There are numerous mountain ranges within a few hours travel time of Milan, including the Italian Alps, the Dolomites, and the Adamello and Brenta. Much of the year is skiing and snowboarding paradise, although a real test of your adventurer's spirit is the availability of alpine hikes and via ferrata (steel rungs in the rock surface) climbing routes that take days and even weeks to complete. Peaks of note include Gran Paradiso, Mont Blanc (accessed through the town of Courmayeur), Matterhorn (the Italian side), Königspitze, and Ortler, all of which easily top out over 12,000 feet. If you're one to take in visual majesty without stepping out of your car, then make your way to the Stelvio Pass, a high-elevation, snake-like route that needs to be experienced firsthand to truly enjoy (check the activity page for pictures).
There are also a number of sizable lakes within proximity to Milan, the most popular of which include Lake Garda, Lake Como, and Lake Maggiore. Lake Garda is a huge windsurfing destination nestled in the mountains, with views only rivaled by Lake Como, a mecca for rock climbers and boulderers. Maggiore is excellent for nearby whitewater rafting, while all three also call out to the leisure-seekers that prefer strolls through lovely town centers and boating on pristine waters.
If you're one who prefers your adventures big, whether you are scaling world-famous peaks or skimming waters of favored domestic getaways without a worry in mind, Milan is the hub you're looking for. Browse our individual pages, travel videos, trip planning, and more for further information.