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Top 3 family-friendly hikes around Lugano

July, 02 2016 ( Updated August, 09 2017)
The beautiful lake town of Lugano attracts thousands of tourists every year for its unique Swiss landscape, dedicated tourist attractions and a number of gardens, villas and sacred places.  Lugano is also a great destination for those who love active holidays. The enchanting landscape and the unique tradition of the place can be enjoyed on a hiking trip to mountain villages which are located very close to the city center. Fortunately for the hikers, Monte Bre, Monte Generoso and Monte San Salvatore are not very far from Lugano and are connected with funicular and mountain trains. We list out the three popular hiking trails that can be done with family and promise a spectacular panoramic view of the landscape:

Monte Bré – Gandria –Castagnola

The trail is a particular favourite of those who love hiking with their families. Quite an easy hike and suitable for children and pets, the trail takes you through the Bre village which is famous for preserving its typical Ticino tradition. The trail begins on Monte Bre at an altitude of 800 m from the sea level and can be easily reached by the funicular. From here, one can head towards Bre which hardly takes 15 minutes to reach.  One can enjoy the numerous artistic works, churches and panoramic terraces nestled against a beautiful landscape. There are some restaurants which are nice places to stop by for lunch. There is also an outdoor art gallery and grottos which cannot be missed.

As you head towards Gandria, you will walk across a thick wooded area. The village itself is an old fishing hamlet and has retained its rural characteristics. There are some refreshment points along the route where you can sit and reflect while enjoying the view. Once you have passed through Gandria and started walking towards Castagnola, the path becomes even easier, almost level ground till you find yourself walking along the shore of Lake Lugano. The path goes through ancient olive groves. This archaeological and natural path offers a great opportunity to walk around the historical and natural endowments of the place.
The entire trail is about 6 kilometers and has 15 stops for the guided observation of particular environmental characteristics comprising of select vantage points for jaw-dropping views.

Monte San Salvatore- Morcote

Though there are a number of hiking trails from Monte San Salvatore, the one towards the Morcote village offers a classic opportunity to appreciate the landscape and culture of Lugano. Monte San Salvatore is remarkable and defines the panorama of the region. Getting to the top is not a problem because the summit is easily accessible by the funicular which takes less than 15 minutes to reach here. Once you reach the summit, you will be awe-stricken to see the view spread around comprising the lake, the Padan Plain and the peaks of the Swiss and Savoy Alps.

The descent towards Morcote passes through Corona village which is known to have inspired a number of artists, including the famous writer Hermann Hesse. Besides the sanctuaries and botanical garden which have rare varieties of flora and fauna, the path is full of rhododendrons, azaleas and conifers. Morcote is a beautiful picturesque village on the lake. One can take a boat ride from here to Lugano and enjoy the view of other lake towns along the way.

Discover Monte Generoso

It is often said that the view from Monte Generoso is among the best in entire Switzerland. The summit gives a bird's-eye view of the north of Italy, the lake region and the alpine chain. Thankfully, it is not difficult to reach the mountaintop because of the rack railway which has been functioning from the 19th century. The rail journey itself is popular for offering some breathtaking panoramic views of the landscape.

Once you reach the summit you will discover about ten "Nevere” which are ancient versions of our modern fridges. These fascinating cylindrical stone buildings were used to preserve milk before making it into butter and cheese by the farming community and look unique. Follow the path along the eastern ridge you will find the spell binding Nadigh and Genor high mountain pasture, locally called alpage. After the trail you can head back to the railway station and descend to Capolago.

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