January 30, 2024 0 Comments What to see

4-days itinerary on Lake Como with car

The purpose of the article you are about to read is to give you an idea of an alternative itinerary, one that pushes you, without exaggeration, a little off the ‘usual routes’ or stages, without giving up the great musts of Lake Como.

My job is to create tailor-made itineraries for those who visit the lake, and what you are about to read is just one example of how, with a bit of imagination, it is possible to build interesting, relaxing and sustainable travel programmes, while still including destinations and locations that are also very touristy.

local blogger

Hi, I’m Marta, Local Blogger of Lake Como! Need a hand in organising your itinerary to discover my beautiful lake? Discover my Travel Designer service now!

What you will find below is the programme outline with the stages in general, to give you an idea of what is possible if you have 4 days at your disposal and possibly a car.

If the itinerary inspires you and you think it might be right for you, you can easily take advantage of it to organise your own day discovering Lake Como!

If, on the other hand, you would like personalised assistance and the entire detailed programme, enriched with information on the best places to stay, the exact times of boats and ferries to take, useful addresses, how to make reservations and many, many tips on where to eat or where to enjoy a fantastic aperitif, you can also rely on my Travel Designer service and purchase the pre-packaged programme!

But let’s get to the point!

4-day itinerary on Lake Como, best by car

Here are the stages I suggest for this 4-day itinerary, somewhat alternative and undoubtedly very fascinating, to discover Lake Como.

Day 1 – Visit of Menaggio + Walk Dongo – Gravedona

Taking it for granted that at least the first few hours of the day will be dedicated to arrival and hotel accommodation, I suggest devoting the last few hours of the morning to visiting Menaggio, a small, pretty village where it is easy to relax after the exertion and stress of the journey.

In the afternoon, on the other hand, the suggestion is to move northwards by 15 km and reach Gravedona. From there, in the direction of Dongo, a wonderful lakeside walk starts, particularly relaxing and pleasant in any season. I love it above all for the scenic views it offers and for the holiday atmosphere it exudes at every step. In summer it is also the ideal place for a regenerating swim in the lake or to bask in the sun.

ciclabile dongo

Dongo-Gravedona cycle path

It goes without saying that Gravedona, too, has its gems to visit, such as the wonderful Church of Santa Maria del Tiglio, famous for its beautiful frescoes, or Palazzo Gallio, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of them.

Day 2 – Private boat tour from Varenna + Visit to Varenna + Vespa rental and exploration of the eastern side of the lake

taxi boat Lake Como, a beautiful experience for your 4-day itinerary

Taxi boat tour

Although, put like that, it may seem like too much meat on the bone, in reality, with the right organisation, even this second day can be very satisfying.

In the morning, a private boat tour, an experience that many people request and which never disappoints, fits in very well with the right timing. In fact, it is a great way to appreciate ‘the lake from the lake’ by optimising travel and avoiding road traffic.

Once the boat tour is over, it is certainly worth taking a stroll through the streets of the village of Varenna, definitely one of the most visited on the lake.

But for the afternoon again, my advice is to get away from the more crowded areas and explore lesser-known but equally fascinating villages such as Bellano with its Orrido (gorge), Corenno Plinio and the Abbey of Piona.

If you ferry by car you will get around with it, alternatively you can consider renting a Vespa and move around more easily.

Day 3 – Bellagio + Villa Serbelloni park + Villa Carlotta

Park of Villa Serbelloni included in the 4-day Itinerary on Lake Como

Viewpoint in the Park of Villa Serbelloni

Here the going gets tough, in the sense that we are talking about two of the most touristy places on Lake Como: Bellagio and Villa Carlotta.

But even in this case, with a couple of tricks, you can enjoy the best of these places while limiting stress. First of all, take into account that the crowds at Bellagio are there and there is nothing you can do about it, but by planning a visit to the Villa Serbelloni Park you will find yourself in an instant in an extremely fascinating place, far from the chaos and the mass of tourists.

Finally, by planning a visit to Villa Carlotta in the afternoon you will avoid the busiest and most crowded hours of the day. Obviously, with all the exceptions, in the sense that if your trip coincides with the flowering season, you will have to put your heart in your mouth and resign yourself to the fact that at Villa Carlotta, world-famous for its azaleas and rhododendrons, there are a lot of people at all times during those weeks.

Generally speaking, however, if you don’t like overcrowded places, avoid the early opening hours and you’ll be on your way!

Day 4 – Visit to Como

Here we come to the last day.

Here, of course, it all depends on the time you have to leave, especially if you are tied to trains, planes, etc., but let’s say that, in principle, since you will in fact have to pass through Como, it may be a good idea to carve out at least a couple of hours for a tour of the city.

It is absolutely worth it!

Do you like this 4-day itinerary on Lake Como? You can purchase the complete programme full of essential details that will make all the difference! Choose the Pre-Packaged Itinerary option.