Weekly Road Bike Tour

Cycling holiday around the Northern Italian Lakes

This weekly guided road cycling holiday showcases the region around Northern Italian Lakes, offering undulating roads and climbs for intermediate cyclists, who love to climb. Cycle the road less travelled through the Northern Italy's Lake District: rolling hills wooded valleys, narrow climbs, fast descends.

We have designed our cycling holiday around Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como, Lake Varese to be enjoyable, funny and flexible.

Road cycling holiday based in two hotels

Nestled in the heart of Lombardy, close to Piedmont and Switzerland, in the foothills of the Swiss-Italian Pre-Alps, our two hotels at Varese and at Colmegna on the shores of Lake Maggiore provide the perfect launchpad from which to explore the best lakeside riding and and the mountainous roads in between. Amateurs can take part in the UCI Gran Fondo World Series Tre Valli Varesine every October. In 2018 Varese hosted the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. Non-riding partners are welcomed along to share the experience with you.

Tourist attractions during your cycling holiday

You can ride 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 Panza at Varese, 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.

Weekly road bike tour prices in Euro

Double room
€ 1,300.00
Single room supplement
€ 210.00
Additional night double room and breakfast
€ 50.00
Additional night single room and breakfast
€ 80.00

Start location:
Varese
End location:
Colmegna
Duration:
8 days, 7 nights, 6 days of cycling
Limit:
10/12 guests
Level of difficulty:
intermediate and advanced
Terrain:
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
Cycling tour in Northern Italian Lakes
Bike tour Lake Lugano
Bike holiday around Varese
Cycling holiday around Varese
Road cycling Lake Varese

2019 scheduled dates

April 5th – 12th
April 19th – 26th
May 3rd – 10th
May 17th – 24th
May 31st – June 7th
June 14th - 21st
June 28th - July 5th
July 12th – 19th
July 26th – August 2nd
August 9th – 16th
August 23rd – 30th
September 6th – 13th
September 20th – 27th
October 4th – 11th October 18th – 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:

  • 7 nights in double room
  • 7 high-calorie continental breakfasts
  • 6 packed lunches, strengthened and protein content snack with bananas and sandwiches
  • 6 post ride lunches when you go back to the hotel
  • 7 dinners
  • Double occupancy as standard
  • A skilled bike guide
  • Support vehicle for coming back to hotel after Madonna del Ghisallo ride
  • 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

Weekly 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 ~ Friday - Arrival

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

Accomodation: Hotel Ungheria Varese

2 ~ Saturday - Laveno, Lake Maggiore, Luino, Lake Lugano, Ponte Tresa, Ardena, Lake Ghirla

Main route: distance 100 km – 62 mi; ascent 1,490 m – 4,888 ft
Challenge route: distance 102 km – 63 mi; ascent 1,740 m – 5,709 ft
Major climbs: Ardena climb (3.2 km – 2 mi, avg. 6%, max. 8%), extra climb in the challenging option: Marzio climb (3.4 km – 2.1 mi, avg. 8%, max. 10%)
Accomodation: Hotel Ungheria Varese

Let's get started on our exploration of the foothills to the North of Varese. The ride is undulating with only one slightly difficult climb starting from village of Brusimpiano on Lake Lugano: the Ardena climb. You ride cross three valleys: Valcuvia, Valganna, Valmarchirolo and along five lakes: Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Brinzio, Lake Ganna and Lake Ghirla. Along the route is located Villa Della Porta Bozzolo at Casalzuigno. If you want you can tackle the extra Marzio climb in the challenging route.

3 ~ Sunday - Madonna del Ghisallo via Lugano, Bellagio

Main route: distance 82 km – 51 mi; ascent 1,730 m – 5,676 ft
Major climbs: Madonna del Ghisallo climb (10.5 km – 6.5 mi, avg. 9%, max. 11%)
Accomodation: Hotel Ungheria Varese

Today's ride has one focus: go up to the Shrine of Madonna del Ghisallo. The small Chapel is located at Magreglio (CO) between the two branches of Lake Como. It's venerated by international cycling as patroness of cycling and the place has become the focus of many riders' pilgrimages. You cross the Swiss pre-alpine mountains and you ride along Lake Lugano and Lake Como’s shores, passing through the lake side villages of Menaggio and Bellagio where the Madonna del Ghisallo climb starts. We head back to hotel all together by support vehicle.

Other rides you can do during your stay at Varese:

A taste of UCI Gran Fondo Tre Valli Varesine

Main route: distance 98 km – 61 mi; ascent 1,912 m – 6,273 ft
Major climbs: Alpe Tedesco climb (4.7 km – 2.9 mi, avg.8%, max. 8%), Ardena climb (3.2 km – 2 mi, avg. 6%, max. 8%), Brinzio climb (5.2 km – 3.2 mi, avg. 3%, max. 8%), Roggiano climb (2.1 km – 1.3 mi, avg. 9%, max. 13% ), Sasso di Gavirate climb (5.4 km – 3.4 mi, avg. 3%, max. 6%)

This route (the short race course) 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 short race course. The route is winding, among the Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore and Lake Varese. You have to to tackle three climbs of the short race course: Alpe Tedesco, Ardena, and Brinzio, and two other climbs for connecting the sections of the route: Roggiano and Sasso di Gavirate. Learn more about UCI Gran Fondo Tre Valli Varesine

Lake Lugano loop : Ponte Tresa, Caslano, Morcote, Arogno, Porto Ceresio

Main route: distance 94 km – 58 mi; ascent 1,354 m – 4,442 ft
Challenge route: distance 116 km – 72 mi; ascent 2,114 m – 6,936 ft
Major climbs: Arogno climb (5 km – 3.1 mi, avg. 8%, max. 13%), extra climb in the challenging option: Sighigola climb from Arogno (11 km – 6.9 mi, avg. 7.5%, max. 13%)

The route is a mostly flat ride around the Lake Lugano, almost completely in Switzerland. You cross the Valceresio Valley, and then the ride unwinds along Lake Lugano, with views and landscapes of Morcote, 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. In the main route you can tackle the Arogno climb. If you seek extra kilometres you can climb up Sighignola climb.

Azzate, Angera, Gavirate, Monte Campo Dei Fiori

Main route: distance 83 km – 52 mi; ascent 1,114 m – 3,655 ft
Challenge route: distance 104 km – 65 mi; ascent 1,857 m – 6,092 ft
Major climbs: Sasso di Gavirate climb (5.4 km – 3.4 mi, avg. 3%, max. 6%), extra climb in the challenging option: Monte Campo dei Fiori climb (8.2 km – 5.2 mi, avg. 8%, max. 13%)

The route in the Southern region of Varese is winding, with lots of ups and downs, through a number of small villages and through the gently rolling hillsides, among Lake Varese, Lake Comabbio, Lake Monate and Lake Maggiore. You can see the panoramic view from Azzate and then you reach Angera, a medieval town on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
You tackle the Sasso di Gavirate climb and, if you want, the extra Monte Campo dei Fiori climb in the challenging route. From the summit of Monte Campo dei Fiori you can enjoy a wide view of the Alps and of Monte Rosa on one side and flatland on the other where you can see Lake Monate, Lake Comabbio and Lake Maggiore in the distance.

Arcumeggia, Sant’Antonio, San Michele, option Passo del Cuvignone

Main route: distance 61.7 km - 38.3 mi; ascent 1.120 m - 4,003 ft
Challege route: distance 75.3 km - 46.7 mi ; ascent 1,354 m - 4,442 ft
Major climbs: Arcumeggia climb (3.6 km - 2.2 mi, avg. 7%), San Michele climb (2.4 km - 1.5 mi , avg. 10%), Brinzio climb (8.2 km - 5.1 mi, avg. 3.5%, max. 8%), extra climb in the challenging option: Passo del Cuvignone (9.5 km - 5.9 mi, avg. 8,2%, max. 13%)

This route takes you through the wooded hills North of Varese and it passes through several caratteristic village as the quaint village of Arcumeggia, known as “Painted Village”, the tiny village of San Michele and the medioeval village of Mesenzana. There are three climbs in the main route: Arcumeggia climb, San Michele climb and Brinzio climb. You can tackle a challenging climb in the avid option: Passo del Cuvignone. This climb however offers rewarding views across Lake Maggiore, Lake Varese and Monte Rosa. The Passo Cuvignone is many cyclists' favourite training ground.

Regional Park Monte Campo dei Fiori loop, option Sacro Monte and top of Monte Campo dei Fiori

Main route: distance 45 km - 28 mi ; ascent 540 m - 1,780 ft
Challenge route: distance 61,4 km - 38 mi ; ascent 1,345 m - 4,413 ft
Major climbs: Caldana climb (600 m - 0.4 mi, avg. 10%), extra climb in the challenging option: Sacro Monte and Monte Campo dei Fiori climb (8.2 km - 5.2 m, avg. 8%, max. 13%)

The ride follows the loop around the Regional Park Monte Campo dei Fiori. The main route passes through country villages as Orino, Cavona and Brinzio. If you are able to climb, you have the choice to straight up Sacro Monte of Varese, UNESCO Worldwide Heritage Site. Then you can carry on towards the summit of Monte Campo dei Fiori. The climb is challenging . From here a magnificent panorama opens before us of the Alps and of Monte Rosa on one side and flatlands on the other. Monte Campo dei Fiori is known as the “balcony of Varese”.

4 ~ Monday - Transfer from Varese to Colmegna

Main route: distance 84 km – 52 mi; ascent 1,701 m – 5,581 ft
Major climbs: Brinzio climb (2.7 km – 1.7 mi, avg. 5.2%, max. 8%), Vernate climb (8.2 km – 5.2 mi, avg. 6%, max. 8%)
Accomodation: Camin Hotel Colmegna

Today you transfer to our new accommodation on the shores of Lake Maggiore. You ride around the Regional Park of Monte Campo dei Fiori, then you pass close to Lake Brinzio, Lake Ganna and Lake Ghirla. After climbing down towards the Lake Lugano, You cross twice the border between Italy and Switzerland in Malcantone region where you tackle several wooded climbs . At last you climb down towards the Lake Maggiore to reach the hotel at Colmegna.

5 ~ 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%).

6 ~ 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.

7 ~ 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

8 ~ Friday - Departure

Breakfast and departure.