- Riding into Switzerland from Lake Maggiore to Lake Lugano
- The ascent to Madonna del Ghisallo and the world famous cycling museum
- Strolling through Bellagio on Lake Como after a great lake-side ride
- Conquering Passo Maniva and the sweeping downhill to Lago di Idro
- Relaxing with a post-ride drink overlooking yet another beautiful lake
- Enjoying good food, fine wines and quality accommodation
One of the most incredible experiences I have ever had! I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending it to another cyclist.
- Meals: Dinner
Following your arrival in Italy at Milan Malpensa airport (MXP) we make the 45/60 minute transfer to our accommodation on the shores of Lake Maggiore. On arrival at the hotel there is time to unpack and build bikes.
There may also be the opportunity to explore the local area before we depart on our bikes tomorrow morning.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 900 Metres Approx.
Starting from Angera, a medieval fortified town on the shores of Lake Maggiore, we ride north along one of Italy’s major lakes. It is a gentle warm up to our week’s riding, following the shoreline on a scenic and picturesque road, riding past splendid villas and gardens created in the 19th and 20th century.
In Luino we leave Lake Maggiore and head towards Lake Lugano and after just a few kms we cross into Switzerland, where we continue our journey along the quiet shores of the lake. Riding through numerous quaint villages we finally reach our destination; the Como lakeside town of Cernobbio, a place where George Clooney has his second home.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,300 Metres Approx.
The morning ride through Como and the east lakeside will take us towards the renowned town of Bellagio. Avid cycling fans will know that Bellagio is set at the very start of the Giro di Lombardia’s last and decisive climb of the Madonna del Ghisallo, the little church of the patron saint of cyclists where you can admire the bikes of the great Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.
After a final steep descent and an incredibly scenic ride along the lakeside of Lecco, we finally reach Bellagio, allowing time to wander around town and take in the stylish Italian atmosphere.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Ascent: 1,600 Metres Approx.
We set off in the morning with a beautiful short ferry ride across Lake Como from Bellagio to the town of Varenna. Today we ride on a long cycle route along the Valsassina Valley overlooking the Grigne, one of the most famous rock climbing training sites in Italy and home of the Ragni di Lecco – ‘Spiders of Lecco‘.
We then leave the main road and start our climb into Barzio and finally the Culmine di San Pietro; another one of the Giro’s classic climbs. After a long winding descent, the ride along Bergamo’s Val Taleggio is really spectacular! Tonight we overnight in the thermal town of San Pellegrino where we can relax and indulge in its thermal waters.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 1,800 Metres Approx.
Today we ride across to Lago di Iseo, in the upper region of Bergamo and Brescia, a popular training ground for the Giro di Lombardia.
One of the most important cycling events in Italy after the Giro d’Italia, this is where Fausto Coppi, Alfredo Binda and Gino Bartali became heroes of old-time racing. Leaving San Pellegrino, also famous for its spring water, we meander through the lower alpine hills toward Clusone to then head south to Lago d’Iseo – a lakeside ride that takes us to our accommodation in Clusane.
- Meals: Breakfast, dinner
- Ascent: 1,900 Metres Approx.
We are now getting closer to the Alps and a great Alpine stage is ahead of us today! After a first warm up climb from Iseo and a cake stop at an excellent pasticceria in Gardone, we embark on a gradual cycle along Val Trompia before the final climb to Passo Maniva where we stop for a well-deserved lunch in true alpine scenery.
Suitably replenished with local delicacies, we’ll then make our way to Bagolino.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,300 Metres Approx.
A great final ride through alpine scenery on our way to Lake Garda. We start the ride following the beautiful Valli Giudicarie heading towards the Dolomiti of Brenta, towering high above us at some 3,000m. With only two short climbs, the final section towards Lake Garda is a great flowing descent to its northern shores. Riding into the main lakeside square of Riva del Garda, is a wonderful way to conclude a perfect week of riding.
Following the obligatory cappuccino, ice cream and no doubt a chilled beer, we make our way to our hotel for our final evening. There are some fantastic restaurants close by, so be prepared for a final delicious evening meal, over which you’ll be able to reflect on your week of cycling.
Most of the climbs are relatively short, when compared to say the Stelvio for example, and the gradients are, in the main, very manageable although there are a few short stages which reach between 10-12% and are therefore a little more challenging.
Road surfaces are good, however some descents on narrow roads with tight bends do require good bike handling skills.
Traffic is generally light and we spend as much time as possible on minor roads. That being said, heavier traffic can be encountered on the short stages along valleys which connect the smaller roads, some roads alongside the lake, and when we travel through towns.
Italians are big fans of cycling and despite stereotypical reputations most drivers are considerate and courteous to cyclists. A friendly toot of the horn will often precede a passing car leaving you plenty of space.
A challenging day 6 takes you up to Passo Maniva and the only Alpine stage.
Road Cycling Grade
45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day
For riders with experience, good fitness & a decent level of skill
Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher grade tour
Most days include a couple of significant climbs
Some long days & some steep to very steep sections
Not for beginners
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
You’re definitely not a novice rider, you’re fit, you ride regularly at weekends, sometimes staying on the bike for much of the day, you love your bike! You also enjoy a challenge and if you haven’t already done so you’re keen to attempt a semi-serious to serious mountain pass or two. You’re as comfortable with the prospect of descending from the top of a col as you are with the idea of climbing it and you’re confident that you have the skills to do so safely. You’re not necessarily a “racer” but you can crank up the pace a little when it’s necessary and you don’t mind forgoing a coffee stop if the schedule demands it occasionally. You probably own and use clipless pedals. You have good control of your bike and can take a drink from a water bottle without having to unclip and put your feet on the ground. Whilst you find a full day in the saddle fulfilling you’re not obsessed and as much as you are looking forward to the riding on your holiday, you’re also looking forward to a little local culture and cuisine. Grade 3 would be a good option for you.
For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.
The route of the tour was fantastic, delivering some challenging riding in spectacular surroundings. The tour leader dealt most admirably with the group dynamics!
Dates & Prices
Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit
Book now with a £200 deposit and nothing more to pay until 60 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en-suite rooms)
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides
D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in First Aid
E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers
F) Ferry crossing Bellagio – Varenna
G) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Milan Malpensa airport (MXP)
H) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Verona airport (VRN)
I) Financial Protection through ABTOT
What's not Included
A) Bike rental (available if required)
B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
C) Meals not stated in the itinerary
D) Single room (available if required)
E) Travel insurance
F) Personal clothing and equipment
G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)
H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route
I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days
Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.
A day in the life on a cycling holiday
Eat, ride, relax, repeat! We take a trip inside the mind of a cyclist as they navigate their day on tour...
Why we love Italy!
Here are 7 things you'll only understand if you've cycled in Italy and why we're so eager for you to join us here...
Alison, Surrey, UKOne of the most enjoyable holidays I can remember...
The service was excellent- brilliant communication with head office in the weeks leading up to the trip, and extremely professional service from the three guides Danilo, Wally and Simone whilst on the trip. Also, Skedaddle roadside snacks and picnic lunches are superb.
My favourite day was climbing and descending the Passo Maniva on Day 6, I had such a sense of achievement after completing what was for me the most challenging thing that I have ever done on a bike.
Thank you so much – I had an excellent holiday on the Lakes of Lombardia trip, one of the most enjoyable holidays I can remember! :)
Sarah, Oxfordshire, UKSuperb routes and brilliant guides!
I had an absolutely amazing time in Italy. The routes were superb and the guides were brilliant – they looked after us all really well and made it such an enjoyable holiday. I also really appreciated the time Danilo, the tour leader, took to make sure my bike was set up correctly, as well as the number of pre holiday emails I had with Kerry and Jacky from the Skedaddle office who were both super patient with all my questions!
Elaine, Lancashire, UKAnother Skedaddle quality trip...
Lakes of Lombardia is a fantastic trip. I knew that the cycling would be challenging for me & I wasn’t disappointed!! But everything is doable ascents / distance / pace are very well planned. It’s fair to say I felt a great sense of achievement at the end of the trip.
The hotels were excellent and all very comfortable and the picnics prepared by the team were great and it worked really well to have picnic / restaurant lunches on alternate days.
The tour leader Dani was always relaxed but reassuring and very encouraging. Always gave very clear descriptions of the routes.
This was my second Skeddadle trip – have also used several other companies & I believe Skeddadle really deliver on quality trips -guides / routes / accommodation. I’m already thinking about which trip to choose next!
Pam, AustraliaI had a wonderful time with the tour. Many thanks!
Both Nicola and Lieven were amazing. Both on the bikes, riding and in all aspects of support. Always with a smile. Great job boys. They truly made the holiday. I felt safe on the busy roads and was really well fed!!
James, NewcastleOne of the most incredible experiences I have ever had...
San Pellegrino – Sarnico It had everything – ferry trip, short sharp leg warmer, a long, long climb through stunning Italian villages, an amazing downhill (I enjoyed the downhills) and then a great pace line through the twisting lake side tunnels that felt like the final miles of Milan San Remo to our hotel at lake Iseo.
I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Skedaddle and in particular the Lakes of Lombardy trip to another cyclist. I met some amazing people and saw some stunning sights, and have memories that will last forever.
The documentation provided and regular contact points meant I knew what was going to happen and when, how much had been paid, what was outstanding, when I was flying, what to expect out there, and my expectations were handled perfectly.
Anthony, UKI would happily repeat every day again...
The holiday was extremely well organised throughout. We had a fantastic time and now we‘re looking forward to our next holiday with you. We sampled great company, stunning scenery, wonderful food and good accommodation.
Every day was different but all of them thoroughly enjoyable. The information provided was excellent. All in all very good value for money!
Koen, BelgiumAlready planning my next Skedaddle trip...
Everything was excellent: bike, lunches, diners, locations, guides etc….were at the usual Skedaddle level – unbeatable!
Mark, SussexDifficult to find fault!
Rides, hotel, food all good. My feeling is Naomi (tour guide) just about always get it right in leadership and organisation.
Madeleine, AustraliaGuides were faultless.
It was a lot harder than I expected but our excellent guides Wally and Stefano supported me through the hardest bits. Being a solo traveller at the last minute and the only female they made sure I was well looked after. Communication before the tour was fantastic. Guides were faultless. Too hard to pick one day. Everyday had its highlights. Ghizola, riding down into Lake Garda, Passo Zambla, and riding along the lakes through the frightening tunnels were all highlights.
As stated previously, Wally and Stefano were beyond excellent. They kept the group together and provided the support needed when things got tough. They were also delightful people without egos and clearly love what they are doing. We were lucky to have such a small group so we could all easily enjoy their company. I found them both very inspirational and would happily invite them to my home if they ever came to Australia. The office was helpful answering questions about the area and arranging for a drop off at the train station rather than the airport. I felt this tour was good value for money.
Jo, SheffieldThanks for yet another great holiday...
The cycling was wonderful – and proved just the challenge I was after. The hotels were first rate which was great after a hard day in the saddle. The guides all spoke English and were extremly helpful and supportive.