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San Salvatore












Monte Gneroso




Hiking in Switzerland's Ticino district

Three Hiking Paths in
Switzerland's Ticino District

Switzerland’s Ticino area has many places waiting to be explored. Where else can you spend the morning walking at alpine altitudes or in tranquil valleys, and in the afternoon relax under a palm tree by a lake? Even remote areas can be discovered by bus, railway and cableway: the “Ticino Ticket” offers visitors use of the canton’s public transport network.

Boasting 2,485 or so miles of footpaths and trails, the canton’s mountains and valleys are a nature lover’s paradise. A useful companion to have with you is the "hikeTicino" app, which provides details of more than 150 walking tours.


Monte Lema – Monte Tamaro traverse
Nowhere else offers more views: the walk between Monte Lema and Monte Tamaro is a classic among Switzerland’s high-level hikes. The itinerary, almost all of which follows the ridge close to the Swiss-Italian border, starts with the cableway from Miglieglia. The result is five hours of superb views.

Views from Monte Lema as you begin are exceptional: on one side Lake Lugano sparkles below, while Lake Maggiore is nestled in the mountains of southern Ticino. If ascents are not to your liking, easier alternative routes are available. On the other hand, none of the routes lead past the Capanna Tamaro mountain hut located below the summit and clinging to the mountain’s flank. Its terrace promises homemade specialities and breathtaking views. From here it’s a short distance down to Alpe Foppa and architect Mario Botta’s fascinating Santa Maria degli Angeli church, as well as a summer toboggan run promising high-speed thrills for all ages.

Length: 7.95 miles, duration: 5 hours, difficulty: medium


San Salvatore – Morcote through nature and culture
A classic itinerary takes you from the summit of Monte San Salvatore through woods of sweet chestnut, past the artists’ village of Carona and down to the lake at Morcote, a village named Switzerland’s prettiest in 2016.


Village of Carona

The funicular railway at Lugano-Paradiso is a convenient way of ascending the .57 miles to the summit. Here you’ll see breathtaking 360° views from the roof of the church and the viewing terrace before you set off on this easy-going walk through the woods to the artists’ village of Carona.

It’s also worth visiting the Parco San Grato botanical gardens here, whose 38.5 square miles are home to Ticino’s most extensive collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and conifers. The path continues through the chestnut woods and finally down 100+ steps to the lake and picturesque Morcote, where you can return to Lugano by boat or bus.

Length: 5.71 miles duration: 3.5 hours, difficulty: medium


From Loco to Intragna on the Via delle Vose
The Via delle Vose follows the tracks of medieval farmers who trod this ancient mule path to reach the harbor in Ascona and the market in Locarno. The excursion starts in Loco, in the center of which is the Onsernone Valley museum.

Also featured here is the Pagliarte workshop devoted to craftsmanship in the form of straw hats and bags. Loco can be reached by PostBus from Intragna and Locarno.

The cobblestone mule track leads through the hamlets of Niva and Vosa to reach Pila and glorious views stretching all the way to Lake Maggiore. The traditional drystone walls, 16th century lever press and terraced vineyards encountered on the walk testify to the history of the region.

The excursion ends in Intragna, gateway to the Centovalli and home to the church of San Gottardo, and at .04 miles, the canton’s tallest campanile clock tower. The intrguing Centovalli Railway will return you to Locarno.

Length: 3.28 miles, duration: 3 hours 15 minutes, difficulty: easy


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