Lakes of Lombardia and Piemonte: Part 4 The Lago di Como to the Lago di Varese and Lago Maggiore

Published on:  | Last updated: 26 December 2019

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Como to Varese 26 kms
Varese to Sesto Calende 34 kms

This section of the tour takes you from Como to the Lago Maggiore via the city of Varese and the Lago di Varese. If you look at the map of the Como area you’ll see that it’s a dense tangle of main roads and motorways and this route provides a way of threading your way through the tangle. It’s one of those routes you wouldn’t discover without local knowledge - or at least a detailed map. That said, the section of the route along the SS342 from Varese is a bit dull.

After that it gets more inter­esting and the section of the ciclabile around Lago di Varese is a nice place for a tranquil saunter.


The route connects at Sesto Calende with the Ticino cycleway which takes you to Pavia and the Po or you can follow the Naviglio Grande into central Milano. You could also follow the Tour of the Western Lakes.


The GPS Varese website has lots of suggested routes for day-rides in the Varese area see the overview of the road bike routes here. These could be adapted to offer several options for an altern­ative route to the Lago Maggiore.

More information

Places to stay

Hotels and B&Bs

Find and book places to stay with pages for places on this section of the route:

About these links

If you use these links to book accom­mod­ation will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.

I use to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirm­ation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accommodation.

I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the oppor­tunity to let me know if there’s a problem.

Many properties offer free cancel­lation but it’s a good idea to check the condi­tions as these vary from property to property.


There is a campsite at the Lago di Monate (no website, see listings page) and a number close to Sesto Calende including the Italia Lido and the Camping Lido Monvalle further north. TripAdvisor lists 6 hotels.

  Campsites map:  LLP-campsites-map-show map in overlay    |    LLP-campsites-map-show map in new window 

Transport and services


There’s a train station at Sesto Calende with services to Milano. The cycleway also passes close to Milano’s Malpensa airport.

Articles in this series

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Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.

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