Ferries or Boats, the best way to see Lake Como, is from the water. Dramatic vistas, snow capped mountain ranges falling into the lake, sunsets, sun and moon rises to equal no others in the world, nothing can compare to the scenery on Lake Como that has made it a favourite of writers and artists for centuries.
But don’t be fooled into thinking you can boat around Lake Como in a couple of days. It’s a massive lake. We once drove around every windy shore and it took more than four hours.
Car ferry on Lake Como, Italy
Boating on Lake Como is the easiest way to see the area. Driving in July and August is really a nightmare on some of the narrow lake roads. The one from Como to the top of the lake, past Laglio, George Clooney’s village, is one of the most beautiful but worst for driving, where buses and trucks trying to pass each other can sometimes get stuck for an hour or more.
Much better to consider a boating holiday. Using ferries, you can spend your whole Lake Como vacation visiting the various hamlets, which go to almost every village on Lake Como’s shores. In the summer months, June to around the last week of September, ferries are frequent. But please be aware that ferrying from Como to Bellagio can easily take an hour. Ferries stop in the various villages along the way, which in itself is a delightful excursion worth making time for.
The most active ferry is the one from Bellagio to the Clooney western shore, which snakes along the Como arm of Lake Como right up to the northern tip, close to the Swiss Alps. This leaves every half an hour and takes only ten minutes. It’s a car ferry so if you do have a car, especially if it’s in the shoulder months of April, May, September or October, you can easily pop over there from Bellagio to explore the many villages, villas and restaurants that side has to offer.
However, if you’re not taking a car, it’s better to take ferries or, better still, plan boating on Lake Como, to your exact destination. In the most interesting part of Lake Como, called the Golden Triangle, these stops include Varenna, Menaggio, Tremezzo and Lenno. Ferries to these destinations run about every hour or so, depending on the time of day. Be aware that Italian life stops for lunch, including ferries. The only exception are shops in Bellagio proper and restaurants everywhere, which have very strict lunch hours from 12 or 12.30 until 2.30 or 3pm, beyond which you’ll be lucky to find even a humble piadina to quell your hunger.
If you find traveling to a timetables too restrictive, boating around Lake Como is the way to go. You can drive yourself, for half or a full day of boating on the lake. These cost around 180 euros for half a day, but you can go where and when you like, park for lunch and hop back on to take your friends and family on for an aperitivo or back home.
Parking your private speed boat on Lake Como, Italy Sunbathe on your own private speed boat
Or, if a guided boat or sailing tour is more your style, which usually incorporate some kind of lunch into the price, we can highly recommend Luca and his Australian wife Jennine, who operate a three generation boat hire business called Bellagio Water Limousines which offers superior boating tours and warm hospitality: www.bellagiowaterlimousines.com.
And if you want a boating holiday around Lake Como with family or friends, and want a secluded villa, away from the madding crowds, in your own paradise where you can watch others boating on Lake Como from a relaxing distance, Villa Ponti Bellavista provides such a view. Book direct now for the best rates.
View of Lake Como from the swimming pool at Villa Ponti Bellavista
If style is a priority, hiring a classic wooden boat with driver is a must. A bygone era whispers in your ear as you speed towards a restaurant on the shore of Lake Como where you will most likely be the only guest arriving by chauffeur driven speed boat. www.comoclassicboats.com
Either way, leave enough time to fully explore the nooks and crannies of the incredible wonder that is a boating holiday on Lake Como. As always book direct for the best rates with Villa Ponti Bellavista and read more about our incredible Italian villa here.