Verbania, the biggest town on Lake Maggiore, makes a good base for exploring the west bank. The town is strung out along the lakeshore and consists of three districts. Verbania Pallanza, the middle chunk, is the most interesting of the three, with a pretty waterfront and a ferry stop.
Running north from Pallanza, the waterfront road, Via Vittorio Veneto, has a jogging and cycling path that follows the lakefront, which is especially pretty around the little port and the nearby Isolino San Giovanni, a wooded islet just offshore. It connects Pallanza with Villa Taranto and Verbania Intra, which has handy car ferries to Laveno on the lake’s east bank.