The best 4 routes of Lake Como, Italy

Four Routes to Ride



Whether flat, rolling, or a 27% wall, there are roads in Lake Como for everyone. ComoLagoBike rides range from easy, medium, hard, to epic. Join the guides for a guided group tour each day, or put together a custom tour catered to your fitness and interests. With the Bottecchia carbon fiber road bikes and their compact gearing (typically 34x32), any climb will be doable. A few of the classic ComoLagoBike routes to try include:


1) Onno-Ghisallo - Also called the Ghisallino

This 35 km, 700 meter loop is the best way to welcome your legs to Italy and make the pilgrimage to the Madonna del Ghisallo. Start with an easy flat lakeside ride from Bellagio to Onno, then a gradual climb up to Valbrona and its Ad Onore Del Ciclista fountain, in honor of local cycling son Fabio Casartelli.

From Valbrona it's a beautiful flat ride to Asso, where you turn north and start the gradual climb through the valley to Magreglio and the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel and museum. After a visit and break for a snack, it's descending switchback after switchback to the front door of Hotel Il Perlo.


From Bellagio to the Madonna del Ghisallo Chapel by bike


2) Valsassina

A ferry ride to the picturesque village of Varenna on the east side of the lake begins this 60 km ride with 900 meters of climbing. A short gradual 5 km climb out of the Lake Como basin drops you into the Valsassina, the valley nestled between Lake Como's Grigne mountains and the pre-Alps to the northeast.

Four Routes to Ride in Lake Como area

Look up and you'll see craggy peaks dotted with snow fields and huge green mountains dissected with ski lifts, but you're down in the valley gradually increasing your elevation to the passo above Lecco and the most spectacular descent to the lake. Steep granite cliffs and perhaps some paragliders greet you on the way down to Lecco, where you can stop at a caffè before finishing the ride back to Bellagio. Bellissimo!


3) Lake Lugano

Who doesn't want to invade Switzerland by bike? There are 2 routes to Lake Lugano, the shorter 60 km and 950 meters or the longer 93 km and 1400 meters ride. Both offer you a ferry ride to the west side of the lake, then a beautiful gradual climb through an alpine valley past churches and small villages. Swiss cows - and maybe a sighting of Cadel or Nibali - almost guaranteed. The longer route loops around the far side of Lake Lugano, while the shorter one heads straight to the north end of the lake and back home to Italy and the Cadenabbia ferry to Bellagio.


4) Ghisallo-Muro di Sormano

Ready to climb like a pro? At 53 km and 1300 meters this ride features two steep climbs often featured in the Giro di Lombardia.

From Bellagio to the Colma di Sormano by bike

The Salita Madonna del Ghisallo, which starts down the road from Hotel Il Perlo, is done every year, but instead of having a few hours under your belt like the pros, you'll start the climb out of the gate. Put it in a low gear and slowly warm up the switchbacks and rollers to the Ghisallo chapel, then descend towards Asso and start the long climb to the Colma di Sormano. After the village of Sormano you have the choice of tackling the brutal Muro di Sormano (only 1.7 km with an average 17% grade, maximum 27%) or the more gradual main road, both which lead to the Colma di Sormano, its restaurant, and views of the Triangolo Lariano. Then the best part - the long, rewarding, technical descent to Nesso on the lake. Finally, we take the road back to Bellagio.

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