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A centre-based walking holiday based in the charming town of Gravedona on Lake Como. Enjoy hiking on the network of footpaths linking the many villages nestled in the mountains around the lake and along the shore. Stay in a family-run hotel with swimming pool spectacularly located right at the water's edge.
Explore Tour Leader
7 nights comfortable hotel
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our trip begins in the Terminal 1 Arrivals Hall, area 'Arrivals B' at Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) at 1 pm. If your flight arrives into Terminal 2 you can catch a complimentary shuttle bus that runs around every 10 minutes to Terminal 1. If you would like a airport transfer to our hotel today, the latest time your flight can arrive is 12.30 pm. We will travel (journey time 1.5/2 hours) together as a group to our lake-side hotel in Gravedona, our base for the next 7 nights. Gravedona is a jumble of pastel-coloured houses set against the deep blue of the lake and has a few shops, cafés and restaurants.
Our small hotel is family-run with a lake-side swimming pool and stunning views across the lake to the surrounding mountains. All rooms occupied by 2 people enjoy a view of the lake. Solo travellers opting to pay for a guaranteed single-occupancy room will be accommodated in a non lake-view room designed for double occupancy. It is possible to upgrade to a lake-view room (all are designed for double occupancy) for a premium. Please contact our sales team for availability and price. The hotel is an 800 metres/2625 feet, 10 minute walk from the town centre. Our time in Gravedona promises to be a quintessentially Italian experience, with friendly people and restaurants serving classic Italian dishes and fish from the lake, including the local specialty of fish risotto.
Hotel Regina (or similar)
Long-associated with poets, artists, world leaders and, lately, film stars, Lake Como is undoubtedly the most beautiful of all the well-known Italian lakes. The Southern Alps - which are still snow-covered until May - surround the lake which is dotted with small harbours, stately villas and traditional towns. Our first walk takes us high above Lake Como offering fabulous views and a good orientation of the region. We hike from the hotel, through villages and then into a thick forest. Near the village of Livo is a deep cleft in the ground that is the boundary between the African and European tectonic plates. After 2.5 hours we reach Livo, located 430 metres/1411 feet above the lake: it feels remote and very different to the lake-side villages. A little on from Livo there is the 15th century church of San Giacomo standing way above the impressive Valle de Livo. After a picnic lunch we descend back through the forest to the hotel via a different route.
Today's 12 kilometres/7.5 miles walk is expected to take approximately 6 hours with a total ascent and descent of 430 metres/1411 feet.
Our walk today is once again direct from our hotel and is a 7 kilometres/4.4 miles traverse from Gravedona to the village of Sorico, located on the north-west shore of Lake Como with an impressive church. We pass through the pretty town of Domaso and then slowly climb up through meadows, vineyards and chestnut groves to the ancient village of Aurogna. Our views are of the high Alpine peaks that straddle the border between Italy and Switzerland. At Sorico we have a picnic by the lake. We then either take a short bus ride back to the hotel or walk along the newly-constructed path that contours along the lake shore.
Today's 7 kilometre/4.4 miles walk is expected to take approximately 3 to 4 hours with a total ascent and descent of 210 metres. From Sorico, there's the option to extend this walk by a further 7 kilometres/4.4 miles on the flat along the lake shore back to the hotel which will take a further 1.5 to 2hours.
We take the bus south along the lake to Menaggio - a small town with a pretty piazza - from where it's a short ferry ride across to Bellagio on the eastern shore. From the ferry you can see the fabulous lake-side villas that have been host to royalty and world leaders. Bellagio, often described as the 'Pearl of Lake Como', is charming with cobbled lanes, boutiques, cafés and 2 gardens you can visit. You can either chose to spend the day exploring the town or head up on a bus to Civenna from where we walk on a ridge over-looking the lake back to Bellagio. The route takes us through pretty forests, passing isolated farms and villas with wonderful views of the lake.
Today's 9.5 kilometres/5.9 miles walk is expected to take approximately 4 hours with a total descent of 400 metres/1312 feet.
Today has been left free so that you can explore parts of the area that interest you the most. Close to Menaggio is the impressive Villa Carlotta with stately rooms and manicured gardens that are well worth seeing. Como town can be reached by ferry or public bus in 90 minutes: the old town has many churches, piazzas and museums together with lots of shops, cafés and restaurants. There are also boat tours from Menaggio that take you past the many villas along the lake shore.
Today is a wonderful walk with outstanding views across the lake to Bellagio. We take the bus to Croce and head up a zig-zag path to the chapel of Madonna della Grazie di Paullo. Further up we reach a mountain pass with panoramic views of the lake. We then descend to the town of Griante and on to Cadenabbia, located on the western shores of Lake Como. Our return to Gravedona skirts along the side of the lake by local bus.
Today's 12 kilometres/7.5 miles walk is expected to take approximately 6 hours with a total ascent and descent of 550 metres/1805 feet.
For our final walk, we take the 20-minute bus ride to Rezzonico which has flights of cobblestone steps, a beautiful harbour and a 13th century castle. It is one of the few lakeside villages to have maintained its original structure. From here we climb above the lake through vinyards and orchards leading to a succession of pretty hamlets along today's 10 kilometres/6.2 miles walk. The trail gently undulates through more villages and farmland with fabulous lake views. Towards the end of the walk, we arrive at the magnificently situated church of St Eufemia. Our destination is Dongo where Mussolini was caught in 1945 whilst trying to escape to Spain. The war museum is well worth the visit. We take the 5 minute bus back to Gravedona or you can walk in around 1 hour.
Today's undulating 10 kilometre/6.2 miles walk is expected to take approximately 5 hours.
Departing Gravedona this morning we drive to Terminal 1 at Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) where our trip will end at about 10.15 am. The earliest time you should book a flight to depart today is 12.15.
Total distance : 57.5 kilometres
April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. June to September are the hottest months. Showers are common in Autumn.
2 Pin Round
Visit Villa Carlotta near Menaggio (30 minutes away from Gravedona by public bus) - Entrance ticket is €9 or €7 for over 65s. Return bus fare is €6. Private boat tour from Menaggio of the lake-side villas - €20 for 60-90 minutes. Return bus fare Gravedona/Menaggio is €5 and takes 30 minutes. Como town - The direct boat from Gravedona to Como Town is €12.60. Return is €25.20. Add another €4.90 each way for the express service (slow takes 2 hours / express 1.30 hours).There is also another boat ticket that costs €28 and allows you to get on and off ferries when you feel like it (so you could do Gravedona, Menaggio, Bellagio and Como by boat in one day!). The public bus takes 1.45 hours from Gravedona to Como town and costs €7 each way. You have to change bus at Menaggio - there is a 5-7 minute window to change bus.
Take light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. Rainwear (e.g. Gore-Tex jacket and waterproof trousers) may be needed at any time of year, and a warm fleece/jacket is needed for cooler days and evenings, particularly in April and October when it can sometimes get quite chilly in the evening.
We recommend you bring lightweight walking boots, make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
One main piece and a daypack.
A refusable water bottle, sunhat and high factor sunscreen are all essential. A torch is useful in case of power cuts or emergencies and a lunch box/Tupperwear for picnic lunches.
Bus, Ferry, Public Bus
Family-run Hotel Regina occupies a prime position on the shore of Lake Como and is just a 10 minute scenic walk from the restaurants and shops of laid-back Gravedona. After a day's walking, it's the perfect place to relax and enjoy the inspiring lake and mountain views from the bedrooms, breakfast room and bar. Or take advantage of the stunning panoramic solar heated swimming pool. All rooms have private attached bathrooms. There's also a small gym, mountain bike rental and free Wi-Fi. All double occupancy rooms will enjoy a lake view. The price quoted for a guaranteed single-occupancy room is for a non lake-view room. Please contact our sales team for availability and price if you wish to upgrade to a lake-view room.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
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