Escape Road Bike Tour

Centre based cycling holiday on Lake Maggiore

This  5-day guided road cycling holiday is real escape and riding on few-traffic roads for intermediate cyclists, who love to climb. This cycling holiday based in one hotel showcases the area from the comfort of our lakeside hotel at Colmegna.

Lake Maggiore is Italy’s second largest lake and set against the resplendent backdrop of the Pre-Alps and of the Monte Rosa Massif. Lake Maggiore extends from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland far into the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy.

Road cycling holiday around Lake Maggiore

There are plenty of routes for road cycling around Lake Maggiore and its mountains. And with the lake road typically wider than around Lake Como, and quieter than Lake Garda. It's a more popular spot amongst the local road cyclists: a perfect country, in other words, for bike riding. We have designed our cycling holiday around Lake Maggiore to be enjoyable, funny and flexible. The accommodation will be as delightful as the region’s magnificent scenery. Non-riding partners are welcomed along to share the experience with you.

Tourist attractions during your cycling holiday

You can ride through wooded valleys, narrow climbs, fast descends without forgetting to enjoy what our area has to offer: ancient villas, parks, churches and hermitages which were built from Sixteenth Century to the Nineteenth Century, exibitions, history, art, culture. In particular we suggest to visit Villa della Porta Bozzolo at Casalzuigno, Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso on Lake Maggiore and Sacro Monte of Varese (historic site on the UNESCO Worldwide Heritage List). Learn more about the best tourist attractions around.

Escape road bike tour prices in Euro

Double room
€ 760.00
Single room supplement
€ 120.00
Additional night double room and breakfast
€ 50.00
Additional night single room and breakfast
€ 80.00

Start location:
End location:
5 days, 4 nights, 3 days of cycling
10/12 guests
Level of difficulty:
intermediate and advanced
rarely flat, mostly undulating and hilly

Avg. daily distance:
main route 80 km – 50 mi
challenge route 94 km – 58 mi
Avg. daily ascent:
main route 1,501 m. – 4,923 ft
challenge route 2,009 m. – 6,591 ft
Road cycling in Northern Italian Lakes - Passo Cuvignone
Cycling holiday in Northern Italian Lakes - Mesenzana
Bike holiday Lake Maggiore
Bike tour in Northern Italian Lakes - Monte Campo dei Fiori
Cycling tour Lake Maggiore

2019 scheduled dates

April 8th – 12th
April 22nd – 26th
May 6th – 10th
May 20th – 24th
June 3rd – 7th
June 17th - 21st
July 1st - 5th
July 15th – 19th
July 29th – August 2nd
August 12th – 16th
August 26th – 30th
September 9th – 13th
September 23rd – 27th
October 7th – 11th October 21st – 25th

Our tours are guaranteed to run once we have one confirmed booking on the tour. If zero guests have booked one of our tours, we reserve the right to cancel it.

Other dates are possible and we'll create a departure especially for you if there is a minimum number of 4 guests and a maximum of 12 guests.

Included services:

  • 4 nights in double room
  • 4 high-calorie continental breakfasts
  • 3 packed lunches, strengthened and protein content snack with bananas and sandwiches
  • 3 post ride lunches when you go back to the hotel
  • 4 dinners
  • Double occupancy as standard
  • A skilled bike guide
  • Maps and information material
  • Safe storage with CCTV for your bike at the hotel
  • Workstand tool bench for basic maintenance
  • Isotonic drink or water for your ride
  • Washing and cleaning area for bikes
  • Daily laundry service for your cycle clothing
  • Bicycle recovery assistance in case of breakdown
  • Free Internet Wi-Fi
  • Car parking

Not included:

  • Bike hire
  • Travel insurance
  • Medical and physiotherapy services
  • Transfer to and from Airport
  • Entrance fees Castles, Villas, Museums
  • Any extra-beverage and other extras at dinner

Escape Road Bike Tour Details / Daily Routes

Each day there are two or more ride options available each varying in distance and difficulty. Anyway the description is a draft. This is a general program to to demonstrate how your cycling holiday is structured. If you would prefer your rides include more distance, less distance or different climbs then please contact us, we are willing to provide you with rides that meets all your needs. We can change places, distances and climbs if all the people on the same tour agree. Please note that all routes are subject to change depending on local conditions.
We generally meet at the bikes around 8.00 for a 8.30 ride start. A coffee stop and a light lunch stop on the way are suggested during the daily ride. We go back to the hotel in the afternoon (14.00/15.00), where you can enjoy a post ride lunch. The rest of the day is relax time.

1 ~ Monday - Arrival

After your arrival in our hotel there will be a pre-tour briefing.

Accomodation: Camin Hotel Colmegna

2 ~ Tuesday - Locarno, Ascona and Brissago vistas

Main route: distance 81 km – 50 mi; ascent 1,208 m – 3,960 ft
Challenge route: distance 93 km – 58 mi; ascent 1,476 m – 4,840 ft
Major climbs: Contra climb (3.5 km - 2.1 mi, avg.7%), Brissago climb (4 km – 2.4 mi, avg. 8%) extra climb in challenging option: Mergoscia climb (5.4 km – 3.3 mi, avg. 5%)
Accomodation: Camin Hotel Colmegna

On this route you can get a panoramic view over Locarno and Lake Maggiore while climbing up to Contra village (3.5 km - 2.1 mi, avg.7%) after a 30km (19mi) flat, partly on cycle path. You pass near the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso pilgrimage church above Locarno on a spectacular outcrop of rock and you cross the pedestrian heart of the city well-known for its annual film festival. Then you pass through the carateristic cobled lakeside of Ascona. At Brissago you can tacke a scenic 4km climb over Lake Maggiore (4 km – 2.4 mi, avg. 8%). Return to Colmegna via Luino by boat. You cross the lake from Cannobio dock or Cannero dock. Optional extra climb: immediatelly after Contra climb you can climb up to Mergoscia (5.4 km – 3.3 mi, avg. 5%).

3 ~ Wednesday - Sant'Antonio, San Michele, Sette Termini, Cuvignone

Main route: distance 68 km – 42 mi; ascent 1,831 m – 6,007 ft
Challenge route: distance 90 km – 56 mi; ascent 2,570 m – 8,432 ft
Major climbs: Sant'Antonio climb (4.4 km – 2.7 mi, avg. 6%, max. 8%), San Michele climb (2.4 km – 1.5 mi, avg. 10%), Montegrino climb (5 km – 3.1 mi, avg. 5.7%, max. 7%), Monte Sette Termini climb (5.5 km – 3.4 mi, avg. 7%, max. 8%), extra climbs in challenging option: Cuvignone climb from Sant'Antonio (4.5 km – 2.8 mi, avg. 8.7%, max. 10%), Arcumeggia climb (3.6 km – 2.2 mi, avg. 7%, max. 7%)
Accomodation: Camin Hotel Colmegna

Today climbs, descents and views over the Lake Maggiore and over the Alps. This ride takes you through some of the toughtest climbs between Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano. Your morning is spent on the foothills and tidy back roads close to Lake Maggiore. The climbs aren't long but they are one after the other in succession along small medioeval villages. You tackle the Sant’Antonio climb, the San Michele climb, the Montegrino climb and Sette Termini climb. Optional extra climbs for those looking for a challenge: Passo del Cuvignone and Arcumeggia climb.

4 ~ Thursday - Val Veddasca, Alpe Neggia, Passo Forcora

Main route: distance 56 km – 35 mi; ascent 1,775 m – 5,823 ft
Challenge route: distance 61 km – 38 mi; ascent 2,020 m – 6,627 ft
Major climbs: Alpe Neggia climb (22 km – 13.6 mi, avg. 5.4%, max. 10%), extra climb in challenging option: Passo Forcora climb (9 km – 5.6 mi, avg. 7%, max. 13%)
Accomodation: Camin Hotel Colmegna

Good climbing, thrilling descent, some flat lake-side riding and and panoramic views over Val Veddasca and Lake Maggiore. The climb starts just 2km from Colmegna. It crosses the entire valley, passing by several villages and it heads to Alpe Neggia. It's a 22 km climb (elevation gain 1,200 mt - 3,940 ft). The last 2 km are harder. From Alpe Neggia a view opens over the the town of Locarno, the Lake Maggiore and the Alps in the distance. The descent to Vira requires your concentration. You can tackle the extra Passo Forcora climb in the challenging route if you want.

Other rides you can do during your stay at Colmegna:

Locarno, Ascona, Centovalli, Cannobio

Main route: distance 96 km – 60 mi; ascent 1,871 m – 6,138 ft
Major climbs: Centovalli climb (25 km – 16 mi, avg. 4%, max. 12%)

After an initial flat 35kms for crossing pedestrian area of the cities of Locarno and Ascona, you climb up the wild and impressive Centovalli (“Hundred Valleys”), from Locarno by Lake Maggiore to the village of Malesco. Centovalli is home to the the wild Melezza River. There are numerous side valleys that are densely forested and strewn with jagged rocks.You pass through the village of Intragna, Re, Malesco and Finero. A long descent leads you directly to Cannobio through the Val Canobbina, where you cross Lake Maggiore by boat from Cannobio dock.

Loop around Northern Lake Maggiore

Main route: distance 92 km – 57 mi; ascent 1,230 m – 4,035 ft
Challenge route: distance 120 km – 75 mi; ascent 2,517 m – 8,258 ft
Major climbs: extra climb in challenging option: Alpe Trarego climb (10.4 km – 6.4 mi, avg. 9%, max.13%)

The main route is a mostly flat ride around the Northern part of Lake Maggiore. You ride through the pedestrian area of the cities of Locarno and Ascona, you cross twice the border between Italy and Switzerland. You head back to hotel by a 20minute ferry ride between Intra and Laveno. We suggest to make a stop at the lakeside villages of Cannero and Cannobio. We planed to climb up to the Alpe Trarego in the challenging route. The Alpe Trarego climb is a back road riding through dense woods and arriving on a natural balcony that offers beautiful views of Lake Maggiore.

Ponte Tresa, Lake Lugano, Malcantone, Miglieglia, Agra

Main route: distance 63 km – 39 mi; ascent 1,510 m – 4,954 ft
Challenge route: distance 70 km – 44 mi; ascent 1,760 m – 5,774 ft
Major climbs: Vernate climb (8.2 km – 5.2 mi, avg. 6%, max. 8%), Agra climb (3 km – 1,9 mi, avg. 7%, max. 11%), extra climb in challenging option: Cademario climb (7.5 km – 4,7 mi, avg. 7.5%, max. 12%)

After a brief flat warm up along Tresa river, you cross the border between Italy and Switzerland where you can tackle several wooded climbs in Malcantone region: Vernate, Aranno, Cademario.
Picturesque villages, narrow mountain roads and extensive chestnut forests characterize this area close to Lake Lugano. Malcantone is certainly the one that offer the greatest number of characteristic corners and the gently rolling, densely grown hilly landscape. Yet some small climbs on the way back to Colmegna. In particular the climb to Agra where you can see a scenic view over Lake Maggiore.

Lake Lugano loop: Ponte Tresa, Morcote, Melide, Porto Ceresio, Ardena

Main route: distance 89 km - 55 mi; ascent 980 m – 3,215 ft
Challenge route: distance 99 km - 62 mi; ascent 1.378 m – 4,520 ft
Major climbs: Ardena climb (3.2 km – 2 mi avg. 6% ), extra climb in the challenging option: Arogno climb (5 km – 3.1 mi, avg. 8%)

The route is a mostly flat ride and part of the ride is along the roads around the Lake Lugano, almost completely in Switzerland. After a brief flat warm up along Tresa river, you cross the border between Italy and Switzerland at Ponte Tresa. This route is full of great lakside views and passes through several caratteristic village as Caslano and Morcote with views and landscapes of Monte Generoso and of Monte Lema in Switzerland. Morcote lies ten kilometers south of Lugano. It is famous for the arcade buildings on the shores of the lake, some of which were constructed in the late Middle Ages. You may meet pro cyclists training in this area. You head back through Ardena climb (3.2 km – 2 mi avg. 6%) via Bosco Valtravaglia. If you seek extra kilometres you can climb up to Arogno (5 km – 3.1 mi, avg. 8%).

A taste of UCI Gran Fondo Tre Valli Varesine

Main route distance 81 km – 50 mi; ascent 1,750 m – 5,740 ft
Major climbs Villaggio olandese climb (1.8 km – 1.1 mi, avg. 8%, max. 10% ), Brinzio climb (3 km – 1.9 mi, avg. 5%, max. 8%), Alpe Tedesco climb (4.7 km – 2.9 mi, avg.8%, max. 8%), Ardena climb (3.2 km – 2 mi, avg. 6%, max. 8%), Montegrino climb (1.8 km -1.1 mi, avg. 6%, max 10%).

This route can give you a feel for the race course of UCI Gran Fondo World Series Tre Valli Varesine which has taken place every year in Autumn. Of course you avoid the busier and boring roads for enjoing the most beautiful sections of the race course close to Lake Maggiore. The route is winding, among the Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore. You have to to tackle four climbs of the race course: Villaggio olandese, Brinzio, Alpe Tedesco, Ardena and Monegrino. Learn more about UCI Gran Fondo Tre Valli Varesine

5 ~ Friday - Departure

Breakfast and departure.