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Welcome to Hooked on Walking and our walking holidays in Italy. This particular hiking vacation is a self guided walking holidays on Lake Como. Straddling Italy and Switzerland the beautiful glacial Lake Como and Lake Lugano have been a popular holiday destination since Roman times, evidenced by the array of lavish villas and sumptuous gardens which line their shores. Away from the affluent holiday centres is a feast of walking trails exploring the forested valleys, mountain tops and traditional villages which have retained their unique character. This week-long walking program takes in the highlights of the Monti Lariani and the Ticino mountains with a selection walks of varying lengths and difficulty. During the trip you also have the time to visit some of the beautiful villas and experience the excellent regional cuisine allowing a complete appreciation of the area.
Day 1 Lake Como - Arrive in Menaggio
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.
Day 2 From Varenna to Dervio 7.8 miles 1.5km 837m up/down 5 hours.
Take the boat from Menaggio to Varenna. From here you follow the East side of the lake following the “Sentiero del Viandante” (the Wayfarer’s path). Today you will experience an ancient cultural landscape with traditional architecture and outstanding views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Just above Varenna, make a short detour to visit the castle in Vezio, It’s worth it!
Day 3 LUGANO LAKE – Walk from Cavargna to Porlezza and bus to Menaggio 10 miles 16km 698/1502/ up/down 5 hours.
First a morning private transfer takes you to the hill top village of Cavargna from where you climb to the spectacular Saint Lucio Church, right on the border between Italy and Switzerland. From here a superbly panoramic walk 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 is delightful with glimpses of the lake below.
Day 4 Selection of walks on Lake Como.
During the next 3 days, you have 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. Walk on the Monti Lariani (Lario being the ancient name of Lake Como) with a variety of suggested walks of differing lengths and difficulty.
See below the list of selected walks:
WALK B From Menaggio through the Val Sanagra Nature Reserve 9 miles 14.4km 696m up/down 5 hours.
A loop walk starting in Menaggio takes you to the Val Sanagra, an unknown area rich in historical and cultural traces. From Menaggio you reach Loveno, a noble village with many Villas, then on to Pianuro a vast pastures still used now by livestock. Then the trail follows the Sanagra stream, a typical alpine water course, with several ancient mills and iron foundries that through time has formed impressive gorges. The walk passes through Barna, a lovely hamlets where time seems to have stopped.
WALK C Esino Lario - Rifugio Bietti Buzzi - Esino Lario 12.5 miles 20km 1444m/324m up/down 6hrs.
Walking through the Regional Park of Northern Grigna is an experience. 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 and The itinerary brings you to “Porta di Prada”, a striking rock arch caused by the natural erosion of the limestone.
WALK D From Breglia to Monte Grona and Monte Bregagno 8.1 miles 13km 1346m up/down 7hours.
From the top of Monte Grona (1736 m) 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. 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”.
Day 5 From Menaggio to Rezzonico on the Antica Strada Regina 5.6 miles 500m up/down 3hours.
The Antica Strada Regina that leads along the west coast of Lake Como, was built by the Romans. It was an important road connection between Como and the alpine passes. The old trail was used untill 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. From the top of the hill there are great views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. After the walk, collect your bags at the hotel in Menaggio and take the public bus to Lugano, where you will be staying for 3 nights.
Day 6 Monte Generoso round walk 6 miles 10km 780m up/down 5hours.
This itinerary is an absolute must for walkers as you will enjoy the fascinating views on Lake Lugano, the main Alpine chain along the Swiss, Lombardy and Val d’Aosta borders from the Gran Paradiso to Monte Rosa. Experience the ride on the cogwheel train from Capolago to the peak of Monte Generoso (Vetta Generoso) where the round walk starts, walking along the ridge that separates Switzerland from Italy. The descent takes you to Alpe di Orimento where you can taste some local specialities.
Day 7 From San Salvatore to Morcote 6 miles 10km 433/1039m up/down 3hours.
From Lugano you 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.
Day 8 Departure
What is Included
Tour Code LAKECST
Tour Code LAKECUPG
Price per person based on two persons sharing
Price for a single room
How to get there
By plane to Milan and then by bus or train to Menaggio
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Cycling Holidays in Italy
17A Glasgow Road
Phone: +44 (0) 1506 635 399