A Classic Road Cycling Route in the mountains on the border between the Italian Lakes & Mountains and Switzerland. Albeit in Switzerland, we’ve listed this within our Italian mountains section in order to merge it into a trip to Italy, staying in the border ten of Lugano.
Mary Wilke, Germany
A trip I will remember forever – A rollercoaster of emotions and landscapes.
But let me start with the key figures. Lago del Narèt is a reservoir, which is the source of the river Maggia and is located in the northern Italian part of Switzerland (Canton of Ticino) in a height of 2311 m a.s.l.
The climb up to Lago del Narèt is the paved road with the most elevation gain in Switzerland, from start to finish, we had 70,5 kms of climbing with an elevation gain of nearly 2100 m
Distance and ascent: 127 km and 2,482 metres of climbing
Our gpx starts the route in the small town of Giubiasco, north of Lugano, with ample facilities.
1. It was a sunny and warm day, no clouds were seen and the sky was stealth blue. Best conditions for a hard and long but also impressive day on the bike.
Ticino is characterized by it’s souther climate, we were surrounded by palms and the typical smell and handled the first elevation gain through the beauty of Valle Maggia, until the road leads further away from the river and the traffic became less.
2. We crossed one beautiful and small mountain village after another and noticed, how the landscapes turned more and more from a southern climate to a deciduous forest. The real and hard climb starts nearly at kilometre 40 – Serpentine and steep sections characterised the beginning of suffering.
3. At kilometre 58, we crossed the Lago Sambuco, which marks the start of the last but hardest kilometres – The gradient was permanently between 9 and 20 %. Slowly the nature around us turns into a rugged landscape, I was fighting against the painful and screaming legs and slowly hoped, that this torture would be over soon!
4. Finally, the view made us forget all the pain. Deep blue water in a setting of snow covered mountains – No traffic, no tourists, just pure nature around us…There are many few places where you’ll find something like this and we found paradise on 2311m a.s.l.
So the climb up to Lago del Narèt is a real insider tip for those, who are looking for quiet routes, breathtaking landscapes and who are not shying away from a long and hard climb. And where else would you have the chance to challenge a climb through nearly all climate zones, without traffic and on adventurous roads? It’s worth a trip for sure!
Click below for gpx file