Walking from Lake Como to Lake Maggiore
    • Italy - Lake region
    • 8 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From March to October
    • 2 - 10 travellers
      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
      • Prestige
      • Trip code : R1104

About the Walking from Lake Como to Lake Maggiore trip

About the trip: Walking from Lake Como to Lake Maggiore

Your walking holiday in the Italy lake region: with the Alps painting a dramatic backdrop, the Italian lakes offer a charming and romantic landscape to discover on foot. Over the years, this idyllic part of the country and wonderful climate have become home to many villas and magnificent botanical gardens.  

During this Italy walking trip you will discover the prettiest walking trails and admire the ‘must see’s’ of the 2 beautiful lakes in northern Italy. No car needed on this trip. The best parts to see are accessible on foot and your luggage is taken care of and transported hotel to hotel.
The first stop is Lake Como, the pearl of the Italian lakes, with the sumptuous botanical gardens of Villa Carlotta, Villa Balbianello and Villa Melzi. Then comes Lake Maggiore with its fairy tale setting and Borromeans islands, the majestic hotels of Stresa, the elegance of Cannobio and its picturesque narrow streets.
The shores of the 2 lakes are dotted with elegant and luxurious villas where azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas are reflected in the waters. Through the hills below the snow-capped mountain peaks you walk through olive groves and vineyards, past hamlets and picture postcard villages. Old stone streets lead you to the lake shore from where you can hop on a boat and visit a beautiful villa or a small, quiet port.  A paradise for any walker keen on lush nature, charming small mountain villages, luxurious villas and great cuisine: the real Italian way of life.

Highlights of the trip

  • The best panoramic walking trails, the stunning scenery of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore
  • Stroll through beautiful gardens and villas after sailing to the Borromean Islands
  • All transfers included from Lake Como to Lake Maggiore
  • The famous must see villas & gardens : Villa Carlotta, Balbianello, Melzi ..
  • La dolce vita and swimming in the lake: a real Italian way of life !

  • Choose your type of accommodation,  extra walks/rides, an e-bike, etc .. Click on BOOK
From the blog

Walking from Lake Como to Lake Maggiore: Day By Day

- Give you a treat and stay extra nights in Brunate - Como !

best walk in italy

  • Give yourself a treat and stay 1 or 2 extra nights in the perched hamlet of Brunate
    . Located at 750m above sea level, high above Lake Como at the summit of the historic cable car, Brunate boasts spectacular views over the lake. This charming hamlet  is a maze of small alleyways and stairs, famous for its beautiful baroque church, magnificent "Art Nouveau" style villas and the Volta lighthouse with its sprial staircase. By staying the night, you can really appreciate Brunate once the crowds have left. The amazing sunset over the lake is yours to enjoy! The following day, you go against the crowd and take the cable car down and exlore Lake Como while the rest of the tourists head up from the lake to explore Brunate!
    . Extra walk : Loop walk from Brunate to the Volta lighthouse, famous for its spiral staircase and 143 steps. Along the way, you can admire the magnificent "Art Nouveau" style villas : A unique experience ! 
  • Comfort to Charming accommodation in Brunate
  • Contact us 

1 - Arrival on Lake Como in Bellagio

Short holidays in Italy lake region

  • Como city > Lenno
  • Boat transfer from Como city to the picturesque little village of Lenno (1 hour). 
    Upon arrival, have a stroll through the peaceful village of Lenno. We recommend starting your walking holiday in Italy with a visit of the gardens of the Villa Balbianello, an elegant and romantic XVIII century residence and one of the settings chosen for the the Star Wars and Casino Royal films !
    If you have the time, head to the small pebble beach by the lake and jump in for a swim.
  • Dinner included & night in Lenno.
  • MEALS included: Dinner

  • We recommend : 
    . Having an extra night in Lenno. You can enjoy some extra relaxation time and use your flexible 6 day boat pass to visit the neighbouring villages. 

  • Access: 
    . Flight : Regular flights and low cost airline to Milan : Milano Malpensa Airport (click here ) and Milan Linate Airport (click here )
    . Train : Regular train lines from Milan city / Milan airport > Como city on trenitalia. Access information here  
    . Boat : Regular boat from Como city > Lenno (the station is 10/15 mn walk from the boat). Schedule here 
    . Car rental : you can also rent a car in Milan or Como city. Contact us for the hotel parking information

  • Market on Tuesday, Thursday morning  & Saturday all day in Como city
  • Small Market on Tuesday morning in Lenno

2 - Walking around Bellagio: pearl of Lake Como

  • Best time to visit the famous Villa Carlotta in the Italy lake regionWalk - Loop Bellagio 
    4 hours - 8km / 4.9 miles - Ascent: +300 m / Descent: -300 m
  • Boat transfer from Lenno to Bellagio (35 minutes)
  • The start of your walk is in the village of Bellagio, one of the prettiest Italian villages, affectionately known as the "pearl of the lake" with its narrow streets lined with flowers, its church and cafés. You pass through the picturesque village of Pescallo and walk through the Villa Giulia park and then climb up to Perlo. Return to Bellagio via the Villa Melzi gardens that greatly inspired Stendhal, Flaubert and Wagner : a wonderful example of an English garden with trees and flowers from around the world. 
    . Option : Vous can enjoy a guided tour of the Villa Serbelloni gardens: a former palace of the last century belonging to the Rockfeller foundation, where Léonard de Vinci and Reine Victoria stayed. The visit of the gardens leads to the top of the promontory, revealing very beautiful views of the three arms of Lake Como (depart from Bellagio tourist office)
  • Boat transfer back to Lenno
  • Night in Lenno
  • MEALS included: Breakfast

  • All day Market on the third Wednesday of the month in Bellagio

3 - Walking trails from the coloured village of Varenna

Dinner in Varenna, in Lake Como during the best independent tours of italy

  • Walk - Bellano > Varenna
    3 hours 30 - 7km / 4.3 miles - Ascent: +300 m / Descent: -300 m
  • Boat transfer from Lenno to Bellano (1 hour)
  • Your walking tour continues on one of the oldest walking paths of the lake. The "sentiero del viandante" was traced by the Roman legionaries who reached the great passes of the Alps. It's a gentle climb past the "Orrido di Bellano" (visit is possible), and natural gorges formed in the antiquity. The path then offers panoramic views, passing through the village of Gittana and the Vézio castle dating back to the 12th century. You end the walk in the pretty village of Varenna, known for its colourful hillside houses.  In Veranna, you must visit the Villa Monastero gardens : the villa is surrounded by a botanical garden home to  rhododendrons, glycines, magnolias and citrus fruit trees.  For any horticultural enthousiasts you can also visit the Villa Cipressi, dating back to the Renaissance era. 
  • Boat transfer from Varenna to Lenno (45 minutes)
  • Night in Lenno
  • MEALS included:  Breakfast

  • Market on Thursday morning in Bellano
  • Market on Saturday morning in Varenna

4 - Panoramic & historic walk from Lenno

Walking day during a self guided tour in Lake Como

  • Walk - Lenno > Villa Carlotta
    2 hours 30 - 5km / 3.0 miles - Ascent: +200 m / Descent: -200 m
  • From Lenno, you climb above the lake and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the mountains.  Your walk takes you through a small medieval village with narrow streets, past churches and chapels on paths lined with olive trees and lush vegetation.   
  • You end this first walking day at Villa Carlotta: a "must see villa" on Lake Como ! You can visit the beautiful botanical garden where camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons bloom (April -May) .
  • Return by boat to Lenno and then taxi transfer to Cannobio, on Lake Maggiore
  • Night in Cannobio
  • MEALS included: Breakfast

5 - Panoramic trail from Cannero to Cannobio

best hikes in italy in cannero cannobio on lake maggiore

  • Walk - Cannero > Carmine superior > Canobbio
    3 hours - 8km / 4.9 miles - Ascent: +400 m / Descent: -400 m
  • Boat transfer from Cannobio to Cannero (30 mn)
  • You start your walk in the small village of Cannero, a small, pretty village at the foot of Mount Carza. 
    After a lovely stroll on the sea front on Cannero, you take the old mule path to the medieval village of Carmine Superiore. Here, time seems to have stood still.  Magnificent views over Lake Maggiore and the possibility to visit the San Gottardo church, well worth the detour. We continue on the panoramic path towards the village of Molineggi. After the dairy shacks in Solivo we descend to Cannabio where the walk ends with a charming seafront stroll. 
  • Night in Cannobio
  • MEALS included: Breakfast

- Add an extra night in Cannobio !

walking tours in italy with a private baot cruise on lake maggiore

  • Have an extra night in Cannobio. We suggest great extra activities : 

  • Great Sunday market in Cannobio
  • Big & famous traditionnal Wednesday market in Luino
    On Wednesday, you can take the boat to Luino on the opposite shore (20min crossing). You can enjoy the traditional market in Luino, one of the most authentic all day markets on Lake Maggiore.  With over 350 stall holders, you will find some great local crafts and produce, fresh cheeses, local cured meats, fish from the lake and seasonal fruit and veg, clothes, bags and hardware... a great Italian experience!  
  • Spend the day on a small boat with a local Italian guide. From 9am to 3pm, hop on board the boat and sail on the lake towards the castles in Cannero, with swimming and snorkling opportunities, or just enjoy some time sun bathing on the deck... Aperitif and lunch served on the boat. 
    You can also try a "discovery dive" of 30 minutes in the lake. You will see shoals  of fish and enjoy swimming around the rocks : an exciting experience. (All diving equipment and semidry suit are provided). 

6 - The magnificent Borromean islands

walking tours of italy on the borromeo islands on lake maggiore

  • Today, you take the boat to Stresa, located in the south of Lake Maggiore. A beautiful little town on the lake shore with majestic XIX century hotels, traditional narrow streets and Friday morning market. There are many small beaches along the lake for swimming. 
  • Cruise on the lake from Cannobio to Stresa ( 1h to 1h30).  Arrival in Stresa and your luggage is transferred for you so you are free to discover the Borromean islands! 
  • Boat transfer to the Borromean islands. The boat runs all day between Stresa and the 3 islands : you can take your time and visit each island and discover the history of the family that had a profound effect on the history of France and Italy. 
  •  Isola Bella  with its 17th-century palace, Isola Madre with its famous palaces and botanical garden,  terraced gardens and magnificent exotic garden.  And finally,  Isola dei Pescatori,  a pictoresque little fishing village with narrow streets and lovely restaurants for lunch.  (Borromean islands entrance not included)
  • Boat transfer back to Stresa
  • Night in Stresa
  • MEALS included:  Breakfast

  • Market on Friday morning in Stresa

- Give you a treat and have an extra night on the Borromeo islands !

lake maggiore walking italy tours

  • Treat yourself and have an extra night in a charming hotel on the Borromean islands in Isola Pescatori.
    Isola Pescatori is the smallest island, the most picturesque and the only one to be inhabited. This small village is made up of multi-storey dwellings, with long balconies used for drying fish, narrow alleys and the Church of San Vittore. There are no cars on the island, the only way to discover it is on foot. There are two main roads, one leading to the village and the other along the island. At the end of the day, once all the tourists boats have left, you will have the island to yourself with just a handful of locals. Dine by the lake.  
  • Contact us if you are interested

7 - Discovering Stresa

italy hiking tours to lake maggiore in santa caterina del sasso and mottarone

  • Today is a free day in Stresa. You can choose to relax, enjoy the shops & markets in the pretty narrow streets, swim in the lake... We have many suggestions and options for you. 

    . Loop Walk - Mottarone
    3 hours - 8km / 4.9 miles - Ascent: +300 m / Descent: -300 m
    Take the cable car in Stresa to the summit of Mottarone. You can stop off on route at the "Giardino alpino",  a huge 40.000 m² park at 800m above sea level, with over 700 different botanical species. The Mottarone sits at 1491m above sea level and offers stunning panoramic 360° views over the 7 lakes  (Orta, Maggiore, Mergozzo, Biandronno, Varese, Monate et Comabbio) and the Borromean islands. On a clear day, you can see the Pô plain and the summit of Mount Rose. The Mottarone is considered to be one of the most beautiful natural viewing points of the Piemont region.  At the summit, you can enjoy lunch in a mountain chalet.  

    . Walk - Stresa > the chestnut route > Belgirate
    3 hours 30 - 8km / 4.9 miles - Ascent: +200 m / Descent: -200 m
    Panoramic views on this walking trail overlooking the lake from Stresa to Belgirate, a charming village with traditional houses and flowered gardens along an old roman trail dotted with old chapels. A walking trail representing a rural and religious past.  The path alternates between tarmac road, old mule paths and through wooded areas, then quickly rejoining the panoramic trail overlooking the lake at the oratorium in Passèra, passing by some beautiful villas. Return by boat or train to Stresa

    .The Santa Caterina del Sasso Monastery
    Arriving in Stresa by boat is spectacular! A little gem on the lake, the small XIII century monastery is perched above the lake, clinging to the cliff, offering stunning views of the lake. From the top of the rock, you need to descend the 268 steps (or take the lift) that lead to this remarkable place, nestled into the cliff. You can admire remarkable frescoes dating back to the 14th century. Visit the monastery and the church with its 3 gothic style chapels. We recommend arriving either early or late in the day to avoid the crowds.  

    . The Villa TARANTO botanical gardens
    In spring, summer and autumn, the extraordinary bursts of colour turn the gardens of the Villa Taranto into the floral attraction on Lake Maggiore. The 40-acre park is home to 20 000 plants and more than 80 000 flower species. You take the boat to reach Villa Taranto and enjoy a 1h30 to 2h trail through terraced gardens, rare majestic trees, chapels and water pools. A magnificent park in all seasons with rhododendrons blooming from February to July, camelias from October to April and a beautiful selection of dahlias in the autumn. An enchanting visit with beautiful views over the lake, a "must" on Lake Maggiore ! 

  • Night in Stresa
    MEALS included:  Breakfast

8 - End of your Italy Lake region walking stay

self guided walking holidays italy lake maggiore

  • End of your trip in Stresa on Lake Maggiore after breakfast
  • MEALS included:  Breakfast

  • Return: 
    . Train : Regular train lines from Stresa to Milan city/ Milan airport on trenitalia. Access information here  
    . Flight : Regular flights and low cost airline from Milano Malpensa Airport (click here ) and Milan Linate Airport (click here )

- Add an extra day and discover the charming Orta !

self guided tours of italy on the italian lakes in orta san giulia

  • Have an extra night in Stresa and enjoy 1 extra day to discover Orta San Guilio 
  • You head off on the discovery of one of the smallest yet most charming of the Italian lakes : Lake Orta.  
    Orta is a  small pedestrian village listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy with its old stone houses and impressive mansions. Visit the Sacro Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage site, perched on the hill above the village, nestled in a huge centuries old forest.  It tells the story of the life of St Francois of Assisi  through 20 chapels decorated with colourful frescoes and life-size statues. You can visit the little island of San Giulio located in the middle of the lake (boat transfer) that is home to a Romanesque basilica and a Benedictine convent. (Just one restaurant on the island for lunch)

Want more info on Lake Como & Lake Maggiore ?

  • Lake Como history, climate, traditions & gastronomy -- Click here ! 
  • Lake Maggiore history, climate, traditions & gastronomy -- Click here ! 

Trip info

The rates are per person:

  • on a 2 pers. minimum reservation basis ( shared room)
  • and always remain subject to availability
  • If you travel SOLO : please contact us 

INCLUDED

  • 7 nights double occupancy with private facilities
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 1 dinner
  • Day 1 : boat ticket from Como city to Lenno
  • Day 2 : boat transfer return to Bellagio
  • Day 3 : boat transfer to Bellano,and then return from Varenna
  • Day 4 : boat transfer from Villa Carlotta
  • Day 4 : transfer from Lake Como to Cannobio on Lake Maggiore
  • Day 5 : boat ticket from Cannobio to Cannero, start of the walk
  • Day 6 : boat ticket from Cannobio to Stresa
  • Day 6 : luggage transfer from Stresa boat pier to your hotel
  • Day 6 : return boat ticket  from Stresa to the 3 Borromean islands
  • Our Road Book with detailed walking itineraries including highlighted maps
  • 2 road map of the region
  • 24/7 phone assistance 

NOT INCLUDED

  • All meals not noted-included in your itinerary
  • SINGLE supplement
  • Entrance fees into museums, villas, insurance, drinks, items of personal nature
  • Entrance fees to the Villas & gardens
    . Gardens of Villa Balbianello - Around 10€uros (closed Monday, Wednesday & banking holiday)
    . Gardens & Villa Carlotta - Around 10 €uros
    . Gardens of Villa Melzi - Around 6.50 €uros
    . Gardens of Villa Monastero  - Around 5 €uros
    . Botanical garden of the Villa Cipressi - Around 6 €uros
    . Castle Vezio - Around 4€ 
    . Borromean Islands :
    Isola Bella villa & gardens - Around 17€ / Isola Madre palace & gardens - Around 13.50 €
    Isola Bella & Isola Madre -  Around 24 €

More walking trips in Italy Lake region

    • Italy - Lake region
    • 5 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From April to October
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Confort
      • Charming
      • Prestige
  • Highlights of the trip

    • Panoramic walking paths between the lake and the mountains
    • 4 nights in Lenno, a pretty & peaceful little village
    • Flexible lake boat pass allowing you to plan your walking days as you wish  
    • 1 dinner included
    • The famous must see villas & gardens : Villa Carlotta, Balbianello, Melzi ....
    • La dolce vita including swimming in the lake 

    • Choose your type of accommodation,  extra walks/rides, an e-bike, etc .. Click on BOOK
      • Italy - Lake region
      • 5 days
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      • From April to October
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Confort
      • Charming
      • Prestige
  • Highlights of the trip

    • Panoramic walking trails between lake and mountains
    • 4 nights in Bellagio, "the pearl of the Lario"
    • Flexible lake boat pass allowing you to plan your walking days as you wish
    • The famous must see villas & gardens : Villa Carlotta, Balbianello, Melzi ....
    • La dolce vita and swimming in the lake: a real Italian way of life !

    • Choose your type of accommodation,  extra walks/rides, an e-bike, etc .. Click on BOOK
      • Italy - Lake region
      • 8 days
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  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
      • Prestige
  • Highlights of the trip

    • Panoramic walking paths between the lake and the mountains
    • The famous "must see" villas & gardens : Villa Carlotta, Balbianello, Melzi, Monastero ....
    • Flexible lake boat pass allowing you to plan your walking days as you wish  
    • 1 dinner included
    • Discover the colourful villages of Bellagio and Varenna on foot
    • 4 nights in Lenno and 3 nights in Menaggio : Pretty villages on Lake Como 
    • La dolce vita including swimming in the lake 

    • Choose your type of accommodation,  extra walks/rides, an e-bike, etc .. Click on BOOK
      • Italy - Lake region
      • 8 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From March to October
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
      • Prestige
  • Highlights of the trip

    • The best panoramic walking trails, the stunning scenery of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore
    • Stroll through beautiful gardens and villas after sailing to the Borromean Islands
    • All transfers included from Lake Como to Lake Maggiore
    • The famous must see villas & gardens : Villa Carlotta, Balbianello, Melzi ..
    • La dolce vita and swimming in the lake: a real Italian way of life !

    • Choose your type of accommodation,  extra walks/rides, an e-bike, etc .. Click on BOOK
    Walking from Lake Como to Lake Maggiore
        • Italy - Lake region
        • 2 adults (2x910€)
        • 0 children (0x910€)
      • 8 days
      • Simple
    Total 1820€
    Deposit 560€
    Book now !