Lake Como family walking holiday, Italy

“A tailor made week of walking around Lake Como, with flexible routes to suit families of all ages, and overnight stays in friendly small inns.”


Como | Brunate | Alpe del Viceré | Pian del Tivano | Piano Rancio | Bellagio | Rest day | Varied walks with choice of different lengths | Friendly local accommodation | Suitable for all ages

Description of Lake Como family walking holiday, Italy

This self guided Lake Como family walking holiday, Italy, takes you through some of the prettiest and most panoramic places around the lake. Starting in the lovely lakeside city of Como, this week-long tour leads you across the summits of the Triangolo Lariano, the triangle of land flanked by the lake on two sides and the River Po on one. The views from here are superb, with the Alps to the north, the Grigna mountain massif to the east and Monviso over by the French border to the west, with the lake sparkling beneath.

You’ll walk from one rifugi to another, through deep forests and meadows, along donkey tracks and over gentle summits. The rifugi are small local inns where you can tuck into tasty regional food. Walks are flexible, with a choice of routes each day, making this holiday ideal for children. The more gentle walks go around the peaks, and the more challenging walks go over them. You can also opt to walk over the area’s highest summit, the San Primo, which offers long views over the entire lake. Walks range in duration from two to three hours, up to five hours.

The setting off point for this holiday is high up, limiting the number of steep climbs to tackle and ensuring the walking is easy. As the week progresses, you’ll slowly walk your way down to Bellagio, nicknamed ‘the pearl of the lake’. Here, take a scenic boat ride back to Como to finish off your holiday – a lovely way to see the lakeside villages close up.

Accommodation is in friendly, locally owned B&Bs, a family hotel and a ‘locanda’ where they farm organically and make their own cheese. Four dinners are included and packed lunches are also included on the days when you’ll be walking from one lodging to the next. We can also arrange to have your luggage transferred. There is no minimum age and children of all ages have enjoyed this tour. Children under 12 pay 70 percent of the adult price, for every child accompanied by one adult. Children under two go free.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Lake Como family walking holiday, Italy


Travelling on foot, especially in small (family) groups, or in pairs, is the least detrimental way of traversing a region and provides the most opportunity for becoming re-acquainted with our natural surroundings and feeling the rhythm of the countryside at first hand.

Appreciation and respect for our natural environment will grow as the walker’s knowledge and awareness of it increase.

To aid the walker’s discovery of his or her surroundings, our itinerary is coloured with titbits of information covering various aspects of the countryside, with facts about the plants and wildlife. The route book includes also a brief history of some interesting geological formations and how man has turned this natural environment to his benefit.

A visit to Pian di Nesso merely enhances this experience. Here, the walker can observe the countryside at leisure and man’s relation to it has evolved. Here, cattle graze, cheese is made with loving care, crops are tended in the kitchen garden, the raspberries thrive and when the seasons is right, people take to the woods and lanes to search for wild mushrooms and brambles. Everything they do is done naturally and much thought to the animals and environment. We are sure that you will taste the difference!


Far into the seventies of the last century, this region was popular among the city folk from Milan as a summer retreat: the women, children and elderly would stay here for up to three months in this cooler climate while their men folk toiled in the city heat during the week, visiting them at the weekend. Now that it is no longer customary to spend the summer here, the lodging places in this mountain region – those that have not already closed down - have been forced to look for new clientele. Their present customers are day-trippers from neighbouring towns, and recreational walkers, some from abroad – appropriate and appreciative customers. It is a new branch of tourism for this area and certainly could use a boost so we are happy to be able to contribute something to it.

All material and non-material goods that are consumed or used during the walking tour are from this region. You will be staying at small-scale family-run lodgings and ingredients for the meals are purchased locally and/or produced here. In case of services, local companies will provide them. This way, your contribution will not be limited to the lodgings, but will have an impact on the whole economy of the region.

5 Reviews of Lake Como family walking holiday, Italy

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Walking over the summit of mount Palonzone and seeing the peregrine falcons circling below us while we ate lunch. Walking along the ridge of Mt San Primo to the top (1686m) with views of the whole of Lake Como and the steep scramble down the other side. Staying at Mount de Volt on the Piano del Tivano - great hosts, fantastic place to stay.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Three of us walked this in August with a 10 year old child - and it was fantastic. The longer routes all well within the ability of our 10 year old. You definitely
need hiking boots as some parts of the trail are steep and rocky. Its definitely worth climbing up to all the summits - to see the amazing views. You may want decent waterproofs, we walked our last day in a terrific thunderstorm with lightning, hail and torrential rain ( still great).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The places to stay are all interesting local businesses- using local produce we used public transport throughout Italy - found the Italian train and boat timetables difficult to manage particularly as trains kept getting cancelled.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Amazing - we all loved it and rather regretted that it ended after a week.

Reviewed on 28 Jul 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We loved the scenery and the views of the lake during the walk.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

That you need to be very fit and used to reading maps. The two days at the middle of the walk are spent at Munt Du Volt which is an out of the way location. So unless you wish to do some strenuous walking you will have to spend it at the location. Be careful when you are doing the walk as when we did it a lot of the tracks were washed out and it made walking difficult. Most of the accomodation is not air conditioned so very hot in the summer.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Some of the locations are struggling so it did assist with their businesses.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was an interesting experience a lot tougher than we thought but was a great achievement to complete. Although we knew it was agrotourism we felt that some of the accomodation needed to be a little cleaner and in the summer provide air conditioning.

Reviewed on 04 Dec 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Which to choose? Spectacular views as we enjoyed our packed lunch looking out over the Lecco arm of Lake Como to the mountains, and then (a bit further on) all the way down to Bellagio and beyond. But there were lots of other great memories too - stunning scenery; friendly people we met along the way; easy walking through natural woodland with lots of flowers and butterflies; the sound of cow bells; great places to stay at the end of a day’s walking, with welcoming hosts and delicious local food. Bellagio was charming, and on the boat trip back to Como we saw the places we‘d walked from a different perspective.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you carry plenty of water with you if you‘re walking in summer, as it's hot. But everything was so well organised, and the maps/route descriptions and signposting along the way are excellent so you really just need to get to the start and then enjoy it!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we stayed in small places - a bit ‘off the beaten track’ - run by local people, and travelled on foot or by public transport all the way from Malpensa airport.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic! It was everything we hoped, and more. Our daughters are 13 and 11 years old, and we had a great time on our first family walking holiday.

Reviewed on 30 Jul 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Reflections walking tour in the Triangulo Lariano Nick and Margaret Yates July 2013
This was a very well organised holiday, all of its aspects were effective and co-ordinated. In fact a thoroughly enjoyable week. We met wonderful people who looked after our interests at every stop and had agreeable companions along the way (all of them Danish). The paths were well marked and the instructions generally excellent

We arrived rather late at Brunate, but despite the late hour we had a fantastic welcome by Margherita and Maurizio and a sample meal in the nearby Hotel with a ringside view of the night’s electrical storm and then a ride back to the B+B to our comfortable room. They even picked us up for breakfast the next day too.

Day 1 was a good walk, with well marked paths and clear instructions we did not take the option to climb Monte Palanzone and arrived in good time to relax at the Albergo Campeggio where the greeting was warm and welcoming a good evening meal and a comfortable night.

Day 2 Started well until we reached the cave “Gugliemo” which we mistook for the memorial and turned right to have a wonderful ridge walk, but clearly in the wrong direction over Monte Croce and via a splendid hill-top oak grove. Having made the steep descent a bit of map reading led us to Colme di Sormano a coffee stop and then a pleasant road walk through the Piano del Tivano and the steep climb to Munt de Volt.

Munt de Volt was the high spot of the week, the welcome was fantastic, the location quiet and peaceful, it just called for a trashy novel under the tree in the hammock. The food excellent and homely as it said on the sign at the gate, although no meat on the Friday surprised us the family included us all in their Saturday night party which was a real privilege and enough food from the Bar–B-Q to last a week. We took the opportunity to make the steep climb down to Nesso, which was a bit wet and slippery after the monumental hail storm the night before and had a wonderful lake fish lunch at Tre Rosa before sharing a taxi back up the hill – a 1000m climb was beyond us and the buses were very infrequent.

Day 4 Was a good walk through the Piano del Tivano observing the city dwellers having an open air weekend and then a fantastic climb to the ridge where the views were excellent. After a very step descent with slightly confusing sign posting and the need to watch for the hurtling mountain bikes who had been hauled to the top by ski lift, the route through the trees was very pleasant to another welcome at a very busy Chalet Gabriele and an excellent evening meal, polenta a speciality, in the scenic restaurant. We had had an interesting short, evening walk to see one of the Massi Erratici on its splendid belvedere where the glacier left it at the end of the last Ice Age

Day 5 All downhill with lovely intermittent views, a good days walking. We went to the beach, in Bellago, first for a beer – the heat at lake level was noticeable after being in the mountains for 5 days. Then another really special welcome at Alla Toretta and a really nice meal at the restaurant next door as their restaurant closes on Mondays. The extra day in Bellagio was a real treat, it is a very interesting small town and very welcoming we saw the sights, went to where “the wind divides between the two arms of Lago di Como, had lunch by the pier and then went back to rest at Alla Toretta. We had a good light meal in their restaurant under the trees. The lift down to the harbour the next morning was very sensitively organised and the trip back on the slow boat to Como was an additional treat before we went on to continue our holiday in Verona.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just book!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, the company are based in the Triangulo and work with the local hoteliers, Agriturismos and B+Bs often remote from the holiday circuit. They help to take beds in isolated locations that are not involved in the weekly holiday trade. A local taxi was employed to transport our heavy bags.It is really full board as packed lunches and evening meals are provided.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent it was a splendid prelude to our second week of city tourism (organised by others).

Reviewed on 07 Aug 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole hiking tour all together, being able to accomplish it as a family, experiencing the local hospitality and unbelievably splendid nature! And the feeling of reaching Rifugio Riella on day 2 of walking, after a challenging part, discovering the fantastic views and surroundings, followed by spotting more than 35 falks circulating in the air! We keep getting back to that particular moment in our minds over and over again! Reaching the foot of San Primo (we walked the easy route) on day 3, spotting the massive mountains in the horizon, and Bellagio, our final goal, far down by the lake for the first time - it was a tremendous feeling!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Drinking backpacks are necessary. And bear in mind that you need space in the backpack for the lunch packages, because they were generous :-) Proper hiking boots are recommended, especially if you have unsteady wrists. Book for at least one additional night in Bellagio after the finished hike! We only stayed there for the included two nights, and then headed to Milan, which we regretted already as we were leaving on the ferry for Como. Should´ve stayed at least a few more nights by the lake instead :)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly, yes. We were taken by the warm hospitality shown towards us, even though we sadly couldn´t speak with them as we don´t know any Italian. Every place had its local, personal charm, creating a relaxed atmosphere. It was a great feeling knowing that we´d contributed to the local business! We were also very surprised on how tidy it was all along the hiking route.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We´ve had the time of our lives! Found our paradise at Lake Como, and will return, for sure! We´re also very proud of accomplishing the whole route, walking across the mountains for four days in the summer sun. We´ve never done anything like that as a family before, and this is only the beginning. Now we know what kind of holiday we´ll prefer in the future!

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