell over anyone who visits. Stay in one of our fantastic hotels to be in the midst of it all with the range of accommodation nestled in the heart of the region. Wherever you choose, you can be sure that your Lake Como holiday will have stunning vistas around every corner and plenty of action and relaxation to be enjoyed.
Water sports fans can get stuck in straight away with numerous boating, kite surfing, sailing and water skiing activities, whilst those who prefer to stay on dry land can explore the buzz of the lake’s surrounding towns, or take in the incredible views from many hill and mountain summits. Wandering the charmingly cobbled streets of the area’s main towns Como, Griante and Tremezzo. is the best way to take in the unique atmosphere. Doing so also offers an insight into the region’s ancient Greek history and legacy as a natural muse for countless iconic artists.
Things to do in Lake Como
If it’s good enough for Clooney to have a house by, the beauty of Lake Como is certainly well worth a visit. From the southern town of Como to up north and back to the fork at Bellagio, the top things to do in Lake Como are staring in disbelief at the natural wonder of the area itself. Stay in Como and you’re as close to Switzerland as you can muster, or use the lake district as an escape from the fashion capital of Milan to the south.
While on holiday in northern Italy, you’ll be spoilt for choice with all the mouth-watering northern cuisine and foodie Lake Como attractions. For truly stunning views to accompany your meal, book a highly coveted table at Gatto Nero in central Cernobbio and make sure to try the local perch and risotto. In the town of Como is where you’ll find the cheerful Osteria del Gallo and huge ravioli and delectable fish dishes; by now you realize that having a fish dish in this area is more than unavoidable, it’s highly recommended. Don’t forget to indulge in fine Italian, too!
The pace that encompasses Lake Como is somewhere between the palpations you get when you first glance at the beautiful area of Lombardy and the heightened heartbeat of strolling along its shores. Keep fit with a walk among the hills of Brunate, just a short drive from central Como, although the village itself is just as beautiful. Spend all day out on the lake cruising the coastline or hunting down some places for water sports, as not all of the lake is brimming with aquatic sports besides boating. Just keep your eyes and ears peeled for some thrilling aquatic things to do in Lake Como when you’re sailing.
Usually looked over for the more stereotypically romantic city of Venice, Lake Como has the same air of amore than its eastern sister, if not more. The Villa Balbianello, although famous as a film setting, was also used by Allied Forces at the end of World War II; but you’d never guess it from its manicured gardens and romantic corners. It’s located just south of Tremezzo, and you can take a late afternoon boat ride across to Bellagio or even Varenna before returning to the west bank via Menaggio. Just across from Como is the Villa Bernasconi, a beautiful building overlooking the left leg of Lago di Como.
Aside from the heart-melting scenery that sweeps this part of Italy, one of the best Lake Como attractions is learn about why it has been so popular in past. This part of Lombardy served as the setting for not one, but two action films: the Bond film Casino Royale and Star Wars: Episode II, and Villa Balbianello is definitely recognizable in those films. Visit the Museo della Seta in Como to learn about the town’s rich silk history and the process of cultivating it from silkworms and dyeing it. Como is also home to some beautiful religious buildings, like the Basilica di Sant’Abbondio, built in the 11th century and current partial home to a university. Just outside Colico is where you can find the Abbazia di Piona, a religious spot from at least the 7th century, though the current church is a Romanesque/Gothic spot of tranquillity.
If you want a no-frills weekend or weeklong escape in the beautiful north of Italy, you’re in luck as one of the more rewarding things to do in Lake Como is just relax. Start on the shores and top up your tan on the beaches while simultaneously catching up on some fun reading or the well-deserved nap. Next, reapply that sun cream and check out some of the lidos around Lake Como, like the facilities at Cadenabbia. Spend some more me-time at the spas practically on the water in Tremezzo and unwind.
It is easy to see why so many of Lake Como’s visitors become enchanted by its dramatic beauty. With miles of shimmering water and the majestic Alps as a backdrop, endless captivating scenes roll in every direction, and it is tempting to spend your holiday to Lake Como simply sitting and taking it all in. However, the area and its surrounding region offer a multitude of activities and attractions with which to fill your visit.
Of course, the beautiful, still waters of the lake are a mecca for kite surfers, sailors and water skiers the world over, and the surrounding towns provide many opportunities for equipment hire and boating tours. This is a great way to experience the lake close up and take in the scenery at a faster pace.
Skiers and hikers also find numerous activity options in the alpine north of Lake Como. In the winter months the magnificent Alps are perennially popular with ski enthusiasts, while the rolling, lush hills that surround the lake are irresistible hiking, rambling and walking destinations in the summer.
After days of activity, the charismatic restaurants and bars of the surrounding towns will always hit the spot with tasty, traditional Italian dishes and rustic, local charm. When the sun is setting, heading to the lake to soak up the incredible scenery is the only way to see out the day.
When on Lake Como holidays, enjoying the wealth of water sport activities on the lake is a must. Head to the towns on the water’s edge to rent sports equipment, book an instructed session, or simply rent a boat and sail away with the day. Boat tours are also a brilliant way to explore more of the region, with many visiting the beautiful towns of Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna.
For unequalled, spectacular views, there is no better activity option in the region than taking a ride in the ‘Funicular’. This incredible, hillside cable car showcases breathtaking scenery, visits to the charming town of Burante, or hiking routes to the Volta Lighthouse.
For a true, Italian experience sample at least one heaped bowlful of traditional gelato. Many of the lake’s surrounding towns are home to some of the best ice cream parlours the country has to offer, and with menus of daring flavour combinations and locally sourced ingredients, it will always do the trick for those craving a sweet treat!