Lake Como is a gorgeous lake in Lombardy, Italy, located near the Swiss border and surrounded by stunning mountains. As the third largest lake in Italy and the fifth deepest lake in Europe, it’s an ideal destination for a romantic getaway or an outdoor adventure, offering spectacular views of the Alps and plenty of activities.
But when is the best time to visit? The answer to this common question will depend on what you want to experience, what you’re looking to get out of the trip, your budget, and other factors.
In this article, we’ll go over the overall best time to visit and alternative times that might better suit your preferences. Plus, we’ll share top recommendations for a Lake Como trip and answer related questions to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.
Why You Should Visit Lake Como
Lake Como is 56 square miles, offering a massive yet exceptionally peaceful retreat for various travelers. People visit for many reasons, but here are some of the main ones:
Lake Como is a mecca for relaxation with its scenic views and Italian charm. The lake’s serene atmosphere enables visitors to unwind.
The lake’s romantic setting makes it perfect for a romantic getaway. Enjoy sunset cruises and gourmet Italian cuisine while taking in the panoramic views of the Italian Alps.
From swimming and sailing to kayaking, windsurfing, and rafting, there are plenty of activities available for water sports enthusiasts. Plus, the mountains offer excellent hiking trails and stunning views.
Visitors will find plenty of cultural activities, such as art galleries, churches, and museums.
Overall Best Time to Visit Lake Como
The overall best time to visit Lake Como is in the late spring. From April to early June, the weather is mild, and the crowds will be fewer than during peak season in the summer months.
Temperatures in the late springtime at Lake Como range from low 50s on the low and mid-60s on the high end. Plus, the area is bursting with new life, as the trees and flowers will fully bloom and the snow has melted.
This is the ideal time for nature lovers, as you can enjoy activities such as sailing and swimming in pleasant temperatures while also taking in some of the most stunning views of the Alps.
The air is crisp and clean, and you can explore quaint towns, hillside vineyards, and hiking trails for a truly unique experience.
Cheapest Time to Visit Lake Como
The cheapest time to visit Lake Como is in the late winter months, between January and early March. The temperatures are quite chilly during this time, ranging from the low 40s on the high end to the mid-20s on the low end.
The winter months are significantly less busy than the summer season, so you’ll find more affordable accommodations and flights.
Plus, you can still take part in some activities, such as ice skating and skiing. This time might be a good option for budget travelers who don’t mind a bit of chillier weather and don’t rely on swimming or sailing activities.
Least Busy Time to Visit Lake Como
The least busy time to visit Lake Como is in the late autumn, from October to early December. This time is considered low season, and you’ll find fewer crowds and more affordable accommodations.
Temperatures are mild, ranging from low 40s on the low end and mid-50s on the high end. The weather during the autumn months is still nice, and you can enjoy activities like sailing, swimming, and hiking.
Plus, it’s a great time for foodies and wine lovers, as you can enjoy dishes like polenta, mushrooms, and chestnuts. This period might be a good option for travelers who prefer fewer crowds and don’t mind the cooler temperatures.
Worst Time to Visit Lake Como
The worst time to visit Lake Como depends on what you prefer, but many people consider it to be during the summer months, from mid-June to September.
This is peak season, and the area is much more crowded. Temperatures are warm during this time, ranging from the high 60s on the low end to the mid-80s on the high end.
The weather around the lake is generally pleasant during this time, and you can enjoy many activities like swimming, sailing, and hiking, which is why it’s such a popular time to go. If nice, dry weather is your biggest priority, you might compromise with the crowds and go during the peak season.
Also, if you’re interested in festivals and events, this might be the best time to visit, as there are many more throughout the summer months than at any time of year. Examples include Saint John’s festival in June and the regatta in July.
However, if you want to prioritize getting space, enjoying less obstructed nature views, saving money, and fewer crowds in town, then it’s better to avoid the summer months. You’ll still be able to find traditional and celebratory festivals throughout the year as well.
Things to Consider
Now that you have a better idea of when to visit Lake Como, here’s a brief list of things to consider when planning your trip:
- Transportation. The best way to get around Lake Como is by car. The area has an extensive public transportation system, but it can be difficult to navigate if you’re unfamiliar with the area. However, if need be, there are plenty of public and private transportation options in the form of buses and boat services.
- Culture & Customs. Lake Como is home to many different cultures and customs, so be sure to do some research before you go. The locals are friendly but may not understand certain customs or habits from other countries, so it pays to respect the local culture. You’ll find religious, folklore-based, and secular events.
- Accommodation. Accommodations range from luxury villas to Airbnb properties in quaint towns. If you plan on visiting during the peak summer months, it’s important to plan your accommodation ahead to avoid surge charges and ensure you have a nice place to stay.
- Local Food & Drink. The cuisine of Lake Como is focused on local products. You’ll find dishes like polenta with mushrooms and chestnuts, risotto alla Milanese, Osso Buco alla Milanese, and many other authentic Italian dishes. There are also plenty of places to enjoy a glass of wine or a pint of local beer.
- Natural Disasters. Unfortunately, Lake Como is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and floods. While there have been no major incidents in recent years, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks before visiting the area.
- Safety. Lake Como is a very safe place to visit in terms of crime, although there may be incidents of petty theft in crowded, touristy places. Some activities on and around the lake can pose a danger, so remember to participate at your level and do activities with a group when possible.
Activities to Consider
Lake Como has something for every type of traveler, and there are plenty of activities you can do while visiting, including but not limited to:
- Town exploration
- Ice skating
- Strolling through gardens and nature preserves
- Castles and villas
- Festivals and events (especially during the later spring, summer, and holiday seasons)
Specific Attractions to Consider
Now that you know what activities you can do, here are specific attractions you won’t want to miss in Lake Como:
- Monte Legnone. One of the highest peaks in the Lake Como area
- Circolo Golf Villa D’Este. Golf course with lake views
- Villa Balbianello. Historic villa and gardens
- Grand Hotel Tremezzo. A luxury hotel with a swimming pool on the lake
- Guello Park. A large park featuring historical monuments and sculptures
- Bellagio Harbor. The idyllic town on the tip of Lake Como
These are just a few attractions you can visit while staying in Lake Como. The region is full of opportunity, and no matter when you decide to go, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have further questions and curiosities about Lake Como? Here are our answers to related questions:
What is the best month to visit Lake Como?
The best month to visit Lake Como depends on whether you want to save money, avoid crowds, or simply enjoy the best weather possible.
Weighing pros and cons, the best month to visit is May, as you’ll receive pleasant, mild weather that’s perfect for outdoor activities but won’t have to deal with the large crowds and high expenses of the peak summer months.
How many days do you need Lake Como?
In order to get the most out of your visit, it is recommended that you plan at least three to four days in Lake Como. This gives you enough time to enjoy the local attractions, explore the surrounding countryside and towns, and relax on the lakeside.
What is the best time of year to visit the Italian Lakes?
The best time to visit the Italian Lakes varies from lake to lake. Generally speaking, the most popular months are May, June, and September, as these months are when temperatures are mild, and it’s still relatively uncrowded.
What is high season in Lake Como?
The high season in Lake Como is during the summer months of June through August. Lake Como and the surrounding area come alive during this time with street festivals and concerts, while the weather is ideal for swimming and outdoor recreation.
Is Lake Como nice in May?
Yes, Lake Como in May is absolutely beautiful. The weather is mild, the lake and surrounding landscape are vivid and green, and the crowds haven’t yet arrived. It’s the perfect time to visit if you want to enjoy the beauty of Lake Como without the high prices and large crowds.
Is Lake Como or Bellagio better?
It depends on what you’re looking for. Lake Como is larger and more accessible, so if you want to explore different towns or take part in outdoor activities, it’s the best choice.
Conversely, Bellagio is smaller and more picturesque, so if you prefer a peaceful, romantic getaway, then Bellagio is the better option.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Lake Como?
The best time to visit Lake Como depends on what you’re looking to get out of your trip, but most people enjoy going during the late spring or early fall months of April, May, and September. However, Lake Como is a stunning destination, no matter the season.
From its breathtaking views to its luxurious hotels and spas to its amazing historical sites and landmarks, there is something for everyone throughout the year at Lake Como. Happy travels!