A trip of relaxation and nature, biking to the discovery of herons, swans and pretty villages
  • Travelling time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Family
  • Why we love it: Because of its simplicity and its rich wildlife
  • Length: 28 km
  • Total Elevation Gain: 40 m
  • Way to travel: by bike
  • Cost: 0 €
  • Our Advice: The stations of Varese, Gavirate and Travedona-Biandronno are the closest to the path that runs around the lake. Take advantage of the service that allows you to transport your bicycles on the trains and choose the most convenient station!

We start from Gavirate, but you can choose the most convenient starting point. From the station, we take Via Roma, which will lead us to the lake; from here we follow the clear signs to the cycle-path. We continue in a clockwise direction, towards south. Then we reach Voltorre, where stands a fascinating cloister of medieval origins; once part of a Benedictine monastery, it is now the center of cultural and musical events, and art exhibitions.


Cloister of Voltorre from the inside
Cloister of Voltorre, photo by kristobalite via Flickr

We continue on the cycle-path, surrounded by lush vegetation. We arrive at Calcinate del Pesce, in the municipality of Varese, where you can live a great adventure: gliding. By seeing the lake from the glider you will discover a new, exciting and unique point of view. Continuing to bike we pass the charming and picturesque town of Schiranna, the lido of Varese, and Buguggiate. The landscapes of the track are different and charming, the lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains, water lilies floating in the lake and beautiful lotus flowers.


Lotus flowers floating in the lake of Varese
Lotus flowers, photo by Danilo Gallotti via Flickr

Keep close your binoculars: the lake is home to a rich fauna: cormorants, herons, swans and moorhens lurk in every corner.


Red heron in the Lake of Varese
Red heron in the Lake of Varese

Along the cycle-path, we touch many other villages: Azzate, Bodio Lomnago, Cazzago Brabbia, and Cassinetta Biandronno. From here you can reach the isolino Virginia (islet Virginia), charming dwelling site and archaeological park, a World Heritage Site. A few more kilometers along the shore and we are back in Gavirate. We deserve a break on the lakefront and a small purchase: look for a bakery and buy the famous Brutti e buoni (Ugly and good) biscuits, typical of the city!


Typical biscuits of Gavirate
Brutti e Buoni, typical biscuits of Gavirate, photo by Kristina via Flickr


 Cover image: Lake of Varese, photo by Cook24v via Flickr 

Author: Chiara Marras


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