6 Best Lago di Como Cruises in Italy

There is no better way to get to know Lake Como than from a boat crossing its waters. Therefore, in this post I'll tell you about the best boat trips and tours you can do in this beautiful Italian spot.

Carlos Bleda

Carlos Bleda

8 min read

6 Best Lago di Como Cruises in Italy

Lake Como | ©Robert Stępień

No visit to Lake Como would be complete without a boat ride on its waters. And the best perspective of its beautiful villages and the surrounding mountains of the Alps is obtained by sailing on the lake itself. Aware of this, there are many tours and boat trips organized to get around and enjoy all that Lago Di Como has to offer.

If you have already seen all the attractions of Milan, a visit to the lake is one of the best excursions we can do if we are traveling in the Italian city. And to make this excursion as fruitful as possible you should complete it with a boat trip. Here I leave you all the information about what are the options of the different boat trips on Lago di Como.

1. Excursion to Lake Como, Bellagio and Varenna with boat trip

Varenna italy| ©VV Nincic
Varenna italy| ©VV Nincic

If we value more to have a guide to guide us around the lake and point out which are the best stops and towns to visit the best is to hire an organized tour to Lake Como. It is worth mentioning those that cover the route between Como and Varenna with a stop in Bellagio. These three are the main towns of the lake as far as tourism is concerned.

What is included in the tour

The city of Como is not only the starting point of these tours. It is also a city with many interesting places to see and the first stop of these tours. Before embarking, a short tour is made to know the city center that houses its beautiful cathedral, the Duomo square or the Basilica of San Fedele.

After a short tour we take a boat that will take us to Bellagio, the second stop of these tours. Bellagio is located right in the center of the lake, which makes it a hub. The steep streets of this town are a constant flow of tourists who enjoy its many restaurants, stores and corners.

From here and after some time to get to know it, the boat continues its route to Varenna. Considered by many to be the most beautiful village in all of Lago Di Como, Varenna is the perfect culmination to these tours before returning to the starting point.

Details of interest

  • Price: About 100 euros.
  • Duration: Approximately 11 hours.
  • Means of transport: Boat
  • Advantages of this option: The convenience of seeing three of the main towns on the lake with a guide and transportation included. It also includes a one-hour cruise on Lago Di Como.
  • Disadvantages of this option: Time in each village is limited and some interesting villages are left out to see.

Book a tour to Como, Varenna and Bellagio

2. Free sailing for 1 day from Como

Boats in Lake Como| ©Andrey Salikov
Boats in Lake Como| ©Andrey Salikov

Another option we have to take a ride on the waters of Lake Como is to do it with a voucher valid for a whole day. The starting point from where the boats leave is the city that gives its name to the lake, Como.

A town located on the southern shore of the lake and the closest to Milan, so we can say that it is the "access" to the lake. From its port depart most of the boats and tours that interest us.

At the ticket offices located at the dock in Como you can buy vouchers that will allow us to move freely around the lake from the town of Varenna located more or less in the central part of Lake Como stopping in many of the villages that lie between these two locations.

This type of voucher allows us to travel around the lake freely choosing ourselves in which stops to get off and stop to admire the villages.

In this case it is important to know all the schedules that you can check in advance on the official website of Lake Como transport.

Details of interest

  • Price: 25 euros per day. 72 euros per week.
  • Duration: It depends on the destination you choose. From Como to Varenna about 1 hour.
  • Means of transport: Boat.
  • Advantages of this option: It gives us total freedom to move around the lake and get off at the stops we want.
  • Disadvantages of this option: We must be aware of departure times and we do not have a local guide.

3. Private boat tours

Private Cruise| ©Andrey Salikov
Private Cruise| ©Andrey Salikov

Lake Como is synonymous with luxury. Not in vain, it is home to luxurious villas, some of the best hotels in the world and the place chosen by many celebrities for their vacation periods. And that's why there are also luxury options for a boat ride on its waters.

There is the possibility of hiring a small private yacht with a skipper on board to tour the lake with all possible luxuries.

There is a wide variety of prices depending on the boat, extras and duration, but generally the minimum is about 200 euros per hour. The minimum includes the skipper, drinks and meals on board as well as a tour of the lake with the possibility of stopping for a swim.

It is an experience more suitable for very special occasions but it is the best way to fully immerse yourself in the luxury that surrounds Lago Di Como.

Details of interest

  • Price: From approximately 200 euros.
  • Duration: Hired by the hour.
  • Means of transport: Small private yacht.
  • Advantages of this option: It is a truly luxurious experience.
  • Disadvantages of this option: Price.

4. Recreational trips on a sailboat

Sailing boat tours| ©Jeffrey Teeselink
Sailing boat tours| ©Jeffrey Teeselink

Not all boat experiences have to be focused on tourism or luxury. There are also experiences for leisure and fun on the water. For this on Lago Di Como you can hire sailing boats ideal for this purpose.

This type of boat has two skippers in charge of navigating the lake and take you to the best areas to enjoy a swim and a day of relaxation and fun outside the more touristy tours.

The price usually starts at 125 euros per person, approximately, for half a day. But there are also possibilities to hire the boat for a whole day. In addition to the skippers, these trips include drinks and lunches on board, although limited.

If you decide for this option, do not forget your swimsuit, sunglasses and above all the desire to enjoy.

Interesting details

  • Price: From 125 euros approximately.
  • Duration: There are half day and full day options.
  • Means of transport: Sailing boat.
  • Advantages of this option: It is the best from a recreational point of view.
  • Disadvantages of this option: It is somewhat expensive and not recommended if what you want is to see interesting towns and places of Lago Di Como.

5. 1 hour boat tours

Tour Boat| ©Andrey Salikov
Tour Boat| ©Andrey Salikov

For those who are looking for the most economical option and have less time available, there are some tours designed for this profile. From the city of Como there is a one-hour tour that runs along a part of the lake.

It stops in less crowded villages such as Tavernola, Cernobbio, Moltrasio, Torno and Urio. Although less known than others such as Bellagio or Varenna, these villages are equally beautiful and with the advantage of being less crowded.

With this tour you have the possibility of getting off at any of these stops, although if you stay on board you will cover the entire distance covered by these towns in just one hour. Enough time to see much of Lake Como.

The great advantage of these tours is that the prices are much cheaper than the other options. They start from about 9 euros per person.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 9 euros.
  • Duration: 1 hour.
  • Means of transport: Boat.
  • Advantages of this option: The cheapest option and the fastest if we have little time.
  • Disadvantages of this option: There are no stops in the most important towns.

6. Tour from Milan to Bellagio and Lecco with cruise included

In Bellagio| ©David Spender
In Bellagio| ©David Spender

One of the best options to go to Lago Di Como and tour the lake is to hire one of the excursions from Milan.

In this case if you want to sail around the lake I recommend a tour that starts from Milan and includes a cruise through Bellagio and Lecco, two of the most important towns in the region.

This type of tour includes the transfer from Milan by train to the city of Como from where you take a cruise that runs along much of the lake with stops in Bellagio first and then Lecco. The great advantage of these tours, apart from having it organized, is that they include a professional guide and the tour is one of the most extensive that can be done on Lago Di Como.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 80 euros approx.
  • Duration: The complete tour is about 10 hours.
  • Means of transport: Train from Milan and boat.
  • Advantages of this option: You have everything organized and one of the most extensive tours you can do.
  • Disadvantages of this option: Price somewhat higher than a normal tour.

How to book a boat trip on Lago Di Como

Lake Como| ©Jocelyn Erskine-Kellie
Lake Como| ©Jocelyn Erskine-Kellie

To book a boat trip on Lago di Como there are two options. Either you book in advance via online or you get your tickets at the ticket booths at the docks from where you take the boats.

For guided tours and private boats the best option, and the only option in most cases, is to do it online. To take a normal boat with stops in the different villages you can perfectly well get your ticket at the ticket office. But especially in summer, when it is high season and the demand is very high, it is advisable to book the tour with cruise on Lake Di Como in advance online to avoid queues and waiting.

Book your excursion to Lago Di Como from Milan

Tips for a boat tour on Lake Como

Enjoying the Tour| ©Guilhem Vellut
Enjoying the Tour| ©Guilhem Vellut

To make the most of a boat tour on Lake Como it is advisable to keep a number of points in mind:

  • If you visit the lake in summer, keep in mind that it is a very touristy area and the influx of people is very high. Keep this in mind when getting your tickets or booking a hotel if you are staying in the area.
  • Summer temperatures are very high so sunscreen, sunglasses and swimsuit is almost mandatory.
  • Since there are dozens of villages worth visiting in the same lake it is advisable to decide what to visit beforehand and make a tour to find the tour that best suits your tastes.

Book your excursion to Lago Di Como from Milan

Which are the villages not to be missed in Lago Di Como?

Bellagio Village| ©Jim Gillette
Bellagio Village| ©Jim Gillette

The villages on the shores of Lake Como are among the most beautiful in Italy. The list is very extensive so you need many days to see them all. As we do not always have that time, I'm going to make things easier for you by leaving you this link with a list of the 10 most beautiful of the entire lake.

As a summary, if you have to prioritize some of them, I recommend you to visit mainly Bellagio and Varenna. They are two of the most beautiful and also the most accessible. Out of the best known, Nesso is a real hidden gem and one of the most picturesque. Whichever one you choose, you are sure to be disappointed.

Book your excursion to Lago Di Como from Milan