Lake Lugano, Switzerland
Lake Lugano is nestled between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como and lies partly in Switzerland and partly in Italy. It’s footprint straddles the Swiss-Italian border with 67% of its surface area falling within the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland, and 33% of it in the Lombardy Region of Northern Italy.
Although the smallest of the three lakes, Lake Lugano lacks for nothing in beauty, character or charm and its Mediterranean type climate ensures it remains popular all year round with visitors from around the world. Lake Lugano is unique in the sense that when viewed from above its shape takes on the form of a river that twists and turns its way through the Ticino (French – Tessin) landscape
Lake Lugano is at the southernmost tip of the Tessin, the holiday region south of the ridge of the Alps, and it reaches its arms out into Italy. Thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate, there are even citrus fruit trees growing here, and visitors can sunbathe under palm trees.
The lake has a number of different branches and is surrounded by mountains: Monte Generoso is the highest mountain by Lake Lugano, at about 1700 m. A rack railway takes you from the lakeside resort of Capolago to the top of the mountain, with its panoramic views. There are two funicular railways scaling Lugano’s mountains: the Monte San Salvatore – from where a beautiful alpine footpath leads to the little village of Carona and on to Morcote – and the Monte Brè. And a cable-car takes you up to the sunny plateau of Serpiano, ideally located for visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Monte San Giorgio. The densely wooded mountain with its many rare plants is one of the main locations where fossils can be found dating from a prehistoric subtropical lake.
Take a boat ride to discover the diversity of the region: Morcote, with its grand mansions and the church of Santa Maria del Sasso, an important Renaissance building with a late-Romanesque bell-tower offering outstanding views, or Gandria, a perfect example of a little fishing village by Lake Lugano.
Visit Switzerland. Epic Switzerland Adventure Route © Monika Newbound