Coming from the south, past the famous locations of the Lake Centre, you enter into another world. After passing the parade of elegant villas, lush gardens and luxury hotels, you enter a fascinating territory with a wild and simple atmosphere: enchanting fishing villages reflected in the crystal clear waters and towns that look through the vegetation of the mountains. This genuine and uncomplicated world does not leave much room for popular tourism, but with great warmth and friendliness welcomes young people in search of fun and sporting activities and people who love art and the mountains.
The northern part of the lake is less embedded in the mountains, even if they superbly crown the entire Lario (the mountains that beautifully crown all of Lake Como extend into an amphitheatre here, giving the Alto Lario a wide breath that crosses into Valtellina and Valchiavenna). Before rising up to the high peaks, the mountain slopes leave a flat strip on the edge of the water that creates quiet beaches and green meadows where campers can find space for tents and caravans. The wind, which often blows through these mountains, is perfect for water sports, especially sailing and surfing. A river, the Mera, and a mountain, the Berlinghera, meet where the lake ends, creating a landscape of extraordinary beauty on the edge of the Pian di Spagna, which marks the border with Valtellina and Valchiavenna. The Romans had no choice but to let the Via Regia pass through here, decreeing the strategic importance of the place for connections between the north and south of the alps. The Alto Lario is the result of the transformation of the Abduan glacier in the Quaternary period. After digging and shaping, the enormous tongue of ice left behind them the deep bed of the lake on the territory and a succession of bumps, hills and ridges now covered with vineyards, chestnut trees, beech trees and a thousand other varieties of trees, while man inserted charming villages.
Colico is located on the northernmost point of the eastern shore. This town has been important since ancient times and developed near the Nature Reserve of Pian di Spagna, where the waters of the lake are confused with those of the river Mera. Then there are villages of Sorico and Gera Lario, with their simple and characteristic historical centres made of stone and houses decorated with beautiful paintings. They almost seem frightened by the imposing mass of Monte Legnone which stands in front in all its spectacular grandeur. The villages of Montemezzo, Trezzone and Vercana dominate from above, and offer views of extraordinary beauty. Then there is Domaso, reflected in the lake from its quiet port and, lying in a wide inlet between the lake and mountains, is Gravedona ed Uniti. Halfway up are the laughing eyes of Peglio, Dosso del Liro and Livo with their soaring bell towers. Finally Dongo, with the towns of Garzeno and Stazzona behind it, in the folds of the mountains.