• Menu
  • Menu
Der wunderschöne Langensee ( Lago Maggiore), Bild: Myroslava Bozhko / shutterstock

Lake Maggiore in Switzerland

In the very south of Switzerland and beyond its borders to Italy lies Lake Maggiore, also known as “Lake Maggiore“. It is over 64 kilometers long and has an area of more than 210 square kilometers. Around the elongated lake there are numerous different sights and excursion destinations that are attractive. On the Swiss side, impressive mountains, historical sites and fascinating nature beckon and promise unforgettable holidays around Lake Maggiore.

The Alps

View of Lake Maggiore
View of Lake Maggiore, Image: Mostovyi Sergii Igorevich / shutterstock

If you want to spend your holiday at Lake Maggiore actively, this is the place for you: On the Swiss side of Lake Maggiore, the area is predominantly mountainous thanks to the majestic Ticino Alps. The landscape to the west of the lake invites you to take a long walk and hike, and numerous mountain peaks are ideal for climbing. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of the surrounding landscape and Lake Maggiore. Probably the most beautiful mountains include the “Gridone” with its 2,186 meters and the “Pizzo Ruscada” with 2,004 meters. The former is located exactly on the state border between Switzerland and Italy. The “Monte Salmone” further northeast and the mountain “Cimetta” are also very popular with active holidaymakers.

On the eastern side of Lake Maggiore are the Lugano Prealps with the beautiful “Monte Gambarogno” (1,734 meters) and the “Monte Tamaro” (1,960 meters).

The Brissago Islands

Brissago Islands
View of the Brissago Islands, Image: mats silvan / shutterstock

A real highlight and great destination for the whole family are the Brissago Islands (“Isole di Brissago”) on the Swiss side of Lake Maggiore. They are located just under 2.5 kilometres from the municipality of Brissago on the shores of the lake and can be reached by shuttle boat from the town of Porto Ronco. The smaller of the two islands is the “Isola di Sant’Apollinare”. It is mostly natural and is ideal for walking. The larger of the Brissago Islands is called San Pancrazio (“Isola Grande”) and is home to a wonderful botanical garden. Visitors can look forward to a true plant paradise. Thanks to the subtropical climate, more than 1,700 different plant species from all continents grow here: there are plants from America, Asia, Australia, the Mediterranean, South Africa and the tropics. An impressive palm forest puts visitors in a real holiday mood and the intense scents of the countless plants and flowers let guests enter a whole other world. The Brissago Islands are a beautiful destination for young and old and an absolute must-see!

See also  Lake Geneva – a place that connects

Ponte Romano

A beautiful sight from a bygone era is the “Ponte Romano” bridge, which stretches over the Melezza River at a height of 26 meters. Although it is called a Roman bridge, it was built long after Roman times, in 1578. The Ponte Romano is a good 15 minutes by car from Lake Maggiore and a beautiful sight in the middle of the Locarno district in the canton of Ticino.

Maggia Gorge

Also in the district of Locarno is the spectacular Maggia Gorge. It is also definitely worth a visit. Framed by huge rocks that rise meters high into the air, you can watch the wildly flowing Maggia and experience an exciting day. A phenomenal natural spectacle! Cliff diving championships are regularly held between these huge rocks, so if you’re there at the right time, you can watch as volunteers bravely plunge into the Maggia.

Ascona and Locarno

On the northwestern shore of Lake Maggiore, the two cities of Ascona and Locarno lie on a promontory. At 196 metres above sea level, Ascona is the lowest village in Switzerland and is particularly known for its colourful houses and its Mediterranean lakeside promenade with numerous cosy street cafés. The town also has other historical attractions, such as the 16th-century church of Santi Pietro e Paolo, located in the historic centre of Borgo. The bell tower of the basilica is the landmark of the resort. On the hill of Monte Verità, which rises above the town centre to the west, there was a colony for artists and intellectuals in the early 20th century. Today, visitors can explore a historic park and museum here. Ascona also attracts with elegant boutiques for an extensive shopping spree. If you want to make your holiday sporty, visit the spacious golf course directly on Lake Maggiore or try out one of the many water sports such as sailing or surfing.

See also  What is the best time of year to spend a holiday in Italy?

The city of Locarno is also a popular holiday resort directly on Lake Maggiore and enchants with its Mediterranean flair at the foot of the Alps. From the town you can enjoy a magnificent view of the deep blue lake and the Lugano Prealps. The centre of Locarno is the elongated town square “Piazza Grande”, which is a real magnet for visitors. Numerous cafés and restaurants invite you to enjoy delicious delicacies here. On the edge of the old town is the “Castello Visconteo”, which dates back to the 12th century. A visit to the former castle is a nice experience for young and old. The most important main attraction, however, is the pilgrimage church “Madonna del Sasso”, which is enthroned on a rocky outcrop above the city. The important pilgrimage site can be reached by a great funicular, which is a real highlight in itself.

Parks at Lake Maggiore

Various pars along Lake Maggiore invite you to eventful holidays. Directly in Locarno, the falcon park (“Falconeria Locarno”) awaits curious guests. The falconry is home to falcons, eagles, owls, vultures, marabou, bald ibises and storks and offers daily flight demonstrations.

If you enjoy adventure and adrenaline, the high ropes course “Parco Avventura” in Gordola and the “Adventure Park Monte Tamaro” are the right place for you. “From tree to tree” is the motto here: High in the trees, various courses have to be mastered over ropes and wooden platforms and guarantee an exciting day for young and old acrobats.