Mesmerising peaks standing out proudly against the sky, defying wind and weather. Once you've been bitten by the mountain bug, it's hard to get away from the magical attraction that keeps enticing you back to face new adventures – which are hugely rewarding in terms of a sense of accomplishment, tranquillity and awe-inspiring vistas. So where are the loveliest views in the Ascona-Locarno region? There's no simple answer: the region's full of vantage points offering spectacular panoramas. That said, here are five that experienced mountaineers shouldn't miss. Less experienced fans of the great outdoors can also enjoy fantastic hikes nearby.
After a twisting approach (car/bus) to the Alpe di Neggia, a fabulous hike leads through scenery studded with alpine rhododendron to the summit of Monte Gambarogno. It offers amazing views over Ascona, Locarno, the Maggia delta and on into the surrounding valleys and Italy.
The Sassariente is topped by a large distinctive cross. The summit was hard to access until a few years ago, when an elaborate, winding timber boardwalk was built to ease access for the last 15 minutes. What a vista!
It towers majestically above Brissago on the border with Italy and offers breathtaking panoramic views over Lake Maggiore, the Ticino Alps and the Monte Rosa massif. A variety of routes of varying levels of difficulty lead to the summit from Brissago and Palagnedra (Centovalli). One alternative option is Alpe di Naccio - Pizzo Leone.
The Pizzo Leone is the perfect alternative to the Ghiridone: it offers a shorter, less demanding ascent with the same reward at the end – fantastic views of Lake Maggiore!
The Rosso di Ribia in the Val Vergeletto is a bit of an unknown quantity, not because it has less to offer, but because it has a few quirks. But that's what makes it so interesting: it's a wonderful peak above the Onsernone valley that offers both tranquillity and glorious views. One alternative option is Alpe Salei
You take the aerial cableway or walk up to the Alpe Salei and to the Laghetto di Salei, a little mountain lake – an idyll offering fabulous views!
This is the tallest mountain sited completely on Ticino soil. Given its height, you can imagine the kind of vistas it offers from the summit. The long, stony ascent from Val di Prato is worth every step. At the top, you're greeted by a stone cairn and colourful Tibetan prayer flags. One alternative option is Prato Sornico – Capanna Soveltra. From Prato Sornico, you proceed via stone steps and pastures up the enchanting Val di Prato to the Capanna Soveltra (destroyed by fire in 2017), the starting point for the Pizzo Campo Tencia. It's a delightful spot for relaxing in the midst of an imposing mountainscape.
Have we whetted your appetite?
Do you still have the energy to explore more mountains in the Ascona-Locarno region? Click here for a large selection of easy hikes and challenging mountain tours, mountain refuges and places to eat. The sky's the limit!
Snow on mountain trails. Many canals are still covered with residual snow and will remain so for some longer, making them dangerous, especially in the morning because they are frozen.