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Routes around Lake Como?

harry-sharry-s Posts: 270
I'm spending a few days in Como in May, with the idea of riding most days.
A ride around the lake seems the most obvious first choice, but from streetview the roads look a bit lairy (dual carriageway, no bike lane or path), especially on the east side. Has anyone ridden around those parts and can give any advice or suggestions on routes?

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  • cc78cc78 Posts: 599
    I was there for a few days last May, staying in Nesso which is about halfway between Como and Bellagio. The road along that part of the lake is narrow in places but it was fine to ride; it wasn't particularly busy and the views are great. I can imagine in high summer it would be a different story but no problem in May. I think because the road on this side is quite narrow the coach tours etc avoid it and stick to the western edge of the lake. Certainly when we took the boat across it did seem busier on the other side. I did a great loop from Nesso along the lake to Bellagio, then inland up to Ghisallo and back over the Passo Sormano (including the famous Muro... ouch). It's an absolutely beautiful part of the world. Enjoy.
  • homers_doublehomers_double Posts: 6,692
    harry-s wrote:
    I'm spending a few days in Como in May, with the idea of riding most days.
    A ride around the lake seems the most obvious first choice, but from streetview the roads look a bit lairy (dual carriageway, no bike lane or path), especially on the east side. Has anyone ridden around those parts and can give any advice or suggestions on routes?

    As linked to in the post above the full lake route is very do-able, I clocked it at 104 miles.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/378677593

    The majority of the roads are fine, yes there are a lot of tunnels but there is also the old lake road which runs outside of the tunnels which I find much better and definatly more scenic.

    The only dodgy part of the East side is the first few miles out of Lecco along the dual carriageway but to be honest you can get a bit of speed up, hold your nerve and cope with 2 miles of A road type riding. Nothing difficult at all.

    Where are you staying? I should be able to give you a few pointers if I know where you are.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • harry-sharry-s Posts: 270
    Thanks for the info everyone.
    We'll be staying in Como. From GE streetview it looks like some of the better rides might be on the western side, - I quite fancy a ride up to Chiavenna.
    Any tips appreciated.
  • homers_doublehomers_double Posts: 6,692
    Chiavenna...

    https://www.strava.com/activities/204790611

    Definatly head up the western shore as it's a much nicer ride. The main sign to follow from Como is Menaggio however when you get to the first roundabout bear right towards Cernobbio as the signpost for Menaggio will take you straight into a 5km tunnel. From there just keep the lake on your right along the lake road and you can't really go wrong.

    When you come out of Menaggio there are another couple of tunnels, again take the lake road as one is about 3 or 4 km long.

    We had lunch in the cobbled square sat next to the fountain, pizzas were fantastic! Plenty of other places to stop for coffee etc along the lake, Cremia would be a reasonable distance for you and there is a nice little restaurant on a shingle beach called Pizzeria Lumin - well worth a visit.

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Hot ... d9.2793133
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • rollemynotrollemynot Posts: 436
    You definitely need to get a ferry across to Bellagio, then do the fantastic climb and visit the church and museum of our patron saint Madonna del Ghisallo... the views down the lake are amazing.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,382
    Chiavenna...

    https://www.strava.com/activities/204790611

    Definatly head up the western shore as it's a much nicer ride.

    I was near Mennagio a couple of summers back and I found the road v. busy. I ended up cycling at first light to avoid the traffic - although it is true that where it heads into the villages it is okay.

    I'm trying to organize a few days at Bellagio in July after our annual trip to the other lakes.
  • homers_doublehomers_double Posts: 6,692
    The main lake road is quite busy but then again there isn't much of an option for cars. I find the italian drivers quite courtious of cyclists, of other drivers not so much.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,382
    The main lake road is quite busy but then again there isn't much of an option for cars. I find the italian drivers quite courtious of cyclists, of other drivers not so much.

    We finally organized our hotel at Bellagio so will at least do the Ghisallo / Sormano, I'll see what the drivers are like on the east side of the lake. I find the Italians pass far too close, they do the same in the Savoie too.
  • homers_doublehomers_double Posts: 6,692
    Depending on your plans the stretch between Bellagio and Lecco is pretty nice.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,382
    As a follow-up the the traffic is better on the east (Bellagio) side of the lake due to the roads being narrower and harder for cars to race along and a lot more cyclists. However there is the curse of the Alps - motorbikes with a lot of poor driving bikers taking blind corners without any concern for oncoming traffic like cyclists. Saw one bike hit a car amidships after he took a very tight bend too fast leaving himself no time to stop.

    We only had a couple of days in the area so I rode up to to Ghisallo to the bike museum and then around the San Primo loop which is a really nice little road (small ski area at San Primo). The next day road down the lake to Onno then up to Asso and Sormano and finally the Il Muro di Sormano from there. This is a video of the climb and descent down the other side to Lake Como

    https://youtu.be/1mYtLEy84BI

    starts just after the start of the climb of the Muro as I had a camera malfunction and had to restart the video.

    Museum as Ghisallo is well worth visiting.
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