The Chestnut Route
The Chestnut Route
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Hiking Trails • Forests
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  • Niel K
    Kidderminster, United Kingdom20 contributions
    Amazing walk
    This is a beautiful, very scenic walk through woodland near Stresa. It's a lovely walk, six miles in total end to end. We did it on a hot day, so the tree cover was very welcome. The walk is quite challenging at times, not suitable for very small children unless you can carry them! The walk in ambiguous in places, make sure you take a map and have a fully charged mobile phone. Make sure you take food and drinks with you, as there are not many cafes or restaurants on the way, until you reach the end of the walk. At the end, we grabbed a very welcome drink by the lake, and then hopped on a bus back to Stresa. Would highly recommend this walk.
    Visited August 2019
    Written April 17, 2020
  • Brian8008
    Chester, United Kingdom377 contributions
    Nice walk through the woods
    Steep start and finish, shaded from the sun walking through the chestnut forest. Tree across the path at around half way, but passable. Walk either way and come back by boat.
    Visited September 2020
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 4, 2020
  • Ron M
    8 contributions
    Enchanting walk in the forest
    It’s an enchanting walk in the forest. Not many views of the lake, but it’s peaceful and beautiful. There are occasional encounters with Piemontese culture and lifestyle. Taking the hike in early October, I picked up a pocket-full of chestnuts to roast at my apartment.
    Visited October 2022
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
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Zoe B
Geneva13 contributions
Mar 2016
A good easy walk with views of the Lago Maggiore. If you take the train from Stresa to Belgirate, it takes five minutes. Walk slowly back to Stresa and be back in time for the next meal.
Written March 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AlenaD
Oakland, CA25 contributions
Aug 2015 • Solo
I did this walk (from Stresa to Belgirate) on my second day at Lago Maggiore and it was beautiful. It started to drizzle about halfway on the trail, but I found shelter under abandoned cottage ruins and a niche altar, so not only did I not get too wet, I have a decent story and the trail was blissfully almost entirely mine. (I did run into a British couple and once I continued on, I realized that they were going the wrong direction -- I do hope you two realized it before you arrived all the way back to Stresa!)

I did not find the walk to be strenuous, myself, but 'strenuous' is subjective! Everyone has different levels of ability and fitness, so your mileage may vary. There were some uphill bits, but nothing brutal. I was actually a bit surprised to look on my GPS and see that I was nearing the end of the trail, as it didn't feel like I'd walked 7km.

The pros: Beautiful walk in the woods, away from the crowds. A surprising number of ruined stone cottages line the trail. I enjoyed imagining the people and livestock that must have lived up there in the woods and had to hoof it everywhere, likely on the very trail I was walking.

The cons: It might have been smarter to go from Belgirate to Stresa, rather than vice versa. Once I was in Belgirate down by the lake, I realized it's a tiny little town -- the only facilities were a bar, a restaurant, and a grocery store (all down by the lake). The train station is half a mile from the lake. I was hungry, but it was Sunday afternoon, so the grocery store was closed, as was the restaurant. However, the guy at the counter of the bar was friendly and the place looked to be well-frequented by locals.

The ferry doesn't run super often and it looked like the train ran once every 2 hours. Getting back was kind of a pain, which is my fault entirely, because I didn't pay enough attention to the 'mind the schedules' advisement when reading about this walk. It'd be easier to catch ferries to Belgirate and hike to Stresa, which then puts you close(ish) to a ferry landing with more frequent departures.

Also, I have a bone to pick with whoever is responsible for the trail markings around Lago Maggiore. The first hike I did, there was no trail marker at an important T junction (trust me, I looked everywhere in the vicinity) and because I just had to guess, I wound up walking way out of my way to another town and tacking on another mile and a half to my already-long hike. This time, there was, AGAIN, a trail marker not present at a T-junction.

Fortunately, having learned from the last time, I had a GPS app with the Chestnut Path track loaded onto my phone. This wound up totally saving my butt at the aforementioned unmarked T-junction. Thankfully, I was able to figure out which direction I was supposed to be walking, and I did find a trail marker way down the road. The Brits I mentioned before, they got lost at this T-junction and went the wrong way, where we met just before I arrived at it. Seriously, get a GPS app on your phone if you're hiking in this area! The trail markers are not reliable -- they appear in plentiful amount when not needed (mid-trail with no possible turns) and then disappear in the most crucial moments.

I'm seriously tempted to bring some red and white paint on hikes with me when I come next...
Written October 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gvodbos
Mechelen, Belgium328 contributions
May 2015 • Couples
Stunning views over the lake while you walk through villages, meadows, in between mansions or woods. Relatively easy hiking trail, very well sign posted (suggest you download the scheme from the visitStresa website.
You will need hiking shoes or sport shoes, not casual footwear as there are several stretches with stones, and after a rainy period some areas can be wet.
Consider to come back by boat. Obviously the trail can be done in both directions.
Written May 31, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jethro672
London1,032 contributions
Oct 2016 • Solo
a wonderful way to discover the hamlets and countryside away from the sophisticated cosmopolitanism of the jetset lakeside towns...

3-4 hours. 11 kms. Moderate with some steep sections. I did it in trainers, but id recommend others, especially if its wet to take some sturdy walking shoes or boots.

I thought the best way to start was take the train to Belgirate from Stresa and start from there. The Tourist Info centre in Belgirate have some good maps and guides and Belgirate is lovely. The trekking signs are not clear everywhere
Written December 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ianatcambridge
St Ives, UK543 contributions
Jun 2017 • Couples
This is walk L2 and a leaflet can be obtained from tourist information at the ferry terminal in stresa. However is very well sign posted. We started the walk in Stresa turning right up a street beside a bar with Gigi on a sign opposite the small harbour. On the wall is a sign stating L2 to Beligrate. The walk has a number of these signs at key points and a lot of painted stripes beside the tracks so you should not get lost. Lovely combination of trees, churches, good footpath and some views of the lake. WARNING Do make sure you have planned your journey back. The last boat from Beligrate is very early afternoon. However there are trains from Beligrate station to Stresa but very few on Sundays. Taxis are not particularly cheap.
Written June 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EmiRu
Yorkshire33 contributions
Jun 2016 • Couples
We have done this walk several times and in both directions. It's a fairly easy walk, even in the heat as there is lots of shade in the trees. Lots of great views and interesting things to look at on the way, and the path is reasonably well marked (but do keep your eyes open for the trail markers). There is a regular bus running between Arona and Intra which calls at both Stresa and Belgirate, and we've found this to be the best option for getting back to Stresa, as the train and boat are less frequent.
Written July 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Debbie S
Northamptonshire 17 contributions
Aug 2017
Kids wanted to explore and had read abouth this route previous to going. Lovely and delightful. The views were well worth the steep uphill walk in places. We didn't walk all the way to Belgrite as you can always stop and come back when you wish. Weather was hot so was nice to have a cool place to walk, and view the smaller hamlets around Stresa.
Written August 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

786Lesley19
Clitheroe, UK118 contributions
Sep 2015 • Couples
Well people's idea of uphill must be different! There were some continuous uphill bits from Stresa and very steep down hill bits at the end - having said that it was interesting and large parts of it a delight to walk - we ended up in Lesa - don't quite know how - hence the longer time! But boy was the restaurant we found worth it! Would recommend you reward yourself with lunch at Batti Palo there - well worth it
Written September 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

StevenSue
New York City, NY161 contributions
Aug 2015 • Couples
This was a very well marked, easy to follow, moderate hike. It was more uphill than we expected, and pretty much every bit of two and a half hours walking.

This is the kind of hike I just love in Italy. You start and end in city/village centers, and you get to see the villages and some beautiful villas on the outskirts of the town. On the hike there are a couple of churches, some abandoned very old buildings, and wonderful views.

You can get a trail map at the tourist office at the ferry terminal. We hiked from Stresa to Belgirate in the morning, got lunch at a nice café in Belgirate (La Bruma), and then caught the 1:50 ferry. There are only 5 ferries a day from Belgirate, so you might want to plan your walk around those. The highly dependable local ferry has an easy to use schedule at: http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/m_orari_1.asp

The train back to Stresa from Belgirate would be another alternative—just check that schedule for planning your trip, also.

In Belgirate stop at the church near the top of the hill—you will be admiring its steeple for several hundred yards before you get to it. The trail, by then on a small road, goes right past it. We enjoyed this little church more than any other we visited in the area.

(Here is one additional option on your ferry back to Stresa: We took the 1:50 ferry from Belgirate which goes to Stresa. We bought a ticket only to Santa Caterina, a dramatic but small church with beautiful views back across the water. We stopped there and did a quick look and then bought a ticket on the 2:20 ferry from Santa Caterina to Stresa. I wished we had a couple more minutes in Santa Caterina—but not much more than that. The ferry stop is right at Santa Caterina—three minutes of stairs and walking and you are at the very fine old church. So this worked out nicely for us for a quick look. The ferry schedules are posted on the Tourist Information building in Belgirate, so when you get to the ferry landing you can figure out if this still works.)
Written August 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rebekka2001
Lod, Israel90 contributions
Jun 2018 • Family
We began the route from Belgirate to Stresa ( took a taxi-about 20 euros) and I believe that it was the right choice. I didn't find that the route is clearly marked. Several times we were really confused where to go. If you are visiting Lake Maggiore for only a couple of days, don't waste your time on this route. It felt like one more school field trip as they have in Israel. Anyway sporting shoes, water and being in some shape is recommended. By the way, it takes 2,5 hours if you are focused on finishing the route fast. But walk slower to appreciate the beauty of the nature. Take your time.
Written June 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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