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Lago Maggiore Self-Guided Bike Tour

The allure of northern Italy's lakes and mountains

Just an hour north of Milan, Lago Maggiore feels a world away from the bustle of Italy's second largest city. Divided between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy and the Swiss canton of Ticino, the area encompassing Lago Maggiore is seductively beautiful, unique, and little known. Thanks to its mild climate, with its lush, Mediterranean vegetation along the lake's shores, it offers an ideal cycling holiday. Lago Maggiore used to be a favorite holiday resort for the great noble families of Milan who built lavish villas here, turning several of the lake's islands into retreats. Immersed in the marvelous waters of the lake and surrounded by breathtaking views of the magnificent snow-capped Alps, the Borromean Islands also beg to be explored on a boat tour from Stresa. Throughout your self-guided Lago Maggiore bike tour, spin along the lake shore, climb the surrounding heights, and enjoy sweeping descents back to the lake again. The picturesque landscapes dotted with medieval settlements will take your breath away as you enjoy a trip immersed in natural beauty, works of art, and long-time traditions of northern Italy. Book your trip with confidence » Learn more about Self-Guided trips and if they're right for you »
Lago Maggiore Self-Guided Bike Tour
From:
$1499 Per Person
Duration:
5 Days & 4 Nights
Rider Level: ?
3 - Active Non-riders Welcome
Trip Style: ?
Self-Guided
Hotel Level: ?
Explorer
Reviews:
From $1499 per person View All Details
Trip Wows
Delight in a week of relaxation in one elegant property overlooking the magnificent Lago Maggiore
Take a boat excursion to the stunning Borromean Islands and explore their picturesque villas and lush gardens
Admire a breathtaking panorama that stretches from the Alps and the Monte Rosa Massif to the seven surrounding lakes
Discover the picturesque village of Arcumeggia, known since 1956 as the “Painted Town” with fresco-covered houses created by the greatest contemporary Italian artists
Explore narrow cobbled alleyways and terracotta roofed houses of Santa Maria del Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site sitting at 800 meters above sea level
Watch the Experience
Lago Maggiore Self-Guided Bike Tour
We appreciated the flexibility of the self-guided trip. I loved that the rides incorporated historical and other sites so we felt like we got to see the interesting sites in the area while still riding much of the day.
-Vanessa Curtis, Trek Travel Guest

Dates & Prices

The Earlier You Book, The Greater The Rewards

We reward our guests with lower pricing and more dates to choose from the earlier you book. Rest assured, once you book, your price and date are guaranteed.
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Single Occupancy from: +$400
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Jul 10 – Jul 14 
$1499 / Person, Double Occupancy Book this date
Jul 17 – Jul 21 
$1499 / Person, Double Occupancy Book this date
Jul 24 – Jul 28 
$1499 / Person, Double Occupancy Book this date
Jul 31 – Aug 4 
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Don't see your ideal travel date? 
Call us at (866) 464-8735 for custom date availability
Looking for a one of a kind, once in a lifetime experience?
Look no further. Choose your trip date, get your group together and we will do the rest. Private trip pricing is as follows:

  • 10+ Guests Price as advertised*
  • 8-9 Guests +$750 per person to trip price*
  • 6-7 Guests +$1,500 per person to trip price*
  • 4-5 Guests +$2,000 per person to trip price*
  • 2-3 Guests +$3,000 per person to trip price*
  • 1 Guest        Call us for pricing*


Traveling with a small group? Consider semi-private trips.
For groups of up to six people, semi-private trips offer unique flexibility within a larger Trek Travel guided trip. Learn more »

*Pricing, availability and guest minimums are all subject to change at any time. Certain dates have a minimum number of guests required, please contact us for details. Private pricing is not available on Ride Camp, Race, Special Edition or Cross Country style trips.
Looking for a date that you don’t see?
Look no further. Simply tell us your preferred travel dates and we’ll work together to deliver the same great trip on your custom schedule.
*Pricing, availability and guest minimums are all subject to change at any time. Certain dates have a minimum number of guests required, please contact us for details. Custom dates are not available on Ride Camp, Race, Special Edition or Cross Country style trips.
Want to customize this trip?
We've got you covered. We’ll work with you to build your perfect vacation from scratch, including your choice of riding, accommodations and dining options. With the help of our trip designers and travel experts, the world is available like never before.
*Pricing, availability and guest minimums are all subject to change at any time. Certain dates have a minimum number of guests required, please contact us for details. Custom trips are not available on Ride Camp, Race, Special Edition or Cross Country style trips.

Welcome to one of Italy’s most romantic places, where the lakes reach deep into the Alps; writers and travelers from all over Europe have come to sing the praises of this enchanting landscape. Meet your Trek Travel host at the fantastic Bike Hotel Belvedere overlooking the shores of Lago Maggiore. Settle in and make yourself at home while your host gives you a brief orientation of the week ahead. Your host will also fit you to your bike, ensuring you are comfortable for the week. Then, it's off on your first scenic ride along the shores of the lake to the stunning Rocca d'Angera. Located on a lakeside hilltop, it dominates the landscape with its grandness. As you get acquainted with your bike, you will loop around the town of Taino before finishing your first introductory ride back to your cozy hotel. Tonight, we suggest to dine at the hotel's on-site restaurant, renowned among locals for its excellent dishes. Alternatively, you may enjoy dinner at one of the town's restaurants chosen from a provided list of our favorites. The choice is yours!

Today's Ride:

Ranco to Taino Double Loop
Approximately 15 mi | 24 km and 920 ft | 280 m

Hotel:

Hotel Ristorante Belvedere

Today we suggest to take a ferry boat ride to Arona so you have the chance to visit the Piedmont side of the lake. Our route takes you to Orta San Giulio, a delightful little town overlooking the charming Lago d'Orta. From Stresa, you will start climbing towards Gignese, home to the one-of-a-kind Umbrella Museum founded in 1939, boasting over 1,500 different pieces. After an optional visit of this intriguing museum, continue your ride until you reach the fantastic shores of Lago d'Orta, famous for the purity of its water and declared the cleanest lake in all of Europe! As you wander through the cobbled alleyways of Orta San Giulio, we suggest you stop for lunch and order a delicious risotto, the local specialty. Before leaving, take a short walk up to the top of the scenic hill to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sacro Monte, a sacred site devoted to the life of Saint Francis. You'll enjoy unparalleled views of San Giulio Island, which sits in the middle of the lake. When you are ready, saddle up to continue your ride along the panoramic road Alto Vergante back to Arona. From here, you'll board a ferry boat back to the Lombardy shore to reach your hotel. Tonight, make good use of our hand-selected recommendations for dinner as you explore Ranco at your leisure.

Today's Ride:

Ranco to Orta San Giulio Loop
Approximately 44 mi | 70 km and 4,058 ft | 1,236 m

Avid Option:

Ranco to Orta San Giulio Loop with Coiromonte Climb
Approximately 46 mi | 74 km and 4,639 ft | 1,430 m

Today's Activity:

Ferry ride from Ranco to Arona and Return

Hotel:

Hotel Ristorante Belvedere

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Another memorable day awaits you on your Lago Maggiore bike tour, as you'll be reaching the unique village of Arcumeggia, known as "The Painted Town." In 1956, the local tourist board promoted an initiative called "Painters on Vacation," attracting acclaimed national artists to visit the town and paint the external walls of the houses, transforming the village into an open-air museum. If you feel like adding more elevation today, the avid option will satisfy your hunger for a challenge! This route will have you climb Passo del Cuvignone from Cittiglio, a six-mile climb with an average gradient of 8.2%. After exploring the town of Arcumeggia you will reconnect with the "Today's Ride" route, heading to Caldé for lunch. Caldé is undoubtedly the most picturesque lakeside village on the eastern Lombardy shore. The village is comprised of a small center with old stone buildings surrounded by Belle Époque villas, all of which blend seamlessly into lush, verdant surrounds. After lunch, a lovely ride along the lake shore will take you back to Ranco, where you you can relax at the pool before deciding your plans for dinner.

Today's Ride:

Ranco to Arcumeggia Loop
Approximately 46 mi | 74 km and 3,168 ft | 965 m

Avid Ride:

Ranco to Arcumeggia Loop via Cuvignone
Approximately 51 mi | 82 km and 4,936 ft | 1,504 m

Hotel:

Hotel Ristorante Belvedere

Included Meals:

Breakfast

This morning, you will ride on a quiet woodland road that winds through the Regional Park of Campo dei Fiori. Your destination is the quaint hamlet of Santa Maria del Monte, sitting high on the mountain, offering breathtaking views of the Alps, pre-Alps, and the lakes. It is well worth dedicating some time to explore the maze of little cobbled lanes which form this Italian village. If you want, you can take a walk for just over a mile of the pilgrims’ trail, with its 14 chapels, that leads to the shrine at the top of the Sacro Monte, listed among the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The avid option will have you climb an additional six miles to reach a fantastic view point. After enjoying lunch in Santa Maria del Monte, retrace your steps and then follow the road toward the lake of Monate, a smaller lake with crystal clear water that makes it the perfect place for a swim. From here, continue riding to Ispra before heading back to Ranco. Once back at the hotel, take some time for a stroll or a relaxing session in the spa. Tonight, celebrate with one last dinner in great style at the hotel and toast to a fantastic self-guided Lago Maggiore bike tour spent experiencing glittering lakes, endless mountain landscapes, and phenomenal Italian food.

Today's Ride:

Ranco to Santa Maria del Monte Loop
Approximately 57 mi | 91 km and 4,614 ft | 1,406 m

Avid Option:

Ranco to Santa Maria del Monte Return (with Tre Croci add-on)
Approximately 63 mi | 101 km and 5,794 ft | 1,766 m

Hotel:

Hotel Ristorante Belvedere

Included Meals:

Breakfast

This morning's loop is the perfect final ride and farewell to the lakes and mountains of Northern Italy. If you'd rather skip the ride, you can sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast, and then enjoy a final stroll in town to savor these few last moments and perhaps pick up some souvenirs and gifts. Your Trek Travel host will meet you at the hotel at 11:00 AM to take your bike and say farewell before you depart from your Italian vacation of a lifetime.

Today's Ride:

Ranco to Lago di Monate Loop
Approximately 21 mi | 33 km and 1,069 ft | 325 m

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Hotels

hotel image

Hotel Ristorante Belvedere

Ranco, Lago Maggiore, Italy

Explorer Accommodation | Originally a tavern when it opened its doors back in 1865, the Belvedere is now a stylish hotel with stunning views over the banks of Lago Maggiore, on the Lombardy side of the lake. Located in a peaceful setting in the charming town of Ranco, you will find all the comforts and services you expect from a bike hotel. The Belvedere is also a celebrated restaurant: the dishes have a local flavour offering a ‘taste of the lakes’ complemented by seasonal fare. This cozy 3-star hotel features an outdoor pool right by the lake, along with a sauna and a panoramic terrace with solarium.

What's Included

For us, the details matter most

Every moment of a Trek Travel self-guided bike trip has more than you could have ever dreamed. More experiences. More scenery. More choice. It's the little additions to every Trek Travel cycling vacation that make it truly special. And that's how we help you create more memories.

bike

Trek Domane SL 7 Gen 3 in 2023

Trek’s continuous innovation has led to one of the best bikes on the road - a light weight, stable, and technologically advanced machine to make even the hardest roads seem easy. The Domane SL 7 Gen 3 is a beautiful high-performance endurance road bike with wireless electronic Ultegra Di2 12-speed drivetrain for lightning-fast precision shifting in any conditions. The combination of the carbon frame with front and rear IsoSpeed, carbon wheels that come stock on the bike, and hydraulic disc brakes keep it smooth, safe, fast, and most importantly, fun! Available in 2023. Learn More

bike

Trek Electric-Assist Verve+

With its Low-Step frame design, hopping on and off the Trek Verve+ is super easy. The front suspension will take the edge off any bumps in the road and the Bosch system will keep you smiling from ear to ear. The integrated battery keeps this bike looking sleek as you pedal through amazing terrain. Learn More

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Four nights of accommodation at one handpicked hotel
  • Daily breakfast
  • Daily lunch and dinner recommendations
  • Ride a Trek Domane SL 7 disc or Trek Electric-Assist Verve+
  • Up to three daily route options on riding days
  • Trek Travel water bottles to keep
  • Each bike is equipped with a Garmin GPS computer, a flat pack containing one tube, two tire levers, CO2 cartridge with inflator, and a patch kit (the flat pack is only large enough for these items so if additional gear is needed, please plan to bring your own bar bag or small backpack for daily rides)
  • A mini frame pump, front and rear lights
  • Bontrager helmet (optional if you do not bring your own)
  • Bontrager saddle (we suggest you bring your own for the most comfortable fit)
  • Shimano clipless pedals or flat pedals (optional if you do not bring your own)
  • A bike lock, all necessary chargers and a floor pump
  • Bike fit on the first day to help you find your optimal riding position
  • Ride With GPS Experience on your phone to get all the information you need on your self-guided adventure

GEAR

  • Trek Domane SL 7 disc carbon road bike with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting or Trek Electric-Assist Verve+, available in a limited quantity
  • Garmin GPS computer with mount
  • Trek Travel water bottles to keep
  • Shimano clipless road pedals, Shimano clipless mountain pedals, or flat pedals (optional if you do not bring your own)
  • Bontrager helmet (optional if you do not bring your own)
  • Bontrager men's and women's specific saddles
  • Bontrager front and rear Flare R lights
  • Each bike is equipped with a flat pack containing one tube, two tire levers, CO2 cartridge with inflator, and a patch kit (the flat pack is only large enough for these items so if additional gear is needed, please plan to bring your own bar bag or small backpack for daily rides)
  • A mini frame pump
  • A bike lock, all necessary chargers, and a floor pump
  • Coupon valued up to $500 off a new Trek Bicycle. Your coupon will be delivered via email prior to your trip.
  • For the most comfortable ride, you may choose to bring your own pedals, saddle, and helmet on the trip. Your Trek Travel host will install your gear on the first day during your bike fit.

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

For self-guided trips you are welcome to thank your host with a gratuity based on your level of service.
  • Airfare and transportation to and from the trip meeting/departing locations
  • Lodging before and after the trip
  • Personal items purchased during the trip
  • Optional activities not scheduled by Trek Travel
  • While we provide daily breakfast, the other meals are not included. On self-guided trips, Trek Travel provides restaurant recommendations and invites you to explore the local cuisine at your leisure.

More Information

Rider Level: 3 - Active?

AVERAGE DAILY MILEAGE:
57 kilometers / 36 miles
TOTAL MILES:
296 kilometers / 184 miles
AVERAGE DAILY ELEVATION:
842 meters / 2,765 feet
TOTAL ELEVATION:
4,215 meters / 13,829 feet
TERRAIN: HILLY
The terrain is hilly, characterized by rollers and more sustained climbs on quiet roads with stunning views. Our Lago Maggiore bike tour is best suited for our Type 3 Riders. For those who wish to ride every mile but are concerned about their physical ability, we recommend to use our electric bikes —you still get a workout but can climb alongside even the strongest rider. Type 4+ Riders will enjoy the extra mileage the avid route options offer.
NON-RIDING ACTIVITIES:
There are a variety of non-riding options on our Lago Maggiore trip for riders who want to take the afternoon off or travel companions who want to spend little or no time in the saddle. Some of these options may need to be scheduled before your trip–please contact one of our Trip Consultants for more information. Except as specified in the itinerary, expenses and transportation to these activities are not included in the trip price. Some non-riding options on this trip are:
  • Enjoy relaxation at the hotel spa and pool
  • Visit artistic treasures, museums, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Enjoy a visit of Isola Bella on a boat excursion
  • Visit the local open-air markets
  • Transfer by ferry boat and visit other charming lake towns
  • Explore San Giulio Island in Lake Orta
  • Enjoy swimming in Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta
  • Take a woodland walk along Lake Maggiore

See itinerary for specific daily ride distances and elevation options. On all of our vacations, Trek Travel seeks to find quiet, paved secondary roads or bike paths to experience a region; busy roads are avoided as much as possible. Our itineraries are an approximation of our trips. Trek Travel strives to offer every guest a vacation of a lifetime on every trip. At times routes, hotels, activities, etc. listed here may change at the discretion of the trip designer or Trek Travel's local experts to improve the trip experience.

Averages and totals are calculated from our "Today's Ride" options.

Travel Details

How to Get There

FLY INTO:
Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
MEETING TIME:
11:00 AM
MEETING LOCATION:
Hotel Belvedere in Ranco (VA)

Say Farewell

FLY OUT OF:
Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
DEPARTING TIME:
11:00 AM
DEPARTING LOCATION:
Hotel Belvedere in Ranco (VA)

Arriving

We suggest that you arrive at least one day prior to the start of your Lago Maggiore bike tour, which will enable you to adjust to the time zone and minimize the risk of missing the trip start due to flight-related delays. We recommend that you fly into Milan, Malpensa Airport (MXP) and rent a car for the duration of the trip. Most major rental car companies are available at MXP. Advance booking is recommended.

If you are not renting a car, you can take a taxi at the airport (taxis are readily available at the arrival area). The hotel lies approximately 18 miles from the airport and a taxi ride takes about 40 minutes and costs $100. You can also book a private transfer ahead of time at www.malpensatransfer.it. A chauffeur will be waiting for you at your terminal with a sign with your name on it and will take you directly to your hotel.

Your Trek Travel host will meet you at your trip hotel Belvedere (Via Piave, 11, 21020 Ranco VA) at 11:00 AM on the first day of the trip. Your host will familiarize you with the itinerary for the week and will fit you to your Trek bike ensuring you are comfortable for the week. After a safety talk, and a few tips about cycling in the area you will set off at your own pace along the beautiful lake shore.

If you will be late for the meeting or are going to miss it altogether, please inform your host. You will receive an email a week before the trip starts with their name and contact details. If you cannot reach them, please call your hotel, Hotel Ristorante Belvedere (+39 0331 976609) and leave a message with your expected arrival time and contact details.

View our pre hotel recommendations

Leaving

Your Trek Travel host will meet you at 11:00 AM at your trip hotel Belvedere (Via Piave, 11, 21020 Ranco VA) to take your bike and equipment and say farewell before your departure. If you did not rent a car and wish to take a private shuttle to Milan, Malpensa Airport (MXP) we suggest you arrange your transfer ahead of time. The hotel can also help booking a taxi for you. The trip to the airport takes approximately 40 minutes. Please allow adequate connection time for any ongoing travel to accommodate possible traffic delays.

View our post hotel recommendations

Planning For Your Trip

On Lake Maggiore the climate is temperate, with cold, damp winters and warm summers, which are characterized by a good amount of sunshine but also by somewhat frequent thunderstorms. Because of both the influence of the lake and the location at the foot of the Alps, the climate is still pleasant during the warmest months of the year (July and August) with highs that don't exceed 80°F. Rain is always a possibility any month of the year, so be prepared with wet-weather gear in order to best enjoy your vacation. The water of the lake has a comfortable temperature of 68 °F to 72 °F in July and August. Packing List

Before and After Your Trip

before

Before & After: Milan, Italy

A lot can be said and written about Milan, the second largest city in Italy and the heart of the financial hub of the country. A town of ancient origins, founded by the Celts and conquered by the Romans, it saw its splendor increase during the Renaissance when the Visconti family and then the Sforza ruled the city. During this period, the magnificent gothic Duomo was built, and artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante came to work in the city, leaving great masterpieces like the “Cenacolo di Leonardo.” During the Austrian Imperial dynasty of the Hapsburgs, the world-renowned Scala Theater was created and instantly became the fulcrum of the artistic life of the town. Milan is also an international capital of fashion and design, with a very lively cultural scene. Major theaters and the hundreds of art galleries and events cause visitors to think that Milan never sleeps. We recommend the following accommodations for your pre- and post-trip hotel:

Customer Reviews

Why Trek Travel

Our Bikes

Our unrivaled selection of Trek Bikes sets the bar for quality and comfort. From the ultra-smooth Trek Domane SL 7 to the Trek Electric-Assist Verve+, you deserve the best ride on your vacation. Plus, we offer a range upgrade options to take you the extra mile.

Our Guides

Our guides are trained to make your trip magical. They aren't just experts in riding; they're trained in delivering uncompromising service in ways you won't believe. We know that it's the unexpected surprises that make a trip magical. That's why our guides pride themselves on anticipating your needs before you ask.

Your Day. You Decide.

Our vacations are built to deliver the ultimate in flexibility, from extreme relaxers to hard-core roadies. You pick your mileage, itinerary and experiences. We take care of the rest.

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