Thomas in beautiful Ticino

TRAVEL REPORT FROM THE HIKING TOUR ‘Highlights of Ticino’

 

In October, I got the opportunity to get to know the southernmost canton of Switzerland, the Italian-speaking Ticino. Over three days, alongside a trip to Valle Verzasca, two stages of our hiking tour ‘Highlights of Ticino’, from Lugano to Marcote and from Serpiano to Meride were on the programme.

Culture and sightseeing

Culturally, Ticino has a lot to offer. Bellinzona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is very interesting; a walk through the old town and the castles should not be missed. In the largest town of Lugano the LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura art and culture centre is located on the lakeside. In Meride, a visit to the Museo dei fossili del Monte San Giogio is recommended. Here you can marvel at dinosaur fossils found on Mount San Giogio (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Landscapes and hiking

The nature in Ticino offers everything a hiker’s heart desires: quiet mountain valleys, idyllic forest paths and panoramic views. Very nicely located is the Verzasca valley with the famous double bridge ‘Ponte dei Salti’. Unfortunately, we got a rainy day here, but when the weather is nice you can admire sparkling green water in the river Veszasca. I especially liked the hike from Lugano to Morcote. After a short cable car ride to the Mont San Salvatore you have a beautiful view of Lugano. After the quiet forest trails of the Trans Swiss Trail, you will then walk through sleepy villages to Morcote and once more enjoy great views of Lake Lugano. In the palm-rich Morcote, which was awarded the title of Most Beautiful Village in Switzerland  in 2016, you can enjoy a meal in a lakeside restaurant before talking the boat and cable car to Serpaino.

Arrival and public transport network

The journey to Ticino is really uncomplicated. From Zurich you can reach the capital Bellinzona by train in just 1.5hours, where our tour ‘Ticino highlights’ begins. Among other things, the new Gotthard Tunnel, which at 57 kilometres is the longest railway tunnel in the world and allows for fast transport across Switzerland. Also within Ticino there are good connections. In addition, our guests receive the Ticino Ticket in all hotels. As well as discounts on various activities, this guest card also offers free use of all public transport. This is especially useful after the hiking trip for return travel from Mendrisio to Bellinzona.

Nice hotels and excellent food

The hotels during the hiking trip leave nothing to be desired. All offer a good Swiss standard and pamper guests with a nice wellness area and excellent cuisine. The highlight is the Hotel Serpiano with its idyllic mountain location and stunning views of Lake Lugano. The Ticino cuisine is very reminiscent of the Italian influence. In the typical Grotti you can enjoy specialties such as risotto or polenta. But many meat dishes from beef and game come on the plate. As a dessert you should definitely try the Ticino bread cake "Torta di pane" and the delicious chestnut puree "Vermicelles". The best vino Merlot del Ticino is available to drink and the typical grappa grappa for digestion.

Conclusion

Who decides for his next hiking trip for the Ticino makes an excellent choice. Only here you experience the Swiss quality of life combined with Italian flair. Since Ticino borders Italy, it is also known as the "Sun Room of Switzerland". Nowhere else in Switzerland are there so many hours of sunshine and so a mild climate. For nature lovers, Ticino offers a huge hiking network. With the Trans Swiss Trail and the Via Gottardo even two official Swiss hiking trails lead through the canton. Ticino also boasts culinary delights of top quality and has a lot to offer gourmets.

Robi on the bike
Thomas Wallner
Thomas Wallner from Eurohike
Thomas Wallner, Customer Service
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