The walks are along well trodden footpaths, forest trails not always well marked, cobbled paths and small sections on small country lanes.
Start: Menaggio Finish: Porlezza
On arrival at the lakeside town of Menaggio on the shores of Lake Como, make your way to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the town and take in the views of the rugged mountains across the lake. During the following days, take time to explore the small towns, viewpoints, forests on either side of Lake Como, the beautiful gardens of Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo and Villa Melzi in Bellagio.
Start the trip with an easy lake side warming-up walk. After breakfast take the boat that crosses the lake to Varenna. Following the East side of the lake take the “Sentiero del Viandante” (the Wayfarer’s path) and experience a rich and ancient cultural landscape with traditional architecture and outstanding views of Lake Como and its surrounding mountains.
Just above Varenna, make a short detour to visit the castle in Vezio. It’s worth it!
Return to Menaggio by boat.
Challenge: 5 hours, 12.5 km, 937m ascent, 924m descent
WALK A: Val Sanagra Nature Reserve
A loop walk starting in Menaggio takes you to the Val Sanagra, a narrow valley along the stream crossing Menaggio and flowing into Lake Como.
The itinerary goes up the stream to reach Sass Corbee, one of the most gorgeous points of the whole valley. It is a high and steep cliff on one of the narrowest points of the gorge carved by the river. From Sass Corbee climb along the slope to reach Monti Madri, an ancient inhabited from where you have a wide view over the valley and the peaks all around it. The route also passes through Barna, a typical village in the area that preserves its architectural style.
WALK B – Esino Lario to Rifugio Bietti and Buzzi
Take the ferry from Menaggio to Varenna from where you take a local bus or a taxi to the start of the walk in Esino Lario. From WP16 you will enjoy gorgeous panoramas as the itinerary goes through the Regional Park of the Northern Grigna (Grigna Settentrionale). “Grigna” is a particular highland dominating Lake Lecco. This very particular mountain range has a unique orography with spectacular pinnacles and steep cliff sides that precipitate into sheer valleys carved deep into the rock.
The itinerary brings you to “Porta di Prada”, a striking rock arch caused by the natural erosion of the limestone.
WALK C – Breglia loop via Monte Grona and Monte Bregagnino
The walk starts in Breglia, a small village above Menaggio reachable by bus.
The path reaches two of the most significant peaks of the western side of the Lake: Monte Grona and Monte Bregagnino. From the top of Monte Grona (1.736m) you have one of the best views of the Pre Alps; from here you can see the three lakes (Como, Lugano and Piano), and the peaks of Monte Bregagno, Legnone, Pizzo di Gino, Grigne. On clear days you can see the Alps from Monviso to Bernina.
The route passes from Rifugio Menaggio, one of the most famous mountain huts in the area, situated on a natural terrace from where you have an exceptional view on the south side of Lake Como.
There are three different ways to get to the top of the Monte Grona from the Rifugio Menaggio, including an alpine ascent using the “via ferrata”.
Challenge: 5/6/3.5 hours, 14.5/20/6.5 km, 696/1144/336m ascent, 695/324/752m descent
Today you walk along one of the route described on Day 3.
Morning walk on the Antica Strada Regina, a road built by the ancient Romans that runs along the lake at an average height of 300m and that linked the Po valley with the countries north of the Alps. It was an important road connection between Como and the alpine passes.
The old trail was used till the end of the 18th century when the current lake road was built. This stretch starts at Menaggio and runs along cobblestoned paths to the characteristic village of Rezzonico. You will be delighted from the continuous glimpses on the Lake and the mountains all around. From the top of the hill there are great views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. After the walk return to Menaggio by local bus.
Challenge: 3 hours, 9 km, 530m ascent, 493m descent
A morning private transfer takes you to the hill top village of Cavargna from where a spectacular climb takes you to the Church of Saint Lucio, right on the border between Italy and Switzerland. You pass through Monti, a typical mountain hamlet reachable only by a land rover track. Going down to Molzano you pass next to very striking mountain walls and open views on both Lake Como and Lake Lugano.
A superbly panoramic footpath leads you through woods and meadows 1550m down to Porlezza, situated at the northeast end of the Lake Lugano, and very close to the border. This rural farmland and forest walk with imposing views is one of the area’s highlights.
Return to Menaggio by public bus.
Challenge: 5 hours, 16.5 km, 698m ascent, 1502m descent
After breakfast take a local bus to Lugano from where the day’s walk starts.
In Lugano take the cable car to the top of Monte San Salvatore. Here a forest footpath takes you to the end of the peninsula. Along the way you have very nice views of the Lake and the mountains around. It is possible to make a short detour to reach the baroque Church of Madonna d’Ongero, where you will be overwhelmed by the view.
At the end of your walk in Morcote, take a bus to Lugano where you get the bus back to Porlezza.
Challenge: 3 hours, 10 km, 433m ascent, 1039m descent
The trip and our services end after breakfast and you bid farewell to the beautiful lakes as you depart for the airport with public transport unless you have pre-booked a private transfer with us.
All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
You can find below the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra overnight: You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
Hotel Bellavista is centrally located in Menaggio and has a very beautiful view of Lake of Como. Rooms are comfortable and clean and some of these have a view on lake. Furniture is a little bit old, there is free Wi-Fi, private parking, restaurant and in summer season the swimming pool is free. Staff is gentle and courteous. Breakfast is served in veranda in front of lake.
Hotel Europa is in Porlezza, on Lake Lugano and 5 minutes from the beach. The property has a private garden and pier, a fitness center, a swimming pool and a restaurant with a panoramic terrace. Rooms are furnished in a classic style but a little dated, they are equipped with TV, private bathroom and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast buffet is good and varied.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April and October.
Arrival in Menaggio
From any airport, take the local bus or train to Milano Centrale. Therafter, to reach Menaggio you need to take a local train from Milano Centrale to Como San Giovanni. For further information please visit www.trenitalia.it.
If you are landing at Bergamo Orio al Serio (BGY), then you need to take the Airport Bus to the train station in Bergamo. From there, you have to reach Milano centrale or Monza by train, to catch the connection to Como San Giovanni.
Check times on http://www.asfautolinee.it/content/it/orari-rete-extraurbana.
As an alternative, you can take a local train from Milano Centrale to Varenna and then take a boat to Menaggio.
Departure from Porlezza
On departure from Porlezza, you always have to change either in Menaggio or in Lugano to reach Milano or Bergamo aiports.
GPS tracks are available on request.
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