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Hiking in Lake Como area

We will be in Varenna on Lake Como for several days before our tour starts on May 7th. We would like to do some day hikes (up to 8 or 10 miles). Does anyone have recommendations for hikes they have enjoyed, location of trailheads, degree of difficulty, etc.

Posted by
902 posts

You might get more responses if you post on the Italy board instead of the Rick Steves Tours board.

Posted by
10116 posts

The Sentiero del Viandante which is called the "Wayfarer's Path" in the link provided by justsweet, is very nice although not as long as you suggest you might do. We took it some years ago and were back in Varenna in time for lunch, but it was a good 2-3 hour walk with some elevation and marvelous views.

Posted by
334 posts

The view from Castello di Vezio is spectacular! We were staying near the train station, so we caught a trail up from the north. We are Amazing Race fans, but I didn't realize we were going to a challenge site until I got there and saw the plaster ghosts. We continued south on a trail past a cemetery and to Fiumelatte where the shortest river in Italy is located. We hiked to the headwaters of the river to get a geocache and then ate lunch before walking back to Varenna.

Posted by
99 posts

In addition to the Castello di Vezio loop hike above Varenna, investigate the trails and pedx walks starting in Cadennabia and over to Tremezzo, Lenno, and down the little peninsula to the Villa del Balbianello entrance. The Villa Carlotta has some extensive gardens and a multi-floor building worth a look. You can take a ferry over there directly from Varenna. We loved Bellagio as a town, and they have a short hike called the Salita Cappuccini, and the Lungolago lake walk, but I wouldn't call it a major hiking destination because its the tip of a spear. But go there during your time and see it and enjoy it firsthand.

Posted by
117 posts

I guess maybe I’m missing something. We also hiked up to the Castle above Varenna. We picked up a trail just south of town and switch backed up the very steep trail on the side of the mountain. It was a beautiful view from the castle and the birds were amazing. We then took the the trail back down that brought us right into town, which was more of a very steep, rocky and slippery road. I’m not sure I would consider any of it an easy stroll.

Posted by
334 posts

I guess maybe I’m missing something. We also hiked up to the Castle above Varenna. We picked up a trail just south of town and switch backed up the very steep trail on the side of the mountain. It was a beautiful view from the castle and the birds were amazing. We then took the the trail back down that brought us right into town, which was more of a very steep, rocky and slippery road. I’m not sure I would consider any of it an easy stroll.

We went up the wet, slippery road and thought it would be worse going back down that way. I'm glad we did the hike north to south.

Posted by
7 posts

I looked at staying in Bellano but decided on Varenna. There is a 6 mile trail to Bellano that I may hike the day before the group meets at the hotel.