Lake Como

Located at the northern tip of Lake Como, where the Adda river flows into the lake, Colico is a perfect blend of history, nature, and Italian charm.

Its port, situated right next to the beautiful lakefront pathway on Via Lungolario Polti, is the starting point for ferry journeys to Como, making Colico the perfect place to begin exploring the lake’s marvels such as Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio (all reachable within 1-2 hours).

Once a stronghold due to its strategic location, Colico offers a rich history of conquests and dominations, visible through the impressive fortified structures of Forte Montecchio Nord and Forte di Fuentes. And if you’re in the mood for mountain trails and breathtaking viewpoints, the area’s natural wonders won’t disappoint you.

Colico is also easily accessible by train from Milano Centrale in about 1.5 hours, by bus C10 from Como (and all the other villages on the westernmost shore), or via a scenic boat ride through the ferry service.

Pack your bags and discover the magic of this enchanting town on Lake Como. Here you can find my selection of the best things to do in Colico.

Colico, Lake Como, Italy
Colico, Italy
If you can, visit Colico in the off-season!
Lake Como is a true corner of Italian paradise that attracts tourists from all over the world, especially during the high season (late May to late September). My advice is, if you can, to visit Lake Como during the low season (for example, in April or October) to have a more relaxing and authentic travel experience.
What are you looking for in Colico?
Sights & things to do

A charming harbor and a walk through the promenade

The small port of Colico
Colico Harbor

Colico Piano, the town’s main district, boasts a charming harbor and an extensive lakeside promenade that will lull you into a truly magical atmosphere.

Start your exploration in Piazza Garibaldi, the beautiful “living room” of the town, embellished with a large fountain and overlooking the famous small marina, also called “porticciolo”.

The bay, the result of land reclamation in the early 19th century, played a crucial role in commercial exchanges and became a significant hub for traffic between the lake and the land.

Nowadays, Colico Piano remains the heart of the town, filled with bars and restaurants where you can taste local delicacies, enjoy an aperitivo at sunset, or start your day with a delicious cappuccino.

From here, you can take Via Lungolario Polti and enjoy a panoramic walk on the promenade while savoring a gelato from one of the many gelaterias or dining at a waterfront restaurant while soaking in the stunning lake views.

While in Colico, don’t miss a visit to the Church of San Giorgio, the Church of San Bernardino, and the Church of Santi Angeli Custodi, all adorned with stunning paintings and fascinating history. Also, from the town center you’re just a short walking distance to the nearby attractions such as the forts and beaches.

If you’re around on a Friday, you can explore the weekly market in Viale Padania from 8 am to 1 pm, offering a variety of goods from fruits and vegetables to local products and gastronomy.

A glimpse into Italy's military past

Forte Montecchio Nord, Colico
Forte Montecchio Nord, Colico

Forte Montecchio Nord

Situated about 20 minutes’ walk from the city center, Forte Montecchio Nord is one of the best-preserved forts in Europe from World War I and boasts an incredible view over Lake Como, Valtellina, and Valchiavenna.

Built by the Kingdom of Italy between 1911 and 1914 to protect against possible attacks from Germany or Austria-Hungary, its cannons were only used in 1945 during Italy’s liberation from Mussolini’s fascist regime.

The fort can only be visited with a guided tour, but no reservation is requiredTickets are €9 per person, and the visit lasts 1 hour. You can check the schedule here.

Forte di Fuentes, Colico
Forte di Fuentes, Colico

Forte di Fuentes

Overlooking the Pian di Spagna nature reserve, Forte di Fuentes is the last remaining example of Spanish domination in the area.

Built in 1603 to prevent northern expansion attempts, it was mostly destroyed by Napoleon’s army in 1796. Today, you can still admire the remains of what was once considered an impregnable fortress.

It can be reached with a 5 km (approx. 3 miles) walk from the center or as part of the Sentiero dei Forti trail. If you have a car, follow the signs to the parking spot and from there it’s a mostly flat 10-minute walk.

Entry costs €7 per person and opening hours vary depending on the time of the year you’re visiting. You can check the schedule here. 

❗In case of bad weather the fort might be closed to the public.

Start planning your holidays!

A few tips for your stay in Colico

The ancient abbey and the charming little bay

Piona Abbey

Nestled in the serene Piona Peninsula, the abbey is known for its Romanesque architecture and peaceful gardens. Since 1938, Cistercian monks have followed the San Benedetto faith based on the principle of “ora et labora” while taking care of the Abbey. Admire the harmony of the San Nicola Church and experience the ancient atmosphere in the Cloister, the heart of the Abbey.

The Abbey is open to visitors Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 12 pm and from 2:30 pm to 6 pm. Entry is free.

Piona bay

Situated just below Piona Abbey, this charming beach area offers the perfect getaway for a refreshing swim or a picnic by the water. The trees provide shelter from the hot summer sun, the water is calm, and the kiosk is perfect for a snack or a cold drink. For those seeking adventure, the area also offers various water sports options.

❗Although the area can be reached by foot, we would still recommend driving as the distance can be quite long. Both sites have dedicated parking areas: free at the Abbey and €5 for a full day at the beach.

Trails and hikes for breathtaking views

Sentiero del Viandante
Sentiero del Viandante

Sentiero del Viandante

The Sentiero del Viandante is a stage trek that runs along the entire eastern shore of Lake Como, from Colico to Lecco.

This historic trail is the perfect way to enjoy the lake and its surrounding mountains. From the center of Colico, go up to Via Sigismondo Vitali, and along the way you will find signs for the part of the trail that leads from Colico to Dervio, further south, in approx. 4 hours.

The route is 10 km long and has an elevation gain of 400m (1.310 ft), offering great views of the bay of Piona and all of the northern branch of Lake Como. 

From Dervio you can easily get on the train and return to Colico.

Pian Di Spagna Natural Reserve, Colico
Pian Di Spagna Natural Reserve

Pian Di Spagna Nature Reserve

Pian di Spagna is a protected area immersed in nature, history and culture, featuring many paths and itineraries, all flat and accessible on foot or by bike. You can start your walk directly from Colico, taking the Valtellina trail through the coast of the Adda River until you get to the entrance of the reserve.

Here you can admire an incredible biodiversity characterized by a vast array of both animal and plant species. You can check all the itineraries on the official website.

The Mills Route

This scenic path starts from the Church of San Bernardino and runs through the old village of Villatico, where 12 operating mills were active between the XII and the mid-XIX.

Once playing a crucial role in the growth of the territory, the village overcame a careful restoration work thanks to which it is now possible to visit the Molino Maufet for guided tours and wine tastings. Reservation is needed contacting or+39 366 7404948. The path is about 1 hour long with an elevation gain of 160m. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the view!

Lake Como boat tours

Public boat tours

❗Looking for information about public boat service? Read my guide to boats and ferries on Lake Como!

Colico’s pier is located in Via Lungolario Polti, a few steps away from the central Piazza Garibaldi. Public boat service is perfect if you want to reach other towns of the lake such as Gravedona, Menaggio, Varenna, Domaso, etc.

Beaches in Colico

Colico also offers beaches for swimming or simply relaxing by the lake.
Lido di Colico is right on Lungolario Polti, furnished with loungers, a restaurant, and a bar on the shore.

On the other side of town, Ontano Beach offers a grass area with trees for sun protection, restaurants and bars perfect for a sunset aperitivo and facilities for water sports. About 5 minutes’ walk from Ontano, La Breva Beach provides easy access and soft grass. Known for its winds, it’s perfect for adventurous water sports. Discover the best beaches in Colico!

Stays & experiences

Experiences & tours

Make your trip a unique experience!​

Wine tasting experience at Domaso
Cellar tour and wine tasting in Domaso
Dining and cooking demonstration experience at Varenna
Dining experience at a local’s home in Varenna
Evening aperitif in Menaggio
Panoramic wine tasting in Menaggio
Val Senagra
Val Senagra:
the enchanted valley
Related posts

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.