Lake Como One day cruise to Bellagio and Varenna

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Lake Como One day cruise

After spending a fantastic one day in Como, it was time to explore the lake in the best possible way – from the water! Luckily, buying Lake Como One day cruise ferry tickets was easiest thing ever. When you step your foot on the lakeside promenade, Ferry ticket office is pretty much the first thing you see.

Even though you might buy them in advance, there is no need for that. Just show up ca 30 minutes before departure and get in the line.

Lake Como One day cruise

Lake Como One day cruise – Ticket types

When it comes to different types of tickets, your options are easy – either go for one way/return ticket or a day pass. The day pass allows you to travel unlimited amount of times during the day all the way to your final destination. We got out tickets up until Varenna. If you wish, you may get them all the way up to Colico, situated on the northern arm of Lake Como.

Another thing to consider is whether you’d like to travel on slow boat or speed boat. Slow boat takes ages to get to the middle of the lake. We went from Como to Bellagio in 2,5 hours. Speedboat, on the other hand, only takes you 45 minutes to complete the same journey. If you ask me – take the slow boat one way and the speed boat for the way back. This way you will get to experience both.

Lake Como One day cruise

Onboard experience

The boats operating on Lake Como are perfect for this type of cruise. There is plenty of room on the outside decks, so be sure to get good seats! We enjoyed watching the staff performing necessary procedures and assisting passengers to get onboard.

One thing to consider: always bring a jacket, even if it’s very hot during the day. I wasn’t expecting this, but all the heat ashore was replaced with chilly wind on water. Combined with bright sunshine reflected from water, you are almost guaranteed to get sunburn!

Lake Como One day cruise

Villages along the way

As you pass by, you may enjoy the picturesque scenery, beautiful and expensive villas, mountain roads and quiet harbors. It’s almost too good to be true – life here is peaceful and time has stopped. Smaller villages look deserted, with no cars or people. Cruising lake Como is a lot like moving around lake Garda – beautiful scenery!

By the time you reach the middle of the lake, you will see the largest and best known towns – Bellagio, Menaggio, Varenna, Lenno and others. We visited two of them due to lack of time. If you only have one day, I recommend considering Varenna and Bellagio.

Lake Como One day cruise - Varenna


I knew I needed to get good aerial photos of the middle Lake, so Varenna seemed a natural choice. As soon as you disembark from the boat, you may easily find a hiking trail leading to Castello di Vezio – 12th century castle. While the castle itself is hardly of much interest (it’s mostly ruins, really), the view from the tower is incredible and well worth the 30 minute challenging uphill hike.

Additionally to good views, the castle is a training center for diurnal and nocturnal birds. Falconry has been practiced for thousands of years. Weather permitting, you might be able to see the process of training.

Lake Como One day cruise - Bellagio


By the time we found our way back to the docks, it was time to board the next ferry. Originally we planned to head to Menaggio, but due to late hours decided to spend more time in Bellagio instead. The town is stunning from water and very crowded! It was a true tourist magnet!

What did we enjoy the most in Bellagio? Fantastic food in one of the side street restaurants. Checking out numerous galleries and gift shops. Soaking up the sun and watching the lake while eating a gelato (Italian ice cream). Climbing the terraces and stairs of the old town.

Sadly, we didn’t make it to any of the famous villas and nor did we get to go on a kayaking tour in the bay. To manage all of these things in one day, you would either need to stay in Bellagio overnight or come here with the first ferry and spend the whole day just here.

Lake Como One day cruise

What we learned from that day?

Lake Como is insanely beautiful from the water! If you only have one day – go on a cruise. However, for that day to be enjoyable, the weather needs to be good. We were lucky and had a full day of sunshine. Beginning of September is a great time to visit, as the high season is already over, but the weather is still nice (most of the time). As the sun disappeared behind the mountains, it got really chilly. Keep that in mind and bring a jacket or sweater.

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Lake Como One day cruise

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