Road cycling routes and road bike map in Northern Italian Lakes

Road bike map

Riding in Northern Italian Lakes

One thing that can always strike you is its variety. While the Alps remains a playground for pure climbers and the mountain goats, the beauty of Northern Italian Lakes, for riders of all levels, is its accessibility: there are few climbs here that will prove too difficult for the average rider.

The region has some of the best training roads for cyclists because there is so much variety. The lake roads are flat and there are many roads up in the mountains for climbing.

Mostly you can feel safe on the roads here because local drivers are used to seeing many cyclists and they are friendly. However if you ride together as a group you DON'T had better to ride side by side. In such a way the drivers can became angry here!

Our region has a typically hilly and mountainous landscape and therefore the ride profile is characterized by a continuous up and down.
Only a few minutes out of the front door and you can be at the foot of 5-10 kilometre climbs.

Cycling resources for riding around the Northern Italian Lakes.

What's it like around Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como

We are talking about the area among Lombardy (Italy), Piedmont (Italy) and Switzerland. It’s framed by the Alps. The three most important lakes are, from west to east, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como.

Lake Maggiore, Italy’s second-largest lake, is the longest lake of the Italian Lakes measuring 65 kilometres – 40 miles long and has a surface area of 215 square kilometres – 83 square miles. Lake Como and Lake Lugano are smaller.

Between and around these are several minor lakes - such as Lake Orta, west of Lake Maggiore, and Lake Varese, midway between Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano, as well as countless tarns trapped in the high valleys: Lake Ganna, Lake Ghirla, Lake Comabbio and Lake Monate. Nine lakes of different sizes surround Varese and Como.

The distance between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como doesn’t exceed 70 kilometres – 45 miles as a crow flies.

The southern end of area is relatively flat (approx 300 metres .a.s.l. – 990 feet .a.s.l.) and more peopled, but the northern end is hilly and mountainous (the peaks are approx 1.000 metres a.s.l. - 3,280 feet a.s.l. or more) as the lakes reach the foothills of the Alps in Switzerland.


Road cycling routes Lake Maggiore


Lake Orta

Some say village of Orta, on the shore of Lake Orta, is one of the best lake villages: largely traffic-free with narrow cobbled streets and medieval buildings. In the middle of the Lake Orta lies the San Giulio Island.

Lake Maggiore

The main area on this lake is centred around the grand resorts of Stresa and Pallanza (part of the town of Verbania) and the famous three Borromean Islands (Bella, Madre and Superiore) that lie between them. Stresa is surrounded by elegant villas and beautiful gardens.

From Stresa, the main town, a cable car ascends to Mount Mottarone (1.491 metres - 4,892 feet ) – a playground for mountain biking, rock climbing and hiking – or just for drinking in the breathtaking views.

The three Islands can be visited by boat with frequent ferries from Stresa and Pallanza. Perhaps the most visited is the Bella Island renowned for its elegant palazzos and Italianate gardens.


Road Cycling in Northern Italy Lakes


Lake Varese

Lake Varese lies at the foot of the Regional Park of Campo dei Fiori while the Alps, dominated by the majestic profile of Mount Rosa, provide a splendid backdrop. Lake Varese is 5 kilometres – 3 miles far from the city centre of Varese.

Lake Lugano

Parts of Lake Lugano are in Italy but most of it, including the town of Lugano, is in Switzerland.
You don’t need your own document (ID card or passport) for riding in Switzerland. The policemen don’t ask you your own document if you cross the border by bike.

At the southern end of the lake lies Capolago station with regular departures up to the top of Mount Generoso (1.704 metres - 5,590 feet ) where on a clear day it is possible to see Milan as well as Lake Maggiore and Lake Como. The train has a carriage for carrying bikes making it possible to enjoy the climb up and the freewheel down the other side towards Lake Como.


Road cycling routes Lake Lugano


Lake Como and Shrine of Madonna del Ghisallo

This is perhaps the most famous lake of all and the best way to see it is either by boat or by bike from the top of one of the viewpoints.
The triangle of land to the south of Bellagio offers one of the most well-known cycling place of the Italian Lakes. Climb up on your bike to the Shrine of Madonna del Ghisallo, the Patroness Saint of cyclists.

Inside the tiny church you will find all sorts of cycling memorabilia including bikes from the classic races neatly pinned to the walls.
And if that wasn’t enough, right beside the church is a modern museum dedicated to cycling.


Cycling in Northern Italian Lakes