Lakes & Mountains of Northern Italy
The Province of Varese is truly a cycling paradise from mid-March until the end of October and an area steeped in cycling history. The Giro d'Italia almost always visits the region. The Tour of Lombardy, or "the race of the falling leaves," the Autumnal one-day classic which, each year, marks the end of the UCI World Tour calendar. Other cycling events are the Tre Valli Varesine and the Coppa Bernocchi in August, one-day road races included in UCI Europe Tour calendar, and Trofeo Binda in March, one-day road races included in UCI Women's Road Cycling World Cup calendar.
On this tour you will experience undulating and peaceful roads among gently rolling hillside with little traffic, valleys and mountains and challenging climbs. There are 10 lakes that surround Varese. You will mainly follow small and panoramic roads with our native skilled bike guides in our wonderful area.
This tour is based in one hotel, the Eco Bike Hotel Ungheria Varese, with daily ride options.
• Two sites on the UNESCO Worldwide Heritage List – Sacro Monte of Varese and Castrum Sibrium at Castelseprio
• Panoramic view of the Alps from the top of the Regional Park Monte Campo dei Fiori
• Historic villas and gardens in Varese
• Historic village of Castiglione Olona, known as "Tuscan Island in Lombardia"
• The quaint village of Arcumeggia, known as "Painted Village"
• Villa Della Porta Bozzolo at Casalzuigno, the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, the Cloister of Voltorre, Fortress of Angera, the Abbey of Ganna and Monastery of Torba
• Alfredo Binda cycling museum
• Loop of Lake Lugano
• More than 62 miles (100 kms) of cycle paths
Day 1: Individual arrival
After your arrival in our Bike Hotel Ungheria there will be evening pre-tour briefing.
Monte Campo dei Fiori, option Rancio, Sacro Monte, and Monte Campo dei Fiori (main route: 24 miles/38 km, 1476 ft/450 m ascent; long route: 39 miles/62 km, 4413 ft/1345 m ascent)
This is a warm-up ride. Our route today follows the loop around the Regional Park Monte Campo dei Fiori. If you are able to climb, you have the choice to go straight up Sacro Monte of Varese, UNESCO Worldwide Heritage Site. We continue to the summit of Monte Campo dei Fiori. The climb is challenging (length 5.2 miles – 8,2 kms, average gradient 8%, maximum 13%). From here enjoy a magnificent panoramic view 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".
Tre Valli Varesine, option Brezzo di Bedero, Sette Termini (main route: 60 miles/96 km, 3412 ft/1040 m ascent; long route: 60 miles/96 km, 5184 ft/1580 m ascent)
Today's ride crosses the valleys Valcuvia, Valganna, and Valmarchirolo in the upper region of Varese. The route is very undulating and fun. You will find peaceful roads and lakes with panoramic views with some short climbs. The Ardena climb is the longest (length 2 miles – 3,2 kms, average gradient 6,0%, maximum 8%). We will ride along Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Brinzio, Lake Ganna and Lake Ghirla.
Along our route there are the Alfredo Binda cycling museum, one of the greatest Italian cyclistchampions of Varese, the Abbey of Ganna and Villa Della Porta Bozzolo at Casalzuigno that, if you want, you can visit. There are two options in the long route: Brezzo di Bedero climb (length 1.1 mile – 1,8 km, average gradient 8%, maximum 10%), and Sette Termini climb (length 7 miles – 11,2 kms, average gradient 6%, maximum 8%).
Lake Lugano, option Malcantone, Colmegna, Luino (main route: 51 miles/82 km, 1,608 ft/490 m ascent; long route: 66 miles/107 km, 45,28 ft/1380 m ascent)
The main route today is a beautiful flat ride around the Lake Lugano, almost completely in Switzerland. We cross the Valcuvia valley, and then our ride unwinds along Lake Lugano, with views of Monte Generoso and of Monte Lema.
The long route of Malcantone, Colmegnino, Luino offers great landscapes in Switzerland. It will take in some climbs and offer spectacular views across Lake Lugano, the swiss region of Malcantone and the surrounding mountains: Monte Generoso and Monte Lema. You may meet professional cyclists training in this area. Then the route flattens along the shores of Lake Maggiore, Tresa River and Lake Lugano. There are two options in the long route: Vernate climb (length 2.6 miles – 4,2 kms, average gradient 6%), and Cademario climb (length 5 miles – 8 kms, average gradient 7,5%, maximum 12%).
Arcumeggia, San Michele, option Passo Cuvignone (main route: 38 miles/61 km, 4003 ft/1120 m ascent; long route: 43 miles/70 km, 4442 ft/1,354 m ascent)
Today we ride in Valcuvia valley again. Along our route there are Villa Della Porta Bozzolo at Casalzuigno, the quaint village of Arcumeggia, known as "Painted Village", and the small village of San Michele.
There are three climbs in the main route: Arcumeggia climb (length 2.2 miles – 3,6 kms, average gradient 7%), San Michele climb (length 1.5 mile – 2,4 kms, average gradient 10%) and Brinzio climb (length 5.1 miles – 8,2 kms, average gradient 3,5%, maximum 8%).
There is a challenging climb in the long route: Passo del Cuvignone (length 5.9 miles – 9,5 kms, average gradient 8,2%, maximum13%). This climb however offers rewarding views across Lake Maggiore, Lake Varese and Monte Rosa. The Passo Cuvignone is many cyclists' favorite training ground.
Castiglione Olona, Azzate, Fortress of Angera, Castrum Sibrium Castelseprio (main route: 58 miles/94km, 2592 ft/790 m ascent; long route: 72 miles/116 km, 3615 ft/1,102 m ascent)
Our ride unwinds through the gently rolling hillside, among Lake Varese, Lake Comabbio, Lake Monate and Lake Maggiore: Italy's second largest lake. We see the historic village of Castiglione Olona, known as "Tuscan Island in Lombardia", the panoramic view from Azzate and then we reach Angera, a medieval town on the shores of Lake Maggiore, where you can visit the Fortress of Angera.
If you want we can ride toward Castrum Sibrium at Castelseprio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This option includes a climb starting at Castiglione Olona (length 1.1 mile – 1,8 km, average gradient 8,0%, maximum 10%), and an another softer one known as the "Sasso di Gavirate" (length 3.4 miles – 5,4 kms, average gradient 3%, maximum 6%).
Loop of 7 Lakes, option Alpe Tedesco, Cuasso, Ardena, Marzio (main route: 56 miles/90 km, 2953 ft/900 m ascent; long route: 73 miles/118 km, 5748 ft/1,752 m ascent)
The ride in the upper region of Varese is undulating and there are some short climbs. We reach Lago Maggiore and follow its shores between the towns of Luino and Laveno. Woods surround most of the route. Next we reach the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, on the banks of Lake Maggiore, that, if you want, you can visit. After a winding and panoramic road we come back following a climb known as the "Sasso di Gavirate"( length 3.4 miles – 5,4 kms, average gradient 3%, maximum 6%).
If you choose long route there are challenging climbs and exhilarating descents in a pristine and well preserved natural environment. If you want we can climb towards and over Alpe Tedesco ridge (length 2.9 miles – 4,7 kms, average gradient 8%) that separates Valganna from Valcuvia. After 2.5 miles – 4 kms of flat along the shores of Lake Lugano, we climb again towards Ardena (length 2 miles – 3,2 kms, average gradient 6%, maximum 8%) and we finally arrive in the village of Marzio (length 2.4 miles – 3,9 kms, average gradient 8,2%, maximum 10%).
Day 8: Departure day
Breakfast and departure.
• 7 overnight stays in double room
• 7 high-calorie continental breakfast
• 6 bike packets, strengthened and protein content snack with bananas and sandwiches
• 6 afternoon buffet snacks when you'll be back at the hotel.
• 7 dinner in a local and Italian restaurant, with a typical menu (Italian aperitivo, first course, main course with side dish, water and coffee)
• A skilled bike guide for 6 loops
• Maps and information material
• Safe storage 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
• Internet Wi-Fi
• Car parking
• GST (Government Sales Tax)
• Tips & Gratitude
Bike Rentals: Guided
Bikes available to rent on this tour (reserved in advance at the time of booking):
• Road bikes- Wilier Triestina Granturismo (XS-XL)
• Frame : Carbon monocoque
• Sizes: XS – S – M – L – XL – XXL
• Fork: Full carbon
• Crankset: FSA SLK Custom Wilier 50 / 34
• Bottom bracket: FSA SLK
• Front derailleur: Campagnolo Athena
• Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Athena
• Shifters: Campagnolo Athena
• Cassette: Campagnolo Athena 12 / 29
• Chain: Campagnolo Athena
• Wheel set: Fulcrum Racing 3
• Tires: Continental GP4000
• Brake set: FSA New Energy Custom Wilier
• Headset: Ritchey Pro
• Handlebar: FSA Wing Pro Custom Wilier
• Stem: FSA SLK Custom Wilier
• Hendlebar tape: Cork
• Saddle: Selle Italia SL Custom Wilier
• Seatpost: FSA SLK Custom Wilier
• Pedals: No – bring your own pedals and shoes
• Weight: approx. 7,5 kg.
We request that you bring your own pedals, and we will install them on our bikes for you. We do not provide additional bike equipment, so please be sure to pack your own shoes.
Tour saddles are included, but you may bring your own seat. Please let us know if you intend to bring your own seat, so we can ensure the post will fit the bike.
Helmet rental is not available on this tour. For safety and hygiene purposes, we recommend that you bring your own helmet or plan to purchase one upon arrival.