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Top Tours of Lake Como

The Lario, our local name for Lake Como, is a place steeped in history and blessed with natural beauty. We take our heritage seriously here, but that doesn’t mean we are stuck in the past. One of Lake Como’s most endearing qualities is the ability to reinvent itself for every new generation, remaining a sought-after destination for literally centuries of visitors, many of whom return again and again. What makes this place so utterly irresistible?

It must have something to do with places like Passalacqua—an unimaginably beautiful world clinging to a hillside between the lake’s shimmering waters and the Monte Bisbino summit. A place of wonder immersed in Italian culture, from inspired cuisine to artisanal interiors, from the bocce court to our spa’s made-in-Tuscany skincare line. Then there are the myriad tours of Lake Como perfect for guests of all ages and interests, whether it is a food tour or a boat tour, whether you want a tour by a local guide or prefer to go it alone in a self-guided tour. Our For You team at Passalacqua is standing by to help guests design the perfect day out—or make the most of a relaxing day in! Keep reading for a taste of what is possible in our beloved Lario. As we always say, the lake is the limit!

Passalacqua Luxury Hotel Lake Como 00 Lake And Boat Giumello
Passalacqua Luxury Hotel Lake Como 00 View On The Lake
View Over The Entrance © Ricky Monti

Lake Como boat tours

The best place to experience the lake is… from the lake. With so many of the Lario’s architectural gems hidden behind leafy hedges and ornate gates, the water is the best place to glimpse our most beautiful villas and gardens. You have several options when it comes to Lake Como boat tours: the public ferry known as “battello”, private boat tours or self-guided tours with a boat rental.

The public boat, or battello, offers a cool mix of locals and tourists to add to the excitement of your lake views and runs three main routes: across the central lake between Bellagio, Varenna, Cadennabia and Menaggio, between Bellagio and Lecco in the southeast branch and between Como on the southwest branch to the northernmost point in Colico. From Passalacqua, you can head down the Scala Santa to the Moltrasio dock for the Como-Colico line. The cruise to Como has probably the highest density of lakeside villas, including Villa Erba, where film director Luciano Visconti (of The Leopard fame) sought inspiration, Villa Fontenelle, the site of Gianni Versace’s legendary supermodel parties and chalet-inspired Villa Troubetzky built for an exiled Russian prince and his ballerina bride.

Private boat tour
Guests can climb aboard Giumello or Didi, our own vintage wooden crafts, or one of our two classic Riva boats, Acquariva Passalacqua and Olympic Sophia, for a personalized Lake Como boat tour. Our experienced captains know every curve and cove of this 100-mile shoreline, so you are in good hands whether you want to visit an out of the way lakeside restaurant, tour the renowned Villa del Balbianello or find a secluded swimming spot far from the madding crowd. A cruise to the central lake area, for example, could include a stop at our sister property Grand Hotel Tremezzo for a fish-forward lunch at Da Giacomo al Lago. On request, the For You team can also arrange for a “chic-nic” on board, a range of watersports or even sailboat and speedboat tours.

Boat rental
If you would prefer a self-guided tour of Lake Como, we can arrange boat rentals with a variety of craft, even if you don’t have a boat license. These 40hp motors won’t exactly break the sound barrier, but the freedom of captaining your own craft combined with the majesty of the surroundings is something you will never forget!


Aquariva Passalacqua © Simone Lavecchia

Lake Como food tours

Culinary Como
Sitting at the tip of Lake Como’s southwest branch, Como is the provincial capital and home to a number of architectural and culinary treasures. Our tours with local guides hit the best spots to sample local cheese and cured meats, wines cultivated lakeside and handmade pastries and gelato.

Valtellina Vines
For something a bit further afield, we can arrange for a guided tour of the Valtellina region. This undiscovered yet prolific food and wine destination is known for its Casera and Bitto cheese as well as the prized red wines made from “sforzato” or dried Nebbiola grapes.

Viva Viviana!
There is no reason to stray so far from home, however, particularly since Passalacqua recently welcomed our new executive chef, Viviana Varese. With a Michelin-star already under her belt, Chef Viviana is bringing her particular blend of tradition and innovation to Passalacqua’s open kitchen for cooking classes with a difference!

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Chicnic © Enrico Costantini

Lake Como guided tours

For culture connoisseurs
The best way to have an authentic experience of the Lario is to take one of the Lake Como tours by local guides handpicked for you by our For You team—the possibilities are literally endless. We recommend a day trip to Bellagio for a guided tour of the Villa Melzi gardens, a stroll through the town’s quaint alleys and lunch at one of our favorite locales. The vibrant Swiss town of Lugano is another great city with culture galore and the option to stop at the Fox Town outlets enroute. With Milan just over an hour away, da Vinci’s Last Supper, the “wedding cake” cathedral and the Brera district’s boutiques and galleries are all within reach—and easy to navigate with our expert driver guides. Of course, if a self-guided tour is more your speed, the For You team would be happy to help you plan your trip.

For active types
A Lake Como tour guided by a local naturalist guide gives you the best of both worlds: a route tailored to your wishes and fitness levels as well as deep insight into the area’s history and geology—without ever having to fold a hiking map! We recommend the backroads and woodlands of Moltrasio to get to know our hometown or a more challenging trek to the Swiss border, complete with tales of the smugglers and soldiers of yesteryear. Then there are guided tours with a cycling guide, ranging from easy, scenic pedals to uphill challenges like the Madonna del Ghisallo, a Vespa guide for a quintessentially Italian experience, or even a kayaking guide to get up close and personal with Lake Como.


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Passalacqua Luxury Hotel Lake Como 15
Alice Dotto Lpcztnsrpz0 Unsplash