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Best base in Ticino for hiking?

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5 posts
new member
Sep 23, 2022 - 2:15 PM

Hi all - thanks to everyone on this wonderful forum for helping us plan an incredibly successful trip to Zermatt last month. We have certainly caught the Swiss bug and are now planning our fifth trip next year in late August/early September, though it would be in combination with a stopover in Lake Como and flying in/out of MXP. Naturally, Ticino came to mind and we are trying to find a good hiking base for five or six nights.

We are a couple in our 30s and will likely have a car for this trip. For hiking, we enjoy medium to difficult hikes upwards of six hours and visiting huts along the way. For lodging, we prefer renting fairly upscale apartments and appreciate cooking at home.

Lugano and Locarno are the obvious candidates, but both seem too busy and perhaps scenically too similar to Lake Como. Although we will probably have a car, reasonable public transportation (cable car, funicular, train, bus, etc.) would be preferred so we aren't limited to circular hikes. Should I be convinced otherwise regarding Lugano and Locarno, or do folks have any other lakeside town recommendations? Alternatively, are there any locations further north that would be better as a hiking base and perhaps more quaint? Thanks again for your input as always!

5310 posts
Sep 23, 2022 - 2:46 PM in reply to kchao1213

If you have a car I recommend you stay in the mountains, then you could hike straight from your accommodation.

Also if you are visiting frequently you should get an Annual Swiss half fare card.

Interhome (a Swiss company) has a lot of holidays houses in Ticino. The houses are not like the rest of Switzerland as they are not wooden chalets (because of Ticino's Italianate history). Locally these houses are called 'Rustico'


A few years ago we stayed in a very nicely appointed house (my wife and I generally hire a whole house even just for us two people) on the mountainside above Leontica in the Val Blenio (main town Olivone).

We bought the local Ticino pass and for convenience drove to Biasca FFS railway station (it's not SBB in Ticino remember!) to do various day trips in the lake zones

A car was particularly useful as Canton Ticino abandoned all its local passenger railways in the 1950s and 60s, so all connections in valleys are by bus (which of course are all still very efficient nonetheless).

We were near a place called Crich and when I did a web search these hikes came up unexpectedly:



5046 posts
expert &
Sep 24, 2022 - 8:41 AM in reply to kchao1213

Hi kchao1213,

It's great that you are planning another trip to Switzerland.

Based on your plans to focus on hiking in Ticino, if you prefer mountain trails, I recommend choosing a base in the Leventina Valley and areas in the north bordering the Gotthard Pass. I particularly like Lavertezzo and Airolo. These are small towns with good facilities and amenities but are easily accessible to numerous hiking trails in the region. The local tourist office provides free local hiking maps. For further options, you can try this link: www.myswissalps.com/ticino/activities

If you prefer self-catering accommodations, these links might be helpful:

Rentals in Ticino: www.myswissalps.com/ticino/rentals
Links to holiday homes: www.myswissalps.com/rentals




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