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Are you in the Lake District and want to know which cycling routes are best for you?
If you can bring the family?
Do you need an MTB, or is an e-bike okay?
On distrettolaghi.it and lagomaggioreexperience.it you can choose from 40 routes. They range from stretches for experienced bikers to flat routes through nature ideal for groups or families. You can climb hills between Italy and Switzerland at an altitude of over 2,000 metres, or ride along the shores of our lakes. To discover them, you can go to the Outdoor section and download the detailed sheets we have prepared for each itinerary.
However, we can start giving you some tips. You can also find them on this map, which can be downloaded here (or is available at the local tourist offices).
Flowers, woods and villages
From Verbania to Domodossola (or vice versa) following the river Toce.
The Toce Cycle Route is an almost completely flat itinerary, on cycle paths, white roads or easy paths, suitable for everyone. Immersed in nature, you cross the special nature reserve of Fondotoce and the places where the typical flowers of Lake Maggiore grow, giving their best from April to May. Then from Ornavasso to Premosello you meet the luxuriant green of the Bosco Tenso, with a route suitable for mountain bikes. At Vogogna you can enkoy the spectacle of the ancient medieval castle and one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The route continues on a cycle path to the Borgo della Cultura in Domodossola, with its charming Piazza Mercato. For those who still have energy, the cycle route concludes with a loop between the rivers to Crevoladossola and Masera. It takes about 7 hours to cover the whole route, round trip.
Roads of war
More than a century ago, while the First World War was being fought, Italy feared a German invasion from Switzerland. This gave rise to the high-level fortifications of the Cadorna Line. Then in the Second World War the partisans took refuge there. Today, in Verbano, the wide white roads that link them offer the possibility of riding between the panorama of the Borromean Gulf and the peaks of the Val Grande National Park, the largest protected wilderness area in Italy.
A mountain bike round trip from Piancavallo, on the slopes of Monte Zeda, takes three hours and involves 650 metres of altitude difference.
Rosmini, Manzoni and surroundings
In the mid-19th century, the philosopher and the writer used to meet between Lesa and Stresa. Antonio Rosmini and Alessandro Manzoni stayed on the banks of the Verbano, and with them many intellectuals of the Italian Risorgimento. If you are a fan of cycle tourism, history and Art Nouveau villas, as well as views, orchards and woods as far as the eye can see, you can go from Stresa to Arona by following the coast road and returning along the Vergante road. It takes a couple of hours to get there and back, with a few medium climbs.
The Lake of Fantasy
Gianni Rodari was born here and set some of his most famous fairy tales in this place. But even without the genius of the writer, Lake Orta does not fail to spark the imagination. Its island of San Giulio seems to have come straight out of a tale and has mythical origins. The Cusio can be skirted by bicycle in a couple of hours. It is 35 km with a 200 metre altitude difference to be overcome by letting your imagination run wild.
Cycling and brushstrokes
The Vigezzo Valley is located on the border with Switzerland, on a plateau running from east to west. The result? A special light from dawn to dusk. Ideal for cycling and painting. Its views have been immortalised by famous painters. In an hour and a half you can go from Druogno to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sangue di Re on a cycle path with no major differences in height. An easy route where, after each bend, you will want to stop and paint a picture. But probably a selfie will do.
Foto di Fabio Valeggia