Lake Maggiore has plenty for cycling enthusiasts to enjoy. For those looking to enjoy cycling Italian Lakes roads and mountains, I can definitely recommend that you cycle Lake Maggiore. There are plenty of opportunities for both road and mountain biking around Lake Maggiore. And with the lake road typically wider than around Lake Como, and quieter than Lake Garda, it’s a more popular spot amongst road cyclists.
If you’re looking to enjoy a spot of road cycling on Lake Maggiore, you will be pleased to read that the main road around the lake road tends to be nice and flat. Serious cyclists may want to attempt a journey all the way round it’s circumference which measures approximately 100 miles.
For those more interested in mountain biking, the good news is that most of the mountains surrounding the lake also have special tracks for mountain bikes. Cycling Italian Lakes itineries can be found at your local tourist information office on arrival. For those staying on the Eastern side of the lake, there are also some good itineries on www.vareselandoftourism.it.
If you need to hire bikes during your stay, there are a nunmber of cycle hire shops dotted around the lake. On the Eastern shoreline, Germignaga Sport (www.germignagasport.it) offers bike rental and service and can also organise guided trips or advise on routes. In Arona there is www.noworkteam.it whilst just further along the lake at Stresa, there is www.bicico.it. If you are staying on the Eastern side of the lake, at Ghiffa is www.livinglake.it, a company offering not just bike rentals but also scooter and boat rentals.
For those staying near Stresa, and looking for cycling on Lake Maggiore, there are mountain bike tracks at Monte Tamaro and Mottarone where, once again, bikes can be hired on the spot.
Whilst for those looking to cycle Lake Maggiore over on the Western side of the lake, there are yet more opportunitiees for cycling. There are well laid out paths within the Fondotoce Nature Reserve, a park that borders the River Toce as it joins the lake. Those choosing to cycle here may also come across an out of the way, quiet beach to rest on en route.
Keen cyclists looking to cycle Lake Maggiore should also make their way to Piancavallo half an hour away from the reserve. There’s a car park here where you can start your cycle which then takes you along the Cadorna Line. The Cadorna Line was a defence line between Lake Maggiore and the Ossola valley. Consisting of a network of military mule tracks, trenches, artillery positions, lookout posts, logistical structures and command centres, it was built between 1916 and 1918 as a defence against a possible German – Austrian attack. These days it provides an extremely interesting cycle and hiking route. www.associazionelineacadorna.it
Slightly further North, there is a bicycle track that starts from the Parco Lido in Cannobio and goes along a 5 km long path to the Orrido of S. Anna.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy some cycling in Switzerland during your stay. One option is to take the cable car up Monte Bre in Lugano. At the cable car station at the top of the mountain, there are more than thirty mountain bikes available for rent. The Monte Bre region is equipped with numerous marked cycle paths that start from the summit and offer the keen cyclist exceptional views during cycle routes that differ in terms of difficulty level depending on your level of experience and fitness.
Of course, there are also plenty of opportunities to watch the professional cyclists cycling on Lake Maggiore. Probably the most famous cycling race in Italy is the Giro d’Italia, a stage road bicycle race that takes place in May and June each year. Originally set up by La Gazzetta to boost circulation of its newspaper, their website remains the best place to find out more about the specific stages of the race each year. www.lagazzetta.it. There are also a number of more local races each year. Head to the nearest tourist information office to find out more.