Advice wanted on towns in Ticino for hiking

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Wendy
Wendy
5 posts
new member
Oct 17, 2019 - 12:36 AM

We are planning a visit to Switzerland in May 2020. Our main interest is hiking, we hiked in the Wengen/grindelwald area last June and loved the transport system of cable cars and trains. Because we are going to be a month earlier we thought maybe the Ticino region would be better weather for hiking around mid May. Is this correct? Does anyone have any comments on the comparison of the hikes (we love the mountains and the views) and also the ease of travelling and accessibility in the Ticino area compared to Wengen?

I have looked at some of the towns that might appeal to us. We only need the very basics, Wengen was more than adequate for us. Some of the towns we are looking at are Olivone, Sonogno, Maggia and maybe Airolo (might be to busy?) We want access to the best hikes please at this time of the year. Any comments greatly appreciated. We probably need to get some accomodation booked soon.

Suzanne
Suzanne
137 posts
active member &
moderator
Oct 17, 2019 - 7:23 AM

Hello Wendy,

Welcome to MySwissAlps!

That's wonderful that you will make your way back to Switzerland.

I am not familiar with the Ticino region for hiking and will leave the thread open for the seasoned hikers to add in there comments for the comparisons.

I will attach links of all things related to Ticino for you so you can get familiar with that area:

www.myswissalps.com/ti cino

www.myswissalps.com/ti cino/activities

www.myswissalps.com/hi king

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maps

www.myswissalps.com/ti cino/hotels

I hope that helps in the meanwhile!

Best regards,

Suzanne

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6862 posts
expert
Oct 17, 2019 - 1:49 PM in reply to Wendy

Hi Wendy -

<<"Because we are going to be a month earlier we thought maybe the Ticino

region would be better weather for hiking around mid May. Is this

correct? Does anyone have any comments on the comparison of the hikes

(we love the mountains and the views) and also the ease of travelling

and accessibility in the Ticino area compared to Wengen?">>

The Ticino is definitely warmer, but hiking in the Alps is dependent on altitude. And, if you were in Wengen in mid-June, you know what I mean. So, it is not obvious whether the higher trails will be more accessible than in the Bernese Oberland. I've not tried to find out in the Ticino, but there are experienced hikers on the Forum. Hopefully, they'll jump in.

I'd expect that you would have no trouble booking for the next several months, unless your choice(s) close down from late October until the Christmas season....not uncommon in these months.

Athough some of the places are indeed, quite small. Sonogno, for example. It's been a few years, but I recall that there were only a couple of rusticos to eat at in the town.

<<"......and also the ease of travelling

and accessibility in the Ticino area compared to Wengen?">>

I haven't really explored, but what we did by public transport was cumbersome. Long distances, compared to the Jungfrau region. One time we chose to drive to Sonogno, and there was almost no parking. And Wengen is right in the middle of a highly developed...possibly over-developed - area. There are not many places as well developed for mountain transport as the Jungfrau region.

This topo map shows the Wanderweg network, with color coding. It will give you some idea of the trails and precise information about altitudes:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&catalogNodes=139 2,1538,1396,1430,1436& layers=ch.swisstopo.sw isstlm3d-wanderwege&E=2694300.0 0&N=1123975.00&zoom=4

There is quite a network, actually.

This explains the color coding:

www.schweizmobil.ch/en /wanderland/more-wl/hiking-trail-network-and-signalization.html

You might check Switzerland Mobility, too:

www.schweizmobil.ch/en /wanderland/wanderland .html

www.schweizmobil.ch/en /wanderland/routes/reg ional-routes/route-052.html

www.schweizmobil.ch/en /hiking-in-switzerland/services/a ccommodation-0867.html?noFilter

Slowpoke

1960man
1960man
2228 posts
top member
Oct 17, 2019 - 11:47 PM in reply to Wendy

There are loads of walking paths in Ticino, but the public transport is not as good as in the rest of Switzerland, as many of the local railways in Ticino were culled in the 1960s/70s so it's all bus really . Nevertheless, with modern technology you can find out timetable information for buses better than in the past.

there are loads of self catering Rusticos (stone built chalets) but most need a car to access. We stayed at a lovely remote one in the Blenio valley, booked through Interhome

Mark
Mark
417 posts
top member
Oct 18, 2019 - 2:13 AM

Hi Wendy

we stayed in Locarno and hiked for a week in June of this year. It is not near as high as BO area and should be OK in May. The views of Lake Maggiore and the surrounding area is quite nice. You can find a list and description of several hikes in the area on Ascona-Locarno.com. Mark

Anna
Anna
214 posts
active member &
moderator
Oct 18, 2019 - 3:18 AM in reply to Wendy

Hi Wendy,

Just a suggestion, Locarno is a good choice for a base if you are visiting Ticino.
www.myswissalps.com/lo carno

The town is charming with a local mountain you can access easily with a funicular from the centre of town. There's a church at the top with an observatory deck next to it that has a fantastic view over Locarno, Lake Maggiore and the surrounding mountains. Instead of taking the funicular, you could also walk up there. It's not your usual mountain hike but it's definitely worth a go.

Details here: www.myswissalps.com/ma donnadelsasso

Not too far from Locarno is Valley Verzasca. It's a popular hiking area in the region. Most travellers are familiar with Lavertezzo, with its iconic Ponte de Salti bridge and crystal clear river. In summer it is packed with visitors.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/lavertezzo-ganne

Please plan ahead as most places are only accessible by bus or private transportation.

Anna

Wendy
Wendy
5 posts
new member
Oct 18, 2019 - 4:07 AM

Thank you to everyone who has made suggestions so far, lots of great information and ideas, and lots more research to do by the look of it! Great to get some on the ground information. Yes Wengen was over developed and crowded but we found you only had to head out a few kms from town on some of the longer trails and it was pretty quiet. We managed nearly 100km of mountain walking in 5 days so just loved it, that is why we are keen to get to an area with lots of trails to explore.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6862 posts
expert
Oct 18, 2019 - 7:48 AM in reply to Mark

Hi Mark -

<<"It is not near as high as BO area and should be OK in May.">>

I was considering the old trade route between Sonogno and Bignasco once when I was much younger, quite few years ago.

I note today that its highest point is 2518 meters, 200 meters higher than Eigergletscher. So, there are some higher altitude trails if you go valley to valley.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&catalogNodes=139 2,1538,1396,1430,1436& layers=ch.swisstopo.sw isstlm3d-wanderwege&E=2697266.6 0&N=1133876.70&zoom=6

Slowpoke

Mark
Mark
417 posts
top member
Oct 18, 2019 - 9:30 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

We hiked mostly in the area close to Lake Maggiore, Cimetta, Comino, Gambarogno, etc. So it wasn’t a very large survey of the area. I would say it was overall quite beautiful and worthwhile but not spectacular like BO. At least in the area we visited there wasn’t any snow covered peaks in June so that is why I opined it wasn’t as high as Jungfrau area and would likely be OK in May. It was mostly a warmup for the Dolomites hiking to follow for us.

Mark

1960man
1960man
2228 posts
top member
Oct 18, 2019 - 11:10 PM in reply to Wendy

No idea if you are a James Bond or Pierce Brosnan fan but if you are you will want to go to the Contra dam just outside Locarno. It is just up the Verzasca valley - one of the valleys up into the 'wilderness' north of Locarno - this area is wonderfully untouched by tourists compared to the Jungfrau area

Wendy
Wendy
5 posts
new member
Oct 19, 2019 - 1:37 AM

Thanks for all the interesting information. It sounds like we are going to have to give it a go. The only thing we have to decide is where to base ourselves. It will be for 5-6 nights, we don't need much in the way of restaurants, and no night entertainment. We will be totally reliant on public transport so we need to be in an area that can give us access to 5-6 days hiking, we would most likely hike around 7-8 hours a day including rest stops. We also like to bike, so we would need access to bike rental if we were in an area with good bike trails. We don't do big towns, we found Lucerne a total waste of time when there was so much beauty in the countryside waiting to be explored, but as I said we need access to transport and accomodation that either gives us full board or somewhere we can buy food. We do like James Bond!!! sounds like a fun thing to see.

Anna
Anna
214 posts
active member &
moderator
Oct 19, 2019 - 4:51 AM

Hi again Wendy,

I hope you are excited about planning your trip :)

These links may be useful in your accommodation search.

Best regards,

Anna

Last modified on Oct 19, 2019 - 4:53 AM by Anna
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6862 posts
expert
Oct 19, 2019 - 7:24 AM in reply to Wendy

Hi Wendy -I just ran across this thread, with some information about hiking near Lugano:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/trip-report-day-8-14-of-5-week-trip-mayjune

Next year -

Looking ahead - next year, you might consider the Emmental. ;-)

<<"It will be for 5-6 nights, we don't need much in the way of

restaurants, and no night entertainment. We will be totally reliant on

public transport so we need to be in an area that can give us access to

5-6 days hiking, we would most likely hike around 7-8 hours a day

including rest stops. We also like to bike, so we would need access to

bike rental if we were in an area with good bike trails. We don't do big

towns, we found Lucerne a total waste of time when there was so much

beauty in the countryside waiting to be explored, but as I said we need

access to transport and accomodation that either gives us full board or

somewhere we can buy food.">>

It certainly meets those criteria, in abundance. There is an abundance of inns of all degrees of size and kitchen quality, usually family run. And, May is a good time to hike in the area. Trails are all open and in good condition.

The only thing that it lacks....which may be critical for you? - is really high mountains.

However, they pop up on the horizon often, as seen in images throughout this long thread:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/langnau-in-may

Some of the links are obsolete. Landgasthof Sonne Affoltern is now apartments. The pictures are still relevant. Some specific hikes are described.

This link is still good:

emmental.ch/en/taste/r estaurants-traditional-inns/

Here is a newly refurbished and still relatively cheap inn in the heart of the Emmental -

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/a-particularly-nice-small-inn-in-the-emmental

There are added comments about that inn and, toward the end, some images of a particularly nice Emmental village (Trub) here:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/visit-to-switzerland-in-sept-report

This following very long thread describes a lot of the detailed planning that eventually led to that trip report, and the section about the buses in the Emmental may be useful. In contrast to the Ticino, the bus and train network is very strong.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/travelling-to-the-swiss-alps-in-sept-2019

There are other parts of Switzerland discussed as well.

That's a bit of a digression, but I did include one link about the Ticino. ;-)

Slowpoke

Last modified on Oct 19, 2019 - 7:46 AM by Slowpoke

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