From the stilish Lake Como and Bellagio to the unspoilt Lake Orta, through the peaceful Lake Lugano and the majestic Lake Maggiore: a journey across the celebrated waters and the subalpine dishes of Lombardy and Piedmont.
The bike tour is free tip-based. It takes place all year on request. Please book in good advance
3 days/2 nights
190 km/1980 metres gain
GHISALLO PASS AND SHRINE | BELLAGIO | THE FISHERMAN’S ITTITURISMO | LAKE COMO PANORAMIC ROAD | THE QUIET LAKE OF LUGANO | VALGANNA FOREST BIKE PATH | GOURMET DINNER OF LAKE FISH RAVIOLI AND LOCAL SPECIALTIES | CANNERO RIVIERA | STRESA | THE BORROMEE ISLANDS FERRY | TAKE THE CABLEWAY TO MOTTARONE MOUNT | LAKE ORTA
The western Italian Alps offers the traveler a landscape of incomparable beauty: alpine peaks covered with snow give way to high hills and lakes of various shapes. Heritage of the glaciation era, Lake Como, Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta form a large patchwork of waters surrounded by green forests and highlands. Each lake has its distinctive charachter: Lake Como with its scenic views and amazing villas, Lake Maggiore with the Borromee Island and elegant towns, Lake Lugano with its peaceful mood and Lake Orta with its cosy atmosphere. On top of that, the area offers unique rustic mountain food, ranging from lake fish to game meat, to stuffed pasta, to fresh and seasoned cheeses.
Day 1: we’ll depart from Canzo, halfway through Como and Lecco in Lombardy, situated at the entrance of Vallassina valley that overlooks Lake Como. We begin with a 6km long climb, at a gentle grade, which bring us to a really special place: the Ghisallo Pass, home of the Museum of Bicycling with the nearby church devoted to Madonna del Ghisallo, Patroness Saint of the cyclists. An unmissable shrine for all who love cycling. After visiting the shrine adorned with old race bicycles and plates, we hit again the road and take the long descent down to the renowned lakeshore town of Bellagio: situated on a cape it will welcome us with its narrow pedestrian streets and ancient buildings. We pedal along the fancy promenade overlooking the north of Lake Como until a nearby fishermen village: time for lunch, we will try fresh lake fish cooked in the local fashion! Back on the saddle, a pleasant and long ride on the Lake Como shores is awaiting: a sinuous route through little coves and gulfs, small villages and bell towers. We reach the town of Torno and embark on the ferry with our bicycles, for a quick cruise to Moltrasio, our final destination today. Tonight we will enjoy dinner in a traditional cooperative restaurant serving regional cuisine from Lombardy.
DISTANCE: 55 km
ELEVATION GAIN: 950 mt
Day 2: today we will cycle through Italy and Switzerland on Lake Lugano: we pass the border and follow the network of backroads in the vineyards area of Canton Ticino until we reach Lake Lugano. Known for its blue waters, it lies on a plain surrounded by hills and subalpine peaks, offering a perfect environment for the cyclist: smooth tarmac and little traffic will make our ride really enjoyable. We make our first break of the day on a green meadow on the shores for a quick rest and pictures, then we move on to Porto Ceresio back on the Italian side, where we stop for lunch in a pizzeria with lake view. Back on the saddle and we reach Ponte Tresa on the western edge of Lake Lugano, where it starts a beautiful bike trail: the Valganna trail built along the old railway line. We ride into the forest, climbing up gentle hills and down to little valleys for the most of the afternoon. A funny descent brings us finally to the plain of Varese where a bikepath leads to the town of Luino on the Lake Maggiore, our homeplace tonight. Dinner will take place in a very special Osteria with local recipes from the old times.
ELEVATION GAIN: 710 mt
Day 3: quite early wake up today, the ferry awaits! We cross the Maggiore Lake from Lombardy towards the Piedmont side docking in Cannero Riviera, one of the most charming towns of the whole area: a small village renowned for its mild climate due to its fully sun-exposed position, adorned with colourful flowers and Mediterranean flora. A quick espresso on the docks and a stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets, then we move on to the panoramic road running above the shores.
There are not many villages along the road which is a bless: it will allow us to admire the open landscape of Lake Maggiore, made of little coves, capes and islands. We ride until Verbania, the capital town of the lake province, where we stop in the main square for a refreshing break and a quick lunch in a cafè. Early afternoon we take a ferry to Stresa, the “pearl” of Lake Maggiore, sailing beside the gourgeous Borromee Islands. Stresa is a sophisticated town, featuring fancy hotels and wonderful villas, favourite leisure spots for Kings and Queens, writers and actors, since the XX century. And it’s also the starting point of the cableway to the Mottarone Mount, which we will definitely take! The cableway goes from the lakeshores to the mountain peak at 1400 metres above sea level in only twenty minutes. We carry the bikes and…let’s reach the top! The seightseeing from Mottarone is something unique: Lake Maggiore on one side, Lake Orta on the other, and the Alpine ring all around. We take the slope towards Orta, a 10km long descent amongst pine trees and pastures with tight turns, which will test our riding ability. Orta lake is in our sight, we enter the medieval town and reach the main square on the bay, end point of our bike tour.
DISTANCE: 68 km
ELEVATION GAIN: 370 mt
Region: Lombardia, Piemonte
When: On Request from March to November
Info&Bookings: email@example.com or fill the form above
Cost: free tip-based
Level of difficulty: average
Lenght: 3 days/2 nights
Distance/Elevation Gain: 182 km/1950 metres
Terrain: tarmac, dirt roads, bike paths
Accommodation: small family hotels
Recommended bike: gravel, touring. You can join with your own bicycle or we can help renting one (regular or E-bike). Please inform us if you need a bicycle
Note: in case of bad weather the tour might be cancelled
The tour is on request, you choose the date and we’ll do our best to make it happen. It takes place all year round according to the time availability of the bike host. Usually Spring and Fall are the best periods considering weather ad temperatures.
For Info&Bookings contact firstname.lastname@example.org or fill the form above.
The outing is free tip-based: EASYTORINO is not a tour operator nor about guided tours nor a business activity. It’s a welcome club of locals who love to share their places with the travelers, like with friends. You will pay your personal expenses (meals, visits, accommodation) directly to the businesses. They may vary depending on the travel period, menu chosen, type of room, number of participants. The figures shown are therefore approximate based on average.
PERSONAL EXPENSES 300€ PER PERSON INCLUDE:
– two night stays in 3*** hotel and B&B, double room accommodation with breakfast
– two 3-course dinners wines and spirits excluded
– three light lunches wines excluded
– ferry and cableway tickets
Additional services such as luggage transport, private transfer to/from, bike rental, shall be quoted upon request.
The ride is hosted by an english speaking local expert (bike host) from our group. He’s not a licenced tour guide but a volunteer, fine connoisseur of the places, culture and oenogastronomy. He will pay his expenses like any other but it woud be nice to split his bills (meals and accommodation) amongst the participants. If you enjoyed the tour you can tip him at the end.