Ascona, a picturesque town nestled on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Switzerland, offers a perfect summer getaway for travelers seeking beauty, culture, and outdoor adventures. With its charming lakeside promenade, vibrant cultural scene, and proximity to breathtaking natural landscapes, Ascona is a must-visit destination for summer exploration. In this article, we will take you on a virtual journey through the best places to visit in and around Ascona, ensuring an unforgettable summer experience.
1. Ascona’s Lakeside Promenade
Start your exploration in the heart of Ascona, along the enchanting lakeside promenade. Stroll along the waterfront, taking in the panoramic views of Lake Maggiore and the surrounding mountains. Admire the colorful facades of the buildings, browse through boutique shops, and indulge in delicious gelato from local ice cream parlors. The lakeside promenade is the perfect spot to relax, people-watch, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this charming town.
2. Brissago Islands
Just a short boat ride away from Ascona, the Brissago Islands await your discovery. These two stunning islands, known as Isole di Brissago, are home to lush botanical gardens and serene walking trails. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the gardens, filled with exotic plants and vibrant flowers. Take a leisurely stroll through the pathways, enjoying the scents and colors that surround you. The Brissago Islands offer a tranquil escape from the bustling town and provide a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature.
3. Monte Verità
For a touch of spirituality and cultural heritage, venture to Monte Verità, also known as the “Mountain of Truth.” This hilltop retreat overlooking Ascona holds a fascinating history as a gathering place for artists, intellectuals, and free-thinkers in the early 20th century. Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, visit the museum to learn about the history of the place, and enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Maggiore. Monte Verità is not only a historical landmark but also a haven for tranquility and self-reflection.
4. Verzasca Valley
Embark on a scenic drive to the nearby Verzasca Valley, a natural wonderland of rugged cliffs, emerald-green waters, and charming stone villages. The Verzasca River, famous for its crystal-clear waters, offers an opportunity for refreshing swims or thrilling river adventures like canyoning and river rafting. Capture the iconic beauty of the Ponte dei Salti, a picturesque stone bridge, and immerse yourself in the untouched wilderness of this remarkable valley.
Just a stone’s throw away from Ascona, the vibrant town of Locarno awaits your exploration. Visit the famous Piazza Grande, known for its annual film festival, and wander through the narrow streets of the Old Town, discovering charming shops and historical landmarks. Take a cable car ride up to the nearby Cardada-Cimetta mountain for panoramic views or hop on a ferry to explore the neighboring towns and villages along Lake Maggiore.
6. Bike Tours
Discover the beauty of Ascona and its surroundings on two wheels with a bike tour. Rent a bicycle and explore the scenic lakeside trails, pedal through charming villages, and venture into the lush countryside. The region offers a variety of cycling routes, suitable for both leisurely rides and more challenging adventures. Don’t miss the opportunity to cycle along the lake and soak in the stunning views at your own pace.
7. Hiking in the Ticino Region
For nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers, the Ticino region surrounding Ascona is a hiker’s paradise. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on scenic trails that wind through lush forests, traverse rolling hills, and offer breathtaking vistas. Explore the Monte Gambarogno trail for panoramic views of Lake Maggiore, or tackle the challenging Sentiero delle Meraviglie (Path of Wonders) for a true alpine adventure. The Ticino region boasts an extensive network of hiking trails, catering to all levels of experience.
8. Gelato Delights
Cool down on a hot summer’s day with a scoop (or two) of gelato, a beloved Italian treat. Ascona offers several gelaterias where you can indulge in creamy, flavorful gelato made with the finest ingredients. Visit Gelateria Golosi for their wide variety of artisanal flavors, or stop by Gelateria Artigianale Del Porto for a taste of their homemade gelato. Don’t miss out on trying local specialties like stracciatella, pistachio, or the refreshing fruit sorbets.
9. Locarno-Madonna del Sasso
Take a cable car or hike up to the Madonna del Sasso sanctuary in Locarno, perched high above the town. The sanctuary offers breathtaking panoramic views of Locarno, Lake Maggiore, and the surrounding mountains. Explore the beautiful church and its tranquil surroundings, and take in the spiritual atmosphere of this sacred place. The Madonna del Sasso is not only a religious site but also a cultural and historical landmark worth visiting.
10. Vacation Stay Recommendations
When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay during your summer getaway in Ascona, there are several fantastic options to consider. Whether you prefer a hotel or a vacation apartment, these accommodations will ensure a comfortable and memorable stay:
Located in the heart of Ascona, Hotel Carcani offers a prime location with stunning lake views. The hotel combines traditional charm with modern comforts, providing spacious rooms, a delightful garden terrace, and a restaurant serving delicious meals. Enjoy the convenience of being within walking distance of Ascona’s main attractions and the lakeside promenade.
For a cozy and intimate stay, Osteria Ticino is an excellent choice. This charming hotel captures the essence of Ticino with its warm hospitality and rustic atmosphere. Situated in the heart of Ascona’s Old Town, it offers comfortable rooms and an on-site restaurant serving traditional Ticino cuisine. Immerse yourself in the historic surroundings while being just a short walk away from the vibrant lakeside promenade.
Vacation Apartment at Osteria Boato
For a unique and immersive experience, consider renting a vacation apartment at Osteria Boato. Located in Brissago, directly at Lake Maggiore, these apartments provide a tranquil retreat with stunning lake views. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the renowned culinary delights of Osteria Boato while having the comfort and privacy of your own space. Immerse yourself in the charm of Brissago and create lasting memories.
Ascona and its surroundings provide an abundance of summer adventures, from biking along the lakeside trails and hiking in the Ticino region to indulging in gelato delights and immersing yourself in the region’s culinary traditions. With its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and culinary delights, Ascona offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. Plan your visit, embrace the outdoor wonders, and indulge in the vibrant flavors that await you in this enchanting corner of Switzerland.
Osteria Boato by Ketty & Tommy
After a day of exploration, satisfy your culinary cravings at Osteria Boato by Ketty & Tommy, located in the heart of Ascona. Indulge in their exquisite seafood creations, savor the flavors of the region, and experience true culinary artistry. For a complete Ascona experience, book a table at Osteria Boato and treat your taste buds to a memorable dining experience. For an unforgettable stay directly at Lake Maggiore, book your vacation apartment at Osteria Boato. Enjoy the convenience of staying in Brissago, indulge in the culinary delights of the renowned Osteria Boato, and wake up to breathtaking lake views. Visit their website at www.osteriaboato.ch to make a reservation and learn more about their offerings.