DAY 4 (B / L / D) TICINO: THE MEDITERREANEAN SIDE OF SWITZERLAND
breakfast at Hotel in Obergoms
lunch at a Grotto
nature reserve Bolle
dinner at Locarno or highway service station (depending on time)
return to Northern Switzerland
On this day we follow the Ticino River from the source at the Nufenen pass
down to Lake Maggiore. The landscape will change drastically on our journey
from snow-capped peaks to palm trees and Mediterranean climate at Lake
Maggiore. With its 2478 a.s.l., the Nufenen
pass is Switzerland’s highest travelled mountain pass. Almost every bend of
the Nufenen pass is worth stopping for pictures as the views are simply
Our first stop in canton Ticino,
the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, is the Verzasca valley. It is one of the most fascinating valleys for both
romantics and adventure fans. The magical jade-green waters of the Verzasca
river flow peacefully over smooth polished rocks, passing under the picturesque
double arches of the Ponte dei Salti in Lavertezzo. Follow the river down the
valley and you will find wonderful worn rock shapes and natural jacuzzis. Do
not resist it - jump in! You will be hard pressed to find a more romantically
beautiful place to go for a swim.
We will have lunch at a typical
local restaurant type called Grotto.
The grotti are a unique feature of the canton of Ticino. Originally the grotto
was a cave used to store food. For this reason, the grottos are usually located
in shady, remote places where the temperature remains pleasantly even in the
hottest months. Over time, they have lost their original purpose and have
turned into restaurants featuring characteristic terracing equipped with stone
benches and tables, where typical Ticino dishes are served in a welcoming
The Bolle di Magadino is a wetland nature reserve and includes the
delta of the Ticino and Verzasca rivers that flow into the
Maggiore. It is
an area of outstanding natural beauty, peace and tranquillity. The Bolle are
home to a unique fauna and flora found in areas between firm ground and water.
Thanks to the provision of nature trails it is possible to visit the Bolle
without interfering with or harming its natural inhabitants too extensively.
Locarno is one of the sunniest cities in Switzerland. Southern plants such as
palm trees or lemon trees flourish in Locarno and give the city its special
charm. The heart of the city is the Piazza Grande, well-known for its annual
film festival. The narrow lanes of the Old Town all lead to the Piazza.
Castello Visconteo, a castle dating back to the 12th century, lies at the edge
of the Old Town. About a fifth of the castle has been preserved in its original
state. Splendid upper-town palazzi house fine art collections and the lake
promenade offers relaxed strolling. The pilgrimage church of Madonna del Sasso
is located above Locarno, in Orselina. The church is said to have been
established as a result of an appearance of the Virgin Mary. It is the most
notable sight in Locarno, and boasts an extraordinary view of the city, the
lake and the mountains.