Our expert opinion would be that the best time of year to visit Lake Como is in July, as visiting this iconic lake destination at the start of summer will offer exceptional weather and the prime opportunity to experience the lively and bold beauty of the area.
Widely recognised as one of the most sensational lakes in the world, Lake Como is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations, boasting beautiful scenery and encompassed by a breathtaking mountainous landscape.
Of glacial origin, the Lake has been a go-to retreat for tourists since the days of the Roman Empire. Stretching 56 square miles in total, it is one of the deepest lakes in Europe and can be found in the northern Italian region of Lombardy – Italy’s leading industrial and commercial region.
But Lake Como is far from commercial or industrial. Its prime location at the foothills of the Alps gives it truly dramatic scenery, featuring craggy mountain ranges and green rolling hills dappled with colourful settlements. The upscale resort area features vibrant towns and cities bordering its waters, home to charming renaissance architecture and offering spectacular views of the lake itself.
Many would argue Lake Como to be one of the most instagrammable destinations in the world, and in 2018, as many as 1,370,000 tourists flocked to its waters, making the destination more popular than the famed Valtellina or Lake Maggiore.
It’s without a doubt that you should be adding this picturesque location to your bucket list, but it also begs the question: when is the best time to visit Lake Como for your holidays?
Our expert opinion would be that the best time of year to visit Lake Como is in July, as visiting this iconic lake destination at the start of summer will offer exceptional weather and the prime opportunity to experience the lively and bold beauty of the area. Here, we go into further detail about why July is the best time to visit Lake Como.
The weather in Lake Como in July is nearing the height of the summer season, with temperatures nearing their peak and the days filled with more and more sunshine!
Lake Como in July offers an average temperature of 22°C, a comfortable heat that doesn’t leave visitors feeling totally sweltered. But, for those that may feel apprehensive that this month may be too hot to visit (especially given that the area can experience highs of 26°C!) Lake Como experiences gentle winds, known as the Tivano and Breva, which circulate around the lake throughout the majority of the year. And with lows of 18°C, you can be sure that you’ll enjoy only a pleasant warmth whilst visiting the lake in July.
The sun beats down on Lake Como in July for an average of 9 hours a day, allowing for plenty of exploration of the lake and its surrounding areas and settlements during daylight hours. And with an average of only 8 days of rain in July, this is the perfect summertime month to visit for the least amount of rainfall, with June having on average 10 days, and August an average of 9.
Lake Como is also an exceptional destination for those who love to swim on their holidays, offering long stretches of shoreline with popular beaches that are perfect for taking a dip or engaging in other water-based activities. The water temperature in Lake Como in July is an average of 23.7°C and, in some cases, reaches a maximum temperature of 27°C, which is a blissful temperature for those looking to admire Lake Como’s incredible landscape from its crystal blue waters.
Lake Como’s destination in the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy makes it slightly more difficult to get to compared to other popular Italian tourist destinations. Still, it remains easy enough to reach for those who know how to get there prior.
Those looking to visit Lake Como in July can get a plane to nearby airports within the lake’s vicinity, including Linate and Malpensa airports in Milan, Orio al Serio airport near Bergamo and Lugano Airport in Lugano, Switzerland, which – to many people’s surprise – is only an hour’s car journey from Lake Como.
Visitors will then have to travel the remainder of their journey by either car or train dependent on their arrival destination.
To reach Lake Como by train, visitors will have to board a 1-hour train departing from Milano Cardona railway station, located in the centre of Milan, to Como Nord Lago station, located close to Lake Como and only a 5-minute walk from the town centre of Como.
Trains to Lake Como from further afield are also an option, with a journey from Florence to Como San Giovanni train station, the main train station to serve the town of Como, being only around two and a quarter hours to reach. Visitors who have started their journey from either Linate and Malpensa Airports in Milan or Orio al Serio airport near Bergamo can take advantage of the convenient train routes available to finish their journey to the lake.
From Linate Airport, Linate shuttle buses are available from the airport to then take you to Milano Centrale station, where you can board an intercity or regional train to Como station. From Malpensa airport, the Malpensa Express train travels to Milan Porta Garibaldi station where trains to Como San Giovanni station can be boarded.
And finally, from Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport, visitors can board a shuttle bus to Bergamo, taking roughly an hour and 40 minutes, before taking a train to Como San Giovanni, with a change in Monza.
If travelling from Switzerland, travelling by car is the most convenient way to reach the lake and, as mentioned above, journeying from Lugano airport in Switzerland is only a convenient hour away from Lake Como.
Renting a car from Milan to reach Lake Como is also a popular and convenient way of reaching the lake. However, the route is known to have been poorly signposted and so familiarising yourself with your route on a map or opting for a GPS to guide you is highly recommended before embarking on your journey.
Located in the Valtellina Valley, the Ciapel d’Or Summer Festival is held in Castione Andevenno, located an hour and a half away from Lake Como, which has run for 25 years and takes place annually in July. A festival that celebrates “the story that lies in the wine glass”, the event allows tourists to experience the interesting history of the area's wine cultivation, vineyards and the passion for viticulture that the land has to offer.
The Festival ComoCitta della Musica boasts a variety of music concerts and performances, ranging from musical, opera and classical to jazz, pop and dance in the city of Como, at locations including Villa Olmo, Villa Grumello and Torre Baradello to name just a few.
The festival runs throughout July and concerts usually begin at 9:30 in the evening. It often even hosts well-known international performers and artists, so you may find a few familiar names cropping up should you visit Lake Como in July.
Every July and August, Villa Camilla in Domaso, a commune located in the province of Como, hosts a disco in the park from 9 pm to 1 am every Wednesday. For young travellers and visitors, this event is a must-add to the diary. With a live DJ, you’ll get to party and dance to your heart's content under the Italian night sky.
When visiting Lake Como in July, you’ll be able to enjoy a host of sights and activities nearby without having to worry about the likelihood of poor weather or avoiding huge crowds during the height of peak season.
The city of Como, located at the southern tip of Lake Como, is steeped in rich history and Italian culture that tourists find fascinating, making it a must-visit on your next trip to Lake Como in July.
The city has plenty of attractions to suit all preferences and priorities, whether you consider yourself to be a bit of a ‘history-buff’ or a nature lover. The city boasts beautiful hiking trails nearby to explore the scenic region, plenty of museums to discover the history of the area and gorgeous churches, the most popular of which is the Como Cathedral.
Known to be the last gothic cathedral built in Italy, the Como Cathedral’s stunning architecture, featuring teal blue domes and typical gothic features, makes it a must add to your list when visiting this diverse city.
Built in 1808 for the Duke Francesco Melzi d’Eril (who was the assistant to General Napoleon) the magnificent Villa Melzi is a national monument located in Bellagio that features a magnificent botanical garden with views out onto the lake from the Bellagio shore. Dappled with statues and foliage throughout – it’s an iconic site that is popular amongst tourists and locals alike.
Visitors can roam the grounds and gardens freely, but the Villa itself remains closed to the public – but can still be admired from afar – making it a memorable trip that balances neoclassical architecture with beautiful displays of flora and fauna.
The Como-Brunate funicular railway is a single-track funicular railway connecting the village of Brunate, located about an hour's drive from Lake Como to the city of Como.
The railway has been operating for over 100 years and carries passengers up and down the steep mountain slopes along its route. The railway is the quickest way of travelling between the two locations, and so is ideal for visitors in the region looking to maximise their sightseeing experience.
Onboard, riders will have spectacular panoramic views over the Alps and Lake Como itself, unmatched by many other experiences, so you shouldn’t miss adding it to your list of things to do when visiting Lake Como in July.
The weather in Lake Como in July means packing a jacket or jumper is most likely not necessary for days out around the area. However, packing for all eventualities to make sure you’re prepared is a must.
As we’ve already mentioned, swimming in the lake is a popular tourist activity, and so when the weather in Lake Como in July is so blissful, you can’t miss out on an opportunity to take advantage of it! Packing swimming gear and a towel is definitely worth considering should you decide to take a dip or stroll along the lake’s many beautiful beaches during your trip.
You may also find that in the evenings, the temperature around the lake can get quite mild, so packing a light jacket or cover-up would be advised to remain comfortable whilst exploring in the evening.
We would recommend allowing at least 2-3 full days to explore the area of Lake Como. With its many surrounding towns, villages and cities, there are plenty of sites and activities that you can explore and get involved with, so you’ll want to ensure you’ve designated enough time to visit some of its biggest attractions.
However, many visitors easily designate a week to stay and deeply explore the area. And, given its convenient location and accessibility to Switzerland and other major cities in Italy – including Milan and Florence – some visitors love its central location to take advantage of exploring other nearby regions.
When in Lake Como, arguably the best way to get around is by public transportation. The region has fantastic train services, with plenty of stations dotted around major cities and towns around the lake.
The bus services available around Lake Como also suitably connect most towns around the lake, which is also a cheaper alternative for visitors looking to save their spending money for other pursuits during their visit. Boat tours and trips are also a convenient and picturesque way of exploring Lake Como, transporting visitors around some of the most popular tourist destinations around the lake, including Bellagio, Como and Varenna.
Lake Como is a holiday getaway destination like no other. Set in the heart of the beautiful Alps mountain landscape with surrounding villas, towns and vistas, it’s unmatched for its spectacular views and fairytale feel. Should you be tempted to visit, you now know that Lake Como in July is undoubtedly an ideal time to take a trip boasting stupendous weather, you’ll be able to enjoy the area in its prime on your next vacation.
When To Visit Lake Como By Month: