Thanks to its mild climate, with average annual temperatures of 15°C, Gambarogno offers a fertile home to plants such as camellias and magnolias. The Gambarogno Botanical Gardens, perched on a hillside between Piazzogna and Vairano, benefit greatly from the climate and can boast a collection of some 450 varieties of magnolia. These have been grown personally over time by Otto Eisenhut, founder of the Botanical Gardens, who, in 1955, purchased a plot of land bordered by two small streams on which to grow silver and North American pines to be sold as Christmas trees. He decided to turn it into a nursery about ten years later and began experimenting with grafts before eventually shipping his seedlings all over the world. The gardens are now also home to 950 varieties of camellia, 400 azaleas and rhododendrons, as well as many other plants. While Eisenhut’s gardens aim to provide the rarest plant species with continuity, the Bolle di Magadino are known as a home for flora and fauna typical of transition zones between land and water. A Ramsar wetland site and protected area, they are one of nine Swiss floodplain landscapes considered of national importance. They can be visited thanks to a dense network of educational trails. They also welcome more than 300 species of birds and are an important stop for migrating birds.
From the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore to the summits of the mountains. The shores of Gambarogno are particularly popular for their secluded beaches and lidos in the towns along the riviera, which look out over a stunning lake on which you can try your hand at countless water sports. The village of Vira Gambarogno, with its church of San Pietro overlooking the lake and typical centre of tightly packed houses, narrow alleyways and arcades, is considered the historical centre of Gambarogno. From here, a road leads straight into a wild landscape of never-ending chestnut forests towards mountain villages, and finally the most remote village of all, on the border with Italy: Indemini, with a peaceful and harmonious feel, is a tiny grey gneiss village with stone roofs and romantic wooden pergolas. The historical and cultural wealth of Gambarogno comes in many guises: tradition, hiking and even centres of energy. Centocampi, on the Monti di Caviano, for example, is home to the last stable with a thatched roof in the whole of Ticino. At Vairano, near Sass da Grüm – a place of power home to a hotel focused on wellness and sustainability – there is a Sentiero dello Yoga, a trail surrounded by a stunning forest where you can practise yoga while in deep conversation with nature. Alpe di Neggia, which can be reached easily by bus or car, sees the start of a captivating mountain trail through a landscape dotted with Alpine roses right up to the summit of Monte Gambarogno, which will treat you to truly breath-taking views.
Via Cantonale 29
6574 Vira Gambarogno
Monday – Friday: 09.00-12.00
Sunday and holidays*: closed
*The opening hours during public holidays are subject to change without notice.