The GLR 36
The GLR 36 motorcycle adventure route explores the great glacial lakes of Northern Italy! With 341 kilometers of adventurous routes and idyllic shorelines. Don’t wait and adventurise this GLR!
The GLR 36 “the great lakes of Italy”
|Dezzo di Scalve - Gravellona Toce||341km|
|0km off-road||May / September|
The GLR 36 motorcycle adventure route leads you for over 341 kilometers through the Lombardy region of Northern Italy. With a total of 4 connecting GLRs to this GLR 36, you’re able to continue to Adventurise the region. Let’s get going!
The GLR 36 is a novice route and can be ridden by any adventure rider. More information about the GLR Route Gradings System.
Ready to adventurise the great glacial lakes of Northern Italy? Great, because with the GLR 36 you’re going to explore Lake Como, Lake Lugano, and Lake Maggiore. Aren’t the shorelines your thing? Don’t worry, because the hinterland provides you with the beautiful twisties Italy is known for.
From your start at Dezzo di Scalve, you follow the ss671 down south for 8 kilometers to Cantoniera della Presolana. These first few kilometers set the right tone for the rest of the route. At Nossa, you continue your journey to the east on the SP46. From Cantoni on, this twisty road leads you up the mountain.
At the top of the mountain, the GLR 36 continues on the SP27 down into the valley at Valpiana. Follow the SP26 to arrive in Antea. You’re already 70km into this adventure and almost halfway of the mountainous section between Lake Como and Dezzo di Scalve.
At San Giovanni Bianco, follow the SP25 over the many twists and turns in the direction of Avolasio. The road will eventually flow into the SP64 and lead you up north to Cassina Valsassina.
Just after the village of Balisio, the SP64 continues on the SP62. You follow this road right up to Lecco at the eastern corner of Lake Como. From here, you ride amongst the shoreline of the eastern leg of Lake Como on the SP538.
In the village of Onno, you turn to the west to explore the region in between the legs of the Lake. You follow the SP46 to Asso. From here you continue to explore the hinterlands on the SP44 to the shoreline on the far side at Nesso.
Here at Nesso, you can choose to take the ferry across the lake. For the ferry, you have to travel 15km to the north to Bellagio. Here, the ferry service connects the cities of Bellagio, Menaggio, Verenna, and Cadenabbia.
When you take the ferry to Cadenabbia, you’ll need to ride amongst the shoreline for another 10km to the south to connect with the GLR 36 in Argegno. If you follow the initial route alongside the southern shoreline, it’ll take you 37km to reach Argegno as well. Although taking the ferry is a bit shorter, I would reserve your ferry budget for Lake Maggiore later on.
From Argengo on, you follow the SP15 into the lush mountain roads in between Lake Como and Lake Lugano. Although these lakes are densely inhabited, this is a quiet piece of mountainous forest. Perfect for escaping the busy roads along the shoreline.
At Bissone, you take the bridge across Lake Lugano and follow its shoreline up to Paradiso. This is going to be the last stretch of the GLR 36. A Little gem is hiding in between the lakes of Lugano and Maggiore! The SP23 counts 30 hairpin turns, and the SP8 counts another 24! Have fun, I would say.
At Luino, you have the option to take the ferry across the lake again. This time, I would recommend taking the ferry. Circumnavigating will take about 70 kilometers. Taking the ferry only takes you 12km to reach your destination in Gravelona Toce. It’s here where you can continue your motorcycle adventure on two other GLRs. More about those in the connections section down below.
Lombardy is one of the twenty regions of Italy. Located in the northwest of the country, it almost counts 10 million inhabitants. Making it Italy’s most populated region. Combined with an on average high GDP, Lombardy is the most populated, richest, and most productive region.
Besides this modern wealth, Lombardy knows a rich historical past as well. The region was called home by two different popes, and it knows the most UNESCO World Heritage sites of the world. But where the real Adventurisers come for is Lombardy’s natural beauty.
The region can be divided into three main natural zones namely the mountains, hills, and plains. All with its distinctive features to please all of your adventure riding needs. In the north, you find the High Alpine region with a predominant Alpine climate above 1500m. More to the south, the lower alps gradually fade away into the plains surrounding Milan.
Lombardy is dotted with numerous lakes. Predominantly in the north, you find most lakes with a glacial origin. Major lakes from east to west are Lake Garda, Lake Idro, Lake Iseo, Lake Como, Lake Lugano, and Lake Maggiore.
For Adventurisers, Lombardy is a beautiful region to explore, but it knows relatively high precipitation in summer. Thunderstorms appear out of nowhere, and hailstorms are a common phenomenon around the major lakes. Please keep an eye out for the weather while in the area!
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Connections in Dezzo di Scalve
At the small town of Dezzo di Scale, three adventure routes come together. After completing the GLR 36, you can continue your motorcycle adventure up north with the GLR 35. This adventure route crosses the famous Livigno Valley! Especially famous for its relatively low fuel prices! Also, during the summer, this is a cooler route in comparison to the GLR 37!
The GLR 37 leads you east across the lower Alpine plains and Lake Garda! During summer, this route can see temperatures exceeding 35 degrees. Therefore I would recommend this route only in spring and Autumn when the Northern routes are getting too cold. After 421 kilometers, you’ll end your journey in Arsiè.
Connections at Gravellona Toce
At Lake Maggiore, in the village of Gravellona Toce, you have two options to continue your motorcycle adventure! Take the GLR 31 to the lower plains surrounding Turin. This 342-kilometer long adventure route will lead you eventually to one of the adventure motorcycle capitals within Europe! With 60km of off-road kilometers predominantly concentrated at the end of the route, this GLR is a great route to get you to the High Alps.
Or you choose the GLR 32. This adventure route leads you up north into Switzerland. Although this is a more on-road-centered route, it provides you with some scenic vistas. Choose this route during the hot summer months. The altitude makes a real difference. You end this route after 176km in Innertkirchen.
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