I am absolutely sure that visiting Lake Como is going to be a great experience for you. Getting around, however, may create a bit of confusion. With this post, I hope to provide you with some useful information. Lake Como is not a round or oval lake. It has an odd shape, like an inverted Y. Como, Lecco, Varenna, Menaggio and Bellagio are the “famous” towns. All the other towns and villages should certainly be visited and discovered.
Photo above: Car ferry from Bellagio to Varenna
Find Lake Como Ferry Routes & Schedules
Main ferry departures are from Como, Cadennabia, Menaggio, Varenna, Bellagio. Many of the other towns and villages have ferry ports too. There are direct ferries and ferries that zig-zag up the lake. It all depends on where you are going. You can put your car on some ferries.
The Navigazione Laghi website has the map and timetables for the ferries. Keep in mind that ferries run more frequently between March and September.
Navigazione Laghi (in Italian and English): http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/Risultati.aspx?lake=como
Find Lake Como Bus Routes & Schedules
Intercity and town buses run quite frequently but can sometimes be slow due to traffic or the many stops they make. The C10 from Como goes up the western branch of the lake all the way to the northern tip of the lake to Gera Lario and Colico. On the eastern branch of Lake Como from Lecco, the local trains are the best option.
ASF Autolinee is the bus company o the western branch (in Italian): https://www.asfautolinee.it/
Linea Lecco is the bus company on the eastern branch (in Italian): http://www.lineelecco.it
Trains in the Lake Como Area
Trains run only to Como on the western branch, thereafter you must take a bus to the small towns.
Trains run up the eastern shore of Lake Como to Lecco, and to many of the smaller towns up the lake.
Trenord is the train line (in Italian): http://www.trenord.it
Find train tickets (in English) at GoEuro.com
Private Boat Rental and Taxiboats on Lake Como
Boat rental and taxi boats are also a means of transportation on Lake Como. They are privately owned and run a bit more costly than public transportation.
Click here for a list of private transportation services; boat rental, taxi boat and private car services on Lake Como.
Driving in the Lake Como Area
Driving around the cities and towns of Lake Como is actually a lot of fun. The scenic routes are spectacular and the freedom from schedules and timetables is a luxury. My advice for visiting Lake Como is to choose a base and take excursions from there. Rent a car if you are a confident driver; many of the roads are narrow and curvy. Rental locations can be found at the Milan or Bergamo airports.
Although camping is very popular and Lake Como has some of the most beautiful locations, I wouldn’t recommend traveling with a camper unless you are an expert driver. There are often tight corners and one car lanes where you may have to back up to let the oncoming car pass.
Cyclist and motorcyclists are abundant on the roads of Lake Como; keep safe distances.
See my video on YouTube: Driving Around Lake Como.
Private car services are also available. Click here for a list of private transportation services; boat rental, taxi boat and private driving services on Lake Como.
Rent a car at Rentalcars.com