Lake Como holidays

Lake Como holidays

Deals from £147 per person

Holidays to Lake Como promise total tranquillity, breathtaking landscapes and dramatic views. Set against a backdrop of pine-covered mountains, this part of Northern Italy is one of the country’s finest holiday spots. Located 85km north of Milan, Lake Como boasts magnificent scenery – from idyllic gardens to fascinating historic sites – that makes exploring a real treat.

The lake itself is over46km long with a seabed that sits 200 metres below sea level. Around the lake, you’ll find a plethora of colourful towns and villages framed by hills that offer lovely views from their peaks. Lake Como holidays are perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat, with lots to see and do nearby. 

Unique Natural Formation 

Lake Como dates back to the last Ice Age. Like many other Italian subalpine lakes, its geological origin is glacial. It’s shaped like an inverted Y, formed from the movement of an enormous glacier. 

Its name in Latin is Larius, Italianised as Lario. Como and Lecco are situated at the ends of its southwestern and southeastern branches, while Varenna, Bellagio and Menaggio sit at the intersection of the branches. Lake Como has always been important as a passageway between Italy’s northern regions and the Po Valley. 

Idyllic Towns

Lake Como is home to around 30 idyllic towns and villages. Their multicoloured houses stand out against the glistening turquoise waters of the lake, creating picture-perfect panoramas. 

One of the region’s most famous towns is Bellagio, otherwise known as the ‘Pearl of Lake Como’. This elegant town is loved for its unrivalled coastal views, quiet cobbled streets and luxurious villas. Here, you can marvel at the parish church and explore the gardens of Villa Melzi and Villa Serbelloni, which are open to the public from Spring to Autumn.

Menaggio is another of Lake Como’s spectacular towns. Once a medieval walled city, this quaint resort is studded with charming cafés, chic boutiques and impressive architecture. Wander along the picturesque lakefront promenade lined with brightly coloured buildings before heading up to the older part of the town to learn more about Menaggio’s history. 

Roman History

Lake Como has been a popular destination for wealthy people since Roman times. After the area was conquered by Julius Caesar,  it was filled with grand villas inhabited by wealthy settlers such as authors Pliny the Elder and Younger.

Evidence of Como’s Roman influence can still be seen today, most notably from its Roman Baths and other monuments. Stroll through Como’s city centre and witness fascinating structures like Basilica di San Carpoforo and Basilica di San Fedele. 

For centuries, visitors have been drawn to Lake Como’s wonderful lifestyle. From its internationally renowned Michelin-starred restaurants to its elegant fashion boutiques, this region of Northern Italy is synonymous with luxury and beauty. Lake Como is a favourite spot among celebrities such as George Clooney, Madonna and Ronaldinho, who own homes here. The town of Lenno is also a popular film location and has featured in various big-screen works, including James Bond: Casino Royale and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. 

Activities on Lake Como 

Holidays in Lake Como promise exciting things to do. Try your hand at a range of watersports, including paddleboarding and kayaking, or take a private boat tour around the lake – the best way to fully appreciate the area’s natural scenery. 

In the summertime, you can explore the hiking trails around the region. There are plenty to choose from, offering stunning views across the lake and the surrounding towns and villages. In the wintertime, you can visit one of the many ski resorts located close to Lake Como, where you can spend a day gliding down snow-covered slopes. 

Map of Lake Como

12-29 ℃
Approximately 1.45 hours

Lake Como’s nearest airport is Milan Malpensa Airport.

Lake Como is best for...

Beach lovers:  Relax and unwind on picturesque beaches across Lake Como. From Bellagio’s quaint pebbled stretches to Tremezzina’s beautiful sandy shoreline, there are plenty to choose from. Sit back and watch the world go by or try exciting watersports such as kayaking or paddleboarding.

Explorers:  Lake Como is home to scenic towns and villages that are perfect for exploring. Wander around the gardens of Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio or check out the charming boutiques in Menaggio. The area is also surrounded by forested mountains that offer an unforgettable hiking experience.

History buffs: Discover some of Lake Como’s fascinating historic sites, such as the ancient Roman baths that date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries. Walk around these archaeological ruins and learn more about when Lake Como came under the rule of Julius Caesar.

Fast facts for Lake Como

Language: Lake Como’s official language is Italian, although English is widely spoken.

Currency: The currency used in Lake Como is the Euro.

Local time: Lake Como is one hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Lake Como’s nearest airport is Milan Malpensa Airport.

Flight time from UK: Around 2 hours.

Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found at the official website.  

Getting around Lake Como

By ferry: Travelling by ferry is a relaxing way to explore the western side of Lake Como, including Bellagio, Menaggio and Como. Most of Lake Como’s ferries only take pedestrians, although some take cars. Ferry services operate all year round and are a great way to enjoy views of the stunning landscape.

By bus: Getting around Lake Como by bus is reliable and straightforward. There are several routes that will take you to the majority of towns across the area. Travelling by bus is relatively cheap, although your journey could be quite long depending on traffic.

By rental car: Lake Como boasts spectacular scenic routes, making travelling by car fun and enjoyable. However, do bear in mind that there may be narrow, winding roads to navigate during your journeys.

Events in Lake Como

Pesa Vegia: The Pesa Vegia is a remarkable festival that takes place every year on the 5th of January. Held in the small town of Bellano, this folklorist show combines history with legend and has occurred annually for over four centuries.

Fiera di Sant'Abbondio (Sant'Abbondio Fair): This is an annual event, held in August and September, that celebrates the patron saint of Como City. It centres around religious celebrations and a traditional concert.

Lake Como weather

Temperature: Lake Como’s summers are warm and humid, while its winters are cold and snowy. July is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 22°C. The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 4°C.

Best time to visit? 

The best time to visit Lake Como is during the summer months, when you can make the most of the warm weather and relax on its idyllic beaches. Low season in Lake Como is between October and March. This is a great time to go hiking and cycling around the area, as the days are is moderately cooler.