How To Have The Perfect Lake Como Vacation
Keep reading for my guide on how to have the perfect Lake Como vacation 🙂
Lake Como is the most beautiful lake I’ve ever seen. The romanticism of the sun’s reflection on the water, the historical villas lining the waterfront, the lush & evergreen mountains surrounding you… Como just has a certain energy that truly soothes the soul.
Lake Como is Italy’s largest and most popular lake located in Northern Italy, surrounded by lush evergreen mountains. The towns are small and spread out, but you can easily get around by using the bus, ferries, car, or taxi. Weather in Como is a bit unpredictable but overall summer has the warmest weather, although don’t be surprised if you experience some rain during summer – happened to us in August.
Some towns are more convenient than others so make sure you look into that before booking your hotel. It takes about an hour to get from Como train station (downtown) to Varenna (north) by speed boat.
The most popular towns to be based in are Como, Varenna, and Bellagio because they are close to the train stations, ferries, and have the most restaurant options. So if convenience is what your looking for, choose one of those towns. On the other hand, if you’re looking for peace and quiet, and just want to stay in one town most of the time, then you can look into one of the many luxury hotels on the lake. We stayed at Asnigo Hotel in Cernobbio and then Filario Hotel in Lezzeno. Both were very relaxing and I’d highly recommend both:)
What To Do
The best thing you can do on your Lake Como vacation is relax, but there’s also plenty of fun things to do. Boat rides, villas, shopping, gambling, swimming, sunbathing, and visiting the different towns are the “activities” we partook in. We really just relaxed here.
We stayed in Cernobbio for 2 nights at Asnigo Hotel and we loved it. It was quiet, had a beautiful view, and was only a 5 minute taxi or 20 minute walk into town.
The town is cute but there aren’t many restaurants to eat at here. A good option for convenience and variety is downtown Como by the Como train station.
Villa d’Este is one of the most bourgeois hotels I’ve ever been too. A beautiful villa from the sixteenth-century that used to be a summer residence for the Cardinal of Como, but has been a luxury hotel since 1873! This is a great place to stay during you Lake Como vacation if you like to be secluded and relax.
You must go for lunch, dinner, or drinks and then walk around the lush garden. And if you do go there, order a negroni for me:)
It’s not a Lake Como vacation without going on at least one boat ride:) TBH I figured the boat rides here would be more like they are in Capri but I was wrong. This trip we did the boat tour that goes from Varenna to Villa Balbianello through Taxi Boat Varenna which is nice if you want to see & experience both. However, next time I’d rent our own boat at Filario Hotel. The tour we did was just a ride to Villa Balbianello where they dropped us off for an hour which was way too long to be in the sun and then picked us up to go back.
Villa Balbianello is a magnificent villa located in Lenno (province of Como), Italy, overlooking Lake Como. The villa is famous for it’s elaborate terraced gardens and for being in major films namely Casino Royal, James Bond, and Star Wars. You can visit the villa by purchasing tickets online or on site.
Tip: I don’t know why I thought there would be food here but there isn’t so bring food and water just in case.
Visit the different towns
The one and only Bellagio! I would stay here next time for a couple days because the town was so cute and centrally located. We didn’t get to explore much of it this time but from what we did see it was charming.
Varenna was where we met for our boat tour and it was a gem. Restaurants lakeside, boutique shops, and fresh fruit juices are a must here. Varenna also has a train station where you can take the train to Milan so the location is convenient & easy to get to.
The easiest way to arrive in Lake Como is through Milano Centrale Train Station where there are multiple trains daily. It takes about 36 minutes to get to Como San Giovanni Station and about 1 hour and 37 minutes to Varenna-Esino Station on the north end of the lake. We took the train to Como San Giovanni Station on the south end, and then took the ferry to Lezzeno because I love being on water, but either option is fine. You can find the ferry schedule here. I also use Rome2Rio.com which is super helpful for figuring out transportation.
Depending on which area you are staying, you can take the bus, ferry, or taxi to other towns. Keep in mind that the lake is huge so plan on timing beforehand. It takes over an hour to get from one end to the next unless you take a hydrofoil boat which takes about 50 minutes.
It’s important to note that they don’t have Uber in Como. There are very few taxis at Como San Giovanni Station, so I recommend setting up a driver beforehand. You can also drive to Como from Milan if you rent a car, but the public transportation in Italy is typically reliable and convenient.
When To Go
The best time to go is June-September if you want to experience the warmer weather. The crowds aren’t that bad in Lake Como so I wouldn’t worry about that being an issue.
If you liked this article on How To Have The Perfect Lake Como Vacation you might also like: The Best Modern Lake Como Hotel: Filario Hotel
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