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Three Lakes Cycle Tour Italy
Lose yourself in a trio of pre-Alpine lakes on this cycling adventure that combines riding with breath-taking landscapes. Bask in unspoilt nature, charming villages and delicious food as you explore Maggiore, Como, and Iseo, and their mountainous surroundings.
- CategoryRoad Cycling
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration7 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level2 - Moderate
- Elevation2 - Moderate
- Distance226.8 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance49.7 miles
- Day 1Amazing Arona provides a warm welcome
The picturesque surroundings of Arona make for a pleasant arrival as you prepare yourself for the ride of a lifetime. Situated right on the shores of Lake Maggiore, this town is picture perfect and you will immediately feel at home. Upon arrival you will be welcomed by the staff and get the chance to meet your fellow tour participants and your guide for this adventure. There will be a presentation of the trip and then it’s time for a drink and dinner. Tomorrow the big ride begins.
- Day 2Pumping those legs and marvelling at the breath-taking scenery
Gear up and prepare to get those legs pumping; numerous beautiful ascents await you today in the Alpines. Prior to that will be a gentle ride around Lake Maggiore to prepare for the ascents. Suitably warmed up, you come face-to-face with the Val Cannobina ascent. The lake leads you up to Sella di Pian di Sale; here the scenery begins to leap out at you. Deep gorges, flowing streams and wide valleys combine to offer up a stunning display. As you push on it’s almost as if you’re travelling back in time with the mountains, pastures and alpine farmsteads on show. The wilderness here is ripe for cycling. While the climb may be daunting, never fear as support vehicles are always nearby. Just relax and go for gold as you pass through the stunning mountains of Val Vigezzo. As a side note, this place is also called “Valley of Painters” since artists often venture here to paint and draw inspiration from the mountains.
You will reach the end of today’s ride in the town of Santa Maria Maggiore. Situated bang in the middle of the valley, it’s the perfect spot to rest your legs ahead of another big day.
- 51 miles
- Day 3Criss-crossing between stunning Switzerland and idyllic Italy
Chow down a nourishing and tasty breakfast before taking on a long but gentle ride. The highlight of the day is undoubtedly being able to say you’ve cycled back and forth between Switzerland and Italy.
Having passed through Re, you pedal into Switzerland and head in the direction of the city of Locarno. Perfectly placed on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore it’s easy to lose yourself in the deep blues of the water and the clean air. The picturesque village of Tronzano provides you with a charming route back into Italy before you complete the last part of the ride to Laveno-Mombello. This town is known for its impressive marina, while the towering Monte Sasso del Farro always catches the eye. It can be reached by cable car where the views are astounding and a starting point for paragliding.
- 55.9 miles
- Day 4Surrounded by gorgeous greens amidst Monte Generoso
After enjoying another excellent breakfast the team takes a speedy transfer to Lake Como before hopping on the bikes at Cernobbio, a well-known tourist resort bordered by lakes along the way to Argegno. This relaxed spell of riding will make you feel fresh enough for the tough but exhilarating ascent of Val d’Intelvi. Surrounding the summit of Monte Generoso is a kaleidoscope of greens in the unspoilt landscapes. After this incredible ascent, it’s time to get the wind rushing behind you as you fly down back to the lakes and towards another tourist resort in Porlezza. Eventually, you will return to the shores of Lake Menaggio; back on flat ground, you can enjoy the last of the day’s ride along the beautiful lakeside.
- 39.8 miles
- Day 5Riding strong to encounter the cycling patron saint
Leaving behind Dongo, you pedal through Colico Piano accompanied by the presence of its lake and the accompanying ‘4 Montecchi’ – four small hills nearby. Today’s main highlight is the challenging ascent that will lead you from Bellagio to a sanctuary that is dedicated to the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of cyclists. If you’re up to the challenge of going up to the sanctuary, your tour guide would be more than happy to take you. Otherwise, you can head straight to the centre of Bellagio where the riding concludes for the day in this splendid lakeside town.
- 54.1 miles
- Day 6Lakes, islands, walking on water and the cycling of dreams
There is plenty packed in your last day of cycling, so breakfast is an early affair as you join the group for a transfer to Lake Iseo. There are plenty of small beaches to admire and roads dating back to 1910 that run next to the lake. It even cuts across two provinces in Brescia and Bergamo. Ride through roads that bend, pass through short tunnels carved out of rock, and spin by small waterfalls before reaching Castro.
After reaching Castro, the journey cranks up a gear as you head for Lovere and encounter ancient churches, elegant squares and pretty alleyways. Push on and glide through quaint villages before reaching the ferry to Montisola. This special lake island is the largest in Europe and while it bans the use of cars, bikers are free to pedal to their heart’s desire. It makes for some spectacular riding as you cruise along a road known as the ‘Road of Olives’ which has views of the nearby island of St Paul.
There is so much ground to cover today and continuing onwards you will pass through Menzino and Siviano, stopping briefly to gaze with envy at the private island of Loreto and its stunning neo-Gothic castle. Having reached Carzano it’s time to head east on a shorter ride to the little village of Peschiera-Maraglio.
Montisola gained popularity in 2016, when it hosted the ‘The Floating Piers’ art project. This distinctive concept included a temporary pedestrian footbridge across the lake that allowed people to ‘walk on the water’ from Sulzano to Montisola and the private island of St Paul. After this, it’s time to take the ferry back to Sulzano where you can enjoy one last whir of the wheels on the way to Iseo. Tonight you’ll feast at a restaurant with typical Italian fare.
- Day 7Wrapping up the trip of a lifetime
That time has come to wave goodbye. This morning you can enjoy one final breakfast with your new friends and the guides. Afterwards you’ll be taken back to Arona to prepare for your onward journey. While the tour may be over, the memories will last forever.