Colico - Bay of Piona - Olgiasca and Corenno Plinio
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From Colico to Corenno Plinio - A true paradise for hikers, bikers, sailors, nature lovers and active families
Colico and the Bay of Piona
Colico, a former sleepy fishing village, is now a vibrant small town with beaches, a great variety of restaurants, shops, promenade, harbour and a train station. Located at the foot of Monte Legnone (2.609 m), Colico is the largest town at the top of Lake Como and has a picturesque, historic town center with Piazza Garibaldi ideally situated right on the lake. Various districts of the town spread out into the surrounding countryside, comprising of a fascinating mix of villas, country houses, old farmhouses, open fields and meadows, all nestled into the gently sloping hills of Montecchio. The town's south-west orientation means you can enjoy long sun-drenched days and spectacular, red-golden sunset evenings. Marvel at the lake views and the beautiful mountain scenery and enjoy the town's proximity to the Bay of Piona and Pian di Spagna.
The Nature Reserve of Pian di Spagna, the largest in the whole of Lombardy, extends just north of Colico across stunning, open countryside. Encompassing the wooded area of the Boschetto peninsular and the magical, sleepy Lake Mezzola with its natural beaches, waterfalls and meandering rivers. Also including the river Adda tributary with its beaches and bike paths as well as the two forts, Fuentes and Montecchio. All breathtaking areas just waiting to be explored.
The Bay of Piona borders Colico to the south and is within walking or cycling distance. If swimming and relaxation are on the wish list, then there's a gently sloping beach with a sunbathing area to enjoy. There's a good Agriturismo-restaurant not far from the beach, as well as a beach-bar. From the lakeside footpaths you can soak up the stunning panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains that are so beautifully framed by green countryside. The northern arm of the Bay extends from Colico into Lake Como, and to the south lies the equally wild and romantic wooded Olgiasca peninsula with the famous Piona Abbey, a beautiful medieval town and an "secret" beach that can only be reached on foot
Would you like to grill your own freshly caught fish for dinner? Then Lake Como is exactly the right place for you: The cold mountain, clear water tributaries that flow into the lake provide an ideal habitat for lake trout, rainbow trout and several species of whitefish, pike and eel. Colico also has a well stocked sport-fish pond. You can purchase the required fishing license at the local post office and licenses are valid for three months. Fishing boat rentals are widely available.
It's only a 25 minute drive along the eastern shore to Lecco, at the southern end of Lake Como, using the convenient tunneled express road.
Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore are quite accessible. From Colico it's best to take either the northwestern shore road or take the Varenna-Cadenabbia ferry.
There's lot to explore to the north of Colico, for example, trips to Chiavenna, Bormio and St. Moritz are well worth it. Milan, Monza and Bergamo, to the south of Colico, all make really enjoyable day trips. The old historic trade road to Chiavenna / Sondrio and Bergell / Valley of Valtellina offers a plethora of shopping and sightseeing possibilities.
Following the lake shore road, which circumnavigates Lake Como, is always a rewarding trip to make, taking you through some of the most beautiful and picturesque places on Lake Como, (with short cut options via the ferry service or the tunnel).
Good ferry and hydrofoil connections allow you to discover yet another aspect of Lake Como . The Colico ferry service offers regular trips to Varenna, Bellagio, Menaggio, Lecco and Como and more.
Rail services from Colico (the larger station) and Piona (the smaller station) stop at many towns along the east bank as well as Chiavenna and Milan and you'll enjoy some amazing panoramic views along the route. The Colico - Milan rail connection is only 80 minutes with no changes and without the hassle of finding a parking space in Milan!
Colico and the Bay of Piona are sunny havens for swimmers and sunbathers of all ages: numerous large and gently sloping beaches are within easy walking distance from your holiday home. Piona even has it's own small sandy beach. In Colico, just south of the Piazza, is a beach with an extensive sunbathing area as well as a playground area and an adjoining restaurant. Just north of the Piazza is the marina which also has a very nice long beach with a large grassy area for sunbathing, a kite surfing school and foot/bike paths leading to other beaches. There area has a mix of sandy beaches as well as pebble beaches. The tributary, the River Adda, lies within the beautiful Pian di Spagna Nature Reserve.
The sandy beaches of the Boschetto headland and Gera Lario are within easy reach, even by bicycle.
The swimming season usually begins around the end of May through to September, when the water temperatures in the lake are between 20 and 24 degrees. Generally, our holiday homes open their swimming pools from mid-March through to late October (for exact info. see individual home descriptions).
Be sure to book your boat berth through our local LA BREVA partner! Prior to booking your holiday home, our LA BREVA local partner will provide you with information regarding the availability of berths, a detailed proposal and will then take care of all the necessary arrangements. Colico marina is secure with a pool, restaurant, slip and hangers.
On Lake Como, no license is required for motor boats up to 40hp. Smaller boats can be rented from Gera Lario and larger boats from Domaso, for example.
On Lago di Como, there are six golf courses and many more in the surrounding area. One of the most popular golf courses is "Menaggio e Caddenabbia", above Menaggio, the best route there is down to Varenna (approx.15 minutes) and then take the ferry over to Caddenabbia. The Valtellina Golf Club is near Sondrio, (30 minutes by car). To the south, in Brianza below Lecco, is another golf course.
If it's not the right time of year to be swimming in the lake there are still some beautiful swimming pools to enjoy. There's one in Chiavenna with a skating rink next door and there are other pools near the Val Masino as well as in Bellagio and in Como.
The upper part of Lake Como and Lake Mezzola are connected by the River Mera and it's a very popular area with canoeists and rowers. The possibilities are limitless, whether alone or in a group, the local lakes and tributaries enable you to explore and discover waterfalls and sandy beaches that are only accessible by boat. It's worth noting that there is an interesting bird watching area near Lake Mezzola.
As you canoe and row on Lake Como you'll be able to enjoy exclusive views of some of the magnificent historic villas and gardens.
Throughout Italy and here in Lake Como, children are always made to feel very welcome and encouraged to take active part in local festivities. In restaurants and pizzerias as well as evening festivals and events, children are always welcome. Accordingly, there's an abundance of children's play areas on offer in all the towns with enough "even and flat surfaces" to ensure that play is both fun and safe. In Colico and the surrounding towns of Gera Lario and Dascio, there are some really beautiful, large children's play areas and both Colico, the Bay of Piona and the north-west headland of Boschetto offer wonderful beaches that are suitable for toddlers and some very nice, long, stroller-friendly footpaths.
No visit to Lake Como would be complete without seeing the famous resorts of Bellagio and Varenna. Here, we recommend that you take along your baby backpack/sling in addition to the stroller, so that you can reach every part of these picturesque towns, its cobblestone streets and/or steps can be quite tedious and challenging with a stroller.
In Colico, people like to meet up in Piazza Garibaldi at the fishing harbor, this is where many cultural and musical evening events take place. For the young and young at heart there is a popular nightclub in the district of Fuentes, where "salsa" is the hot favorite.
Throughout the year, around the entire Lake, there are many interesting festivals, firework displays, theater productions, concerts and exhibitions taking place. Apart from the many art rich historical buildings, beautiful churches, there are 12 famous historic villas with some magnificent gardens that are well worth a visit. Not forgetting the former Spanish fort, "Fuentes", with it's beautiful walks, the Montecchio Fortress plus the famous Abbey of Piona, just to the south of Colico on the Olgiasca peninsula.
Almost every town has its weekly market with fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, meat and fish from the region. You'll also often find crafts, clothing, leather goods, etc. also on offer. The Colico weekly market takes place every friday, an additional sunday market is held during the summer months.
The bypass eases the traffic on the east side of the lake considerably. Starting in the Bay Piona, there is a bicycle/jogging path that follows the Lake and then continues along the River Adda into the beautiful green countryside of the Valtellinatal (approx. 17 miles). For road racers, the coastal road towards Lecco is a popular route. The foot of Mount Legnone is a great starting point for fantastic mountain bike tours into the surrounding mountains. Every kind of bicycle from mountain bikes, racing, touring and city bikes plus the newly popular electric bike, are widely available for rent.
There are two riding schools with indoor riding arenas very close to Colico in the Pian di Spagna Nature Reserve. The beautiful open countryside that extends to the top of the lake and opens into the surrounding valleys, offers some exceptional hacking and riding possibilities. The riding schools offer also guided tours through the Nature Reserve and along the lake, ideal for beginners and advanced persons.
La Breva, the famous south wind of the lake, begins in the late morning and abates towards the early evening. The beach, north of the Colico marina , is very popular with wind and kite surfers, with the added bonus of having a beach restaurant, bar and snackbar. There's a wind-/kite surfing school and surf equipment hire available.
Our LA BREVA team have all the information about surf schools/rentals and board storage facilities for holiday homes on and near the lake.
Colico offers a variety of restaurants and cafes that will please everyone. There are numerous ice cream parlors offering delicious Italian ice cream. Colico has a multitude of small shops as well as a large shopping center just to the north on the outskirts of town. In the nearby towns of Lecco (express road. 25 mins.) and Como (boat or hydrofoil speedboat) you can shop to your heart's content. The fashion center of Milan and Como are both very famous for silk, an influence seen throughout this lake area. You'll find some real bargains especially at the factory outlets. In Alessi, near Varese, you'll find the fascinating plastic furniture of Kartell. Italian high fashion and furnishings can be found from Morbegno, in Valtellinatal, in and around Lecco, to Como and down to Milan. Also towards Sondrio, there's plenty of fashion, fine food, regional specialties and Italian furnishings on offer.
There are clay and hard courts as well as indoor tennis courts located by the Lido beach area, with further tennis courts available in neighboring villages.
Combine the winter wonderland of Lake Como with the seasons cultural highlights in Milan, where excellent theater, opera and museum programs are offered during the winter months. Its only 80 minutes by train from Colico to Milan, with no connections and no parking problems!
Around Lake Como, there are amazing culture events that take place throughout the year, in Como, Bergamo, Lecco and the Grand Hotel Serbelloni in Bellagio.
The Colico area offers beautiful trails along the lake, on the long promenade in Colico, along numerous footpaths and trails through the forest. Your holiday home is an ideal starting point for many of the easy to more difficult hikes in the area, all with stunning panoramic views. Discover all that nature has to offer such as the edible sweet chestnuts and fungi. Enjoy the many rustic mountain restaurants that youll find along the way. The nearby Valtellinatal is a hikers paradise. Monte Legnone at 2.609m and other challenging tours also attract more ambitious mountain sports fans. The mountains around Lecco offer the best challenges for climbers as well as the popular rock wall on the Lake in Varenna.
In the vicinity, you can find three flat and spacious beaches which are also suitable for children: the private seaside swimming-bath "Lido" (free of charge) with a sun-terrace and a Pizzeria; the beach which is also used by Theres a water-ski school with its own cable located in Gera Lario. You can cycle there, alternatively, its about 10 minutes drive from Colico.
The popular ski resort of St. Moritz (CH), Bormio, and Teglio Madesimo (I) are only about 35 - 60 minutes drive away and well worth a day trip. They offer many opportunities for alpine skiing, cross country skiing, ice skating and ice-boccia. Bormio is also a well-known spa resort.
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