Outdoor in Lake Como
The mountains and valleys that surround Lake Como are some of the most beautiful locations of the Pre-Alps, with breathtaking scenery. Taking a walk on the paths and mule tracks you will experience the uniqueness of its rolling hills of its impassable cliffs and enjoy the freshness of the thick forests.
The higher peaks, such as Monte Legnone which reaches 2,609 metres, the Dolomite Grigne and the unmistakeable outline of Resegone, are located on the eastern side of the lake. These locations are suitable for those who summer hiking or winter sports, offering sports facilities to suit all occasions.
The summits of San Primo, Corni di Canzo, Monte Bregagno and Pizzo Gino are also perfect destinations for outdoor excursions and ideal for those who enjoy close contact with the natural world.
The valleys such as the Valsassina, Valvarrone, Valle San Martino and Val d’Esino, Val d’Intelvi, Val Menaggio, Val Cavargna, Valsolda and the valleys of the Upper Western Lario are all rich in history with age-old traditions that continue to this day. Here you will find small towns and quaint villages that time seems almost to have forgotten.
Below our selection of best place to visit. We recommend to book a tour with a guide to be always safe and discover the best places.
Hike the trails of “Spina Verde” Natural Park with a naturalistic guide in the History and Nature guided tour and enjoy The breathtaking view from the top of Monte Croce.
Hike uphill on the via Ferrata over the Mountain around Bellagio with the Via Ferrata Tour.
Bike in Lake Como
Lake Como is a great destination if you like mountain bike adventures. In total there are about 238 mountain biking trails for you to discover within the region of Como. To get a first glimpse of what’s awaiting outdoor enthusiasts like you in Como, we created a short highlight list:
Spina Verde Natural Park
A one of a kind cross country ride over the border between Italy and Switzerland southernmost point. In our natural park lay countless trails and historical trench lines sites from 1915 (World War I). Enjoy amazing views overlooking Como city and its lake before experiencing an unforgettable ride through Swiss Merlot vineyards.
Distance: ~25 km – Elevation Gain: ~700 m
Riding Time: ~3 hours – Ride Type: EASY
Dorsale del Triangolo Lariano
One of the most panoramic itineraries in Lake Como. This challenging route rides the whole mountain ridge of Lake Como triangle toward Bellagio offering wonderful views over both lake branches and Mount Grigna. Once gained the ridge of Mount San Primo (1682 m) you will see the most breathtaking view over the whole Lake Como: Lecco branch, Northern branch and Como branch. From there you can dive toward Bellagio riding on amazing single tracks. The way back is a nice ride on the eastern coastal road with constant views over the Lake. You can enjoy a part of this trail with the amazing MTB Tour Lake Como.
Distance: 60 km – Elevation Gain: 1600 m
Riding Time: ~6 hours – Ride Type: VERY HARD
Monte Bisbino and Monte Generoso
A ride in the mountain crown between Lake Como, Val d’Intelvi and Lake Lugano. This trip offers awesome views over Italian-Swiss mountains and valleys as well as a great variety of beautiful trails and single tracks. The first part of this route is the offroad climb to reach the summit of Monte Bisbino (1325 m). From here, an enjoyable mountain unpaved road will lead to Val d’Intelvi where begins the climb to Monte Generoso (1704 m) through single tracks and mountain trails. This long amazing itinerary can be split into parts or enjoyed all at once.
Distance: ~70 km – Elevation Gain: ~2500 m
Riding Time: ~6 hours – Ride Type: EXTREME
Monte di Tremezzo Tour
Mentioned among the most panoramic downhills in the world, this 10 km track with a difference in height of 1400 m gives breathtaking vertical views over Lake Como. The route from Monte di Tremezzo to Griante is half way between Mountain Biking and Enduro because of its technical hairpin turns, grade and rocky sections, when you look at it from below you would not believe a path could be there. It is definitely the perfect pick for downhill lovers and one of the best scenario over our lake. To reach the beginning of this wonderful descent we will initially take a funicular and we will then climb on bikes up to 1500 m of height a.s.l.
Distance: ~40 km – Elevation Gain: ~1100 m
Riding Time: ~6 hours – Ride Type: HARD
Walks and Hike in Lake Como
No doubt about it: walking routes are fun. Especially in a region like Como where there is plenty to discover. All together there are 489 hikes that you can choose from. To get an idea of some of the highlights, here is an overview of the best walking routes in the area:
The Brunate Trail
Brunate is located on the mountaintop above the city of Como. The easiest way to reach Brunate is from the center of Como. The funicular departs about every 15 minutes from Piazza Alcide de Gasperi 4, and will bring you up 716 meters to Brunate. Near the funicular staion is the belvedere (view point) where you can admire a spectacular view spanning Como to Monte Rosa.
From the town square of Brunate start with a walk through town where you will see some of the best-preserved Liberty architecture of Lombardy. The road begins to climb steeply, and after about 30-40 minutes you will reach the church of San Maurizio. Nearby is also the Voltiano Lighthouse, which you can climb for an elevated view.
From the church, follow the signs towards Capanna CAO. This will take you up to about 1000 meters to the beginning of the trail, Il Sentiero delle Baite (the Cabin Trail). From this point onwards, the climb gets easier and you will find yourself immersed in lush, green woods.
Along the trail are several Baite (cabin refuges): the Capanna CAO, the Baita Carla and Baita Bondella, where you can stop to taste local specialties. For ambitious hikers, the trail then continues up to Monte Boletto and even further to Monte Bolettone.
You can return to Como on the funicular, or alternatively, walk down to Como following the trail leaving from the center of Brunate.
The Greenway of Lake Como
The Greenway of Lake Como is one of the most beautiful and scenic hikes around the lake. It’s an easy walk that winds from Colonno to Cadenabbia, about 10 km long. The excursion takes you through medieval villages, ancient alleys and trails with breathtaking views. The starting point is in the village of Colonno. From here, it’s quite easy- the route is marked well, so it is almost impossible to make a mistake! The first section is particularly stunning: you approach the village of Sala Comacina and find yourself in front of a beautiful view of the island. The route then continues to Lenno, which from you can take a short detour and visit Villa Balbianello.
After passing the charming village of Lenno, the trail leaves the lakefront and goes up towards the village of Mezzegra where from the churchyard of Saint Abbondio, you will enjoy an impressive view of Bellagio. From here, descend to Tremezzo, which is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Near the ferry port of Tremezzo you can admire the exterior of Villa Carlotta and another extraordinary view of Bellagio. The last stretch of the Greenway runs along the shoreline of Lake Como. After a total of about three and a half hours of walking, you will arrive at Cadenabbia. The best way to return to your starting point is by bus.
The Wayfarer’s Way
On the eastern shore of Lake Como there is a 45 km trail that crosses the province of Lecco to the province of Sondrio running from the town of Abbadia Lariana all the way to Piantedo. In past centuries, before the roads and railways were built, Il Sentiero del Viandante (The Wayfarer’s Way) was once referred to as Via Ducale, Via Regia or sometimes called Via Napoleona and was the only connection between the coastal villages. Travelers and merchants would use this system of mule tracks and paths to travel from town to town. Referred to by locals as “Il Viandante”, it is usually hiked in 3 or 4 segments. The trail mainly runs above the hills of the coastal towns but detours to the villages are easily accessible. Towns along the way are Abbadia Lariana, Mandello del Lario, Varenna, Bellano, Dervio, Corenno Plinio, Piona and Colico. Here too, every corner offers a spectacular view of the lake and landscape of the area. In addition to seeing gorgeous viewpoints, you will also pass through rustic mountain villages and can visit ancient churches. Most segments are 3 – 4 hours of hiking, but shorter excursions can be planned according to your fitness level. The Lecco-Colico railway line makes doing Il Viandante easy, one step at a time. You can return by train to your starting point or find a B&B in a nearby town along the way and continue in the morning. Il Viandante is a great trail, as it is accessible all year round and is good for all fitness levels.
Monte Generoso (Switzerland)This excursion starts in Maroggia where we catch the local bus (AutoPostale) to Rovio and then go on to Arogno and one of the first-ever plantations of medicinal herbs in the Canton of Ticino (1998). Worth seeing in Rovio is the Romanesque church of San Vigilio (12th century) and the fantastic panoramic view of Lake Lugano. We continue on foot from the centre of Arogno, heading for Monte Generoso along a well marked track that takes us through typical woodland, offering welcome shade on a hot day. After about half an hour’s climb we reach the peaceful Monti di Melano Nature Reserve, the ideal place to stop and rest, drink from a quaint fountain and enjoy the view of Monte San Giorgio. A steep track takes us to the Bellavista railway station, after which the way to the summit is a more level, easier walk. We descend on a track that leads through the Muggio Valley and its medicinal herbs. The excursion ends in Scudellate, where we can also catch a bus to Mendrisio via Muggio, Caneggio and Castel San Pietro.