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Lake Maggiore to Lake Lugano

Ticino – a slice of Italy in Switzerland
 
From mountain peaks to palm-fringed lakes, this self-guided walking holiday, with luggage transported, is packed with variety. Follow ancient paths between chestnut-forested hills and lakeside towns, taking time en route to ride the Centovalli railway and visit beautiful Locarno.
Lake Maggiore to Lake Lugano . 7 nights
Lake Maggiore to Lake Lugano . 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in Ticino

From the high mountain peaks of its north to the forested foothills and palm-fringed lakes farther south, Ticino is a region of immense natural diversity. Located on the sunny, southern side of the Alps, just within the Swiss border, this is Italy in all but name, with graceful, pastel-coloured buildings, tiny Romanesque churches, Italian-speaking locals and copious helpings of gelato.
There is no better way to explore this diverse region than on foot, and Ticino has an excellent network of ancient footpaths which help you to do just that. Beginning on the shores of Lake Maggiore, in the picturesque lakeside town of Locarno, this holiday leads you through the heart of the region, passing through the wooded hills and tranquil river valleys of the Malcantone to reach the hill-village of Carona, set just above the emerald waters of Lake Lugano.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
     
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C -1 -1 1 6 12 17 19 18 14 10 3 0
    mm 50 39 50 97 85 59 52 50 85 130 131 56
  • Arrival in Locarno
    Night 1: at Boutique Hotel La Rinascente or Albergo Remorino Garni (the first of three nights here).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Walking and sightseeing from Locarno

    The Centovalli & 'Market Way': 11.5km, 4hrs; ascent 480m/descent 740m
    Locarno is the starting point of the famous Centovalli railway, so named as it crosses a hundred delightful valleys as it winds into Italy, passing waterfalls, ravines and forests on the way. We recommend riding the Centovalli as far as Camedo, just inside the Swiss border, to then follow the 'Market Way', an ancient mule-track once used by traders to transport their wares to Locarno. Pass through beautiful chestnut woods and between old stone villages and farming hamlets as you descend gradually to Intragna, one of the valley's largest villages, from where you return to Locarno by train.

    Brissago to Ascona: 10km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 640m 
    The exotic botanical gardens on Isole di Brissago are only a short, scenic boat ride (pay locally) from Locarno. After exploring the islands' sub-tropical flora, enjoy a relaxed walk across panoramic and fragrant hillsides to reach the elegant town of Ascona, taking time to visit the beautiful galleries and boutiques which line the tiny backstreets. Return to Locarno by bus.

    Locarno town trail
    Known for the film and music festivals held in its Piazza Grande, and for the Madonna del Sasso sanctuary perched high above its Renaissance Old Town, Locarno is also home to several interesting churches, as well as a castle, a number of galleries and a lovely lakefront. Follow our self-guided walking tour around the town, then ride the funicular to the Madonna del Sasso for spectacular views over Locarno and Lake Maggiore. You can either return to Locarno by funicular, or descend on foot via an ancient cobbled way marked by stations of the cross.
    Ascona
    Market Way
  • Arosio to Miglieglia: 13km, 4.5hrs; ascent 450m/descent 580m
    Leaving Lake Maggiore behind, journey by train and bus into the rounded hills of the Malcantone for a spectacular walk from Arosio to Miglieglia. Following old paths first used by charcoal burners and miners centuries ago, you traverse birch, beech and chestnut forest, enjoying wonderful views of the nearby peaks and extraordinary lush hills that define this quintessential Ticinese region. In Miglieglia, you spend two nights at Casa Santo Stefano in the centre of the village.
  • Choice of walks from Miglieglia: 8km or 16km

    Circular route around Miglieglia: 8km, 2.5hrs; ascent 410m/descent 560m
    Enjoy a lovely circular walk from Miglieglia, following the Sentiero delle Meraviglie ('Path of Marvels') past waterfalls, mills, mines and castle ruins.

    Monte Lema to Miglieglia: 13km, 4.5hrs; ascent 400m/descent 1150m
    Ride by gondola (pay locally) almost to the peak of Monte Lema, before climbing the final few metres for huge views over the surrounding hills, mountains and lakes of Ticino and nearby Italy. The route then descends the broad southern shoulder of Monte Lema, passing through forests of birch, beech then chestnut, and through the historic village of Astano, to return to Miglieglia.

    Tour of Miglieglia
    We also provide notes for a short but essential village tour, taking in the church of Santo Stefano al Colle, with its exceptional frescoes.
    Path of Marvels on the route around Miglieglia
  • Choice of walks from Miglieglia to Carona: 3km or 10km

    Miglieglia to Carona: 10km, 4hrs; ascent 235m/descent 685m
    Descend to the shores of Lake Lugano on a forested path, passing several pretty Malcantone villages. You continue up to Carona by train and bus from Ponte Tresa.

    St Salvatore to Carona: 3km, 1hr; ascent 80m/descent 300m
    For a shorter day, you can take the bus to Ponte Tresa to catch the morning ferry to Paradiso (no service on Mondays), from where you ride a historic funicular up the steep slopes of St Salvatore (both the boat ride and the funicular are included in the holiday price). Soak in the spectacular views of nearby Lugano and its eponymous lake, and take time to visit the church and museum, before continuing on foot to the hill-village of Carona, where you spend your final two nights at Hotel Villa Carona.
    The route to Carona from St Salvatore
  • Choice of walks from Carona: 6km or 9km

    Carona to Morcote: 6km, 2hrs; ascent 190m/descent 530m
    This walk would serve as a fitting finale: after ascending gently out of Carona to visit the botanical gardens of Parco San Grato, famed for their azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, it continues to the tip of the peninsula on forested ways, descending into lakeside Morcote on an impressive stepped path which passes the 15th-century church of Santa Maria del Sasso. Pause for a leisurely lunch in one of the restaurants or cafés of Morcote before enjoying a relaxing boat ride (pay locally) to Lugano, from where you take the funicular to St Salvatore and return to Carona on foot.

    Circular route around Carona: 9km, 2.5hrs; ascent/descent 260m
    A gentler circuit which heads initially towards Morcote but avoids the descent to the lake, instead looping back through deep forest broken only by occasional glimpses of the lake and hills. A highlight, just before returning to Carona, is the remarkable church of Madonna d'Ongero, hidden in the woods.

    City tour of Lugano
    Another option is to visit the thriving lakeside city of Lugano. The chic, pedestrianised centre of this city is easily explored on foot, and we provide notes for a short walking tour which takes in the historic architecture, scenic lakeside and enticing cafés, as well as the exquisite frescoes contained within many of Lugano's churches.
 

Accommodation

You stay in three charming hotels, each of great character.

To make your holiday all the more special, opt for our upgrade hotel in Locarno. Please indicate your preference at the time of booking.
 

Extend your stay

 

Prices for 2020

We are in the process of updating our prices for 2020. If you’d like to book now, please contact us – we’ll be happy to provide a quotation.
Get in touch >
 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
Currency converter

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  • 7 nights: 04 May 2019 - 13 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    4 May - 14 Jun 2019 £1065 £495
    15 Jun - 31 Aug 2019 # £1090 £510
    1 Sep - 6 Oct 2019 £1065 £495
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    #Add £40pppn (£80pn in a single room) if staying at Hotel La Rinascente 12-19 Jul or 12-16 Aug 2019

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    7 nights: 04 May 2019 - 13 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    4 May - 14 Jun 2019 £1540 £495
    15 Jun - 31 Aug 2019 # £1575 £510
    1 Sep - 6 Oct 2019 £1540 £495
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    #Add £40pppn (£80pn in a single room) if staying at Hotel La Rinascente 12-19 Jul or 12-16 Aug 2019

    Included travel from the UK: UK-Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Locarno (TGV/regional rail/bus), aprox. duration 11h plus 0h10 walk to the hotel. Home, Carona–Paris (TGV/regional rail/bus), approx. duration 13h plus 0h02 walk from the hotel.

    A Swiss Card is included, providing you with half price tickets for trains, bus and boat journeys and up to 50% reduction on private railways and cable cars.
     

    If you book your holiday less than 3 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the sames services at a supplement.

    7 nights: 04 May 2019 - 13 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    4 May - 14 Jun 2019 £1130 £495
    15 Jun - 31 Aug 2019 # £1155 £510
    1 Sep - 6 Oct 2019 £1130 £495
    3rd & 4th person discount -£50
    Single traveller supplement £50

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus a return ferry crossing between Dover and Calais with P&O Ferries for your party and one car.

    #Add £40pppn (£80pn in a single room) if staying at Hotel La Rinascente 12-19 Jul or 12-16 Aug 2019

    We also include a transfer back to the first hotel at the end of your holiday to collect your car.

    A supplement of £35 per car per single journey applies for outbound travel 5-7 Apr & 19-21 Apr, and for inbound travel 21-22 Apr 2019. A supplement of £45 per car per single journey applies outbound on Fridays & Saturdays 24-25 May & 12 Jul-17 Aug 2019 inclusive, and inbound on Saturdays & Sundays 1-2 Jun & 19 Jul-2 Sep 2019 inclusive.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Boutique Hotel La Rinascente, Locarno
    Deluxe: 04 May - 13 Oct 2019 £14
    Hotel Villa Carona, Carona
    Junior suite: 04 May - 13 Oct 2019 £28
    Superior: 04 May - 13 Oct 2019 £15

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Casa Santo Stefano, Miglieglia (with dinner) Double room Single room
    04 May - 13 Oct 2019 £108 £163
  • 7 nights, staying in Boutique Hotel Remorino (4 dinners)

    4 May - 13 October 19 (not available to start 05-17 Aug due to Boutique Hotel Remorino closed) Price Single room
    4 - 28 May £1195 £610
    29 May - 14 June £1245 £640
    15 - 22 June £1285 £665
    23 June - 10 July £1245 £640
    11 July - 4 August £1395 £785
    5 - 17 August n/a n/a
    18 August - 20 September £1285 £665
    21 September - 6 October £1195 £610
    Single traveller supplement £0 -
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Zürich

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Zürich. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Zurich easyJet,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Zurich easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Zurich Swiss 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Zürich. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    If purchasing outward connecting travel through Inntravel, the homeward travel is at no extra cost.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Zürich

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Zürich airport to Locarno (2h40), walk to hotel (0h10) £105 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    walk to bus stop (0h05), bus Carona Paese to Lugano-Paradiso (0h17), rail Lugano-Paradiso to Zürich airport (2h55) £0 1500
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 4 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported (1 bag per person)
  • route notes and maps
  • Ticino Ticket for use on buses and trains
  • boat and funicular on day 5
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Switzerland, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official languages are German, spoken in the majority of the country; French, spoken in the south-west; Italian, spoken in the south-east; and Romansch, mostly limited to the Engadine valley. The currency is the Franc. Swiss time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 9/21/2019 6:35:29 AM