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Lake Como Ferry with a Car/Day Trip to Switzerland

We will be visiting Lake Como the last week of June for 5 days and we have a free day, so I thought we could do a day trip to Lugano or St. Mortiz. We will be staying in Bellagio and have a car. I keep seeing videos of crazy lines for the ferries. If we day trip some place can we be confident we can get the car on a ferry to return to Bellagio in the late afternoon (say 4pm/5pm)? I would hate to have to drive all the way around the lake.

Any suggestions/advise on the day trips are welcomed!

Thank you in advance.

Posted by
14 posts

One additional note -- there are 9 of us traveling in two cars, so driving seems better than catching the train, but please let me know if I am missing something.

Posted by
902 posts

Go here: https://www.navigazionelaghi.it/en/

The schedules change often and show dates they are valid. Also, download their app: DreamLake

However, even the site does not have current ferry schedules (crazy!). Keep in mind that the car ferry pier in Bellagio went under some new construction late last year and was due to be completed by late spring 2024.

All that being said, I would reach out directly via email ([email protected]) to see if they can send a PDF of the current schedule as well as the status of the Bellagio car ferry pier.

Posted by
927 posts

If these cars are rented be sure you're allowed to both take them on a ferry and across country borders. Rental cars used to forbid both of these things pretty routinely.

=Tod

Posted by
1624 posts

The insurance policy of the car rental company will not cover the rental when being transported on a ferry.

It takes about 2 hours to drive to Lugano, 3 to St Moritz.

I have not been to St Moritz. Lugano is a decent enough visit.

Posted by
27435 posts

Many sources indicate St. Moritz isn't a particularly charming place; I've read Pontresina is more attractive, and it's in the same area. Many folks like to take the highly scenic Bernina Express rail route from Tirano, Italy, up to that area. I don't know how the road scenery compares to what you'd see from the train. Perhaps it would be practical to drive to Tirano and take the train from there. I believe there's maintenance work this summer on part of the rail line west of Tirano (with rail-replacement buses in the mix), so driving there from Bellagio might save a good bit of time.

Note: I know nothing about driving around Lake Como or taking rental cars on ferries.