Motorcycle tours in the Canton of Ticino: more touring tips
Discover the wild rivers and lonely valleys
There are plenty of other things to explore all around the lakes, for fans of exhilarating bends and for nature lovers alike. The River Maggia, for instance, which flows into Lake Maggiore between Ascona (8) and Locarno (7). You can follow its course up to the area of its source, sometimes down in the idyllic valley bottom and other times up steep inclines with tight bends. Beyond Lavizzara, for example. Here the River Maggia is forced down a gorge. It is great for motorcyclists because the road snakes down a series of hairpin bends before rejoining the river. Awaiting you at the end of the river is Lake Sambuco with its impressive dam.
One of the most beautiful things we discovered whilst taking the photos for Louis was a tributary valley to the Maggia, the Rovana Valley, which branches off to the west near Cevio. A long way along this valley, which is particularly alluring for both the biking and the scenery, between deep-green pastures and forests, lies Bosco Gurin, an ancient village and the only German-speaking community in the Italian-speaking Canton of Ticino.
Yet more of a nature experience is provided by the famous Valle Verzasca. The point at which this valley joins the lake is dominated by a 220-metre-high dam (with bungee jump à la James Bond). Beyond the dam awaits a steep-sided valley of wild beauty with numerous waterfalls and the characteristic green water associated with the Verzasca region. The "ponte dei salti" twin-arched Roman bridge is famous all round the world, as its image appears on so many postcards. This valley incorporates a number of different climatic zones in a remarkably small area, and almost the entire flora and fauna of Ticino can be found here. For this reason the valley has been designated a conservation area. It is worth getting off your motorbike here and taking a look around on foot or by mountain bike.
Many of the tributary valleys in Ticino are surprisingly well developed for vehicle access, and motorcyclists reap the benefit of these wonderful roads. The main reason for the existence of these roads, however, is the Canton's huge investment in hydropower. More than 50% of the energy produced in Switzerland is stored up behind the many dam walls. Ticino has found other ways of using its dams, of which the aforementioned bungee jump at Lake Vogorno is just one. At Lago di Luzzone more than 650 climbing holds have been fitted to the curved face of the dam to create the tallest climbing wall in the world. The approach route via the Blenio Valley with its tight bends might even make some motorcyclists feel as if they have been out rock climbing.
Ticino for when you park your bike up
Information on all aspects of travelling in Ticino.
- Top image: Valle Verzasca: The "ponte dei salti", a twin-arched Roman bridge, is the symbol for one of the most beautiful valleys in the Alps. © Jörg Künstle
Motorcycle trips in the Canton of Ticino
The ideal roundtrip for motorcycle fans willing to discover the Ticino on two wheels. The castles of Bellinzona and the mountain Monte San Giorgio (both UNESCO world heritage sites), the lake promenade in Ascona and the panoramic peak of mountain Monte Brè are just some highlights of this tour through the Italian part of Switzerland.
1 Maps note
To ensure you are able to try out our touring suggestions for yourself, the gpx downloads provided here offer a large number of intermediate destinations. This means they have a high data volume and cannot be directly represented on every sat nav system. To modify this, you can import these gpx files into the routing program suitable for your sat nav, and then divide them into portions digestible for the device. The final file size is then dependent upon the sat nav model and the accompanying software version. If you do not have routing software, this file can also be edited in the standard online routing systems. They offer the appropriate conversion tools for virtually all devices on the market.