Sunshine, palm trees and snow-capped mountains. Winter on the shores of Lake Maggiore is the mildest in Switzerland, making it the ideal destination for a winter holiday with the children – their desire to run around and play in the open air will be satisfied to the full. And if you’re missing the snow, all you have to do is climb a little higher, venture into the valleys and discover enchanting villages where winter is whiter, or, until 7 January, pay a visit to Piazza Grande in Locarno to soak up the magical Winterland atmosphere and take a spin around the ice rink.
Winter in town is sunkissed and characterised by extremely mild temperatures, perfect for dining outside on restaurant terraces, perhaps even enjoying a delicious Swiss fondue. If you’ve decided to spend your winter holiday here in the region with your family, take advantage with some lovely outdoor walks, such as the one that runs alongside the Maggia river or takes you to Monte Verità, or visit natural areas such as the Bolle di Magadino. A trip into the Centovalli on the train that goes from Locarno to Domodossola, the Centovallina, is an ideal activity in all weathers and temperatures. The landscape you can admire through the window is breathtaking in any season. Back in town, you can enjoy winter with a spin around one of the ice rinks.
Talking of mysteries and intrigue, Escape Rooms are a great way to spend your free time in the winter. Some, such as the Sato Code adventures in Locarno and Ascona, take place around the city, in the outdoors, with the benefit of introducing you to secret corners and showing you some hidden gems. If you’re keen to climb a little higher and enjoy some snow, why not go to Cardada, Locarno’s local mountain that can be reached in just a few minutes from the centre by funicular and cable car. Cardada has plenty of activities for having fun with young children, with or without snow; you can sledge, play in the playground and learn lots of new things on the suspended platform, which also has incredible views over Lake Maggiore. If you want to go a little further afield and find a real winter village teeming with wooden homes and plenty of atmosphere you can reach Bosco Gurin in about an hour from Locarno. It’s the highest village in Ticino and, in heavy snow, you can even ski there.