Lakes of Lombardia and Piemonte: Part 3 The Lago di Garlate to the Lago di Como

Published on:  | Last updated: 26 December 2019

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Olginate to Como 36 kms

This section mainly following back roads and passing some of the smaller lakes - the Lago di Annone Lago di Pusiano, and Lago Alserio

A couple of notes if you’re riding a road bike - there are a couple of off-road sections which you might want to avoid: 

  • the first is by the Lago Alserio - it’s not partic­u­larly difficult but is you want to avoid it I’d suggest taking the SP41 near Ponte Nuovo and picking up the route at the village of Alserio;
  • the second is on the approach to Como. It’s a lovely descent but more suited to mountain bikes or hybrids. You can avoid it by taking the SP37 instead.


At this point of the route I think it’s well worth consid­ering altern­ative options. One option would be to turn off the route at the Lago di Pusiano, and head for Bellagio via the Lago di Segrino (see this article).

You might also want to pick up the tour of the Western Lakes going in reverse.

An option to avoid: the SP72 along the eastern shore of the Lago di Como going north from Lecco to Colico has now been bypassed by the SS36. In theory it should be a good bet for cyclists, but unfor­tu­nately there’s a section near Abbadia Lariana north of Lecco where the two roads join. Add into that a couple of pretty nasty-looking tunnels (check Google Street View and you’ll see what I mean) and for me it looks like a route to avoid. If you want to go north I’d suggest either taking the road along the western shore of the lake (see this article) or ride to Bellagio and take a ferry or boat to Varenna.

More information

Places to stay

Hotels and B&Bs

Find and book places to stay with pages for places on this section of the route:

About these links

If you use these links to book accom­mod­ation will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.

I use to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirm­ation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accommodation.

I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the oppor­tunity to let me know if there’s a problem.

Many properties offer free cancel­lation but it’s a good idea to check the condi­tions as these vary from property to property.


There’s a hostel in Como (Ostello Villa Olmo). Note that (in 2019) the Villa Olmo itself was under­going a major restor­ation. Even without the building work, it would probably be a good idea to reserve.


There is a campsite near Lecco and another couple on the Lago di Annone. The southern part of the Lago di Como has very few campsites, but there are a couple near Bellagio - I’ve stayed at the Camping Clarke which I’d is one of the nicest in the whole region. There are lots and lots of campsites further north.

  Campsites map:  LLP-campsites-map-show map in overlay    |    LLP-campsites-map-show map in new window 

Transport and services


There are rail stations at Lecco and Como.

For inform­ation about ferry and vaporetto services go to the Navigazione Laghi website.

Bike shops

There’s a useful bike shop in Como (hey had proper chainlube!) - Cicli Ferca.

Articles in this series

Get in touch

Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.

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