Locarno in the Ticino region of Switzerland is an enchanting lakeside resort, with wooded hills to one side and Lake Maggiore to the other side it is Italian speaking, and within easy reach of Italy. It has a warm climate enjoying more hours of sunshine than any other part of Switzerland.
The small but vibrant town with picturesque narrow streets, the cobbled alleys of the old town which are lined with Renaissance facades are a delight to wander around. The Piazza Grande is a large attractive arcaded square and the meeting spot of the town. There are plenty of pavement cafés to sit, relax, and just enjoy the holiday atmosphere while taking some refreshment. You will find boutiques and shops to browse around. The Piazza Grande hosts a number of open air concerts in the holiday season
The palm fringed lake front promenade is filled with flowers and is really beautiful, at the lakeside lido there is a swimming pool and a beach area where you may want to spend some time. There are also many walking opportunities the Lake Maggiore area has around 1000km of walking and hiking pathways maps are available from the Tourist Office.
Other activities that may be of interest include sailing, windsurfing, tennis and golf, you can hire sailing and motor boats if you would like to take to the water yourself, alternatively there are a variety of lake steamer cruises on offer giving you the chance to relax and enjoy some leisurely time on the water. Boats run from April-October to the islands of Brissago and to nearby Italian resorts also.
If you prefer rail travel there are excursions from Locarno to Stresa and the Borromean Islands you will enjoy the wonderful views on the way. There are more excursions available that may interest you personally to get more information contact the Tourist Office. The resort does get busy at weekends and the main holiday season so it is advisable to book your accommodation in advance.
The Museo Archeologico may be of interest it has a beautiful collection of ceramics and Roman glassware. Well worth visiting is the sanctuary of the Madonna Del Sasso church one of Locarno’s most noticeable sights, the church was consecrated in 1487. You can take the funicular from the Piazza Del Grande they run half-hourly. It is possible to walk and will take about 20 minutes up through a ravine if you prefer! There are some pleasing views of the town and lake, don’t forget your camera.
As mentioned there are lots of excursions available but you can hire a car if you prefer to visit the various attractions independently. If you do hire a vehicle make some time to visit Val Verzasca a picturesque valley nearby and perhaps Valle Maggio and see the old stone cottages.
Evenings can be spent having a stroll, relaxing with a drink at one of the many cafes or choosing a restaurant for an evening meal. If you are looking for a short or longer holiday break
in a warm climate with beautiful countryside this location may interest you.