Cycling from Lake Garda to Lake Maggiore
A fabulous cycling tour in a flourishing and varied landscape, in which you cross national parks, oases and natural reserves. You cycle along waterways zigzagging between green hills, passing characteristic villages, castles… always admiring the brilliance of the sun reflecting on the crystal clear water surfaces of the lakes. Sometimes you have to make a small detour, but always you are rewarded with a stunning view of a lake.
This cycling tour starts in Peschiera on the shores of Lake Garda, where the Mincio river leaves the lake. The town has a small old town centre, defences which are a UNESCO world heritage site and a harbour. The next days you will cycle from the east until west crossing the hills south of the big Alpine lakes. The first part follows the river Mincio, and you are cycling along the cycle path ‘Ciclopista del Sole‘, which makes part of Eurovelo 7. The route passes Bergamo, where you can visit the old town with the cableway and here a walk along the 5km old Venetian walls offer you a stunning view of the valley. In the Academia Carrara, you can see masterpieces of Botticelli, Raphael and Titian. Also, discover Bergamo’s nightlife enjoying a delicious local meal in one of the small restaurants and drink a beer or glass of wine in the cosy pubs and wine bars.
The last days of the tour, continue in the lake areas and at lake Como the route meets the Way of Pilgrims (Via dei Pellegrini), Eurovelo 5. Enjoy the hermitages, fortresses, and picturesque villages, which preserve artistic treasures of exceptional value, ancient noble palaces and castles with famous botanical gardens enclosing a peerless silence. Lake Maggiore is a stunning end to this cycling tour. Make a relaxing boot trip on the lake and visit the enchanting Borromee Islands (Isola Bella, Isola Madre ed Isola dei Pescatori).
The daily program of the 8-day tour
The historical centre of Peschiera, a town on the shore of lake Garda, is surrounded by cannels. Garda lake is the largest lake of Italy and the beautiful landscape has inspired many writers like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Franz Kafka. The lake has numerous small islands and five main ones, the largest being Isola del Garda. The centre of Peschiera is walled-in and there is a fortress to visit.
Overnight with breakfast in Peschiera
The first cycle day of this holiday dedicated to the lakes of Lombardy follows the river Mincio. Crossing the morenic hills, you will reach the medieval castle of Monzambano, a little village set in the Mincio Park surrounded by a picturesque landscape. The next stop is Castellano Lagusello on the shores of a heart-shaped lake. The medieval centre is walled. In Pozzolengo is another castle to visit. You can shorten the route by going directly to San Martino della Battaglia. From afar, you will see the characteristic neo-gothic tower from 1878. Final destination of today is Brescia, a custodian of a rich heritage of art and history from prehistoric times to the modern day. Worth visiting is the museum of Santa Giulia, which houses the City Museum of the town having more than 11,000 finds. It takes the visitor from the prehistoric Age, the Roman, the Lombard and the Carolingian Age and the period of the medieval Comuni and Signorie up to the Venetian Age.
Overnight with breakfast in Brescia
Distance: 45,1 km / 28
Ascent & Descent: + 346m -256m
Overnight with breakfast in Brescia
Distance: 63,1 km /39,2 miles
Ascent & Descent: + 534m -440m
Today’s route passes the Abbey of Rodengo of the Benedictines congregation, one of the most impressive and rich monuments of the North of Italy. In the 10th century the abbey was founded by the monks of Cluny. The next stop is Provaglio d’Iseo, at the foot of mount Monte Cognolo (674m), located in the region of Franciacorta and famous for its wine production. The nearby Torbiere Sabine is an important national reserve with a rich flora and fauna. You can visit the castle of Crusane
Overnight with breakfast in Sarnico/Paratico
Distance: 35,6 km / 22,1 miles
Ascent & Descent: + 266m -237m
Today is full of green rolling hills, vineyards, small villages and castles. You will pass the castle of Grumello and Montello. Bergamo is divided in a upper medieval town centre and a modern lower part, which are connected by a cable train. The most known part of Bergamo is the cosy square, Piazza Vecchia with many terraces and the tower ‘Torre Civica’. Here we found also the Duomo and famous Colleoni Chapel.
Overnight with breakfast in Bergamo
Distance: 37,8 km /23,4 miles
Ascent & Descent: + 312m -246m
After breakfast in the saddle and after a nice ride you come to the sanctuary of Mapello, located at the foot of Mount Giovanni XXIII where a big part of the monuments are connected with the life of Pope John XXIII. Very interesting is the ‘Leonardo’ ferryboat of Olginate –a kind of ferry invented by Leonardo da Vinci-. Your overnight stay will be at the lake or in Lecco, a town which was rewarded in 2013 as Alpine town. Lake Garlate is formed by the river Adda. On the left side are situated the towns of Lecco and Vercurago while on the right side the towns of Pescate and Garlate.
Overnight with breakfast in Garlate
Distance: 38,9 km /24,1 miles
Ascent & Descent: + 296m -347m
A new day dedicated to many lakes, beautiful views, stunning nature and the small church of Albavilla. The end of today is Lake Como, a lake of Glacial origin and the third lake of Italy. This pre-alpine lake surrounded by a crown of mountains with peaks up to 2700 m high, is not only spectacular but also rich in history and tradition. In the 17th and 18th century it became a popular retreat for aristocratic and famous writers like Stendhal and Flaubert, but also nowadays it is considered as one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. The most important river is the Adda which is also the lake’s only outlet. It leaves the lake at Lecco, at the far tip of the southeastern branch of the lake, flowing into the smaller lakes of Garlate and Olginate before heading south of Milan to join the River Po
Overnight with breakfast in Como or nearby
Distance: 34,6 km / 21,5 miles
Ascent & Descent: + 457m -449m
Today’s ride take you to the Romanesque oratory of San Martino at Albiolo (12th century). In the interior, there are nice frescoes of the 14th and 15th century. Also today, there is no lack of water because you pass the lakes of Varese, Monate and you cycle along the river Ticino. The grand final is Lake Maggiore, the most western of the prealpine lakes, and the town of Sesto Calende with its abbey dedicated to San Donato (9th-10th century) Lake Maggiore was featured in Ernest Hemingway’s infamous novel, a Farewell to Arms. You could make a relaxed boot trip on the lake!
Overnight with breakfast in Ranco
Distance: 59,3 km /36,8 miles
Ascent & Descent: + 749m -742m
After breakfast ends your discovery tour through the lakes of Lombardy
Medium difficulty: You cycle through a hilly landscape mostly on quiet country roads and sometimes cycle paths. The steeper climbs are short and the longer ones not too steep. The daily distances are restricted to between 35 km / 22 miles and 63 km / 39 miles.
Total length: 251 km / 156 miles minimum and 269 km / 167 miles.
Self-guided Tour: every Saturday from 27 March until 25 September (on request with min. 4 people it is possible to start on another day)
2 or more people.
START / FINISH:
Peschiera / Ranco