Discover the different ferry boats and their sailing routes on Lake Como… The white-blue ferry boats are inextricably linked to Lake Como and fulfill an important task. The boats transport countless tourists from one town to another during the tourist high season. Throughout the year, locals make grateful use of the smooth boat connections to move quickly and efficiently. The traffic pressure on the Statale – the main road that encircles Lake Como – is high. There is no bridge from one shore of Lake Como to the other. Moving across the water is the only logical alternative. And that sailing alternative is provided by Navigazione Laghi, which also operates boat traffic on Lago di Garda and Lago Maggiore.
In almost every hotel or restaurant you can take the handy timetables of the boat connections with you in a handy pocket size. A must have! Of course you can always take a look at the website…
On Lake Como you can distinguish three types of ferry boats. From slow to fast these are the traghetti, batelli and aliscafi. The boats all have names that refer to the region. For example Adda (river), Plinio (writer), Manzoni (novelist), Ghisallo (mountain pass), Bisbino (mountain), Volta (inventor of battery), …
Batelli... Hop on and hop off motor ships
The batelli are the motor ships that sail to almost every town on Lake Como in a fixed pattern, from one shore to the other. Hop on and hop off… It is the ideal way to discover Lake Como and reach your destination. The batelli set sail from Como to Colico, stopping in 35 villages or locations. During the summer months a boat service is also offered between Bellagio and Lecco. If you want to consult the timetables, search for the Corse batello. Small catch: not every motor ship follows the same route and occasionally skips certain villages or possibly turns back. There is also a difference between feriali (weekdays) and festivi (weekends and holidays). The message remains to check the timetables carefully!
The pier where the boats moor are indicated with a Navigazione sign. They are manned or unmanned jetties, flanked by white-black mooring posts. The motor boats sail in smoothly, the captain throws the engines into full reverse with a deep hum, the lines are thrown around the mooring posts and a rickety bridge is laid. Get out and get in! Lines are loosened and the boat sets sail at full speed to the next stop. With their eyes closed they still manage…
How much do the batelli cost? The entire route across Lake Como is divided into eight groups across which the 35 stopping points are distributed. Varen binnen één groep kost 2,5 euro. Sailing between two groups costs 3.8 euros. Sailing between three groups costs 4.6 euros.. And so it continues up to a maximum of 12.6 euros for sailing between eight groups.
Be sure to also consider the day and/or weekly tickets. Depending on the eight groups, day tickets vary between 6.9 euros and 28 euros. Weekly tickets (6 days) follow the same logic and fluctuate between 20.7 euros and 84 euros. Discounts of up to 50% apply for children and families, seniors and groups.
To put it into perspective. Renting a (small) car at Milan Malpensa Airport today will cost around 25 euros per day. After a week you are already about 150 euros poorer, without petrol of course. Add to that some parking meters that you have to fill and the many hours you spend behind the wheel… Do the math yourself!
Traghetti... Ferry boats in the central part of Lake Como
The traghetti are the giants in the fleet and provide the transport of cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses. Of course, people can also sail along. These boats connect the golden tourist triangle of Lake Como between Cadenabbia or Menaggio with Varenna and Bellagio, the central part of Lake Como. Depending on the route, a transfer takes only ten to thirty minutes.
Spaces for cars on the ferries are limited. During busy summer months you may want to take your car and drive on board. You always buy a ticket in advance at the ticket counter. If you don’t do this, you will pay 1 euro extra on board per person.
How much do the traghetti cost? Depending on the size of your car, you pay 8.6 euros, 10.9 euros or 14.4 euros for one car with driver.? A crossing with your bicycle will cost you 6.4 euros, with a Vespa 5.6 euros and with a motorcycle 8.6 euros. Discounts are again offered in the form of ten-session tickets or monthly tickets. Please note, the number of passengers in your vehicle will further influence the total amount.
We like to use the traghetti ourselves. They are efficient connections that allow you to efficiently discover Lake Como with your bicycle or motorized vehicle. Thanks to the ferries you can make beautiful day trips and see many things without having to travel too many car kilometers. To give you an idea. If you travel by car from Menaggio to Bellagio, it will take two hours in ideal conditions for only 72 kilometers. The boat takes about twenty minutes…
Aliscafi... Fast shuttle service to and from Como
The aliscafi are the fast hydrofoils or hydrofoils that take care of the Corse rapide. The principle remains the same, but the number of stops is greatly reduced. For example, you can sail from Como directly to Argegno and then to Tremezzo.
If you are in a hurry, the hydrofoils are ideal. It must be said that locals in particular use the aliscafi, often to commute to work or school in Como, for example.
Finally, to fully contextualize Navigazione Laghi’s offering, we put the Primo Bacino and the Concordia in the spotlight.
The Primo Bacino is a kind of introduction to the batelli. The boats sail from Como to Cernobbio, Moltrasio and Torno, back to Como. The trip takes about an hour and costs 7.6 euros or 4 euros for an adult or a child respectively. A beautiful and cheap boat trip that immediately offers you a nice introduction to Lake Como.
The steamboat Concordia is a symbol of Lake Como. The boat dates from 1926 and provides specific cruises between various villages and hotspots.
What should we remember? One, boating on Lake Como is fun and efficient. Two, Navigazione Laghi does its utmost to offer a sailing alternative to traffic with its boats.