Lake Maggiore has plenty for cycling enthusiasts to enjoy. 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, we think it’s the perfect location.
If you’re looking to enjoy a spot of road cycling on Lake Maggiore, the good news is that the main road around the lake tends to be nice and flat. Some serious cyclists may even want to attempt a journey all the way around its circumference. It’s a great way to discover all of the towns and villages of Lake Maggiore. The distance is approximately 100 miles and is easily achievable.
If you need to hire bikes during your stay, there are a number of cycle hire shops dotted around the lake. On the Eastern shoreline, Germignaga Sport offers bike rental and service. The team here can also organise guided trips or advise on routes. There is also bike rental in Arona, as well bike rental in Stresa. If you want to cycle with minimal effort, all offer e-bike too. There are other companies offering Lake Maggiore e-bike hire. In Nebbiuno, there is E-bike Lago Maggiore. This company also has a pick up point in Verbania. Or if you’re looking for bike hire in Maccagno, head to Ebike Veddasca. Alternatively, if you are staying on the Western side of the lake, Living Lake in Ghiffa offers scooter and boat rentals.
For those more interested in mountain biking on Lake Maggiore, the good news is that most of the mountains surrounding the lake also have special tracks for mountain bikes. Lake Maggiore cycling itineraries for mountain biking can be found at the local tourist information office. For those staying on the Eastern side of the lake, there are also some good itineraries on the Varese tourism website.
For those staying near Stresa, and looking for cycling on Lake Maggiore, there are mountain bike tracks at Mottarone and at nearby Colazza.
At the very opposite end of the lake, there are great mountain bike tracks at Monte Tamaro. Over in this direction, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy some cycling in the Swiss part of Lake Maggiore during your stay either. 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 plenty of mountain bikes available for rent. The Monte Bre region is equipped with numerous marked cycle paths that start from the summit. Routes differ in terms of difficulty level depending on your level of experience and fitness. However, what unites them is that they all offer the keen cyclist exceptional views during cycle routes.
If you’re wanting to cycle over on the Western side of Lake Maggiore, there are yet more opportunities for cycling. There are well laid out paths within the Fondotoce Nature Reserve. This is 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 at 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. From here you make your way along the Cadorna Line. The Cadorna Line was a defence line between Lake Maggiore and the Ossola valley. It consists of a network of military mule tracks, trenches, artillery positions, lookout posts, logistical structures and command centres. Built built between 1916 and 1918, it was originally a defence against a possible German – Austrian attack. These days it provides an extremely interesting cycle and hiking route.
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.
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. This is a stage road bicycle race that takes place in May and June each year. It was originally set up by La Gazzetta to boost circulation of its newspaper. There are also a number of more local races each year. Head to the nearest tourist information office to find out more.
Check out the best mountain bike trails on Lake Maggiore.