Navigating Lake Como
Lake Como is big, has three different areas and a number of towns that could be desirable to call home during your visit. The shape of the lake is an upside down “Y”so you could stay in the north before it parts off, or in the south eastern or western portion; all of which are quite large. Therefore you will have to take into account a few different factors (the type of town, options for day trips, etc…) when picking where you want to reside.
For us, we had a big group so staying in a villa made the most sense. Not to mention, Lake Como is known for it's villas so staying in one is all part of the Como experience. Since we did a villa, we ended up staying in one town for our entire stay while visiting other parts of the lake during for smaller day trips. Had we been traveling as a couple or in a smaller group, we may have opted for hotels and therefore might have stayed in a few different parts of the lake.
The actual town of Como is located only about a 45 minutes from the Milan airport and is the first town you will reach upon getting to the surrounding area of Lake Como. Renting a car will most likely make the most sense but you can also reach Como by train. Given it is the largest town on the lake, it has plenty of lodging options and it's also very accessible to not only Milan but the other areas of the Lake. From Como, it would be easy to drive on the far western side to get to towns like Menaggio and Tremezzo, up the center portion to Bellagio or the complete south eastern flank to towns like Lecco.
That said, towns like Menaggio and Bellagio are more picturesque and quaint which make them more desirable options for visitors over the larger Como. Our villa was located in Lugano which is an even smaller village than the first two and unlike Menaggio and Bellagio which draws daily visitors, Lugano is not really on the tourist radar outside of it being the home of George Clooney's villa.
When it comes to visiting other parts of the lake, you'll have a few options. Driving can be painless but you will be limited to the side of the lake you are on. Thus the easiest way to get the most reach is to take the ferry system which is pretty timely and not too expensive. There are both high speed and regular routes. The regular ferry has more stops and will provide you more options for Insta worthy photos but can be almost 3x as long depending on where you are going. For instance when we went to Bellagio for a day trip, the ride there was an hour and half but the ride home on the high speed was only 25 minutes. Lastly, you could of course rent your own private boat or get a boat taxi.
|Town of Bellagio|
Regardless of where you stay, it should be easy to take in all that Lake Como has to offer. Allow yourself plenty of time to relax but also be sure to see different parts of the lake by both land and water. It's truly one of the more beautiful placesI have been too and most certainly a place I will be visiting again.
|Samantha and I on our boat|