There is much more to explore in and around Locarno than I mentioned in my first blogpost. If you’re a fan of hiking than the canton of Ticino has a lot to offer from easy walks to exhausting hikes there is something for everyone. A famous one is from Sonogno to Lavertezzo in the famous Verzasca valley which I did a few years ago and was really nice. You can stop whenever you are tired as there are bus stops along the route, the path winds along the river so you can’t get lost and the difficulty is quite easy.
Other famous areas for hiking: Vallemaggia, Monte Gambarogno, Bosco Gurin and many others.
Cardada – Cimetta
Also famous for both – hiking and skying is Cimetta, the local mountain of Locarno. You can either start your hike from different points up to the top or – like I did because I was exhausted from another hike the day before – take the funicular railway from Locarno (close to the train station) to Orselina and than the cable car from Orselina to Cardada. If you want to hike up you need approximately three to four hours and should have at least a good endurance.
Besides an amazing view Cardada offers you nice restaurants, mountain bike trails, a Helsana Nordic walking trail, an orienteering run and much more. Cardada is mostly famous for its viewpoint – kind of a bridge that winds its way across the tops of the trees growing below.
In Cardada you have amazing views, you can even see the Dufourspitze, Switzerland’s highest mountain and parts of Italy along the Laggo Maggiore.
A hike to the dam wall of the Verzasca valley
As I have already been hiking in the Verzasca valley from its very end to Lavertezzo this time I did a hike from Locarno to the beginning of the valley – the dam wall.
There are different ways you can take to Tenero. After Tenero there is more or less only one way and the way is also indicated as a hiking trail so you can’t really get lost. In Tenero you will pass by a nice oratorium called Oratorio della Fraccia before you cross the Verzasca river and make your way through the vineyards of Gordola (happy sweating, it’s a quite steep path 🙈). Along the way there are many beautiful rustic old houses, small churches and other nice buildings between all the vineyards you’ll pass.
The dam wall itself is super big and impressiv. It’s very windy up there so during winter it can be freezing. On one side you can see a lake called Lago di Vogorno on the other side the beginning of the river Verzasca you crossed before.
You can walk to the other side of the wall and even go back to Locarno via Orselina on this side that’s what I did or you can go back the same way.
During summer you have the possibility to do bungee jumping and there is also a bus in service if you’re to exhausted to walk all the way back.
💡 Some interesting facts about the dam wall:
– Height: 220 m
– Lenght: 380m
– Open since: 1965
😄 Fun fact:
The dam wall became famous as James Bond jumped off it in the opening scene of the film Golden Eye. The stunt is voted as one of the best movie stunts of all time.
Evening walk along the Laggo Maggiore
I love going on walks after a good dinner and Locarno is great for that! Depending on where you live you can walk from the pier to the right side towards Ascona or to the left towards Minusio/Tenero.
Walking towards Ascona along the lake takes you one to two hours depending on your walking speed. To cross the Maggia river you need to follow the Via della Morettina. Once the brigde ends, follow the Via Aerodromo for approx. two minutes and than the Via del Querce for another 20 minutes to its very end. The street ends on a crossing with a street called Via Muraccio. Turn to the right and after a few steps to the left, the path you are now following is called Sentiero Giro del Golf and leads you to the lake/Porto Patriziale Ascona. Now you can mostly walk along the lake and between some pretty nice mansions until you end up in the city center of Ascona. You will also pass the Lido Ascona if you want to go for a swim 🐠.
If you walk towards Tenero the way is a little bit easier to find. You can just follow the lake without any detours or bridges. The pedestrian zone follows the Viale Verbano for a while before they split and the walkway called Via alla Riva continous until Tenero. The path is really super nice with lots of possibilities to sit down or go for a swim, there are ice carts during the summer (it smells fantastic – try it! 🍦 ) and you also pass a little nice church called San Quirico.
Regardless in which direction you are walking – both ways are also great for jogging, walking during the day or just to watch magic sunsets 🌅 and it’s also super nice during winter ☃.