FERRY & BOAT TOURS
Boat trips and tours on Lake Como are something that I’d definitely recommend to anyone who wants to experience their holidays at its best.
Whether you are visiting Lake Como for a day or staying longer, jump aboard a boat, relax and reach your favourite destination: Bellagio, Varenna, Como, or maybe one of the historical villas on the shores of the lake.
Boat tours are basically of two types: public or private. You can choose the experience you prefer based on your needs, especially the time and budget you have available.
The local public navigation service (Navigazione Laghi) provides several routes that connect all of the most popular towns along Lake Como’s shores, at a convenient price.
The public boat service is provided by Navigazione Laghi.
The service operates all year round (with the exception of the southeastern branch, where it only operates in the summer), although in the low season it has a reduced frequency of service.
Below I collected the most useful information that will help you organize your transfers, but if you don’t find what you are looking for, or if you have specific questions, please contact Navigazione Laghi directly through their website.
About the routes
There are three main routes:
Como - Colico (and back)
The most popular route (for passenger transport only) that connects Como, on the southwestern tip of the lake, to Colico, in the north, and makes stops along the way.
Yes, this is the route that takes you from Como to Bellagio and that also connects Bellagio and Varenna. You can choose between two types of services:
- Regular service (Corse battello in the map above): this one stops in all towns with a pier along the route and is perfect for those who want to enjoy the trip and take many photographs. In winter, this service is more limited than in summer, in favor of the fast service.
- Fast service (Corse rapide): this one makes fewer stops, although the major destinations are always guaranteed (Argegno, Bellagio, Varenna, etc.). It costs a little more than the regular service but is perfect for those who have little time.
Ferry in the central area of Lake Como
Ferries in the central area (Corse traghetto in the map) allow the transport of vehicles, but they only operate between the towns of Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio, and Cadenabbia.
In the peak season, due to the high tourist influx, this area also has a shuttle service for passenger transport only (Servizio navetta in centro lago) that connects the following locations: Bellagio, Varenna, Tremezzina and Bellano.
Lecco - Bellagio (and back)
This route (for passenger transport only) connects Lecco, on the southeastern tip of the lake, to Bellagio, on the promontory between the three branches of the lake. It only operates in the summer.
Schedule & timetables
Below you can find the PDF timetables currently provided by Navigazione Laghi. However, I invite you to use the timetable search form on their website for the most up-to-date schedules (I recommend that you always check the box "INCLUDE FAST SERVICE" to get the broadest possible overview of available rides).
Please note: Summer schedules will come out later. For any specific information, please contact Navigazione Laghi directly through their website.
Como - Colico (and back)
Ferry in the central part of Lake Como
Ferry that allows car transportation
Lecco - Bellagio (and back)
Tickets & fares
Remember to buy your ticket before getting on board!
Fares of Lake Como’s public boat service
You can buy different types of tickets, the rates of which vary depending on several factors: distance between the point of departure and the point of arrival, presence of intermediate stops, surcharges for fast service, etc.
The best thing you can do to know the exact price of your trip is to visit the website of the company and use their search form. However, below is an overview of what you can get.
Types of tickets
- One-way and round-trip tickets: buy this ticket if you want to travel (and travel back) to a specific destination, without intermediate stops (you can sail from Como to Bellagio but without getting off at Argegno for a coffee).
- Free-circulation tickets: holders of these tickets are entitled to make intermediate stops between the piers for which the ticket was issued (if you want to visit multiple destinations by lake in a single day, this is probably the best choice). This type of pass can be valid for one day or six days, depending on your travel needs.
Fares for most common routes
- One-way ticket Como-Bellagio: €10.40
- Free-circulation ticket Como-Bellagio (valid 1 day): €23.30
- One-way ticket Bellagio-Varenna: €4.60 (this price applies to all one-way passenger transfers between towns in the central area of the lake)
Surcharge for fast service varies by route (see on the company's website).
Where to buy tickets
You can currently purchase tickets online (on Navigazione Laghi's website) for regular service trips only (which means: no vehicle transportation, no express service) for the following trip types:
- one-way/return trips
- free-circulation tickets (trips with intermediate stops)
Otherwise, tickets can be purchased at the ticket office near the dock of almost any town (onboard purchase – with cash/credit card and without any additional cost – is allowed in case of towns with no ticket office). People with disabilities can always buy the ticket on board without extra charge.
If you are going to buy your ticket at the ticket office, just make sure you get there about 20-25 minutes before the departure. Keep in mind that during the peak season the turnout at ticket offices can be very high. If you can, buy your ticket online to avoid standing in line under the sun.
Travel times for popular journeys
- Como - Argegno: 1h 05 min / 1h 15 min
- Como - Bellagio: 1h 30 min / 2h
- Bellagio - Varenna: 15 min
- Bellagio - Menaggio: 15 min
- Como - Argegno: 20/25 min
- Como - Tremezzo: 40/45 min
- Como - Bellagio: 45 min / 1h
- Como - Varenna: 1h 15
Information for people with disabilities
Visit the company's website to read important information for people with disabilities.
Places to stay in Lake Como
Want to see more hotels, apartments or villas?
Check out my entire selection of the best places to stay in Lake Como!
Most of the towns will give you the chance to take a private boat tour on Lake Como at your own pace, maybe at sunset and with a fine bottle of prosecco.
If you are looking for a private tour with a driver at your disposal, here are some options that may be right for you!
at a location of your choice
with Venetian Limousine
This Post Has 90 Comments
You need to make your fares more easily understandable. We have paid for the multi stop only to find out it is not possible to go to Calico unless you pay an extra supplement. This should even made far easier to interpret
Hello Glenn, thank you for your suggestion. Lake Como Travel’s goal is to try to gather, in the simplest way possible, all the information that can help anyone who wants to visit Lake Como. However, I would like to remind you that this is a personal project and not an institutional website: that is why I always recommend visiting the official websites of the various companies to get the most accurate information possible, so that you can plan your trip without any surprises. Sorry for the inconvenience!
Dear lake como trip
We are a group of 20 people that would like to go from Varenna to Bellagio and return on the 11 of November 2022. Do you have timetable and price list for this route?
Thank you so much for your soonest replay.
Best regards Sara
Hello Sara, the new schedules will be posted on Navigazione Laghi’s official website in late September-early October. You can contact the company directly to ask for more information. I hope this helps!
Great help many thanks
Thank you very much, Ron!
Thanks for providing such a well-organized web site. This was so much easier to understand than the official Navigazione Laghi web site.
Thank you very much Vivek, feedback like yours is a source of satisfaction for me 🙂
Could I ask if eurail global pass can be used within lake Como ? Eg ferry, bus, train etc
We are traveling from Grindelwald to Lake Como
Hello Amy, since I do not want to give you incorrect information, please contact the transportation operators directly.
My daughter and I will be spending 8 to 10 days exploring Lake Como and its many villages.
1) Is there a multi-day ferry pass available or must we purchase daily pass?
2) which mid-lake city is most reasonable to make it our home base?
Hi Carolyn, you can buy a 6-day pass. Find more information about the fares in the second table that you can find here. All mid-lake towns have their own charm, maybe I would suggest you to choose one of the less crowded (such as Cadenabbia or Lenno), then consider that you can reach all others by ferry in a matter of minutes. Hope this helps!
Ditto compliments for the concise and organized info on this website.
Thank you very much Laura!
Thank you for your very helpful information. Is there ever a problem in August where the ferries are full at certain times? Is there ever a worry that one cannot get back to Como or Varenna to catch a train back to Milan due to ferries being full?
Hi Kim, I’ve heard of someone being asked to wait for the next ferry, but this happens quite rarely because, especially in high season, the ferries that are used are quite large. The only suggestion I can give you is to arrive at the dock at least 20-25 minutes before departure, with your ticket already in hand 🙂
Thank you so much for putting together this information – it’s very clear and concise and I can’t wait to visit Lake Como!
All the best
Thank you Chris, I really appreciate it 🙂
we are a family of 5 (3 teenagers) and wondering where to stay to explore lake como four 4 nights.
would appreciate your insight given we will be jumping on ferries and swimming at beaches a lot.
Hello Justin, I suggest you to choose a town in central area of the lake that is well-connected to the others, such as Varenna, Bellagio, Menaggio or Cadenabbia!
Great site/resource – thank you for putting this together. My husband and I plan to spend a day visiting Como, Bellagio and Varenna (day trip from Milan) on Oct 12 this year. and have a few questions I am hoping you can answer!
– I am trying to find where to purchase our ferry tickets in advance but can’t find anything. Is it possible to purchase online in advance, or just day of at the dock?
– Is the schedule still good in mid-Oct?
Thank you – we are very much looking forward to our visit!
Hi Bonnie, first of all, thank you very much! Yes, you can buy tickets in advance, but don’t worry, you can do it even 1-2 days before the trip, tickets will not be sold out at that time. Unfortunately, the company updates the schedule at the last, so currently you can’t know the winter schedule until the beginning of October. I wish you a wonderful visit and I anticipate that on my Instagram channel you will soon find a Reel in which I will simulate this very trip 🙂
If I buy an intermediate ferry ticket in Varenna can it be used to visit the middle lake towns and to return to Varenna to catch our train?
Hello Beverly, yes, you have to buy a round-trip free-circulation ticket.
Hi Alessandro – Thank you for this wonderful information! I’m staying near Varenna and was thinking about taking our rental car to Villa del Balbianello. Is it possible to take the car across Lake Como from Varenna to the Villa? I saw that there’s a Griante to Varenna ferry, but it looks separate from the Navigazione Laghi ferry service. Where ferry service can I take? Thanks for your help!
Hi Judy, the ferry from Varenna to Cadenabbia is also operated by Navigazione Laghi. So, as you said, if you want to take your own car, the best option is to get to Cadenabbia by ferry and then drive to Via degli Artigiani (8 minute drive), where you will leave your car and then decide whether to walk or take a taxi boat to the villa. I hope this helps you!
We want to make a round trip starting from Como (around 10 am), with 2 stops. First one in Varenna than in Bellagio from where we have to return to Como (no later than 21 hrs). Timetables and routes are a little bit complicated to organise easily our trip. Could you give us a hint which would be the best option considering our limited time to visit (about 8 hrs) both towns and a resonable fares for this (either regular or rapid boats)?
Hi Claudio, in my opinion the opposite is preferable, that is: starting from Como, visit Bellagio first (which you can reach, nonstop, by a fast ferry in about an hour). From there, take the ferry to Varenna (15 minutes, max 30). Once you’ve visited Varenna, you can take the fast service from Varenna to Como (not too late-I think the last one of the day is around 7 p.m.). I know it is difficult to read their timetables, which is why I suggest you use the search form directly: https://www.navigazionelaghi.it/risultati?lake=Como. Best!
On the navigazionelaghi.it website, there are two options to select – eg. Varenna or Varenna (Traghetto). The first one I believe is the mid lake shuttle and the first service from Varenna is 9:23, while the second one is the car ferry and has earlier services. If I buy a one way ticket or a free circulation ticket, can I take any of these services or do I have to stick to only the one I buy a ticket for? Is the free circulation ticket only for the mid lake shuttle? Is there a different dock for the shuttle and the ferry at Varenna and Bellagio? Thank you!
Hi Claudine, useful questions for other readers as well. You don’t have to worry: if you buy the free circulation ticket you can take any kind of ferry you want, as long as you move within the validity area of the ticket you chose to buy. The piers may be different (for example, in Bellagio there is one where you take the regular ferry and another where you have to board if you have a car – or even if you don’t have it), but in any case it is best to ask the shore staff to make sure you take the right boat 😀
Hi we are coming from Milan by train & arriving at hotel du lac on September 10 at 9:30 am. Do we need to purchase our ferry tickets in advance for the hotel? Thanks you Leslie
Hello Leslie, yes, this way you will avoid the queue at the Como ticket office!
Je povolene preprava psa na verejnej lodi ?
Hello Jozef! Dogs can be boarded under the responsibility of their owners. Please read more on the Navigazione Laghi FAQ page.
When will the fall/autumn ferry timetable be available on the website (schedule as of Oct 2nd 2022)?
Hello Alexandra, I’ve just updated the schedule. Take a look!
We will be in Varenna and would like to tour up to Colico and back to Varenna by ferry. Not looking to get off the ferry until back at Varenna.
What would that schedule be?
Do we need to purchase before our desired day of the tour and can we purchase in Varenna?
2nd week of May, 2023.
Your reply will be most appreciated,
Hi Susan, if you don’t get off at the intermediate stops, a regular round-trip ticket is fine. You can buy it online before the desired day of the tour, so you will avoid standing in line at the ticket office. Hope this helps!
as much as I have tried, but buying ferry ticket online is impossible. Only to speed boat, as I understand. So the line it is. As well, even if you manage to buy the ticket, you still have to stay in line, there is no fast lane, correct?
Hi Liva, if you can buy the ticket online, you won’t have to wait in line. You will be able to access the ship directly! However, I advise you not to give up, it is possible that the system is having problems now. Try again in a few days!
Thank you for your answer!
At the moment though it seems the boat website took away the option to purchase, at least I cannot find it…. but maybe is just me or maybe due to the winter schedule, which is reduced..
Does the boat from Lecco to Bellagio run past 2 Oct 2022? Is there any service from Lecco after that date? Thank You
Hello Joan, I’ve just updated the schedule. Take a look!
Dear Alessandro, group of six adults would like to take high speed ferry from Como to Bellagio, spend a couple of hours, take ferry to Varenna, spend a couple of hours and then back to Como. What is the best option knowing we only have one day.
Thank you for your help.
Hi Linda, I think the trip you have already planned is perfect 🙂 Just be sure to check the ferry schedules to plan your travel as smoothly as possible.
Can we go on the ferry with our car from menaggio to Varena?
Hello Adva, yes definitely! It takes 15 minutes, more or less.
If we stay at Grand hotel Imperiale, Can we go on a ferry from from como to Moltrasio ?
Hello Annie! Yes, definitely, please remember to check timetables on navigazionelaghi.it.
Hello Alessandro, thank you for putting these clear instructions for the public!!
I have a question, If i want to take a ferry from Como and want to visit Bellagio, Varenna and Mennagiothe same day but with 2 hours in between every town. Do we have to pay for 1 ticket or is it 3 tickets. I cannot find a clear answer online.
Also do you think the ferry will be full next week or quiet calm? We just want to buy the ticket at the ferry station.
Thank you very much,
greetings from belgium
Good morning Salma, thank you so much for your feedback! You can buy the Como-Menaggio free-circulation ticket which covers all trips included within that area. At this time, the boats are certainly quieter than in the high season. But the thing that worries me is that with the current winter schedule you will hardly be able to visit all these towns in one day, taking even two-hour breaks. I think it’s better to split the visits into two days!
Hello Alessandro thank you very much for your quick reply! I will take your advice and split the visits in 2 days!!
Have a great day!
Hello, I am planning a trip in the summer with my family, and we will be staying in Tremezzo. What is the best way to get to Lierno? It looks like the Corse Batello has a route that would take us there, but I wasn’t able to find any tickets on the timetable search table. Thank you for your help!
Hello Kirstin, the best way to reach Lierna from Tremezzo is to get to Varenna by boat and, from there, take the train that will take you to Lierna. I hope I have been of some help to you!
We arrive at Lake Como on 28.5.23
I’m trying to ask about a cruise on May 28, 2023 from the city of Como to Bellagio and I can’t
Hello, the official company will update their schedules as the new timetables approach. Sorry for this inconvenience, try contacting firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How late does the ferry from Argegno to Varenna usually run in September?
Hello, the last one actually does not run very late. The last one I see in last summer timetables is at 7:31 pm and gets to Varenna at 8:05 pm. Please note that schedules may vary from season to season so remember to check later!
Does an “8 stretch” allow for travel anywhere on the lake, or only between two points? For example, if I was to buy the Lecco-Como ticket, could I go to Varenna as well? Considering it is on a different ferry route.
Hello Kieran, yes! Remember that you must purchase a “free circulation ticket” in order to make stopovers. For more specific inquiries, I ask that you please contact the official company!
hello, we are planning to visit Como in August
we want to visit Bellagio and Varenna by boat in a day. Which kind of tickets to get ? My husband is disabled and I am his companion. Is there a discount on tickets for disabled people
Hello Tsonka, you can buy a regular round trip in order to move between Bellagio and Varenna. Regarding your other question, I suggest you read the “Information for people with disabilities” that you can find on the company’s website.
The website does not give you routes. it’s just gives you this message on each search: “We are sorry but we have not found solutions that satisfy your search. Please do a new search by changing the timetable in the search form or consult the timetables in PDF format.”
Hello, this probably happens because you looked for schedules that are far in the future. The official company will update their schedules as the new timetables approach. Sorry for this inconvenience, try contacting email@example.com for more information.
Ciao Alessandro, we are arriving in Como by train on 25May23. Two questions please:
1) We are staying in Griante. That is the Tremezzo boat stop, yes?
2) Roughly how often do boats leave from Como? Our hotel tells us there aren’t many boats but we read online that there will be lots of them. We would prefer the slow boat but the hydrofoils would be ok too.
Hi John, Griante is a hamlet of Cadenabbia, where the pier from which car ferries also depart is located. But yes, there is also the pier in Tremezzo a short distance away. What they told you is correct, there are not very many boats, even in the high season. Basically, while waiting for the new schedules to come out, consider one or maximum two rides per hour.
Hello! I will go to Lake Como from June 16 to June 18 and want to visit Villa Balbianello, Bellagio and Varenna. Maybe see Some other towns, if possible. Where is the better place to stay overnight and the possible ferry routes I can choose? Thank You!
Hi Myrta, I recommend that you stay overnight in a place in the central area of the lake that is a little less touristy than the ones you mentioned. A good solution might be Cadenabbia or Bellano.
My husband and I are staying in Menaggio in May. What trains do we take from Malpensa airport and what station do we stop at in Varenna? It’s very complicated with all the different routes, not sure which is the easiest option to get to Menaggio.
Hello Lisa, the best way to reach Menaggio from Malpensa is to reach Como city first, and then take the C10 bus to Menaggio.
Thank you for all the super useful info on your website!
I went the official Navigazione Laghi site and I’m unable to find the sale of Free-circulation ticket/Day Pass anywhere.
I looked through the internet but also could not find any info on how to obtain it.
Any idea where I can get it? Or is it possible to buy the free-circulation ticket on the day itself at the ferry offices?
Good morning Matthew, you will be able to purchase it directly at the ticket offices located next to the piers, or even online the moment the new schedules come out. Sorry for the inconvenience, unfortunately the company’s website is not the most usable 😀
I will be staying in Varenna in mid June. I`d like to the sound of getting circular ticket from Como to Bellagio where I can hop on and off to any place as I go along. Is there any circular ticket like this for Bellagio – Varenna (possibly stopping in Menaggio).
Could you please provide boat time table as well as prices please?
Many thanks in advance.
Hello, please write to the company
Thanks for replying.
Sorry to ask again, what company are you referring ? Could you provide me with the name of the company or link so I can go ahead and make contact with them.
Thank you again.
Hi Alessandro, thank you very much for your information.
I am planning to visit Lake Como next month, and will be staying at Como. I am planning to spend 1 day travelling to Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio from Como.
Based on the information above, it seems like the best ticket is a free-circulation 1 day pass from Como to Varenna. This will allow me to stop at Bellagio and Menaggio (along the Como-Varenna course), and head back from Varenna to Como without having to pay any extra fee. Is my understanding of this correct?
Thank you very much once again for your help!
Hello Marco, yes, what you say is theoretically correct. But I honestly wouldn’t advise you to visit all these destinations in one day: the distances are greater than you might think, the boat rides are not that frequent, and then I would recommend devoting at least a couple of hours to each town. I’m afraid you’ll have to extend your trip or remove a town from the itinerary!
I will stay in Como city and travel to Bellagio and Varenna.
Can I buy the tickets in Como city the day before?
And where do I buy the tickets in Como city?
Hello Wendy, yes, you can buy the tickets even days before the trip. You can also do it online. In Como, the ticket office is in front of Piazza Cavour.
I am trying to book my ferry from Como to Bellagio for July and there is nowhere to book. My aunty who lives in Milan called today and was told, there is no online book, but it’s written that we should book online! HELP
Online purchase (only for the types of tickets that I described in the “Tickets & fares” section) is available here: https://www.navigazionelaghi.it/en/tickets-and-timetables-lake-como/
We are staying in Nesso but have rented a car. Does the ferry run from Nesso to any of the other towns?
Hi Chloe, yes, especially in the summer!
Are dogs allowed on the ferry’s?
we travel to Lago Di Como in a few weeks with three dogs, small and large ones.
Hi! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Alesandro!! We ‘re going to visit Lake Como at the end of September. We have booked an apartment in Bellagio. We noticed that ferries are frequent from Bellagio to Varenna and Menaggio, but there are only 3 per day to other places such as Nesso and Lenno? We want to visit Nesso and Lenno, which is the best way to visit these places?
Hello Evangelia, you can always take the bus. For example, from Bellagio you can take the c30 that takes you to Nesso in about 25-30 minutes, while to reach Lenno you can take the ferry to one of the more connected villages on the other side (e.g., Cadenabbia), and from there take the C10 that takes you to Lenno.
Hello – what is the best option for a hop on/hop off route from Argegno to Bellagio. Our wish is to visit Bellagio, Mennagio and Varenna and return to Argegno.
Hello Jennifer, in this case you should buy a one-day free-circulation ticket that covers the area Argegno-Menaggio.