The itinerary starts from the lakefront of Lake Maggiore in Verbania Intra, near the old boat station.
How to get there
You can get to the starting point from Autostrada A26, exiting at Gravellona Toce, or by ferry from Laveno.
Main features of the route
This is a round trip along the shores of Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta and Lake Mergozzo, involving a tour round the mountain of Mottarone between Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta. Wholly on surfaced roads, the itinerary touches on several towns and villages on the lake, and provides spectacular views of the lakes and the surrounding mountains.
From the old boat station of Intra, leave in the direction of Pallanza, keeping to the lakeside road until after Suna, when you join the State Road (SS) 34 towards Fondotoce. Before you get to the roundabout turn right then immediately left for Mergozzo; cycle along the side of the lake and go through the village. Outside the village turn left at the foot of the isolated hill of Montorfano.
At the junction turn right towards Gravellona Toce, and go through the town in the direction of Omegna. When you get to Omegna turn left at the traffic lights and take the Lake Orta road to Gozzano. The atmosphere of this prealpine lake is different from that of Lake Maggiore or Lake Mergozzo; the whole area appears as an out-of-the-way corner of romantic serenity. The little island of San Giulio is strikingly picturesque, set in the emerald green water that mirrors the surrounding mountains.
Go into Gozzano at the first roundabout, and then straight on the Briga Novarese road. At the junction turn left in the direction of Invorio, and when you get to the crossroads go straight down towards Paruzzaro. After the village the road goes down again to the roundabout at Oleggio Castello, where you turn left to go through the village. Outside the village you begin your descent to Arona, an attractive little town on the southernmost part of Lake Maggiore, famous for its huge statue of San Carlo Borromeo and the remains of its castle.
You leave Arona via a short uphill ramp to join the State Road (SS) 33, continuing on this road right to Feriolo and going through all the towns on the western shore of the lake.
When you get to the roundabout at Fondotoce, turn right for Verbania. You can stay on this road as far as Intra, passing a series of roundabouts, without having to go down to the lakefront at Suna.
Bus: VCO in bus
Refreshment facilities: there is a wealth of bars and restaurants in Pallanza, Suna, Mergozzo, Gravellona Toce, Omegna, Gozzano, Invorio, Paruzzaro, Feriolo and Oleggio Castello.