Italian Lakes and Swiss Alps Bike Tour in 2011

Mary and I did the first of two back-to-back bike tours in the Alps with Breaking Away in June 2011. The first three days of this six-day tour were in the Lake District of Italy and Switzerland, and the second three days were in the Swiss Alps. We biked 33 miles on our warmup day and 304 miles with 28,500 ft of climbing during the tour. There were 20 guests in total plus four guides: Greg and Teri Hogan, Mitch Clinton, and Oleg Bozhor.

Here is the itinerary for the tour.

Day 0 (Friday, June 24): We arrive at the Milan Malpensa airport and shuttle to the nearby Novotel Malpensa in Cardano al Campo, our hotel for the night. We go for an out-and-back warmup ride to and along the Canale Naviglio Grande. We bike 33 miles.

Day 1 (Saturday, June 25): Shuttle to Arona on Lago Maggiore. Then bike along the lake to Stresa, do a loop to Orta San Giulio, and spend the night at Hotel Astoria in Stresa. We bike 57 miles with 2,800 ft of climbing.

Day 2 (Sunday, June 26): Bike from Stresa on Lago Maggiore to Bellagio on Lago di Como, where we spend two nights at Hotel Belvedere. We take two ferries, go in and out of Switzerland by Lago di Lugano, and bike 68 miles with 2,800 ft of climbing.

Day 3 (Monday, June 27): Bike a loop to Madonna del Ghisallo, where there is a chapel, cycling museum, and cycling monument. We bike 22 miles with 2,500 ft of climbing and swim 400 m in the hotel pool.

Day 4 (Tuesday, June 28): Do a long shuttle to Roveredo in Switzerland. Then bike over Passo del San Bernardino (2,066 m) to Hotel Eden Montana in Ilanz. We bike 76 miles with 7,200 ft of climbing.

Day 5 (Wednesday, June 29): Shuttle a short way to Disentis, bike out and back to Lukmanierpass (1,920 m), and then bike over Oberalppass (2,046 m) to Alpenhotel Schlussel in Andermatt. We bike 44 miles with 6,500 ft of climbing.

Day 6 (Thursday, June 30): Bike from Andermatt over Furkapass (2,436 m) and Nufenenpass (2,478 m or 8,130 ft) to finish in Airolo after 37 miles of biking with 6,700 ft of climbing. Do a long shuttle back to Novotel Malpensa in Cardano al Campo to end the tour.

Photos and commentary follow.