The mild climate at Lago Maggiore is unique in Switzerland, and enables subtropical plants to flourish in the open air on Isola Grande, the large island. The Botanical Gardens of the Canton of Ticino house around 1,700 plant species.
Lotus blossoms, giant sequoias, bald cypresses, perennial banana plants, and even eucalyptus trees grow in the Botanical Gardens on the two Brissago islands in Lago Maggiore. The water of the lake stores warmth so well that there are hardly any days with frost in the winter, and the Alps also form a protective barrier against cold air from the north. This climate favors the growth of exotic plants.
The 2.5-hectare park houses plants from nearly all of the subtropical regions of Asia, South Africa, America, Australia and the islands of Oceania. The smaller Brissago island, Isola di Sant'Apollinare, is covered by vegetation that grows of its own accord, and that is kept in its natural state.
In the Botanical Park, there is a 0.5-kilometer long nature trail dedicated to the world of plants, where visitors can obtain information on various plants and their origin. They can also visit a special collection of medicinal herbs and crops. Interested visitors will receive the flyer «Ferns on the Brissago Isles».
Treasure hunt on the Brissago Islands
Children discover hidden valuables on the island during a treasure hunt. The treasure map with instructions is available at the counter.