Published on: 21 March 2013 | Last updated: 26 December 2019
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|Como to Varese
|Varese to Sesto Calende
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.
Places to stay
Hotels and B&Bs
Find and book places to stay with Booking.com
Booking.com pages for places on this section of the route:
About these links
If you use these links to book accommodation Booking.com will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.
I use Booking.com 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.
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.