Located at 193 metres above sea level with a maximum depth of 372m, Lake Maggiore is the lowest point in all of Switzerland. Curiously, from the Ascona-Locarno region, and more specifically from Cardada-Cimetta, it is possible to see both the lowest and highest points in Switzerland at the same time (Punta Dufour, at 4,633 metres above sea level). Of the 212km2 of the lake’s surface, almost a fifth is located in Switzerland. Many towns and villages overlook it on both sides: Brissago, Ronco sopra Ascona, Locarno, Muralto, Minusio, Tenero-Contra, Magadino, Gambarogno, Vira, San Nazzaro, Gerra, Ronco, Caviano and Dirinella.
The region’s climate, favoured by the presence of Lake Maggiore, allows for the growth of typically Mediterranean plants. Its surface is dotted with verdant islands such as the Brissago Islands, home to the only botanical park in Switzerland on an island. The garden on the Island of San Pancrazio is home to plant species from every corner of the world. The climate is also perfect for enjoying a whole series of water sports. Two winds mainly blow across the surface of Lake Maggiore: the Tramontana in the morning, which blows from the mountains to the plain, and the Inverna, which blows from the plain to the mountains in the afternoon. These conditions make the lake the perfect place to indulge in sports such as sailing and windsurfing, very popular in the Ascona-Locarno region.
These include the Locarno Lido, famous for its waterslides inspired by the inlets of Lake Maggiore and for having the first Looping in Switzerland. Ideal for spending a day with the family. More focused on relaxation, the Ascona Lido boasts 40,000 m2 of parkland and is one of the largest beaches in Switzerland. It’s the perfect spot to bask in the sun all day and enjoy an aperitivo at sunset with friends. For those looking for somewhere quieter, all you have to do is choose from Lake Maggiore’s many lidos and beaches.
A privileged view of the area and the option to disembark at the various ports to admire the region’s many botanical parks. With the Lago Maggiore Express ticket, you can combine your boat ride with a panoramic trip on the Centovallina, the railway that links Locarno to Domodossola.