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Lake Como from Zurich or Milan?

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Mar 6th, 2013, 04:49 AM
  #1
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Lake Como from Zurich or Milan?

My husband and I are planning a trip the end of August to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Our primary stop is Lake Como and we are trying to determine which is the best route to get there. Should we take a train from Zurich to Lugano and drive to Tremezzo Hoping it is a beautiful and scenic route?... or....should we spend a little time in Milan then drive or take a train to the Lake Como area? We only have 7 days so we would like to see as much as possible.
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Mar 6th, 2013, 06:27 AM
  #2
 
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Do you want to rent a car?

You can take a train from Zurich to Como S. Giovanni station. I don't see the point in going from Zurich to Milan and then backtrack to Como (the train between Zurich/Milan stops at Como).

You can use boats/buses to get around the lake area if you don't want to rent a car.
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Mar 6th, 2013, 07:25 AM
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I would train to Lugano, get a car, and drive to the west shore of Lago Como---Menaggio or Lenno or Tremezzo as your base location. By keeping the car you can day trip as far as St. Moritz one day and to Locarno and the Val Versasca another day. No reason to include Milan.
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Mar 6th, 2013, 07:54 AM
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Are you trying to choose between flying into Zurich or Milan? Milan is closer to Lake Como, the trip from Zurich more scenic.

You're going to stay in Tremezzo?

As kybourbon says, it's not necessary to rent a car. Traveling around the lake by boat is more scenic and more relaxing than driving. More scenic because you can see those expensive villas from the lake whereas from the road all you see of them is a long, high wall.

And if you're arriving after a long, overnight flight, you'll be jet-lagged and sleepy, not in good condition to drive.
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Mar 7th, 2013, 04:42 AM
  #5
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Thanks for your responses. We originally intended to fly into Milan and then head to the Lake Como area. Our plans are rapidly changing as we read the forums about how beautiful the scenery is from Zurich to Como. I am also reading so much about the Bernina Express and don't want to miss it, but I do not want to spend my precious vacation days trying to understand the train system and zig zagging over the same geography dragging my luggage around. Any suggestions?
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Mar 11th, 2013, 04:13 AM
  #6
 
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Zurich airport - Varenna/Bellagio/Menaggio/Tremezzo by public transport:

via Bernina Pass
ZRH ....dp 06.13, 08.13, 10.13, 12.13
Varenna ar 14.37, 16.37, 18.37, 20.37

via Monte Spluga Pass
ZRH ....dp 07.13, 14.13
Varenna ar 14.37, 20.37

via Maloja Pass:
ZRH ....dp 07.13, 09.13, 11.13, 14.13
Varenna ar 14.37, 16.37, 18.37, 21.37

via Lugano - Gandria:
ZRH .....dp 05.49, 07.43, 08.43, 10.43, 11.47, 13.47, 14.43,
Menaggio ar 10.24, 12.42, 13.44, 15.25, 16.42, 18.21, 19.40,
Citybus or taxxi from Lugano railway station to Lugano Cassarate bus termina.

via Lugano - Como San Giovanni:
ZRH .....dp 05.49, 07.43, 08.43, 10.43, 11.47, 13.47, 14.43, 15.47
Menaggio ar 11.40, 13.29, 14.25, 15.40, 17.30, 19.07, 19.47, 21.21

Frequent ferries between Varenna-Bellagio-Menaggio (10 to 20 min ride)
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Mar 11th, 2013, 04:26 AM
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For your very first trip to Lake Como, you won't need a car although it would be nice to have. I've been to Lake Como four times, each time with a car, and the first two visits parked it and didn't use it again until it was time to leave. The second two visits we took it out of its parking space and explored up in the hills. The ferries will take you to many places and it's a lovely way to see the area. The ferries will also tend to make things slow way down (don't worry, it's part of the charm) so don't expect to tick lots of things off your "to see" box every single day. Seven days in the area is great.

That said: If you want to max out time in Lake Como, fly into Milan and head straight to the lake. You could certainly rent a car to get from the airport to the lake and if you do feel during your stay that you want to visit Lake Lugano, etc, you can take off into the hills.

It's not a long day just to go to Lugano, even if you take the circuitous route home. It's not that far - meaning, no real need to fly into the area just to see it, you may as well fly into the closest airport and just see how your week takes you.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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Actually there's a bus between Menaggio and Lugano, so you don't need a car to do a sidetrip from Lake Como to Switzerland.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 05:20 PM
  #10
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All of your responses with the links are so incredibly helpful. I very much appreciate your input. We have decided to fly into Zurich,stay a night, train into Lugano, get ourselves to Tremezzo where we will spend four nights, pick up a rental car (somewhere?) and head to Verona. Romeo and Juliet? Why not? It is our 30th Anniversary after all and we have way more staying power than those two. Any suggestions for Verona? Hotels? We love old world elegance. We will fly out of Milan. We are free styling now! Your input has emboldened us! Thanks so much.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 05:41 PM
  #11
 
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Why not fly into Verona, start there, and when you leave Verona pick up a car to drive to Lake Como. You will cut down on travel time somewhat, too. You can still visit Lake Lugano very easily from Lake Como with your car.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 08:54 PM
  #12
ksm
 
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We flew into Milan and spent one night there. Milan is a beautiful city with plenty attractions itself...Duomo, DaVinci's last supper, Teatro alla Scala opera house, etc.; then we trained to Lake Como very easy to do. I don't think you need a car. We used the ferry to get to other sights along the lake which were very much worth doing.
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