Situated on the shore of Lake Maggiore and enjoying the balmy sunshine normally associated with its Italian neighbour, Locarno really is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the dolce vita. As well as the sparkling lake, visitors are treated to beautiful views of foothills of the southern Alps. The famous Piazza Grande offers boutique shops and an inviting Mediterranean-style café culture. During the Locarno International Film Festival (held here since 1948), the Piazza is transformed into a huge open air cinema.
Families will enjoy the Lido, with its splash pools, waterslides and spectacular views over the lake. Palm trees abound, making for a wonderful place to stroll and enjoy the sunshine and every spring, the stunning Parco delle Camelie features an arresting display of colourful and fragrant camellias. Historic places of interest include the 15th century Castello Visconteo and a trip on the 1905 funicular up to rocky Orselina, home to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso. Hotel guests benefit from the FREE Ticino Ticket, allowing you to hop on and off buses and trains across the region.
Minusio is a 10 minute bus journey from the centre of Locarno. This is a recommended spot for a very relaxing holiday in peaceful surroundings. 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 Geranio au Lac and Belvedere are in Locarno while the Boutique-Hotel Remorino is in Minusio.
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 Locarno. 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 Locarno
Enjoy a fantastic two or multi centre holiday, with a scenic rail journey connecting your resorts.
Locarno is 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 and Weggis.
If you prefer to be based solely in Locarno, 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.