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Spend some time at Italy's Lake Como and make the most of the storybook landscapes by getting stuck in to numerous watersports, hiking routes, cycle paths and scenic train rides. Plus, discover the hidden gem of Colico and its stunning lakeside location. 

a glimpse of lake como down a bellagio street

The pre-Alpine north of Italy is home to the country’s most famous lakes –  Maggiore, Garda and Como. Of these Lake Como is the most dramatic, its backdrop of mountain peaks contrasting with the blue waters below, pretty villages dotting the hillsides and splendid lakeside villas and hotels completing the scene.

Visitors have been coming here since the age of Julius Caesar and today most of the tourist action is found in the classic resort villages in the central region of the lake – Bellagio, Cadenabbia/Tremezzo and Menaggio. Lake Como is shaped like an upside down letter ‘Y’ with the ‘Pearl of the Lake’ - Bellagio - situated where the two legs meet and Cadenabbia/Tremezzo and Menaggio creating a popular triangle served by frequent ferries.

Exploring the lake by ferry and boat is an irresistable attraction, but for visitors who are looking for something more active there are plenty on dry land and on the water. There are a multitude of hikes and walks in the hills above the lake, or head for the water to go windsurfing, kitesurfing, waterskiing, sailing and canoeing as well as swimming. 

One for the thrill seekers - windsurfing on Lake Como.jpg

At the northeastern shore of the lake lies the small lakeside town of Colico. Here the vista is expansive as the mountain-fringed lake gives way to the broad valley beyond. Colico has a cute little harbour and a sloping shore which is perfect for watersports. 

It is also the starting point for the Valtellina Way a broad cycling and walking path that stretches 22 miles west to Chiavenna, at the foot of Switzerland’s Maloja Pass, and in the east terminates in the ski and spa resort of Bormio, 71 miles away in the Italian Alps. Going east, the path follows the River Adda  along the lush valley floor, overlooked by towering mountains on each side. 


Rides and rails

There are many stopping points along the route, and for the first 40 miles from Colico to Tirano the railway line runs parallel to the path so you can easily cycle to the Swiss border and then catch a train back. Or if you fancy riding all the way to Bormio, a forward luggage service is available, delivering your bags to each overnight stop.

There are also trains running towards Chiavenna, on the Valtellina Way’s westerly arm. Much of the terrain along the Way is suitable for all levels of hikers and bikers, too - the Colico to Tirano section may be 46 miles long but the difference in elevation is only 200 metres, making for a relaxed, flat ride. The Tirano to Bormio section is a little more challenging, with 750 metres of elevation. Activity lovers of all abilities can take their pick in Colico. 


Where to stay

Seven Parks Hotel, Colico

A stunning modern boutique hotel by the Colico beach. Facilities include a spa/wellness centre and two swimming pools. During the summer the beach bar where regular barbecues are held is very popular. The stop for ferries and hydrofoils is about five mins walk away. The Valtellina Way is just metres from the hotel.

Beautiful wellness centre at Seven Parks Hotel.jpg


Hotel Britannia Excelsior, Cadenabbia 

Located lakefront in Cadenabbia with views to Bellagio. The hotel offers its guests an all-inclusive full-board arrangement. There are two outdoor swimming pools, including Europe’s biggest floating pool. Catch the ferry to Bellagio about 200 metres from the hotel. 


Hotel Bazzoni, Tremezzo

Lakefront in Tremezzo, the Hotel Bazzoni is ideally placed for the Villa Carlotta and a ferry stop, both of which are close to the hotel. Guests will enjoy an ‘all-inclusive’ full board arrangement and can use the facilities of the Hotel Brittania.


Nearest airports: Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate and Bergamo airports are all about 90 minutes by road from each of the resorts.

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