Advice on Ticino region of Switzerland

Jan 14th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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Advice on Ticino region of Switzerland

I am planning my second trip to Switzerland. I did not get to the Ticino area previously, so I want to go there this trip. Would you recommend staying in Lugano or Locarno and why? What day trips would you recommend from there (by train or hiking)? Do you have any recommendations for hotels for a moderate budget?

Thanks for any help.
Martha
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Jan 14th, 2007, 04:40 PM
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Any southern Swiss lovers out there?
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Jan 14th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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What time of year and will you have a car? Google and read about Val Verzasca and Centovalli train trip for starters.
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Jan 14th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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I'll be there the end of May and I plan on traveling by train.
Thanks Bob
Martha
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Jan 14th, 2007, 11:35 PM
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Martha,

You'll find some people who like Lugano more and some who like Locarno more. I like Ascona the most.

I like Locarno over Lugano because it's smaller and is on the Lago Maggiore. It's central if you want to explore the valleys around it. I love Verszascat valley but Maggia valley is also very interesting to see, especially Bosco Gurin. On the lake, take a ferry to Brissago island. You can even take a ferry to Stresa in the summer.

Lugano is bigger, has a lovely old town and is closer to Como lake. There's a wonderful flat hike to Gandria and some nice towns like Morcote that are must sees. There are also some mountains nearby that can be reached by cable car or funicular.
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Jan 15th, 2007, 05:02 AM
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Hi. Schuler's post summarizes Ticino well. I'm not a hiker, so I can't help you there, but I must say that I can't imagine a stay in Ticino without all three towns--Ascona, Locarno, and Lugano. They contrast and compliment and each contribute exquisite details to the experience. Follow Bob's advice and do some keyword searching here. We've all elaborated on the pleasures of this canton from time to time. Your choice of where to stay will depend upon your own favorite ambience. I wouldn't dare recommend mine. (Well I have, but it's probably not yours.) J.
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Jan 15th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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It is a question of style. Lugano is a cosmopolitan city and the others are small resort towns. Ascona is a good choice as well with all of the benefits of being on Lago Maggiore. I agree, wherever you stay you will travel the entire region. Try not to miss my favorite, Lago Orta.
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Jan 15th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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We chose Lugano mainly because it seemed to be the easier location for us since we were traveling by train. We stayed in Lugano-Paradiso. We enjoyed Lugano but since we were there over the weekend much was closed on Sunday.

It's a nice area just for walking the promanade and enjoyed the lakeside scenery. For us it was a nice break after hiking in the Berner Oberland.
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Jan 15th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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FWIW: My favorite of The Lakes is the fjordlike Lugano. My favorite lakeside town on The Lakes is Orta S. Giulio.
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Jan 15th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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I've always wanted to do the hike up the Val Verzasca to Sonogno. According to my hiking book, you can hike one-way and take a postbus back to Locarno.
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Jan 15th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I do tend to like smaller towns, so Ascona or Locarno are looking better. I assume it is easy to take a train to Lake Como for a day trip? I would like to spend 4 nights - wherever I stay here, so I should have time to do explore much of the region.
Thanks again. Keep any recommendations coming - especially on moderate priced hotels.
Martha
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Jan 15th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Ascona has no train station. You have to take the bus to Locarno (15 min.).
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Jan 15th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Although I haven't done this, I doubt there are train (or bus) connections that would enable a day trip from Ascona or Locarno to mid-Lake Como (Menaggio/Bellagio/Varenna). Which is not to say you couldn't physically get there but probably not without having to immediately turn around and go back. It might be possible to day-trip to the town of Como, but as you "tend to like smaller towns" you wouldn't enjoy Como very much. It is possible to day-trip by bus between Lugano and Menaggio.
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Jan 15th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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Well actually, it is doable but time consuming.

Locarno - Lugano: 52 min.
Lugano - Menaggio: about 1 hour by bus (27 km)

For Swiss time tables, see sbb.ch
For time tables from Lugano to Menaggio, see: http://www.menaggio.com/ita/e-lakes/Orari_bus.pdf
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Jan 15th, 2007, 08:18 PM
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If Schuler is indicating that the journey from Locarno to Lugano is by train, include in your timing getting from the train station in Lugano to the bus for Menaggio. Even the tightest connection would require 20 minutes to be safe. So, one way from Locarno to Menaggio is close to 2 1/2 hours. Another half hour or so to get to Bellagio, and you're up to 3 hours going and 3 hours returning. Depending on the day, the last bus from Menaggio to Lugano departs at 5:30 p.m. or earlier.
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Jan 19th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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We're going in April and originally planned to stay in Locarno, but after seeing Casino Royale (incredible scenes of Lake Como!), we are staying in Bellagio. We're planning a day trip to Lugano.
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Jan 19th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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We decided to stay in Ascona. Less crowded than other places and is a delightful town to walk around. We took a short drive up the valley to a place where the river flows over rock and warms up. Great swimming hole! There a large beach area that is good for swimming and people watching. And there are boats to other parts of the lake. We stayed in a small hotel that was across from the waterfont, between the main town and the beach area, but I don't have the name with me.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 04:43 AM
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Hello again. If you choose Ascona, there are numerous bus and boat connections to Locarno, so don't be discouraged by the lack of a train station. The buses go to the Locarno train station and the Locarno boat dock is just a short walk to same.

Re the four days, I really feel that there are enough daytrip options aside from Como. A wonderful day out can combine Gandria and Morcote on Lugano's lake, another can combine Lugano and perhaps Bellinzona, and my recent favorite tiny place, Carona, reached by train and bus from Lugano. Don't forget the islands at the southern end of Maggiore.

Or, if Como is near the top of your to do list, re-consider staying in Lugano. There are several nice hotels just outside of that city, if it bustles too much for you.

J.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 04:55 AM
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How could I forget a visit to the sanctuary Madonna del Sasso above Locarno? Wow. And you mentioned hikes. . . . There are dozens in the vicinity of Ascona and Locarno. I just cannot recommend from personal experience. I think you can walk (or bus) from Ascona to Ronca S. Ascona, tiny and lovely in its own right, then walk down a path of steps to Ronco at the lakeshore and boat back or onward. OK, I think that's all I've got to add. What about a visit to Cannero Riviera? (stop, stop, stop.) I love Ticino. J.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 05:46 AM
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When in Locarno, we always stay at La Palma Au Lac hotel. It is lakeside to the front, and right out the back door and just a very short walk, is the Locarno train station. Very handy. I don't know if the price is within your moderate budget, but you might check it out.
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