Lakes, islands, rivers, natural parks, wildlife sanctuaries, botanical gardens, places of worship, historic settlements, wine and food tasting, adventure parks……. a full and environmentally-friendly holiday in the land of the pre-alpine lakes, interrupted only by the pleasant sound of your bike (mountain bike or city bike). you will visit 5 pre-alpine lakes,3 islands,3 natural parks, a wildlife sanctuary a botanical garden. You will experiment local gourmet cuisine and wines.
Day 1 – Ispra- Arrival and settling in
Arrival in Ispra and settling in to the beautiful 18th Century villa (a former seminary school). Free day with the possibility of organising excursions or extra activities. Evening pre-tour briefing.
Day 2 – Ispra – Ispra, 26 km
A short, first stage where you are immediately riding in natural surroundings. The views over Lake Maggiore are breathtaking; the forests and the wildlife sanctuarypeaceful and suiting. Visit the the Rocca di Angera and make a refreshing stop at a local ‘agriturismo’ farmhouse along the way.
Day 3 – Ispra – Ispra, 51 km
The lakes and their cycleways – A day dedicated to the lakes (Comabbio, Varese and Monate) and to the stunning views that can be admired while riding along their cycleways. Visit the ice-houses and haveo a grappa-tasting at an historic local producer barrel room.
Day 4 – Rest Day
Cruise on Lake Maggiore. After lots of riding it’s now time to enjoy a bit of relaxation, taking a boat across the calm waters of Lake Maggiore. Visit the famous Borromeo islands (Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori) and enjoy a pleasant lunch in one of the traditional lake restaurants on Isola dei Pescatori.
Day 5 – Ispra – Verbania, 44 km
Today you are back on the saddle. Riding along quiet minor roads you reach the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso.You then continue to a nearby valley where you can visit a superb noble villa and explore the picturesque local villages. Crossing the lake (by boat) you reach Verbania.
Verbania – Verbania, Km 36
A slightly more difficult day with a climb of 3 km (average gradient of 8%) but your efforts will be well rewarded. You follow Lake Maggiore and Lake Mergazzo (passing through old stone-built villages). Stop and visit the fascinating marble quarries from which the stone of the Duomo in Milan was extracted. Have lunch in an ancient trattoria where chef Davide will guide your senses through a discovery of Piedmont culinary delights.
duration: 7 night 8 days
meals: 3 suppers
mileage: 258 km
daily average: 43 km
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