The Lake Maggiore region

Print this page

View of Ascona from Lake Maggiore.

About the Lake Maggiore region

The central part of the canton of Ticino includes Lake Maggiore, wonderful valleys, castles and the towns of Ascona, Locarno and Bellinzona.

WHAT TO DO

Mountain tops, hiking trails, castles and more to explore.

More

HOTELS

Our selected hotels in the Lake Maggiore region.

More

RENTALS

Check out holiday homes and apartments.

More

HOW TO TRAVEL

Learn how to best travel in this region.

More

FORUM

Feel free to post to the forum if you have any questions about this region.

More

What to expect around Lake Maggiore?

Central Ticino is home to the lowest point of Switzerland at Lake Maggiore (Lago Maggiore or Lago Verbàno in Italian). Combined with a lot of sun shine on average, the region enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers. We think the best time to visit the Lake Maggiore region is late March to early June and early September to late October. If you don't mind warm weather (27 °C average maximum), then June to August is perfectly fine too.

The northern part of Lake Maggiore is located in Switzerland around Locarno. The lake continues for 60 km; most of it is in Italy.

Where to stay?

There are several options:

  • You can stay on Lake Maggiore, with Locarno and nearby Ascona being the most popular options. Ascona is a little harder to reach as it does not have a train station. We recommend Locarno as a base to easily explore the lake region.
  • Bellinzona is a nice little town, particularly famous for its three castles. It is a central base on the main train line and along the A2 motorway.
  • The Piano di Magadino is the plain between the lake and Bellinzona. It used to be a swamp, but now it's a combination or agricultural land, industrial zones and a small airport. This is not the most attractive area to stay.
  • If you prefer a more isolated place to relax and enjoy nature in the immediate area only, then there are countless small villages in the valleys. Examples are Lavertezzo and Brione in the Verzasca valley (Val Verzasca), and Maggia and Cavergno in the Maggia valley (Val Maggia).

The scenery

Apart from Lake Maggiore, you can expect green mountains, with snow on the peaks in early spring, late fall and winter. In general there are lots of colorful flowers and quite some palm trees.

Must do's in the Lake Maggiore region

For a good overview of both the Swiss and Italian part of the lake, a trip up to Cimetta is recommended. A walk in one of the towns allows you to see more of the Italian-influenced culture. If arrival or departure via the Centovalli Railway fits your itinerary then be sure to include that too. Please find our suggestions here.

Don't have much time? You can do a one day Ticino trip to see the highlights.

TOWNS IN THIS REGION

Town name
RegionSelect more for more results
SubregionSelect more for more results
LocationSelect more to narrow the results Town sizeSelect more for more results Sort order

Locarno

The pretty lake front, the surrounding mountains and good train connections make the town of Locarno a pleasant base to explore the Lake Maggiore region.

More

Bellinzona

The small town of Bellinzona is famous for its three castles and a good base for day trips all over the Ticino.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2018