Things to Do in Lago Maggiore
Mountain biking & other outdoor activities around Lago Maggiore
If you’re looking for ideas of things to do in Lago Maggiore, Elia and Stefano (adventure enthusiasts and locals from the area) have come up with a list of activities to consider for your next trip to the area:
Mountain Biking in Lago Maggiore
Mountain biking in the Lago Maggiore (Lake Maggiore) area in Piedmont is a very particular experience. My brother and I have biked in more popular mountain bike destinations in Italy and Europe, but nothing is comparable to some of the bike tours you can do in Lago Maggiore. From the super easy trails down to the big lake in Fondotoce, to the steep and technical bike trails in Val d’Ossola, Lago Maggiore offers experiences for every level and ability.
The main reason to mountain bike (MTB) here is the peacefulness. Most of the places are quite wild…no ski chairlifts, no traffic and not many people. It’s mostly about silence, peacefulness and a true contact with nature. There are many places which are still not on the tourist track around Lago Maggiore so it’s not busy like other touristic places. There are many steep climbs to reach some of the best places but, with an E-bike, even those who are not very fit can enjoy a ride and have a beautiful experience. Another reason to visit Lago Maggiore is the local food and the different styles you can find in the villages. Each valley is a unique place in itself, which is worth a visit. Not to mention, culture, history and local food complete the package. So it’s much more than just mountain biking, it’s a full experience!
Outdoor Activities Around Lago Maggiore
What are the top places to visit for adventure sports & other outdoor activities in Lago Maggiore?
Let me speak as a local. If you fancy an adrenaline rush and not much sweat, one of the top spots is the Lago Maggiore Zipline. Flying along the valley Intrasca , close to the border of the Parco Nazionale Valgrande and in front of Lago Maggiore, it’s an experience you must do! I cooperate with them, so if you fancy some mountain biking here, we offer a MTB Guided tour called “Linea Cadorna Bike Tour”, then you can fly on the zipline and have a nice meal at a local restaurant afterwards.
The mountain Mottarone is another top place to visit. Some easy fun (thanks to Alpyland), a top view of the area and a lot of mountain biking trails which can lead you to Lago d’Orta as well. You can even take a cable car from Lago Maggiore to Mottarone and enjoy the spectacular views!
Close to the Mottarone, another top place for mountain biking is Colazza. Local people created the “Altovergante MTB Arena”, offering lots of trails for every ability and E-bike rentals too.
If you fancy some other adventures in the mountains you must contact the guys at Lago Maggiore Canyoning. They will lead you on your canyoning adventure. They also offer mountaineering opportunities in many special places around Lago Maggiore.
Hiking and Trekking in Lago Maggiore – Valgrande National Park
Hiking or trekking is one of the most beautiful experiences you can do here. Search for Cooperativa Valgrande, or check out the Facebook page “Marco Broggio Guida”. One of the most special places is Valgrande National Park. It’s the wildest park in Europe. Wilderness is truly the main word to describe it. A very fascinating place BUT BE CAREFUL! It is very wild. There are maps and signs for visitors, however, if you get lost it can become a dangerous experience. So if you think this is your perfect place to visit, be sure to get in contact with the National Park and their local guides for advice and consider booking a Guide even if you are an experienced hiker.
Fancy seeing one of the biggest mountains in Europe? Monterosa is here waiting for you. On a clear day, you will notice it for sure, wherever you are. You can get close to it by visiting the little Walser style village Macugnaga. Just down the Est Wall, which is the biggest alpine wall in all of Europe and the only Himalayan style in all of the Alps.
Sporting Events in Lago Maggiore
I’m a sport guy so I cannot forget to mention our sporting events. Running here is becoming part of our culture. This region is PERFECT for trail running. There are many events for everyone! From the Lago Maggiore Zipline Trail, the Monterosa Est Himalayan Trail to 10k and Ultra Running. In fact, Bettelmatt Ultra Trail (BUT) and Ultra Trail Lago D’Orta (UTLO) are becoming international events with many top athletes coming from all around the world to participate.
Road running too…we have the Lago Maggiore Marathon and the Lago Maggiore Half marathon. The opportunity to run along the most panoramic course in Italy, with a top level organisation.
Now, let’s get back to MTB. Fancy some downhill? You cannot miss the San Domenico Bike Park. The only bike park in the area still in full development. It is close to one of the most beautiful places in Europe: the Alpe Veglia and Alpe Devero (quite far from Lago Maggiore but not too much).
My brother and I created Lago Maggiore Bike Tours to help people discover the area with mountain bike guides from the National Academy and we are creating some “zone” and “thematic tours” for every ability. Our goal is to let you discover the uniqueness of this area and we truly believe the various outdoor activities and places mentioned here are just the start!
Things to do in Lago Maggiore Guest Blog post by:
ELIA SACCHELLI: I have been passionate about adventures and outdoor sports since I was a child. Mountain biking is only a part of it, as I started to do training for endurance adventures in three different sports. Mountain biking is one of those activities which I fell in love with many years ago. Eventually, I had an idea: to combine my passion for mountain biking and my past experience of organising motorcycling tours, to become a certified MTB Guide and create a new local reality, to help people discover these awesome places around Lake Maggiore on a bike.
STEFANO SACCHELLI: Since I was young I’ve been in close connection with nature, mountains and sports. I discovered snowboarding at the age of 16 but this was only the beginning. Over the years, I realized that I wanted to understand more about the mountains and, step by step, I got closer to other sports inspired by my passion to discover different facets. At this stage mountain climbing , split boarding , mountaineering and mountain biking become all parts of the research giving me the opportunity to live moments that stay in my mind forever.