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Holidays

Self-Guided Walking on Lake Como

Italy
1 review
Available Departures: Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

5 days from

US$895

without flights
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Discover the Italian Lakes on our self-guided walking holiday on the shores of Lake Como

Trip Code: SGLC
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking on Lake Como

Highlights
  • Explore the beautiful villas and Italian gardens of Carlotta and Balbaniello
  • Centre-based at a boutique guesthouse in a beautiful location on the shores of Lake Como
  • Enjoy a boat cruise to Bellagio and walk to Perlo for breathtaking views 
  • Walk through olive groves and visit traditional medieval villages

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • Centre-based
  • Short break
  • 3 days walking & sightseeing
  • Daily departures available
  • Join In Lenno, Lake Como

Accommodation & Meals
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • 4 nights Guesthouse
Overview

Glistening waters, colourful villages and manicured vineyards, all wrapped up in a dramatic mountain backdrop. Lake Como is a gem you are sure to fall in love with. Lake Como has been the holiday destination of choice for the rich and famous since Roman times, when aristocrats were seduced by the lavish villas and magnificent gardens. Today it remains a holiday favourite of George Clooney and Richard Branson who are drawn to its beautiful scenery and exquisite location.

 

Nestled in the Italian Lakes just a couple of hours from Milan, the region offers a fantastic network of trails and ancient mule tracks, leading you from pretty villages to spectacular villas and gardens. We have specially designed this trip with flexibility in mind, providing you with a selection of walks and Villa entrances including Carlotta and Balbaniello which can be under taken in any order; allowing you to make the most of your time in the area. Your walks will take you cruising across the lake; to panoramic views; and meandering through orchards and olive groves all at your own pace. Each night you'll stay in a beautiful lakeshore village on the south west shore of the lake with views you will never want to leave. Life on Lake Como really is ‘la dolce vita’.

Is this holiday for you?

We have specially designed this short break for those who want to make the most of their holiday time and sample all that this spectacular region has to offer. You will explore the small villages along the shores and take the ferry across this famous lake to really be immersed in the culture of the area. There are opportunities to visit some of the many  historic villas and gardens that are d …

We have specially designed this short break for those who want to make the most of their holiday time and sample all that this spectacular region has to offer. You will explore the small villages along the shores and take the ferry across this famous lake to really be immersed in the culture of the area. There are opportunities to visit some of the many  historic villas and gardens that are dotted along the lake shore including visits to Villas Carlotta and Melzi incorporated into the walks. Your walks are approximately 3 to 4 hours long on well-marked paths to allow an easy-pace and allow you the flexibility to pick and choose when and where to explore on each day. This is your holiday your way!

Why KE?

With KE you’ll be perfectly placed to enjoy the delights of Lake Como from our family run lakeside accommodation. Just a short stroll from the front door is the stunning Villa del Balbianello and its romantic gardens tumbling down to the lake, as well as the ferry which you’ll use to access the walks.

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Itinerary

Arrive in Lenno and settle in to your accommodation. Depending on the time of your arrival you may wish to take a stroll along the promenade or perhaps visit the Villa Balbianello and explore its stunning garden terraces, the backdrop for some of Hollywood's most stunning films, located just 100m from the guest house. The pretty village of Lenno, that you'll be calling home for the next few days, is nestled on the shores of Lake Como and affords a quieter corner of the lake than many other neighbouring tourist hotspots, offering chances to steal away a few quiet moments before your walks begin in earnest.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Your walk today begins straight from the doorstep through the hills of the Azalea Riviera providing stunning panoramas of the lake and surrounding mountains. Along the way you can witness the fantastic contrasts between olive groves and immaculate gardens of the glamourous villas, medieval villages and stunning Renaissance churches. You'll have the opportunity today to visit Villa Carlotta famed for its impressive gardens filled with beautiful lemon trees, camellias, azaleas and roses all vying for your attention, as well as its impeccable interior decorated with neoclassical sculptures, friezes and paintings. You'll return to Lenno by boat where you may have time for a swim in the lido before enjoying dinner in a local restaurant.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

200 M

Descent

200 M

Time

3 hours

Your route begins with a boat transfer to the Bellagio Peninsula known as 'the pearl of Lario' described by composer Gabriel Faure as 'one of the most beautiful sites of the earth and the most voluptuous of Italy'. Your walk will take you to the picturesque village of Pescallo and through the park of Villa Giolia before climbing to Perlo for panoramic views of the lake. You return through the gardens of Villa Melzi for well-earned refreshment before your return boat journey back across the lake.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

300 M

Descent

300 M

Time

4 hours

Start your day with a short boat transfer to the town of Bellano on the eastern shores of Lake Como. This walk will take you above the lake along the eastern fells walking on Roman mule tracks you will pass olive groves and pretty villages to the colourful lakeside town of Varenna, the pure 'dolce vita'! On the way to Varenna, you can visit the Vezio castle. Once in Varenna, you will have time to explore the village and the beautiful gardens of Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi, before returning to the west shore of the lake by ferry cruise to spend your final evening in Lenno reflecting on a great few days in the heart of the Italian Lakes.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

250 M

Descent

250 M

Time

3 - 4 hours

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and if you haven't already, steal a couple hours for a trip to the Villa Balbianello. A must before your departure.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Airport Airport
Direction Direction
Trek
Boat

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Boat tickets on Como to your walks as described
  • Entrance ticket to Villa Carlotta
  • Entrance ticket to Villa Balbianello gardens
  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes

  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to/from Lenno
  • Local transfers and lifts
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Tourist Taxes may apply and are usually under 5 Euros per person per night
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Personal equipment
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

The trip starts and ends at your hotel in Lenno. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a land only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airport for this trip is Milan Malpensa Airport with many departures from regional UK airports.

If you are flying into Milan Malpensa Airport you can travel via public transport which will take approximately 3 hours with 2 changes. First take the shuttle bus to Milano Centrale Railway Station where you then take the train to Como or take the train to Milan Garibaldi Station and change train to Como. From Como you can either travel by bus or by ferry to Lenno. Alternatively we can offer a private transfer from the airport to your accommodation. Please ask our sales team for a quotation.

It is also possible to fly into Milan Bergamo Airport with low cost airlines offering regular flights from UK airports. If you are flying into this airport you can travel to Lenno via public transport. This also takes approximately 3 and half hours with 3 changes. First you take the shuttle bus to Milan where you then take the train from Milano Centrale Railway Station to Como. From Como you can either travel by bus or by ferry to Lenno.

This trip is on a self catering basis to allow you the most flexibility during your holiday. You will find two small supermarkets close to your accommodation where you can easily pick up your essentials.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

In Italy food is a way of life; it brings families together, gives friends a reason to sit down and laugh and showcases local produce. Lake Como is no different with many local dishes to sample such as Cotoletta alla Milanese, tender cutlets of veal coated in egg and breadcrumbs, fried in olive oil until deliciously golden; or Fritto misto di lago, a fried fish selection from the lake that visitors simply love. This trip has been designed on a bed & breakfast basis to allow you to dine out and sample these delicacies and many more. 
 
Breakfast at your hotel is a simple continental affair as is typical in Italy with fresh coffee, breads and fresh pastries served with delicious jams and usually the Italian staple - Nutella. 
 

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

Your base for this trip will be the small family run Apartment Balbianino. The recently renovated mansion house offers fantastic lakeside views. This stunning property is filled with rustic charm, the perfect base for exploring this magical stretch of Lake Como. The gardens of Villa Balbianello are just 100 metres away and the pier to board the ferry is only 500 metres from your door, adjacent to the Lido in Lenno, the perfect place to unwind after each days walk.

Each apartment is studio style with a well-equipped kitchenette and en-suite bathroom.

It is possible to arrange additional nights accommodation if you would like to enjoy this magnificent region a little longer. Please speak to one of our sales team for further details.

During high season you may be booked into an alternative accommodation of a similar standard in the area.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. Luggage with wheels is useful for this holiday. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

The advantage of a self-guided walking holiday is that you decide the pace however getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable your walks will be. You should be comfortable with walking 3 to 4 hours for consecutive days. We suggest that you try to fit in a number of daily walks in hilly countryside before your trip and it's always a good idea to spend some time walking in the footwear you are going to use on this holiday.

Lake Como and the surrounding area have a semi-continental climate with cold winter and hot summers. The lake however also influences the area allowing for milder temperatures with spring and autumn averaging 9 – 20 degrees with the summer months up to 35 degrees. This combination of climates can bring with it rain and thunderstorms in the hot afternoons so be sure to pack your waterproofs as well as your suntan lotion just in case.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Going Solo on Lake Como by Ciara O'Toole
  • An Italian Village: A Perspective On Life Beside Lake Como by Paul Wright
  • Rambles in Germany and Italy by Mary Shelley

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

  • Hiking boots with good grip soles
  • Functional base layer
  • T-shirts
  • Hat
  • Windproof jacket
  • Fleece / extra layer
  • Long/short hiking trousers
  • Hiking socks
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Waterproof Trousers
  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)
  • Small first aid kit for your rucksack
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Camera (batteries/memory card)
  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)
  • Power bank
  • Waterproof phone cover
  • Sun glasses
  • Personal wash kit
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags
  • Tupperware for picnics
  • Walking poles
  • Your self-guided route notes

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

4 out of 5 from 1 review

A beautiful and interesting walking trip. ★★★★

We thoroughly enjoyed our walking holiday at Lake Como. The walks typically took us on muleteers tracks above the towns and villages. There were few other people around and the views were marvellous. We came across all sorts of interesting details such as the house where Mussolini had been executed and by contrast to a restaurant, where the chef was giving a pasta-making demonstration. The walk-notes were sometimes difficult to follow and the search for a "staggering" view led us well out our wa y but became a quite memorable walk in itself. Generally we would have preferred somewhat longer walks. A little more guidance about how the ferries operate would have been useful, rather than a reminder on every page to check out the ferry timetables.
By Russell from Heidelberg Heights | 22 July 2019

Traveller Reviews
4 out of 5 from 1 review

A beautiful and interesting walking trip.
★ ★ ★ ★
We thoroughly enjoyed our walking holiday at Lake Como. The walks typically took us on muleteers tracks above the towns and villages. There were few other people around and the views were marvellous. We came across all sorts of interesting details such as the house where Mussolini had been executed and by contrast to a restaurant, where the chef was giving a pasta-making demonstration. The walk-notes were sometimes difficult to follow and the search for a "staggering" view led us well out our wa y but became a quite memorable walk in itself. Generally we would have preferred somewhat longer walks. A little more guidance about how the ferries operate would have been useful, rather than a reminder on every page to check out the ferry timetables.
By Russell from Heidelberg Heights | 22 July 2019

DATES & PRICES

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

More Information

More Information

Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons on twin or double occupancy, however we can quote for any number of travellers, including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

We offer some transfers to your hotel from the nearest airports, please refer to the 'joining arrangements and transfers' for further details for this trip.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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