Cycling in Lake District between Italy and SwitzerlandLake Maggiore, Varese, Lugano, Como Cycling climbs Road cycling routes
A cycling holiday destination
At LNIBT, our goal is to help you to make your cycling experience easy, smooth and adventurous in the Italian-Swiss Lake District through offering of group bike tours, private tours and rides on your own.
We would love to hear from you what kind of cyclist you are, what are you really looking for, how far would you like to cycle each day, how much is your average elevation gain throughout a daily ride, so we can suggest the right rides for you here and meet your expectations.
LNIBT is the ONLY one who puts together on Google Maps:
road cycling routes good for riding,
to make a cyclist's life easier in the Italian-Swiss Lake District.
We are located on the border between Southern Switzerland and Northern Italy at the foot of the Alps. It's a perfect location for a cycling holiday due to a huge number of roads suitable for cyclists and a climate that’s mild most of the year round.
The four most important lakes are Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Varese and Lake Como. Between and around there are several minor lakes such as Lake Orta, West of Maggiore, Lake Monate and Lake Comabbio, South Varese, and Lake Ganna, Lake Ghirla and Lake Brinzio midway between Varese and Lugano.
Guided group tours, private rides and rides on your own
- Guided group tours,
- Private rides,
- Rides on your own.
We love to give you the opportunity to experience the valleys in many aspects, the pictoresque villages, the lakes, mountains and the hidden roads along the way. Thanks to the vastness and diversity of territory, you will easily ride along the shore of the lakes and the banks, or you will toil to climb the valleys of our territory. Lago Maggiore, Lugano and Como have steep shores which are studded with pastel villages and villas with beautiful gardens.
It's a playground for cyclists, offering outstanding road cycling for all skill levels.
We love to ride by bike for fun without forgetting to enjoy what the Northern Italian Lakes have to offer: narrow climbs, fast downhills, ancient villas, parks, churches and hermitages which were built from Sixteenth Century to the Nineteenth Century, exibitions, history, art, culture. Not only biking here during your cycling holiday.
A small website for you. We created a small website (routes, descriptions, info) if you love to ride on your own.
Ask our two hotels where we are based (Eco Hotel Ungheria in Varese and Relais Villa Porta on Lake Maggiore):
- we've written down the essential characteristics of 24 road bike routes that leave from our two bases. 12 from Varese and 12 from Colmegna.
- we've ordered them from the easiest to the most difficult. If you love climbing we've highlighted 8 separately for each starting base. 5 of them have options for the most demanding riders.
- we've drawn each route on Google MyMaps, so that you can select and study it alternately.
- we've drawn all the routes on a digital PDF map you can download onto a smartphone, so that you can consult it offline during your daily ride.
- we can also provide you with the GPX files.
Take on the climbs
The roads following the lakes can get a little busy in the height of summer but there are many easy to access climbs that take you away from the shoreline and deliver a double opportunity of views and seclusion. You’ve probably never heard of them, but there’s some massive and excellent climbs in the area. Find out the toughest 10 climbs around, hoping that one day you will have the opportunity to climb up them and coast down them.
You might think that this is not the place for gentle and slow cycling. However, we also planned cycling tours where you can avoid any big hills and medium sized hills too. We are adept at avoiding as many as possible main busy roads during your cycling holidays.
Have a look at our guided tours below.
Who are our rides for
Our rides are for:
- who loves climbing up and down the roads each day, searching for the views over the lakes.
If you ever have the chance to make these rides around either of these lakes, you really should jump at the chance. It’s such an attractive area that will find it hard to keep your eyes on the road rather than the view.
- who enjoys days of adventure-cycling in the midst of extensive forests, hills and mountains.
The region is a fantastic base for exploring the surrounding mountains and forests as getting off the beaten track and into the wilderness doesn’t take long at all. The roads following the lakes can get a little busy in the height of summer but there are many easy to access climbs that take you away from the shoreline and deliver views and seclusion.
- who wants experiencing an equipped, enjoyable and flexible road cycling area suited for a pro cyclist. A good number of pro road cyclists have made their home here. Vincenzo Nibali, Filippo Ganna, Fabio Aru, Diego Ulissi, Domenico Pozzovivo, Alberto Bettiol, Enrico Gasparotto, Oscar Freire, Michael Rogers, Candel Evans, the team BikeExchange when in Europe....
It’s virtually impossible to make a 100 km ride on back roads with less than 1,000 - 1,500 metres climbing.
Our bike tours in the Northern Lakes of Italy
Lakes of Northern Italy Bike Tours
We often get asked informazion regarding:
- how is car traffic around the lakes,
- if cyclists are respected on the road.
The Lakes are beautiful. But they are really busy, so much traffic on the main roads and on several lakeside roads.
The lakes are lovely, but they do get busy. There's barely anyone up the side valleys.
90% of the traffic is on the main roads, once you turn off you can go hours without encountering another vehicle.
Only a few minutes out of the front door and you can be at the foot of 5-10 kilometres climbs.
We think the key to it, if you're going to come here cycling is just ride up passes away from the lakes. And then you get to see even more stuff. Some of the hidden gems are off the beaten track and less well-known ones as well.
It's gorgeous up the hills, we'd totally recommend it. The roads are quieter.
The Italian and Swiss drivers are used to see many cyclists here and generally they are patient. You can bump into many different groups of cyclists out for a ride: some looking like pros, some who seemed to be pros and people of all ages.
However we warmly recommend that you don't ride side by side with other cyclists, but in a row especially when there are cars.
The drivers can become angry.