From the pre-Alpine mountains to the lakefront with its Mediterranean charm, a 130 km itinerary to discover the Sottoceneri in all its beautiful variety. Alternatively, 3 days of trekking immersed in the nature of the Lugano area.

Lake Lugano is a nature reserve in the Sottoceneri region of Ticino. The cantonal law provides for the protection of biotopes and natural habitats in this rich area. An alliance with the territory aimed at protecting its incredible biodiversity.

Ceresio, the other name of Lake Lugano, derives from the Latin Ceresium, of uncertain etymology. According to some, its most accurate translation would be “bluer than the sky”. Being on the border between Italy and Switzerland, it is an out-of-town destination much appreciated by Italians who love to walk in breathtaking landscapes.

bench overlooking the lake lugano
Photo by Silvia Rao on Pixabay

The Percorso Lago di Lugano and the Lugano trekking tour are part of the 830 km of hiking trails that cross the Lugano region. It is a real paradise for trekking lovers, satisfying both experienced and novice hikers.

Percorso Lago di Lugano

The route is divided into 9 stages of about 15 km each. There is no need to walk all at once, as each stage deserves a single trip.

The starting point is in Magliaso, where a voyage from Monte Lema to Monte Tamaro begins. Here, in Alpe Foppa you can find the Chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli, designed by the famous architect Mario Botta.

Chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli on the Mount Tamaro
Chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli (Mount Tamaro). Photo by Stefan Kern on Pixabay

The route continues through the Denti della Vecchia, a group of limestone mountains. It includes Mount Boglia, that offers the most enchanting viewpoint in the entire region. From here you can easily reach the city of Lugano, where you can rest before starting the next ascending stages. Lugano is the largest Italian-speaking city outside Italy and is a perfect mix of Mediterranean and Swiss culture. What’s more, this is a city full of museums, English parks and Renaissance villas.

Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Lugano
Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Lugano. Photo by adege on Pixabay

The itinerary continues from Monte Salvatore to the picturesque fishing village of Morcote. Indeed, thanks to its architectural beauty, the village became part of the association “The most beautiful villages in Switzerland” in 2016. Whereas on Monte San Giorgio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its findings, a visit to the Fossil Museums is a must.

Finally you can admire an extraordinary panorama of the most southern Swiss valleys on Monte Generoso. This is a truly natural balcony on the Swiss-Italian border. From here on, it is all downhill to Mendrisio.

Path on the Mount Generoso
Path on the Mount Generoso. Photo by Claudio Ermanni on Pixabay

Lugano trekking tour

This route is shorter but equally beautiful. It is 46 km to cover in 3 days of walking, starting in Brè, above Lugano, and ending in Tesserete. The tour, which is becoming more and more successful, allows you to take advantage of the quiet and enchanting local nature. In fact, this tour is ideal for those who are interested in the area from a naturalistic point of view (geology, flora and fauna). Moreover, halfway through each stage, you have the chance to refresh yourself with good food and spend the night in a hut. Finally, you can shorten the route on request.

View of Lake Lugano from Monte Brè
View of Lake Lugano from Monte Brè. Photo by Claudio Ermanni on Pixabay

Surely these two routes need a bit of experience and physical preparation to face different ups and downs from the peaks to the lake shores, for a considerable difference in altitude. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a couple of days of walking to observe the countless picturesque corners of this region.

Cover image: By Aconcagua – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.o, via Wikimedia Commons

Author: Maria Cristina

I was born around the sunny Sicilian countryside and grown up between the majestic mountains of Trentino. From an early age, I've always been fascinated by the cultural diversity of our country, from the north to the south. I have a big passion for languages and I dream about being able to discover every inch of the earth, respecting the environment and enhancing the unicity of the human race.
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