Other things to do in and around Lake Como
- Use the ferries to explore the lake
- 18 hole golf course at Menaggio
- Hiking around Monte Grona (above Menaggio)
- Mountain biking trails around the lake
- Visit the city of Como - 30mins by hydrofoil
- Trips to well-known Villas of Balbianello (Lenno), Carlotta (Tremezzo) and Monastero (Varenna)
Sight Seeing Tour Bus (East Coast)
This fantastic and locally run sight seeing tour is certainly not something to miss. This multi-lingual hop on/hop off bus service takes you from Piazza Garibaldi right up through Lecco to the colourful harbour town of Varenna, the stunning crystalline waters of the Orrido di Bellano gorge and the majestic Castello di Vezio. Tickets for the bus service can be bought at local offices and prices range from €20.00 per adult for a return all day ticket to €10.00 for an evening ticket returning at 11.45pm.
There are also child tickets (ages 5-15 years) available starting at €10.00 with children under the age of 5 travelling for free.
The Villas and Gardens of Lake Como
The idyllic lakeside villas of Como have always attracted the rich and famous. Today they are reminders of more elegant times. Villa Balbianello, with its magnificent gardens and views should not be missed. 17th century Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo contains sculptures by Canova and 4 acres of gardens with azaleas, rhododendrons and ancient cedars and sequoias. In Bellagio, Villas Melzi and Serbelloni can also be visited; entrance is around €8.50 (reductions for over 65's). Even today, these villas retain their glamour.
We offer a range of guided excursions to help you make the most of your holiday.
All guests staying in Bellagio will need to make own way by ferry to pick up point. Cost is approx €10 return (pay locally).
Special Excursion Packages
Pre-book any of the excursion packages below, and SAVE up to £20
Milan + Bergamo + St. Moritz £125 : Booking Code: A
Milan + Bergamo + Stresa and Orta £126 : Booking Code: B
Milan + St Moritz + Stresa and Orta £129 : Booking Code: C
St. Moritz £51, full day, Monday
This full day excursion to St Moritz includes the famous Bernina Express train from Poschiavo and takes you through breathtaking scenery. By coach we take you up the northern arm of the lake, and into the majestic Val Valtellina, one of the great valleys of the eastern Alps and producer of the area’s splendid wines, meats and cheeses. Our first stop, for coffee, is at the small town of Tirano with its notable cathedral.
We then proceed to Poschiavo for the highlight of the day: a spectacular ride on the Bernina Express, past glaciers, over dramatic gorges and viaducts, as far as Diavolezza, covering the highest part of the journey which climbs the steepest gradients in the world (of up to 70%) without the use of cog wheels.
It is then a short and scenic journey on to St Moritz itself, where you have free time to take in the stunning views over the crystal lake, explore and admire the shops and to have lunch.
Our descent, by coach, is no less dramatic. We take the unforgettable road down through the Maloja pass, with extraordinary vistas offered at every moment. The final stop is back in Italy, at the charming, historic town of Chiavenna, the ‘key’ of Italy, where you can explore the town’s attractive, cobbled streets and shops.
Bergamo £48, ¾ day, Thursday
The city of Bergamo Alta has been described as the prettiest open-air museum in the world . Birthplace of the opera writer, Gaetano Donizetti, this sophisticated and stunning small town contains no building newer than the seventeenth century. The cobbled streets contain medieval towers and wonderful views at every turn, and the main piazza is one of the most beautiful in all Italy.
We start our excursion from the picture-postcard, historic village of Varenna, on the eastern shore of Lake Como. Cost of ferry ticket to pick up point not included. (approx €8 return). We then travel by coach along the scenic eastern shore of the lake to the town of Lecco and on past mountain scenery to Bergamo.
You will then have free time for lunch and to explore the town. Bergamo is well known for its meats, cheeses, wines and specialities, both savoury and sweet. You may wish to make your way to a scenic viewing point or visit one of the excellent museums. Or you may simply wish to browse the smart shops and picturesque streets.
In the afternoon we join our expert city guide for an interesting and entertaining tour around some of the streets and monuments, including the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the greatest churches in northern Italy, and the chapel of the great condottiere, Bartolomeo Colleoni, which adjoins it.
Milan £48, full day, Tuesday
Taking the panoramic road along Lake Como’s ‘arm of gold’, skirting past Como, we stop for a coffee-break outside Milan. En route you will receive general instructions about the city and a map, before starting the tour with an expert guide who will first take you around the extraordinary Renaissance Castello Sforzesco, one of Milan's great monuments which was once Europe's greatest fortress.
Then enjoy many of the sights, ancient and modern, from the comfort of the bus, with a full live commentary from our expert guide, until you arrive at La Scala, the world’s most famous opera house. You will then be treated to an entertaining and informative guided tour of the historic centre of Milan, making your way from La Scala through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, to the Cathedral itself. The awe-inspiring Duomo, the third-largest in the world, has the largest stained glass of any cathedral and yet has an ethereal quality conjured up by the pink-veined Candoglia marble and the intricate details of its façade and roof.
Then you are free to enjoy the afternoon you wish. Whether you would like to take the chance to visit one of Milan’s renowned art galleries or museums, including La Scala Museum, sample the designer shops, department stores, enjoy the unrivaled views from the top of the Duomo, or simply enjoy exploring the elegant streets, or the lovely Brera district, full of charming bars, cafes and the site of the famous Brera Art gallery, you will find all these options within a few minutes’ walk.
Stresa and Lake Orta £52, full day, Friday
Lake Orta, only twelve kilometres in length, has been described as the most romantic of all the Italian lakes. It inspired Browning and captured Nietzsche's heart.
We first visit the lake’s enchanting town of Orta San Julio, set on a garden peninsular and overlooking the island of San Giulio. Orta’s streets are too narrow for cars so it makes exploring the cobbled streets a breeze, lined with shops, bars and restaurants and ancient buildings. All streets lead to the handsome Piazza Motta which offers a stunning views over to the island of San Giulio.
Lake Maggiore is a majestic, blue lake and the second largest of the Italian lakes, at 65 km in length. We visit Stresa, the ‘Pearl of Verbano, and Maggiore’s most beautiful town, at the foot of imposing Monte Mottarone, which has a cable-car running to its peak (4.920 ft). The town, which has a charming piazza and large number of shops and bars, hosts a famous series of concerts from the end of August to the end of September. The lakeside promenade is celebrated for its lush vegetation and flowers, including oleanders, mimosa and azaleas.
Included in the price of the tour, is a visit to the Isola Bella by private boat (entrance to the Palazzo Borromeo and its gardens at additional cost). The gardens were inspired by the ‘hanging gardens of Babylon’ and Count Borromeo fashioned them into the shape of a ship for his wife, Isabella, giving the island its name. The palace houses a fine collection of art.
BOOK LOCALLY | Prices are for guidance only.
- Villas of Como £38, half day
- Lugano and Como £43, full day
Please note: We act at all times as selling agent for the suppliers of activities & excursions. See terms & conditions. Guests staying in Moltrasio need to book all excursions locally. Prices correct at time of publication and may vary up or down.