Gentle Cycling Tour

Gentle and slow cycling in Northern Italy's Lake District

The Northern Italy's Lake District isn't flat. You might think that this is not the place for more relaxed rides or for gentle and slow cycling. However, we have designed rides mainly along cycle paths and back roads where you can avoid cycling any big hills and medium sized hills as well. Look at the scheduled rides below (distances, elevations) based in our two hotels at Varese and at Colmegna on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

We can arrange a perfect blend of riding and relaxation for slower cyclists. Send us a broad outline at this address: info@lakesnorthernitalybiketours.com, so we can create a guided cycling holiday for you.

Easy cycle routes around Lake Maggiore, Varese, Lugano

Explore Lake Maggiore, Lugano and Varese. Enjoy a deeper exploration of 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 Panza at Varese, Villa della Porta Bozzolo at Casalzuigno, Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso on Lake Maggiore, Sacro Monte of Varese (historic site on the UNESCO Worldwide Heritage List) Learn more about the best tourist attractions around.

Cycling tour Lake Lugano
Bike tour around Varese
Bike holiday Lake Lugano
Cycling holiday Lake Lugano
Road cycling Lake Lugano

Included services:

  • Nights in double room
  • High-calorie continental breakfasts
  • Packed lunches, strengthened and protein content snack with bananas and sandwiches
  • Post ride lunches when you go back to the hotel
  • Dinners
  • Double occupancy as standard
  • A skilled bike guide
  • Luggage transport when you move from the first hotel to the second hotel
  • 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

Bike Tour Details / Daily Routes

This is a general program to to demonstrate how your cycling holiday is structured. We can include more distance, less distance or different routes. We are willing to provide you with rides that meets all your needs.
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.

Lake Varese, Gavirate, Santa Caterina Del Sasso, Lake Maggiore

Route: distance 40 km – 25 mi; elevation 310 m – 1,017 ft
Accomodation: Hotel Ungheria Varese

Let's get started on our exploration of the foothills to the North of Varese. You ride close to Lake Varese. Then you get through the villages of Gavirate and Brebbia. At last you arrive to Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Its position on the lake is extraordinary and particularly spectacular, at the foot of a formidable rock cliff. The hermitage cannot be got by car, only on foot by descending 268 steps. After visiting the hermitage you continue the way along the shore of Lake Maggiore so you arrive to Laveno. You can get on the train for going back to Varese (return by train 45 minutes approx).

Brinzio, Villa Della Porta Bozzolo, Laveno, Lake Maggiore

Route: distance 33 km – 21 mi; elevation 150 m – 492 ft
Accomodation: Hotel Ungheria Varese

Today's ride winds among Regional Park of Monte Campo dei Fiori and the town of Laveno on the shore of Lake Maggiore. At first you have to climb up to village of Brinzio. Then you visit Villa Della Porta Bozzolo at Casalzuigno. Constructed in the 16th century as a country residence, it was transformed in the 18th century into an aristocratic Villa. The interiors were embellished by rococo frescos and a terraced garden. The Villa is located in a valley called Valcuvia. At last you get to Laveno for going back to Varese by train (return by train 45 minutes approx).

Porto Ceresio, Lake Lugano, Ponte Tresa, Lake Ghirla, Villa Panza

Route: distance 50 km – 31 mi; elevation 350 m – 1,148 ft
Accomodation: Hotel Ungheria Varese

Today you get to Lake Lugano all together by support vehicle. You cross twice the border between Italy and Switzerland after a long flat stretch along Lake Lugano.
You go back to Varese through the long cycle path from the village of Ponte Tresa to the village of Ganna. The first part of cycle path is old and wooded railway. You ride close to three small lakes as well: (Lake Ghirla, Lake Ganna and Lake Brinzio) and across two valleys (Val Marchirolo and Valganna). Before going back to hotel you can visit Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza in Varese where there are always art exhibitions.

Bedero Valcuvia, Valtravaglia, Luino, Lake Maggiore, Colmegna

Route: distance 52 km – 32 mi; elevation 250 m – 820 ft
Accomodation: Camin Hotel Colmegna

Today you transfer to our new accommodation to Colmegna on the shores of Lake Maggiore. You have to climb up to village of Brinzio another time. You get to the town of Luino on the shore of Lake Maggiore after a wooded descent and a long flat cycle path which crosses the entire valley named Valmarchirolo. A short stretch again between Luino and the village of Colmegna where is located the hotel.

Northern shores of Lake Maggiore: Locarno, Ascona, Brissago

Route: distance 63 km – 39 mi; ascent 650 m – 2,130 ft
Accomodation: Camin Hotel Colmegna

Ride entirely lakeside along several village and town on the Lake Maggiore. There are no climbs, however you have to takle several ups ad downs. On this route you can get a panoramic view of Lake Maggiore. You will cross the town of Locarno and Ascona on cycle paths (16km - 10mi cycle path). The heart of the city is the Piazza Grande, well-known for its annual film festival. Then you pass trought the carateristic cobled lakeside of Ascona. Return to Colmegna via Luino with the boat. You cross the lake from Cannobio dock or Cannero dock.

Along the shores of Lake Maggiore: Laveno, Intra, Pallanza, Cannero

Route: distance 37 km – 23 mi; elevation 300 m – 984 ft
Accomodation: Camin Hotel Colmegna

This ride takes you along the lakeside routes just a bit to the south of Colmegna. You cross the lake twice: with a ferry ride from Laveno to Intra and by boat fram Cannero to Luino. At Laveno a comfortable two-seat cable car take you gently up almost to the summit of Sasso del Ferro (approx. altitude 1,100 m – 3,600 ft) from where you can admire a magnificent view over Lake Maggiore, the Alps, pre-Alps and the Lake Varese. At Pallanza you can visit Villa Taranto Botanical Gardens. They are well-known all around the world for its magnificent gardens of rare flowers and plants.  The lovely park of the Villa Taranto was created after the Second World War by a retired Scottish army officer, a botanist who collected plants from around the world to grow in this English landscape-style garden park.