Lake and rivers

Clear emerald green waters are not only reminiscent of the Caribbean. Crystal clear depths, white rocks shimmering in the sun and water to rival the tropics: pay a visit to our valleys and you’ll soon see that paradise is just a stone’s throw from home.

Peccia, Val Lavizzara

A long and narrow lake with many shores for swimming or sunbathing, public or natural beaches, slides and water activities and, last but not least, relaxing green areas. A boat excursion will allow you to discover the region’s most hidden corners, or will get you to the Brissago Islands, a real botanical jewel.

The understated charm of fresh water

Leave the lake region behind for the waters of the valleys and you’ll find yourself confronted by a real natural paradise. Gneiss canyons cut through by turquoise rivers, green forests within arm’s reach of the banks, gorges and waterfalls ideal for sports such as canyoning, kayaking and rafting. It’s not by chance that the Valle Verzasca and Vallemaggia are favourite destinations for swimmers, bewitched by the clearness of these waters. And then there are the alpine lakes, spectacular mirrors of water set among the mountains, a destination for a great many high-altitude hiking trails. Here are four suggestions for spending a day discovering the most refreshing spots in our valleys.

1. Rafting along the Maggia

The Maggia is not to be messed with: it’s a challenging river for kayaking and rafting, but it gives incredible satisfaction in return. The 18 km navigable stretch between Bignasco and Gordevio skims forests that come right down to the water’s edge, rocky islands and large boulders, passing through tranquil turquoise pools crowded with swimmers, small waterfalls and thrilling stretches of fast water. Between one adrenaline hit and the next, what really catches the eye is the beauty of the nature along the river, with its vivid colours and air that retains a hint of wildness.

2. Take home a tropical photo of the Val Verzasca

The emerald waters of the Verzasca river are a spectacle to be seen at least once in your lifetime. Take home a photo of one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, made up of tongues of rock and wonderfully crystal clear waters surrounded by nothing but green. It may look like the tropics but it’s actually Switzerland!

Did you know?
The gorges of the Verzasca are considered one of the most beautiful spots in the world for kayaking. The large boulders in the middle of the river, steep descents, particularly challenging stretches and crystal clear emerald waters all make Verzasca one of the most popular descents with the most expert (and daring) enthusiasts.

3. Jumping down the gorges

Ticino, with its many valleys, is considered a slice of paradise by canyoning experts, one of the most beautiful places in the world to walk through rivers and jump down gorges and waterfalls. With a good dose of courage and the right company, fun is guaranteed. If excitement is what you’re looking for, just look around: this landscape has plenty more to offer than may appear at first glance. Centovalli, Valle Verzasca and Vallemaggia are among the most popular routes in Ticino for this discipline. Are you ready to throw yourself into an adventure?

4. Walk around the Alpine lakes

Small oases of cool right in the middle of beautiful hiking trails through the Alps. Mirrors of crystalline water to be walked along or admired from above: Alpine lakes reflect the peace of the mountains that surround them and convey a sense of infinite serenity. Stop. Close your eyes. Breathe. Just listen to all that space.

Enjoy the water yes, but safely

The tempting beauty of mountain rivers, sometimes placid, sometimes more impetuous, also conceals great dangers. Not everywhere is suitable for swimming; currents and whirlpools can take you by surprise. Enjoy your day without any nasty surprises by reading our recommendations on safe swimming.

So, which activity will make you fall in love with our region this summer? Share your experience with us on social media by using the hashtags #myasconalocarno and #myasconalocarnoACTIVE, and remember, the summer in the Ascona-Locarno region is not just about swimming and sport: get changed out of your costume and enjoy the full programme of major events this season. Everything you won’t want to miss is just waiting for you!

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