Top 13 Hikes in Ticino (Tessin)

1. Morcote

  1. Morcote has been voted one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland and it’s easy to see why. Morcote is perched on the side of the mountain overlooking Lake Lugano. Restaurants are scattered along the main-street with lake view seating. From the town center you can hike up to Church of Santa Maria del Sasso over looking Lake Lugano. Definitely a must for your list of places to visit in Ticino.

2. Gandria

2. Gandria is a small village at the base of Monte Bre. There is a gorgeous walking path that follows along Lake Lugano to Gandria. The town is small but there are some fantastic lake view restaurants to sit and enjoy the views. From Gandria there are plenty of trails to hike. The little village reminds me a bit of the Cinque Terre.

3. Monte Bre – Lugano

3. From the top of Monte Bre you will have a stunning lake view before you. There are many hiking trails throughout Bre and the town is quite quaint. If you want the views but not the exercise, it is easy to take the Funicular from Lugano to the top of Monte Bre.

4. Corona

4. Carona is a darling village to visit with hikes and views. I would recommend hiking to the Madonna d’Ongero, a lovely sanctuary constructed in the 1500s. The town of Corona has plenty of hiking options and some with fantastic lake views.

5. Monte Caslano

5. Monte Caslano – A wander around the peninsula in Caslano is a must. The path follows the lake for most of the hike. The trail is an easy walk and about an hour. A few grottos are scattered along the way. You can start in the town center and finish your hike with an aperitivo by the lake. If you are feeling up for more of an adventure, hike to the top for some beautiful views.

6. Monte Bre – Locarno

6. Monte Bre Locarno – The views of Lago Maggiore are some of the best from Monte Bre Locarno. Like most mountains in the area, you can take a funicular from Locarno to the top if you don’t want to hike up. Many hiking paths are in the area, along with restaurants and play areas for the kids.

7. Monte Lema

7. Monte Lema – Lema offers you views for miles. You can take the funicular to the top or hike up. From the top you have the option to hike the ridge to Monte Tamaro, a long but beautiful hike. Or you can follow the trail signs for shorter hikes in the area. From the top of Lema you can see both Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore.

8. Lago Ritom

8. Lago Ritom -Ritom is situated in Ticino in the Piora valley. The lake is accessible by the Ritom Funicular during the Spring and Summer months. I would recommend the 3 Lakes Hike: Lago Ritom, Lago di Tom and Lago Cadagno. There are many different marked trails you can take.

9. Monte Generoso

9. Mount Generoso offers breathtaking views of both Switzerland and Italy. There are many different hikes leading  to the top, most of which you can find here.  You can take the train from Riva San Vitale, hike from Mendriso, or drive to the Bella Vista station. From the Bella Vista station you can park in the parking lot and begin the hike. It is about 2 hours to the top.

10. Tibetan Bridge Carasc

10. The Tibetan bridge is a pretty impressive 270 meter long bridge that connects from Curzùtt to Via delle Vigne. We found the easiest way to hike to the bridge was to take up the cable car. It is a small car so on busy days the wait may be long. This is not a problem if you decide to hike up. The hike from the top of the cable car to the Tibetan bridge is about an hour.

11. Valle Verzasca

11. Valle Verzasca -I would like to say this is a hidden-gem but unfortunately it is not. In the summer the crowds come flocking to this famous bridge over Valley Verzasca. Thankfully, the Valley has many hikes away from the crowds. We have managed to do a few hikes within this valley. There are trail markers throughout but many of the trails require climbing up some rocks to get to the trails.

12. Monte Tamaro

12. Monte Tamaro- The easiest way to experience this Mountain is to first take the funicular up the mountain, from there you can branch off into easy, intermediate or difficult hikes. There is over 90 km of hiking options. There is a restaurant and restrooms available at the top of Tamaro. Many of the hiking trails branch out from here. One of the most popular hiking trails goes from Monte Tamaro to Monte Lema. This trail is an almost 13 km trail, along the ridge-line, which can take the average hiker 5 hours one way.  You can purchase a ticket to have the bus take you back at the end of the hike but make sure you check the schedules.

13. Monte San Salvatore

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13. Monte San Salvatore – If you want a workout with breathtaking views this is the hike for you.  To begin the hike, you can park in the Funicolare parking lot. From there, walk out of the parking lot in the direction towards the lake & Lugano Paradiso train station.  Once you start up the road Via Corona there will be signs directing you to the top. The signs estimate it to take about 2 hours and 40 minutes. The trail is marked with trail markers the whole way up.  In the beginning, you take a short trail through the forest passing some houses along the way.