Italy’s Lakes District has always been a transition zone between peninsular Italy and Alpine Europe. This series of lakes created by the melt-water of alpine glaciers enjoys a unique micro-climate that harbors olive and citrus groves, exotic botanic gardens, villas, and extraordinary vistas. Long an attraction for writers and artists, the Lake District provides an incomparable bicycle experience. You’ll cycle from Lago Maggiore to Lake Lugano and Lake Como on this tour.
Day 1 – Tour Begins on Lake Maggiore North of Milan
Meet this afternoon in Verbania, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, perhaps the most celebrated lake in Italy’s lake district. Surrounded by 7,000 foot alpine peaks Lake Maggiore enjoys a warm micro-climate that has attracted vacationers since the Milanese aristocracy began building villas here in the 17th century. Come early and visit the Borromean Islands, including Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori (of the “fishermen”), the villas of Stresa, and the botanic gardens of Pallanza. We fit bicycles this afternoon and will suggest a warm up ride for you on a bike path along the lake. Welcome dinner together. Meals included: Dinner
Day 2 – Ferry to Laveno, Bicycle to Lugano (36 miles, 2,900 feet gain)
Enjoy the views across Lake Maggiore and into the high Alps as we ferry across Lake Maggiore to Laveno, the only natural harbor on the east side of the lake. From here you’ll pedal into the Cuvia Valley and over a small pass into Val Ganna where we join a rails to trails bike path to Ponte Tresa, where we will cross the border into Switzerland. Your ride continues along Lake Lugano for more great views on the Swiss Alps before arriving in the bustling city of Lugano, your destination for today. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 3 – Rest Day on the shores of Lake Lugano (15 miles, 1,800 feet gain)
This morning you have plenty of options: take a little more time to explore this vibrant city’s shopping and museum opportunities; or take the funicular to the top of Monte Bre’ for a spectacular view over the lake. For those who want to ride there is the chance to go for a ride along the shores and hills of Lake Lugano your climbing efforts will be rewarded with great views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 4 – Bicycle Lugano to Menaggio Lake Como (32 miles, 3,200 feet gain)
Unlike Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano, which are shared between Italy and Switzerland, Lake Como is strictly Italian. Lake Como (also called Lario) is one of the most beautiful of the Italian lakes. It is famous for its villas, including Villa d’Este in Cernobbio and Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo. We’ll spend the next two nights on the shores of Lake Como. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 5 – Menaggio on Lake Como (23 miles, 3,100 feet gain)
There are plenty of opportunities to explore today: Visit the lakeside gardens of Villas Melzi and Serbelloni; ferry to Varenna and visit the gardens of Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero. If you are looking for a cycling challenge you can pedal to the internationally known Madonna del Ghisallo chapel and bicycle museum at the top of the pass near Magréglio, not far from Bellagio. Meals included: Breakfast
Day 6 – Ride to Como (29 miles, 2,600 feet gain)
Our ride today takes us along the Lecco arm of Lake Como and up a short climb to Asso. From here we head downhill on a bike path closed to automobile traffic. Our destination is the town of Como at the southern-most end of Lake Como. Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 7 – Tour ends in Como
Stick around and explore this lovely city or head to Venice or Milan both well-connected by train. Whatever you do enjoy! Meals included: Breakfast
Pricing & Inclusions
Trip Price Includes:
- Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
- Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
- Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels.
- All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
- Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
- Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too!
- Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
- All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
- Unique routes
- Daily mileage options.
- Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.
Trip Price Excludes:
- Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
- Helmets – we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
- Meals not listed in the itinerary
- Tour Leader gratuity
Public Dates and Availability