GPS Track Dates of the Hike at the Maggiore Lake to Monte Mottarone
- Duration: 6 hours, without a lunch break and detours
- Difficulty level: 1 out of 5
- Distance: 20,7 km
- Lowest altitude: Stresa 208 m
- Highest altitude: Monte Mottarone 1462 m
- Total climb: 1364 m
- Total descend: 1432 m
Starting Point in Baveno
The hike begins above Baveno, in the Tranquilla Oltrefiume district, which begins north of the pier after the bridge over the torrent. Turn left from the main road, following the Camping Tranquilla signs. The hiking trail begins shortly after the campsite and leads up through the forest via the motorway tunnel.
Ascent to the alp Alpe Vedabia
At the junction to Mt. Camoscio, we take the direct route to Alpe Vedabia. It continues uphill until we reach the Alpe. It will take us 45 minutes to walk about 1.6 km and climbing 200 meters in altitude. There are a few cows and horses. Otherwise, the place seems uninhabited and uninviting. From Alpe Vedabia we follow the signs for Monte Zughero. The first part of the way leads together with the way to Mt. Camoscio. After about 30 minutes the paths separate and we continue up to Monte Zughero.
Ascent to Monte Zughero
Again and again, we are overwhelmed by the view and can hardly get enough of it. We see the lake with its islands surrounded by steep mountains. The view sweeps over the snow-covered Alpine belt in the north. Towards the east, the mountains are lower and lower to pass almost suddenly into the Po Valley, where the view is lost in the flat landscape. In good visibility, you can see the skyscrapers of Milan and the golden Madonnina on the Milan cathedral flashing in the sun. The Apennine Mountains start further south from Genoa. Silence and peace surround the toy world that spreads among us. Only the chirping of birds and the rustling of the trees can be heard.
Climbing tours (Palestra Della Roccia) also lead past Monte Zughero and branch off from the main path. Once on the Monte Zughero, we experience a fantastic 360-degree all-round view. In the west, the Monte Rosa massif now appears outstanding and majestic. The detour to Monte Zughero was worth it and is a nice experience. Past Alpe Nuovo, which is only a few meters away, we take the path west to Mottarone.
Continue to Monte Mottarone
The name of the trails changes during the hike, so the trail to Monte Mottarone is marked with M, P, and VN, somewhat confusing for the uninitiated. It’s good that the goal is visible from here and that there are several ways to get there. On the western slope of the Mottarone is the hut managed by the CAI, the Italian Alpine Association, from which you can have a good view of Lake Orta with the island of San Giulio and, of course, the impressive Monterosa massif. In winter, Monte Mottarone is densely populated by skiers. There are several lifts and slopes. You can either get there by cable car from Stresa or by car, although the number of parking spaces is limited. Especially on very clear winter days, it is a real skiing experience with fantastic views over the Mediterranean lake at the foot of the mountain. Around Monte Mottarone there are enough places to stop for a snack indoors and outdoors. The Mottarone itself is littered with numerous antenna poles and lifts.
Descent to Stresa
Depending on the condition, the descent can be made by cable car or on foot to the intermediate station of the cable car or down to Stresa or Baveno. The first section to the intermediate station begins at the upper station of the cable car and leads along a former narrow-gauge train that once climbed the mountain. Accordingly, walking on gravel, especially in damp conditions, is only recommended with good footwear. There are signposted branches to Alpe Nuovo, Monte Zughero, and Baveno. Past the former valley station of the small railway, the hunting grounds of the noble family Borromeo and the dilapidated estate of Alpe Giardino. The path leads directly to the intermediate station Alpino of the cable car, where there is again a snack bar. We take the cable car to Stresa and enjoy the views over Lake Maggiore below. From Stresa, you can take the regular boat back to Baveno. Alternatively, some buses leave from the valley station just a few steps away. The bus stop is on the main street opposite the bar. The footpath along the street is not recommended as there is largely no footpath.