Luxury holidays in Lake Como
Pink and yellow houses dotted high up verdant hills, tanned legs stretched out on terraces, olive groves’ glistening silver in the breeze: there’s a distinctly Mediterranean feel to this corner of Lombardy, blessed with a balmy micro-climate, yet surprisingly close to the Swiss border. There’s much to explore here: hop on a ferry or follow the sinuous road hugging the shoreline to find ancient cliffside villas, cobblestoned markets, and wisteria-clad trattorias. The lake offers gliding, sailing, and windsurfing for the restless, but there is little point in resisting: Lake Como’s perfected the sort of charmed, idle summer living that’s attracted the famous and wealthy for centuries, and it’s bound to lure you in too.
When to go
High season stretches between Easter and October, with many hotels closed over the winter. Spring and autumn are bright and clear (look out for truffles on the markets before the chill settles in); in the summer, things heat up, but the Alpine breezes keep the lakes pleasant and mist-free. This is when crowds flock to Como for open-air festivals, alfresco dining and lakeside frolics, but there are plenty of peaceful retreats and tranquil hillside hideaways if it all gets a little too festive.