How to Spend 3 Days in Lake Como
With three days in Lake Como, there’s ample time to take in the historical, cultural, and scenic highlights of Italy’s 3rd-largest lake. Marvel at the steep cliffsides from a boat, sample local wines and culinary staples, and explore elegant lakeside towns and mountainsides. Here are our tips for getting the best from three days in Lake Como.
Day 1: Cruises and Sightseeing
While ferries are the chosen way to sightsee for many travelers, a full-day tour of Lake Como’s most scenic spots is a great way to get an overview of the area. Maximize your time with bus-and-boat tours that typically visit Bellagio, Como, or Varenna and include boat trips to the exquisite Villa d’Este or Villa Balbianello. Tours depart from Como or Varenna, and some incorporate lunch at a lakeside restaurant. Travelers interested in history and architecture might choose a walking, electric-bike, or Segway tour of Como—the lake’s main hub—to see sights including its cathedral and medieval walls, or explore cobbled Bellagio with a guide. In the evening, splurge on a sunset helicopter tour.
Day 2: Food and Wines
Lake Como is a food- and wine lovers’ paradise thanks to its freshwater fish, northern Italian specialities, and the wine-growing areas of its northern sections, so dedicate today to sampling it wares. Opt for a tour that immerses you in the local food culture—perhaps venturing to the southeastern lake to sample the artisanal prosciutto and cheeses of the area. Alternatively, book a cooking class with a local chef to master fresh pasta and other Lombard staples or a tour around Como town, stopping to sample cold cuts, olive oils, and other delicacies while viewing the sights. If you’re eager to try local wines, a small-group wine tour lets you visit a winery on the lake’s northern banks, so you taste a selection of varieties without having to worry about driving.
Day 3: The Great Outdoors
From mountain roads to footpaths, Lake Como has plenty to offer outdoor types. Bike along the lake’s east and west shores; explore hidden sights and beaches on a kayaking tour; go hiking above the lake; or zoom into the mountains on the back of a motorbike, pausing at vantage points to absorb the panoramas. Tours leave from Como and Varenna and center on everything from the meandering paths through Spina Verde Park—offering bird’s-eye lake views en route—to former mule tracks that wind through mountainside olive groves and chestnut woods. End your stay with a romantic sunset cruise with dinner.