When you’re looking for the lake trip of a lifetime, Lake Como in Italy is a wonderful destination. Surrounded by lush greenery, quaint European towns, and soaring peaks, this lake offers your family the chance to explore the exotic views. Located in Northern Italy and just north of the city of Milan, this lake and surrounding towns have hosted visitors for centuries. Check out these wonderful adventures and Lake Como vacation rentals to wrap up your family outing.

1. Boating

white sailboat
Source: Flickr / Gaspar Torriero

Lake Como is more than 50 kilometers long and features a Y shape. Your family can rent a boat for the day and enjoy some relaxation on the water. Relax on a sailboat or zoom up and down the coastlines on a power boat. Make sure to pack sunscreen and keep your life vests on.

2. Como’s Cathedral

cathedral
Source: Flickr / Francisco Restivo

Step back in time as you and your family approach this 14th-century cathedral. It’s built entirely in the Gothic style with a marble facade and stone carvings with stunning detail work. One oddity to note about this cathedral is the two statues by the entrance aren’t the typical saints, but instead, Pliny the Elder and Junior who were locals that offered friendship to early Christians in the area.

3. Strolling

narrow pathway
Source: Flickr / David Spender

Spend a day with your family strolling through one of the towns that dot Lake Como. You can choose Como, Bellagio, Varrena, or much more. Don’t worry about getting lost as you explore side streets, plazas and waterfront areas since the exploration only adds to the fun. Take the time to stop at a local market, visit a church, and enjoy a tasty lunch.

4. Funicular Ride

mountains and lake
Source: Flickr / Antonis Lamnatos

Take a funicular ride up the steep mountain in Como to visit the town of Brunate. Once your family reaches the top, you have views stunning views of Lake Como and the town below. If your family is filled with daredevils, brave the rocky path that leads to the Faro Voltiano, an old lighthouse. From this vantage point, you can see to Switzerland. It’s well worth the hike.

5. Swimming

beach view
Source: Flickr / yonijrj

Beaches around Lake Como aren’t like the beaches your family is used to seeing. Many of them are made up of grass or small pebbles instead of the sand you usually see. However, there are many beaches around the lake where your family can spend a day swimming, splashing in the water or getting in some sunbathing.

6. Visit a Villa

white villa
Source: Flickr / Aloa

This isn’t your typical beach house! Located in Tremezzo and accessible by a ferry ride, Villa Carlotta dates back to the 17th century when it was home to a marquis. Today, you can tour this stately home filled with priceless artwork and statues. However, your family needs to set aside some time to explore the 20-acre garden attached to the property.

7. Ferry Ride

white ferry boat
Source: Flickr / Elliott Brown

As the expression goes, the fastest way from one point to another is a straight line. On Lake Como, ferries make it easy to find the straight line between lake towns. Gather the family and hop on one of the ferries to discover one of the other towns situated on Lake Como. Most of the ferry rides only last around half an hour.

8. Abbazia di Piona

wall art
Source: Flickr / Roberto Ferrari

Spend a day exploring what religious life was like in another century at this 13th century Cluniac monastery. Inside its wall sits the 11th-century church of San Nicola. Many of the surrounding walls are adorned with religious frescoes painted in the 14th- and 15th-century. Before leaving the abbey, you can purchase some honey, candy and herbal lotions made by the monks with ingredients from the garden.

9. Spend a Day in Bellagio

seaside park
Source: Flickr / Natalia Postawa

Located where the three points of the lake meet, Bellagio is considered the most attractive of all the lakeside towns. Your family can enjoy a day of shopping along the quaint streets or visit one of the town’s gardens. There is a garden along the lakefront and another that sits above the town.

10. Fishing

fishing boat
Source: Flickr / bill boyd

Lake Como offers many opportunities for fishing. In fact, there are several outfits that offer a fishing tour and guide for the day to help you find the best spot. You can take the whole family or just a few dedicated fishermen. Many species of fish make Lake Como home, including perch, several types of trout, bass, burbot and many others.