It's a sunny day: time to hop on the bike and go off on a tour. After a hearty breakfast in Locarno, we head for the Cardada-Cimetta. The route winds its way up the flank, past Monte Brè (apparently the sunniest mountain in Switzerland) all the way to Cardada. We pass some fabulous vantage points and encounter new villas and ancient traditional rustici. After the 17-plus km ascent, we're glad to be able to take a breather, enjoy the sensational panorama of Lake Maggiore and fortify ourselves in the restaurant with polenta cooked over a wood fire, washed down with a gazosa lemonade: we've earned it, after all! Now comes the descent on a 6 km single trail through the Val Resa, followed by a metalled road back to Locarno.
The Cardada Bike route (intermediate difficulty, 30 km) presents a few technical challenges. To avoid the long ascent, you can take the aerial cableway to Cardada and focus on enjoying the thrilling descent through the Val Resa.