Lake Como

Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour

Varenna, Italy

From USD 434.29

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Free cancellation before 3 June.
  • 7 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Book in advance and capture the spirit of Lake Como on a walking tour of Bellagio and Varenna, two of the mid-lake region's most enchanting towns. Stop at a historic olive oil mill to taste one of the region's local specialties, accompanied by cured meats and wine. Then, enjoy a private cruise in a Venetian water taxi to visit the opulent gardens of Villa del Balbianello and Villa Melzi.
  • Explore the towns of Varenna and Bellagio around Lake Como
  • See opulent villas that were once home to Italian aristocrats
  • Lake Como boat tour lets you view lakefront properties from the water
  • A private tour means a more personalized experience

What's Included

  • Professional, English-speaking guide
  • Tasting of delicious local specialties in a charming old mill
  • Guided walking Tour of Varenna
  • Special lunch in a local restaurant: starters, pasta, water, a glass of wine and coffee
  • 1.5h Boat Tour (open top Venetian taxi)
  • Tickets to Villa del Balbianello
  • Tickets to Villa Melzi
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Varenna
    Via Imbarcadero Piazza Martiri Libertà, 23829 Varenna LC, Italy

    Our Tour starts in front of the Ferry Terminal Ticket Office in Varenna at 1030 am . Just look for the team with a LAKE COMO FOR YOU sign ! If you are arriving from Como, Cernobbio or Moltrasio please do get in touch with us for directions.

End point

  • Hotel du Lac Giuseppe Mazzini, 32, 22021 Bellagio CO, Italy

    The tour ends in Bellagio. There are plenty of mid-lake shuttles or car ferries linking Bellagio to Varenna and other locations. The last speedboat to Como will depart at the end of our tour. Our tour guide will be happy to show you departure point.

What To Expect

Meet your local guide and tour group at the Ferry Ticket Office in Varenna. After getting acquainted, embark on your full-day exploration of Lake Como's central and western regions.

Walk through Varenna's steep, narrow alleyways, learning about its Celtic origins from your local guide. Pause at a historic mill for a tasting of the locally produced olive oil, accompanied by cured meats, wine, and some Valsassina Valley cheese. 

Sit down for a traditional Italian lunch at a renowned local restaurant. Relax and enjoy the views while dining on a menu of appetizers sourced fresh from the lake (meat or vegetarian menu will also be available). 

After lunch, step aboard a comfortable open-top Venetian water taxi for a sightseeing cruise. Get views of opulent villas, once homes to Italian aristocrats during the years of the Renaissance, Romanticism, and Belle Epoque. Snap photos of the majestic mountain backdrop and lush lakeside gardens. Disembark at Villa del Balbianello, a lavish home that has been used as a filming location for features like 'Casino Royale' and 'Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones'. 

Back on the boat, continue to the verdant gardens of Villa Melzi, then walk through the streets of the elegant town of Bellagio.

Your tour ends in Bellagio, where you are free to explore further on your own.

Villa del Balbianello

1 hour Admission Ticket Included

I Giardini di Villa Melzi

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Chiesa di San Giorgio

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • A minimum of 2 adults per booking is required
  • A maximum of 11 people per booking
  • Dress code is casual, comfortable shoes
  • A fair amount of walking is involved. The trail to the mill for the morning tasting entails a descent with some steep steps which must also be ascended on the return trip. Please make sure you are physically adapt and wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
  • The tour runs rain or shine. In case of bad weather conditions it is possible that the tour undergoes some slight changes and that the transfer to Villa Balbianello is done using public transport and not with the private boat taxi due to safety reasons
  • Please Note: hotel pickup is not included for this activity, please get in touch in case you wish for us to organise it as an extra.
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • We are following Italy's Covid rules as they change. We do not ask for vaccination or tests to take our tours but suggest bringing with you a FFP2 mask in case it is needed on transports.
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 11 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 7 days in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 7 full days before the experience’s start time.
  • Any changes made less than 6 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • For a 50% refund, you must cancel 3–6 full days before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Traveller Photos

See more

Traveller Tips

Please be aware this is a hiking tour; not for the lazy or unfit.
A lot to see in one day, but well worth it.


63 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 63 reviews
small group tour with some amazing lake como views
Stephanie_L, Oct 2022
This tour was great! It is an all-day tour but you see so much of Lake Como. The water taxi ride was the perfect form of transportation and a fun way to tour the lake with a small group. Also a great way to learn some fascinating history about the area.
All in one tour
Ryan_T, Oct 2022
The tour is a great way to get a bit of everything in at one time. Touring of a small town, meal with new friends, boat tour ride, guided villa tour and ending with a walk through an amazing garden.
Pierto was a well...
DianeSmith, Oct 2022
Pierto was a well informed, knowledgeable guide. He was warm and welcoming. The tour of Verenna and Lake Como was superb. Villa Balbianello was incredible and not to be missed. The shoreline of Lake Como by boat was a real treat. Great tour!
Great tour!
Kathleen_S, Sept 2022
Pietro is an amazing guide…extremely knowledgeable, easy to understand and friendly! We learned a lot, had a great time and gained new perspective. A unique and worthwhile experience
Loving Lake Como and all it had to offer!
holly, July 2022
Another Fabulous Full Day Tour in Lake Como! Wonderful Guide and experience! Highly recommend! Our guide was excellent and very knowledgeable. The food and tour was superb! We enjoyed chatting with our Guide very much-
Amazing tour!
Elisabeth_T, July 2022
The tour was amazing! Varenna and Villa Balbianello were incredibly beautiful. The only negative is that it was a little too long of a day for some of my group. If I had to cut the tour short somewhere, it would be the Villa Melzi gardens. All in all, I would highly recommend this tour as a must do!
Lake Como at its best!
Lorraine_B, June 2022
This tour was excellent. Our guide was very informative and the tour well planned out. We felt very well taken care of. The tour of Varenna was so lovely and Villa del Balbianello was the absolute highlight!!!
Christy_R, June 2022
A full day tour in Lake Como - be prepared for lots of walking and wear very comfortable shoes and clothing. Really good value for your money and small enough group to not feel overwhelmed. Started with an olive oil tasting at the mill, then a walking tour of Varenna followed by a boat tour with a guided villa tour and a tour of the Melzi gardens. An incredible way to see Lake Como learning the history and seeing so much in one day. The open air water taxi was so special and gorgeous. The food was delicious and our guide Pietro was so much fun and very knowledgable! Wish we could go back again today!
Wonderful small group highlight
Amber_S, May 2022
This was a small group tour and hit the perfect highlights of Lake Como. The lunch was delicious and the view was incredible. We had our 10 year old son and 12 year old daughter with us and they were entertained and interested the entire time. Our guide Peter was knowledgeable and wonderfully personable. I highly recommend this tour. I truly loved the water taxi tour of the lake.
Amazing day in Lake Como with the full day tour
david_h, Oct 2021
Our experience with the Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour was exceptional!! It was truly a great day, and the tour service was a perfect way to see and experience Lake Como. Our tour guide, Madalena (maybe spelled wrong? sorry) was absolutely fantastic. She was outgoing, friendly, enthusiastic, very helpful, down to earth and fun ... and also she was very knowledgeable of the area and of the sites we saw, so she was able to not only be our guide, but also inform us about what were seeing, the history, stories, etc -- and she spoke excellent English (she is native Italian and lives locally). We did alot of walking, in addition to the boat ride, so do be aware that this tour does involve walking and some stairs and some hills -- it was very enjoyable for us. The first stop was an old mill where we met the local maker (and business owner, and as it turns out new mayor of the local town) of olive oils and wine, and had a tasting of those plus cured meats and cheeses. Fantastic! She took us on a walking tour of Varenna, toured the old churches, seaside walks and interior streets, and all the time she was explaining cool facts and history about the area and the buildings. Lunch was great -- very nice restaurant with excellent food -- not just a tourist place. We took a water taxi in a traditional boat across the lake to view the beautiful villas, stopping at a major one to walk the grounds and take the interior tour (for which that tour guide at the villa was also very very good). Boarded the boat again and went to another gardens at Bellagio, then walked around the gardens and into the town of Bellagio where we parted for the evening. All in all, it was perfect and we could not have asked for a better host/tour guide. It essentially felt like a private tour. Lake Como is gorgeous, Varenna is amazing, and I would highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for a great way to spend a day without having to plan it or look at a map, and especially if you have only 2-3 days in the area -- you see and do a lot. Thanks Madalena!!
Amazingly beautiful
Cynthia_L, Sept 2021
This was a wonderful tour, very informative. The tour guide was excellent and spoke perfect English. I would highly recommend this tour.
Interesting Fun Day
Donna_L, Sept 2019
This tour far exceeded our expectations. The pace was just right for a full day tour with a wonderful lunch
A fabulous tour in an amazing place with a terrific guide!
Emilie H, Aug 2019
Our day with Alessandra could not have been more perfect. When we met her near the ferry ticket office in Bellagio, we were delighted to find out that we were the only people who had booked the tour that day, so we ended up with a private tour with her; we were so lucky!! She instantly made us feel totally at ease and spoke excellent English. She had a driver waiting and they drove us to a cool ancient mill where we had olive oil and wine tasting, and then we spent the rest of the morning in Varenna, where she shared lots of interesting tidbits and facts about the area and its history, etc. The tour included a delicious lakefront lunch at a nice hotel in Varenna and after that we got on a very cool speedboat for a tour of the lake and the destination of Villa Balbianello. The villa is spectacular and we enjoyed the tour of it, but truly the time on the boat where the driver was stopping at various points and giving us local insight was just as much fun. Then after the villa visit, we took another boat to Bellagio to walk along some lovely gardens, with more fascinating insight from Alessandra. When we decided to make Lake Como one of our destinations in our 10 days in Italy, I knew we would get more out of it by doing a tour. But I originally hesitated slightly on this one because for some reason there weren't a ton of reviews. I am so glad we took the plunge and did it, because it was SO worth every penny and truly was one of the best days on our trip. Our time at the Italian Lakes would not have been nearly as memorable if we hadn't spent that amazing day with Alessandra!
Fantastic Tour!
gui8882019, Aug 2019
Great value for money and the staff was great! A lot to see in one day, but well worth it. The transportation was perfect.
Enjoyable Experience
Zinnia_O, Aug 2019
Alessandra, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable about the Lake Como area and our group learnt a lot about the area especially Varenna. The tour of Villa Balbianello was quite an interesting and amazing experience. We covered so much in one day. It is definitely worthwhile and totally recommend it to all who come to Lake Como.
Lake Como in Depth
Resort01849212773, June 2019
This tour gave us an overall familiarity with the various locales on the lake, included an awesome lunch in a beautiful upscale hotel restaurant, as well as an informative tour of Villa Balbianello, not only the beautifully landscaped grounds, but the extremely interesting story of the owner who built it. We were provided transportation from our ferry drop off point as well as useful recommendations as to which boat to take in order to make the tour on time. Worth the price.
lake como food tour
David_S, June 2019
enjoyed this tour. food was delicious and guide was knowledgeable.. learned alot about the lake como region in a fun way
Really good
Nomad29044365488, June 2019
The tour guide was really nice. Villa balbianello was really great. So was the varrena tour and food served.
All in one tour
Joseph_P, June 2019
This tour was a great way to experience a bit of all the things you want to see and do at Lake Como in one tour. Get out on the water, visit the top Villa, lunch with an incredible view as well as wine and food tasting with some history. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, friendly, well versed in English and a true joy to spend time with.
Incredible Day at Lake Como
Sherpa37465762885, June 2019
We lucked out with a private tour as no one else booked this all-day adventure (their loss). Elena, our guide, spoke perfect English and adjusted the itinerary as my daughter wanted to see the local castle and because we wanted to do more hiking. Please be aware this is a hiking tour; not for the lazy or unfit. You will hike up and down several hills. But the experience is so worth it. We sampled local wines (2 times), ate local food, and sampled local olive oil. The private boat tour gave us incredible views of the Alps and local villages (Varenna, etc.). We visited the gorgeous Villa Balbianello and ended our adventure with a walking tour of the gardens near Bellagio. Although the price may seem high, it is worth every penny. This day trip was a highlight of our 2 week visit to Europe, and it will not be forgotten. If you are thinking of going cheap (which I usually do), don't. You will regret booking a different tour.
Response from Host, June 2019
It was an unforgettable day we spent together. An honor to meet you, you sure are a beautiful family ! Elena

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