Ascona is a quintessential lakeside resort, featuring pretty pastel coloured houses clustered around a tranquil harbour. The balmy climate allows for leisurely strolls along the boardwalk promenade, taking in the stunning lake and mountain views. The old town (Borgo) has at its heart the 16th century church of San Pietro e Paolo, the tall bell tower being the town’s central landmark. Branching out from the church is a series of narrow lanes with boutiques, antiques shops and galleries. The Modern Art Museum is housed in a beautiful 16th century building and features works by artists associated with Ascona, including Paul Klee and Alexej von Jawlensky. A jazz festival takes place every summer and a prestigious classical music festival in autumn. Gastronomy is also one of the main attractions of the town - try a hearty risotto served in one of the traditional grottos. Ascona is surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural sights in Switzerland, with many lakes and mountains visits to enjoy during your stay.
Porto Ronco is a 10 minute bus journey along the coast from Ascona, in a peaceful lakeside location. This is a recommended spot for a very relaxing holiday in peaceful surroundings and with amazing lake views. Hotel guests in both resorts benefit from the FREE Ticino Ticket, allowing you to hop on and off buses and trains across the region.
Please call us on 0800 619 1200 for our tailor made service to Switzerland.
Where to stay
Choose from our handpicked hotels. The Albergo Carcani and Castello Seeschloss are in Ascona while the Boutique-Hotel La Rocca is in Porto Ronco.
What to see and do
Lake Maggiore is a beautiful sight and it is a delight to explore it on a lake cruiser. Your Half Fare Card is not valid on the Italian-owned boat company, however we still highly recommend a cruise - maybe to the glorious, subtropical Brissago Islands or a full day on the Lago Maggiore Express. You could use your Ticino Ticket for free travel as far as the border on the Centovalli trains, stopping off at little villages for lunch and walks in the beautiful landscape.
Orselina, just above the centre of Locarno, is also the starting point for a trip to higher mountains, using the cable car to Cardada and then the chairlift to Cimetta. There are wonderful views to be had over the Alps and a variety of walking trails.
Please click here for our summary of the best the region has to offer.
Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site
There are two UNESCO sites within easy reach of Ascona. Discover the medieval history of the Castles of Bellinzona and or head down to Monte San Giorgio where you can find dinosaur fossils and delightful walks. Find more Swiss World Heritage Sites here.
Explore the region with our great value travel passes
Our holidays include the Half Fare Card, which entitles you to a 50% discount on most rail, mountain railways, cable cars, boats and PostBuses across Switzerland.
If you are planning daily outings, the complimentary Ticino Ticket will also save you a great deal of money - and help you avoid the queues at the ticket office! If you are planning trips further afield, it can be well worth pre-booking the Swiss Travel Pass. We will be delighted to guide you on the pass that's right for you. Call us on 0800 619 1200 for more advice.
Scenic rail holidays from Ascona
Enjoy a fantastic two or multi centre holiday, with a scenic rail journey connecting your resorts.
Take the short transfer to Locarno, the starting point for the Centovalli Line (for Brig) which then connects to the Glacier Express and Lötschberg Regio Express. You can also travel to Bellinzona to join the Gotthard Panorama Express for Lucerne or Weggis.
If you prefer to be based solely in Ascona, there are many lakes and mountains journeys to be enjoyed locally. We can tailor make any itinerary you choose, please contact us for details on 0800 619 1200.