Trek Notes - Switzerland

Ticino Sun Trail


This magnificent hiking route in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland leads from the mountain villages of the Gotthard massif down to the subtropical climate of Ascona and the Lake of Lugano. Typical villages, deep, green valleys and encounters with the culture and life of charming Ticino are the highlights of this hiking route. The friendly taverns and hotels, the joie de vivre so typical of Ticino, and the various rides in cable cars, on boats, or in the good old post bus will provide you with plenty of variety on this easy trail.

Grade A: 3–5 hours daily hiking time.

Day 1: Airolo–Biasca

Meeting point at the train station in Airolo (for times see predeparture information). Here our representative will greet you and take care of your luggage. Hiking along the Strada Alta Leventina, you will gradually approach Switzerland’s sunny south: from Airolo, at the entrance to the Gotthard Tunnel, you walk southwards along a sunny terrace high above the valley, at an altitude of about 1200 metres above sea level. Walking time: about 5 hours. From Osco you take the post bus to Faido and the train to Biasca. Overnight in Biasca.

Day 2: Biasca–Ascona

Morning transfer by rail to Locarno and by post bus to San Carlo. Hike through an unspoilt valley, Val Bavona, where you can enjoy the purest of Ticino culture: tiny villages with the characteristic “Rustici”, (stone-built houses with slate rooves), followed by forests of chestnut and cherry trees in an Alpine setting, while picturesque “grotti” invite you in for a quiet rest. This route leads on from San Carlo downwards to the Val Bavona and on to Bignasco. Walking time: about 3 hours. Take the post bus back to Locarno and Ascona. Overnight in Ascona.

Day 3: Centovalli (Rasa–Ronco)

Morning transfer by train to Verdasio / Centovalli and by cable car to Rasa. This route leads from Rasa to Ronco, and from Centovalli to Lake Maggiore, and shows two totally different faces of Ticino: the mountain village of Rasa, offering a fine view over the rather gloomy Centovalli is followed by the the wide, bright world of Lake Maggiore. Our first goal is Ronco, an idyllic mountain eyrie, high above Lake Maggiore, in the terraced gardens of which an excellent wine is produced. Descend to Porto Ronco and travel by ship back to Ascona. Walking time: about 4 hours. Overnight in Ascona.

Day 4: Ascona–Novaggio

Transfer by bus to Arosio. Hike through lovely chestnut forests to Alpe Agra. On your way down to the village of Cademario you will enjoy a wonderful view over the Lake of Lugano. You will also see an iron mill and a recently restored hammersmith. Along the Maglisina River you follow the «Sentiero delle Meraviglie» (trail of wonders) where you can visit ruins of old castles, goldmines and a mill. In the village of Novaggio you will find your hotel. Hiking time approx. 3 hours. Overnight in Novaggio.

Day 5: Novaggio–Serpiano

Morning transfer by bus to Lugano / Paradiso. Hike over Lugano’s own “back-door” mountain, the Monte San Salvatore, and through the villages of Ciona and Carona to Morcote on the shores of Lake Lugano. Once a fishing village, in the 14th century it became a proper fortified town and was one of the major ports on Lake Lugano until the Melide dam was built in 1847. During this golden age the beautiful church of Madonna del Sasso and the monumental stone staircase were built. Walking time: about 5 hours. From Morcote, take the ship to Brusino and the cable car up to the spa resort of Serpiano. Overnight in Serpiano.

Day 6: Serpiano–Mendrisio

From Serpiano climb to the top of the Monte San Giorgio and enjoy the magnificent panoramic view. Follow an old Roman road down to the village of Meride and wander through beautiful chestnut woods to Mendrisio. Walking time: about 4 hours.


Print   To Top