Looking to get out and go for a bike ride while in Umbria or Tuscany? One easy idea is the bike path around Lake Trasimeno.
On the border between Tuscany and Umbria sits Lake Trasimeno. With a 60km, or 37 miles, of official bike path it’s a great spot to explore rural Umbria: beautiful views, charming towns and ferries to small islands.
It’s an easy ride: the trail is flat more or less flat. And you don’t have to do the entire thing. Pick and choose how much, or little, you want to do. I would recommend a mountain bike though, as there are many areas that the trail is gravel. Not ideal for those thin tyres.
Basic Information about Biking around Lake Trasimeno
You really don’t have to cycle around all of Lake Trasimeno. I have several itineraries and suggestions for shorter trips and the most beautiful spots. Including ferry rides and island hopping.
How long is the bike ride?
From 15km to 60km or 9 miles to 37.23 miles
How long does it take?
Most people ride at about 15-20 km per hour, so biking around the entire lake takes somewhere between 3.5-4.5 hours, not including stops for photos, snacks and a meal.
Is the path well marked?
Mostly. This is Italy, so don’t expect great signage. And they’re still building parts.
Since the autumn of 2022 the area around Castiglione del Lago is now complete with very clearly marked paved bike paths. Some is painted red, others parts have a fence and ditch between you and the road. The bike path is on the side of the lake, and does cut away from the road quite quickly.
A few spots that aren’t clear, but they keep adding more signs and as long as you keep the lake in sight you’ll join back up.
What cities do you pass through?
- San Feliciano: a cute town famous for fishing
- Monte al Lago: a public walk and bike path with beaches and campsites
- Torricella: you’ll see some signs, but not the town.
- Passignano sul Trasimeno: you can get here by train from Perugia or Florence
- Tuoro: you don’t go near the town, but the ferry terminal, public beach and statue park
- Borghetto: tiny town you blink and you miss it in a car
- Castiglione del Lago: biggest town around the lake
- Sant’arcangelo: Stop at Faliero for Torta del Testo
- San Savino: I didn’t even notice it on a bike!
The Entire ‘Giro del Lago Trasimeno’ or Biking Around Trasimeno
Lake Trasimeno is in Umbria, but borders Tuscany. There is now an official bike trail all along the circumference of the lake. A total of 60km or just over 37 miles.
We’ve mostly done it in the spring, a sort of celebration with the arrival of spring and warmer weather. Those lovely days without wind are perfect. Head out in early May and enjoy all the poppies in the olive groves.
If you already have bikes and a car, start at Monte del Lago. It’s a nice spot since there’s lots of free parking and the trail that is obvious.
If you’re renting bikes then you’ll start a bit before, in San Feliciano, or a bit after, in Passignano sul Trasimeno.
You’ll pass by plots of land that have vegetable gardens, hundreds of olive trees and a public beaches. I stopped frequently to take pictures.
At this point you’ll be on a gravel road with the train tracks on your right (if heading towards Passingnano sul Trasimeno).
Before arriving in Passingnano you’ll end up on the road. You’ll pass by the ferry terminal. We passed through on the main road, but I wonder if it’s possible to keep on the trail by going down to the pedestrian path along the lake.
We stayed on the road, and once we passed the train station took a left under a very low bridge (duck!!!).
More fields and gravel roads and you end up biking past the beach below Tuoro with the sculpture park, Campo del Sole. You could stop here for the ferry to Isola Maggiore, a gelato or a swim in the lake.
Carry on along a winding bike path that ends with a paved road with hardly any traffic. Pass through the small town of Borghetto. Don’t worry: once you pass through the piazza there is a sign to return to the cycle path.
Here it’s a proper pedestrian/bike into Castiglione del Lago. It’s a marshy spot so there are little bridges, gravel paths and lots of birds. You’ll end up below the town of Castiglione del Lago, which is built on the hill. There are restaurants, bars and picnic tables along the pebbly lake front.
We had a picnic below Rocca del Leone, the fortress. The view across the lake lets you see just how far you’ve biked, (straight across the lake!) and to the west you can see Cortona, Tuscany.
Leaving Castiglione is now not scary, no need to be on the big road, there’s a bike path. Although pedestrians seem to feel it’s theirs as well.
Along the way to Sant’Arcangelo it’s all a proper bike path. Some of it follows the road, but it also cuts in and you go over lovely bridges. It’s pretty well signed throughout this area. Lots of arrows drawn in white on the path, they’re pointing in the wrong direction if you’re coming from Castiglione del Lago, but still very helpful.
San Savino you’re back on a, fairly quiet, road through the center of San Feliciano until Monte del Lago. Done!
It took us 4 hours of time on the bike. 6 hours in total with lots of little breaks taking photos, stops for coffee (gelato if it had been warmer) and lunch. By the end our bums were very sore and we did walk a few km to take a break.
The Best 15km to bike along Trasimeno lake
If you’re looking for something a little less full on, I would suggest biking from Campo del Sole (Tuoro) to Castiglione del Lago.
This should take just under an hour. From Castiglione del Lago you can take the ferry to Isola Maggiore and then Isola Maggiore to Tuoro. Bikes do cost a few euros more and not all the ferries take them so make sure to plan ahead. Here is a link to the ferry schedule.
I have more info about visiting the island Here.
This is definitely the prettiest part of the whole cycle and also one of the easiest and best marked. Stop and have lunch and then ride back or take the ferry to Tuoro.
The Best 40km (25 miles) to bike along Trasimeno Lake
For me, biking around half the lake is doable. As someone bikes infrequently, my bum hurt after 30km (18.5 miles), but not like after 50km (31 miles) when I had to dismount for a while.
I would suggest biking the northern half of Trasimeno lake.
Start at Monte del Lago and bike all the way to Castiglione del Lago.
From here get the ferry to Isola Maggiore. Stroll around the island, there are a few restaurants for lunch, an aperitivo or an espresso.
Then get the ferry to Passignano. Passignano to Monte del Lago is only 10km, or about 30 minutes. Hopefully not too much after the ferries and relaxing on Isola Maggiore.
A More Difficult Option for Biking Around Trasimeno Lake
A flat 60km not enough for you?
There is also a bike trail that goes from Perugia to Lake Trasimeno. It’s another 25km, or 15 miles, and far more hilly.
Here is a link to more information.
Should I Rent An E Bike?
The debate between an electric bike vs normal Mountain bike…I road around Lake Trasimeno on my ebike, which I love. We live on a big hill and it’s perfect for biking all the steep hills.
But for this ride I would have preferred a normal bike, like my husband had. They’re just so much lighter. And you just don’t need the battery help on flat rides.
So while we both love ebikes for mountains, and even hills, it’s harder going on flat terrain and I would suggest a normal mountain bike.
Where to rent a bike?
There are a few places around the lake, Passignano sul Trasimeno, San Feliciano or Castiglione de Lago. All are nice spots to begin riding and they all have ferries that connect them to other parts of the lake.
Or you could rent a bike closer to Perugia and make the bike ride harder and longer by doing the Perugia to San Feliciano ride.
Still Unsure if biking around Trasimeno is right for you?
People, myself included, spend their holiday in Italy eating lots of food, going to wine tastings and exploring museums and ancient monuments. So one day doing something slightly more energetic, like a bike ride, is a great way to clear your head.
But really? It’s a way to interact with locals, travel slowly, enjoy a sunny day in Umbria.