In your element. Refreshing activities in and on Lake Lugano.
Lake Lugano shines deep blue in the summer sun at the southernmost tip of Ticino. Densely forested peaks and pretty villages nestled along the lake shore and mountain slopes give the lake its characteristic charm. And the citrus fruits and palm trees that thrive here thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate lend the place a southern flair. Now is the time to take a plunge into the cool water, glide across the surface by boat or dine on local delicacies on the idyllic shoreline, enjoying summer in Ticino with all your senses.
The pretty streets of the old town, exciting architecture, the deep-blue waters of Lake Lugano, Mediterranean vegetation, typical local dishes and characteristic wines: the Lugano Region serves up the finest in Mediterranean living to its visitors.
Glide across the blue water. Select activities on Lake Lugano.
Kayaking – for adventurous types.
Stroke by stroke, the paddle cuts through the water, letting the kayak glide through the gentle waves. Kayaking means freedom, since it lets you choose your own course and discover hidden places along the lake shore. Whether you prefer the lively waters off Lugano or the small, idyllic bay of Agno, both spots are ideal for discovering the region from the water.
Yoga on a stand-up paddle board – for those in search of peace and quiet.
The stand-up paddle board rocks gently in the bay of Agno as the mild morning sun warms your face. You’ll need a good sense of balance if you want to try a salute to the sun and downward dog on a
stand-up paddle board. However, the beauty of your surroundings should make it easier than ever to centre yourself. “There’s no denying that some positions are more challenging than others, but I often get a great sense of euphoria among my students. And I also notice how they become more aware of their bodies and the natural environment,” explains Courtenay Mastain. She started to offer yoga classes on stand-up paddle boards ten years ago in order to share her passion with others.
Boat tours – for day-trippers.
Whether used as public transport to get from A to B or for a longer, leisurely round trip, a cruise on Lake Lugano opens up new perspectives. A trip on the liner to Morcote – a former fishing village and one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland – is particularly recommended!
- 1848 The first motorised ship on Lake Lugano was the “Ticino” steam ship. It first operated from 1848 and could carry around 200 passengers.
- 50 These days, a modern fleet criss-crosses the 50 square kilometres of Lake Lugano. Almost two thirds of this area is in Swiss territory, with the rest in Italy.
- 2016 The Vedetta 1908, Switzerland’s first electric and solar-powered passenger vessel, has been operating in the Bay of Lugano since 2016. A trip with the Vedetta takes one hour and costs CHF 5. The ship operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Plunge head-first into the refreshing water. Select activities in and on Lake Lugano.
Swimming off Gandria – relaxation at its finest.
Dive in and let yourself drift on the gentle waves and to the soft sounds of the water: a dip in Lake Lugano will refresh body and soul. There is a particularly beautiful spot for swimming off Gandria. The picturesque village with its pastel-hued houses is located right on the shores of Lake Lugano and at the foot of Monte Brè. In bygone days the village used to be famous for its olive production and until 1936 could only be reached via the lake. Today, guests can arrive by boat, public transport, car or on foot. The Sentiero di Gandria is a particularly romantic trail. It takes 30 minutes to complete, winding along the shoreline from Lugano-Castagnola through the Mediterranean landscape to Gandria.
Dive, swim and sunbathe at the lido – savour the joy of life.
Plunge head first into the refreshing water. Or maybe you’d like to perform a graceful somersault first? A diving board is the perfect stage for spectacular plunges. Guests at the Lido Riva Caccia can relax in the sun or take a leisurely swim in the lake. For the perfect holiday atmosphere, we recommend a refreshing glass of Gazzosa (a typical Ticino lemonade), a fruity smoothie or a sparkling cocktail. And if you’re feeling hungry, there is also a selection of delicious dishes with a real zero-kilometre philosophy, such as regional cream cheese, vegetarian bruschetta, delicious pasta or hamburgers. The lido can be found on a floating wooden platform close to the city centre, not far from the famous LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura cultural centre.
Lakeside dining – a treat for connoisseurs.
The traditional “grotto” restaurants on the shores of Lake Lugano offer a great romantic atmosphere and excellent Ticino cuisine. Some of the traditional restaurants can only be reached by water, making the whole experience particularly special right from the start (we’re listing just a small selection here). “Grotto” is the name used to describe the traditional Ticino restaurants usually found in secluded, shady places. In the past these buildings served as natural refrigerators, while today they are used as charming restaurants where you can sit at tables and benches under shady trees and enjoy local dishes. A sample menu might include: freshly caught fish from the lake, goat’s cheese, risotto, sausages and cold cuts, or polenta with braised meat.
Getting to Lugano
Since the Ceneri Base Tunnel opened at the end of 2020, it now takes 15 to 25 minutes less to reach Ticino by train from Switzerland’s major cities. For example: It now takes less than two hours to travel from Zurich to Lugano.Learn more