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Routes near Lago Maggiore

davidofdavidof Posts: 2,402
edited August 2013 in Tour & expedition
Does anyone have any suggestions of any interesting routes around Lago Maggiore north of Milan, Italy?


  • airwiseairwise Posts: 184
    It rather depends what you are looking for. It's probably the least spectacular of the Italian lakes but head South towards Varese and you will find the training ground of Ivan Basso. To the North lies the climb up to Lago di Nero - one of the best climbs in the Alps and a real challenge with superb views.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,402
    Black Lagoon, sounds like a cheap horror movie ! Thanks for the info. I found a climb up to a 1425m summit from Spesa which may be interesting. All depends if the missus will let me go cycling.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Do you have any particular part in mind - it's a big lake in two countries.

    My personal recommendations would be from Cannobio to Malesco/Santa Maria Maggiore then down to Losone and Ascona then back to Cannobio. Or the other way round or in some other permutation. The Maggia valley in Switzerland is supposed to be good too.

    Around Verbania you could do a triangular ride to the Lago di Mergozzo along the lakeside and then via the valley of the San Bernardino river.

    Between the Lago Maggiore and the Lago d'Orta there are some lovely roads - Just avoid the statale through Gravellona Toce. The climb to Mottarone is famous - or you could take the cable car from Stresa. The Lago is pretty spectacular from here.

    The Lago d'Orta is also lovely. Orta itself is well worth a visit.

    If you have the choice I'd avoid the lakeside roads at weekends.

    The ciclabile along the Ticino river from Sesto Calende is very popular - with local roadies as well.

    If you have a car maybe you could arrange for the missus to meet you eg at Orta or Cannobbio or Mergozzo or gignese or Santa Maria Maggiore or alternatively, if you don't have a car at the top of the Mottarone cable car or somewhere reachable by boat.. Lots of nice places to have lunch - and much better value than in Stresa or Baveno - eg try the Locanda Verbena in Vezzo.

    The website has a number of itinerari. The Kompass maps of the area are well worth buying and show bike routes.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that you can take bikes on the boats as well as the car ferry.

    There's a Lago Nero near the Passo Bernina on the road to St Moritz - it is indeed alovely ride but quite a long way from the Lago Maggiore. But maybe there's another one.
  • magoo289magoo289 Posts: 216

    I went to the Giro last year and stayed in Stressa. Stage 19 ... 19&lang=en

    As Andy says Mottarone climb is the mountain you want, the view from the top is spectacular. The cable car is worth the ride up too. Verbania is about 5km from Stressa where Stage 20 started from.

  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,402
    Thanks for your help, we stayed in Baveno in the end, just a few days away but the lakes look like an area to explore further. There is mountain bike hire at the cable car station to Mottarone which is a ski resort in the winter. I will post some more info when I've unpacked.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    davidof wrote:
    There is mountain bike hire at the cable car station to Mottarone which is a ski resort in the winter.

    There is (and the guy running it is really helpful - even though I wasn't a client he gave me his number in case I got into trouble). As MTB rides go though it it was a bit of a disappointment - in theory a 1000 metres of descent but most of that is on-road. It's a shame because it has lots of potential.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,402
    I want to update this thread with some, hopefully, useful information. I've visited the area twice now and it has a lot of potential for cycling but as Andy said the lake road is very busy. I've done 5 rides, all fairly short in the morning to fit in with family life. I'll update this link over the next days. ... amespace=-

    Using Baverno as a base I started off exploring around Stresa. The lake road is busy, even at 7am, even on a Sunday. This surprised me. However any road above the lake is quiet. The roads to Gravalione and Campone are busy too. I had two women pull out in front of me during my rides, one a tourist with bikes on the back of her car.

    I didn't write up my first rides yet as I had an accident on a drain, there are a lot of drains where the grills are parallel with the direction of travel and I caught my front wheel in one and went over the bars breaking a rib.

    A very short but very steep detour above Lago Mergozzo is to the hamlet of Montorfano. The mountain is mined for marble. This hamlet has a 11th century church, a second medieval church and a charming village with trattoria. Could be a stop after a ride but be warned, the access road is 15%.

    There is a lot of riding up behind Verbania, I climbed to Alpe Pala and the resistance memorial. The road to Miazzina is a nice ride of hairpins with views towards the lake. About 6%. After Miazzina things get serious with a 10%+ climb to the hamlet of Alpe Pala which has an Albergo. Things get steeper still on the final 900m of road to the resistance memorial.

    ... more later
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Hi Davidof

    Sorry to hear about your encounter with the Draincover of Death. I've never thought about them before, but I'm keeping an eye open.

    You might be interested in my website - link in the signature below.
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