The area around Lake Maggiore offers a round Italian cycling holiday destination from April to October. Once a popular resort for European nobility, Lake Maggiore is today a peaceful spot with a smattering of sights, along with walking and cycle routes. Stresa and Pallanza look out onto the Golfo Borromeo, home to the beautiful Isole Borromee. Isola Bella is the highlight, with a Baroque palazzo and terraced gardens commanding impressive views. The northern part of the lake is more sedate, with lakeside villages such as Cannero and Cannobio or small cities as Luino, Locarno and Ascona.
A cycling Italian holiday destination: cycle routes
Lake Maggiore has plenty for cycling routes to enjoy during your holiday. There are several opportunities for road cycling around Lake Maggiore. And with the lake road typically wider than around Lake Como, and quieter than Lake Garda.
Learn more about cycling routes close to Lake Maggiore . They are very popular with the local cyclists as well.
You will tackle flat, rolling, up and down stretches during your holiday. If you are a recreational cyclist who love relaxed rides, we planned itineraries where you can avoid cycling any big hills and medium sized hills as well.
If you have a a good degree of fitness and if you are a keen climbers looking to cycle challanging routes you could appreciate the stunning views over Lake Maggiore.
Climbs close to Lake Maggiore for keen cyclists
Here's only a few cycle routes for climbers close to Lake Maggiore.
Starting from Cittiglio you can climb up to Passo Cuvignone (9 km – 9% average).
San Martino climb starts from Cuveglio (10,5 km – 8% average).
Starting from Casalzuigno you can climb up to San Michele via Sant'Antonio (9 km. - 6,5% average).
Alpe Neggia climb starts from Vira Gambarogno on the shore of Lake Maggiore (12 km. - 9,5% average), but you can climb up there from Maccagno, on the shore of Lake Maggiore, via Val Veddasca (22 km. - 5,5% average).
Val Maggia, Centovalli and Val Verzasca are three nice Swiss valleys to climb up starting from the shore of Lake Maggiore.
Monte Ologno climb starts from Cannero on the shore of Lake Maggiore (10,5 km. - 9% average), which was part of stage 18 of the 2015 edition of the Giro d'Italia.
Starting from Verbania, on the shore of Lake Maggiore, you can climb up to Piancavallo via Premeno (20 km. - 5% average).
Starting from Stresa, on the shore of Lake Maggiore, you can climb up to Mottarone via Gignese (20 km. - 6% average).
Learn more about: Road Cycling Routes. A true round playground for cyclists from April to October.
Navigation on Lake Maggiore
Crossing Lake Maggiore by boat is easy, so you can cover every part of the lake. We are going to update info about navigation on Lake Maggiore, so you can visit Lake Maggiore and its Borromean Islands with your own bike as well during your cycling holiday .
Sometimes we will take the the boat to cross Lake Maggiore. Crossing the lake by boat is easy, so you can cover every part of the lake. This is not just to cut out stretches of cycling that would otherwise get pretty samey but also because the boat is a good way to see the Lake Maggiore. Many of the grand lakeside villas were designed to be seen from the lake. The car ferries have plenty of space for bikes, but on the smaller boats there’s a limited amount of deck space. Generally this should be fine unless you’re planning to travel in a big group.
What’s Lake Maggiore like: vegetation, climate and temperature
The Lake Maggiore has a surface area of about 213 square kilometres (82 square mi), a maximum length of 66 km. (41 mi.) (on a straight line) and, at its widest, is 12 km. (7 mi.). Max depth 370 m. (1,214 feet). Average depth 175 m. (574 feet). Lake circumference 170 km. (105 mi.).
Lake Maggiore extends from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland far into the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Thanks to its mild climate, there is lush, Mediterranean vegetation along its shores. In the hinterland is a wild and mountain landscape with breathtaking views.
Vegetation is divided into altimetrical zones with Mediterranean,sub-alpine and alpine essences.
Camellias, azaleas and oleanders grow along the shores, as well as cypresses and cluster pines.
Vines,olive trees, oaks, hazel trees, chestnuts, hawthorns, cherry trees, lime trees, pine trees, red firs,ash trees and chestnuts grow on the sunny slopes (500-800 m).
While beeches, larches, walnuts trees and firs can be found in the mountains. The most elevated level is characterized by junipers, rhododendrons, beeches, birches, blueberries and alders.
The underbrush is rich in ferns, sorrel and strawberries. Bears and wolves used to live in this area, while today it's possible to meet foxes, boars, squirrels, hares, beech-martens, badgers and dormice. Fallow deers and roe deers can be spotted between 300 and 1600 metres of altitude.
Climate and temperature
Lake Maggiore is famous for its balmy temperatures and the Mediterranean sun. Despite the fact that it’s very close to the mountains, its climate is mild and constant, due to its large mass of water that acts as a thermal reserve. With these conditions, winters are milder and summers are cooler than in the regions at the same altitude and latitude.
Even the cloudiness is reduced: in fact there are more than 200 days of sunshine a year. The climate of Lake Como is perfect for sports but also for those people who need to relax. From May until September the temperature will not usually go below the 25°C = (77 F ) making exploring the whole area by bike and cruising on the lake a very comfortable pleasure.
The large mass of water of Lake Como, acting as a thermal reserve, absorbs the sun’s heat during the summer and releases it only during the winter. The high mountains surrounding the lake act as insulation to help this process, which helps to keep the average annual temperature higher than elsewhere.
Tourist attractions around Lake Maggiore
To help you make the most of your stay on Lake Maggiore we have put together a guide, packed full of information about all the
tourist attractions to see during your cycling holiday.
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