Italian Lakes Cycling Holiday

A wonderful cycling holiday through Lombardy visiting the lakes of Garda, Como and Maggiore. In between the famous three, you will also take in lesser known gems such as Lake Iseo, Lake Varese and Lake Lecco as well as charming villages and romantic medieval towns.

From Peschiera on the southern shore of Lake Garda, you will cycle westwards through a fertile landscape brimming with vineyards and orchards. You'll take in the charming towns of Sirmione and Desenzano, thought by many to be Lake Garda's most beautiful lakeside towns.

You'll pedal through pleasant, open countryside dotted with small towns and villages to Brescia, which boasts some of the best preserved Roman buildings in northern Italy. You'll also spend a night in Bergamo, so be sure to venture up the hill to the beautiful old-town with its labyrinth of winding alleys and charming cobbled streets.

Italian Lakes Cycling HolidayCycling past San Martino della Bataglia

The lakes are of course a highlight of the tour and as well as being incredibly picturesque, their gentle breezes and cool waters revive and invigorate after a day in the saddle.

You'll be cycling between 35 and 63kms per day, mostly on back roads, lanes and cycle paths but there are some busier sections in certain places where these are unavoidable. There are some hills to contend with too but these are relatively short and well within the capability of most leisure cyclists. E-bikes are an available option if you have any concerns about the grade of this route.

Italian Lakes Cycling Holiday

A wonderful cycling holiday through Lombardy visiting the lakes of Garda, Como and Maggiore. In between the famous three, you will also take in lesser known gems such as Lake Iseo, Lake Varese and Lake Lecco as well as charming villages and romantic medieval towns.

From Peschiera on the southern shore of Lake Garda, you will cycle westwards through a fertile landscape brimming with vineyards and orchards. You'll take in the charming towns of Sirmione and Desenzano, thought by many to be Lake Garda's most beautiful lakeside towns.

You'll pedal through pleasant, open countryside dotted with small towns and villages to Brescia, which boasts some of the best preserved Roman buildings in northern Italy. You'll also spend a night in Bergamo, so be sure to venture up the hill to the beautiful old-town with its labyrinth of winding alleys and charming cobbled streets.

Italian Lakes Cycling HolidayCycling past San Martino della Bataglia

The lakes are of course a highlight of the tour and as well as being incredibly picturesque, their gentle breezes and cool waters revive and invigorate after a day in the saddle.

You'll be cycling between 35 and 63kms per day, mostly on back roads, lanes and cycle paths but there are some busier sections in certain places where these are unavoidable. There are some hills to contend with too but these are relatively short and well within the capability of most leisure cyclists. E-bikes are an available option if you have any concerns about the grade of this route.

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Arrive Peschiera del Garda

Make your way to Peschiera del Garda on the south-western corner of Lake Garda, the largest of Italy’s lakes. The town sits at the mouth of the Mincio River which flows south from Lake Garda into the mighty Po River. Stroll along the lake shore and then follow the river through the town to the grand old Venetian fortress. The cobbled streets of the old town offer plenty of bars and restaurants to toast the start of your cycling adventure.

Day 2 : Peschiera – Brescia
33 - 40 miles/53 -63kms

The longer of today's two route choices is quieter but also a little more hilly. It leads you south along an idyllic cycle path beside the Mincio River before turning west and passing through rural countryside and a succession of small towns and villages to Brescia.

The shorter, busier route sticks closer to the shore of Lake Garda passing through Sirmione and Desenzano, two very beautiful lake-shore towns, before heading west across open countryside to the town of Brescia.

Brescia is an ancient town with both Roman and medieval ruins and artifacts to explore. In the evening take stroll through the old town. Sooner or later you'll end up at the central Piazza della Loggia where the locals gather at the end of the day to chat over a drink.

Day 3 : Brescia – Lake Iseo
22 miles/35 kms

Today's ride leads you along a network of quiet country lanes to Lake Iseo. Apart from one short climb it's easy, level cycling and before long you reach the the nature reserve of Serbino. This protected aquatic marshland is home to a rich and diverse collection of wildlife. Shortly thereafter, you reach the shores of beautiful Lake Iseo. Stop in Cluseo to admire the view down the lake before cycling on to the pleasant lakeside town of Sarnico where you stop for the night.

Day 4 : Lake Iseo - Bergamo
22 miles/35 kms

Today's route follows the Oglio river south, away from Lake Iseo onto the fertile plains of Lombardy. You then leave the river and head west along narrow country lanes to the pretty, village of Grumello del Monte. A little further on you pass through the medieval town of Montello before finishing the ride in Bergamo. This fascinating city has two sides. An ancient hilltop town with its network of medieval streets and baroque architecture perched on a bluff overlooking the southern plains and below it, its slightly younger sibling, still old but just not quite as old as its lofty neighbour.

A funicular railway connects the two and you’ll enjoy exploring the atmospheric winding streets of this wonderful town. Must sees include the Palazzo del Podestà, an interactive museum telling the story of Bergamo’s Venetian age, the Accadamia Carrera, a gallery exhibiting some great works by Italian masters and a the Palazzo della Ragione, a wonderful palace built during the Venetian era. You should also venture to the top of the Torre del Campanone, an ancient 53 meter high bell tower to take in the stupendous views, and finally sit in one of the marvellous street cafes in the Piazza Vecchia and drink in the atmosphere. You'll spend the night in this lovely old town.

Day 5 : Bergamo – Lecco/Garlate
28 miles/45 kms

After your night in Bergamo you'll cycle west out of the city and over the Brembo River to Ponte San Pietro and the route is undulating as far as the Adda River. En route we recommend you make a stop at Sotto il Monte to visit the house of Pope Giovanni XXIII. Follow the curves north along the River Adda as it snakes up to Lake di Olginate, touches Lake Garlate and weaves on past Lake Annone with surrounding meadows to enjoy. The view over Lake Como from the town of Lecco is breathtaking but take the time also to explore the flagstone streets of the old town.

Day 6 : Lecco/Garlate - Como
25 miles/40 kms

Today's route leads you past many small lakes and a short section follows a dirt road past Lake Alserio. Thereafter you have a bit of a climb up to Tavernerio before enjoying an exhilarating descent to the beautiful town of Como on Lake Como. Why not amble through Piazza Cavour this evening as the light fades across the lake and reflect on your journey so far. If you arrive early enough you could also consider a ferry ride to one of the many other beautiful lakeside towns around Lake Como.

Day 7 : Como - Ranco
38 miles / 60 kms

Embrace the varied gradient of today’s ride and bid farewell to Como from a high vantage point and then head to Albiolo halfway between Como and Varese that is home to the Romanesque Oratory of San Martino. Further on, you follow a bike path beside the clear waters of Lake Monate where it's possible to stop for a swim if the mood takes you? Then it's on to Ispra on the shores of Lake Maggiore and from here you follow the lovely lake-shore bike path to your final overnight stop in the pleasant lakeside town of Ranco. The views across the lake from the public gardens are sensational and an apt place to bring the curtain down on your Italian Lakes Cycling Holiday.

Day 8 : Departure

After breakfast it's time to head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

Helmets are available to rent but we always recommend bringing your own.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Superior: Good quality 3 and 4 star hotels

Peschiera del Garda: Hotel Dori

Brescia: Hotel Igea

Sarnico/Paratico: Hotel Stazione

Bergamo: Hotel Best Western Piemontese

Garlate: Hotel Nuovo

Como: Tre Re

Ranco: Hotel Belvedere

Local taxes

Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night

Getting there

Fly to Verona Airport and then catch the regular shuttle bus to Verona's Porta Nuova train station (15 mins). From there catch a train to Peschiera del Garda (15 mins).

At the end of your holiday catch a train from Sesto Calende to Milan's Malpensa airport (48 minutes) and fly home from there. Alternatively, you can take the train from Sesto Calende to Milan's Linate airport (1hr 30 mins) and fly home from there.

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