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Attractions in and around Lugano
There can be no nicer way on a fine day to explore the area than by boat. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the views. From the sweep of the bay between the mountains rising out of the water to small villages around the lake. Make a point of visiting Gandria which literally hangs from the cliffs. Walk through the narrow paths and maybe stop for a meal at one of the restaurants. To complete the visit walk back to Lugano along the lakeside path and explore the 'Olive Trail'.
Morcote is another popular stopping off point with its arcaded shops and restaurants, Santa Maria del Sasso Church overlooking the town and Parco Scherrer gardens.
There are cruises to suit all varying in time from 1 to just over 3 hours. For more information and for times and fares visit:- www.lakelugano.ch/en/10/homepage.aspx
Swiss Miniatur Melide
Switzerland in one hour! A joy for all ages offering a chance to walk round the most important buildings and monuments in Switzerland all set in miniature in a lovely open air setting with an intertwining model railway. Easily reached from Lugano by boat, bus and rail.
More information at:- www.swissminiatur.ch/
Reached by two funiculars from Cassarate. It is a pleasant walk there from the centre or by taking bus routes 2, 11 or 12. Another option is the 'Red Arrow' tourist land train.
The first short section of the funicular is unmanned so tickets are purchased at the start of the of the main section. At 933 metres there are wonderful views of the whole of the lake and distant mountains. From the top walk down the village of Brè where you can follow the 'Arttrail'. It is also possible to walk down to Gandria but the path is steep and rocky so not for the faint hearted. Another walk is through the woods to "Alpe Bolla" and from there down to Cureggia where there is a bus back to Lugano.
Monte San Salvatore
Situated across the bay to Monte Brè this is another majestic point at 912 metres from which to view the lake and its surroundings. Ascent is by funicular from Paradiso which can also be reached by bus route 2 or the tourist train. Although only operating with a single cable the layout requires change of cars halfway. In the summer the last funicular down is at 11.00 pm allowing visitors to enjoy an evening meal in the Vetta Restaurant at the summit.
From the top a trail leads down to Carona on the southern side. Post buses run from here back to Lugano or you can continue walking to Morcote and return from there by bus or boat. Taking a route via Vico Morcote, which is a small hillside village above the lake, is to be recommended.
Currently out of commission until Spring 2017.
Situated at the southern tip of the lake Monte Generoso at 1704 metres gives some of the best 360º panoramic views in the area. Catch the cogwheel railway from Capolago and in 40 minutes you will be at the top. With the Switzerland/Italy border passing right through it is possible to stand in two countries at the same time!
Travel to and from Lugano by train. Currently there is only one boat service in the morning but no return boat in the afternoon.
After an 18 minute rail journey from Lugano to Rivera-Bironico small continuous cable cars will take you up to the Alpe Foppa at 1567 metres. Of particular interest is the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli designed by local architect Mario Botta.
There are a variety of attractions for the young at heart including an adventure park and an 800 metre long alpine coaster bob.
It is also possible to making a round trip by hiking to Monte Lema. This is a moderate walk of over 4 hours and the advice is to wear mountain clothing and hiking boots and to bring plenty of fluids.
Recently opened is the new Spash & Spa in Rivera-Bironico by the base station of the cable cars leading to MonteTamaro.
From Miglieglia, a modern triple car cable-way takes you up to the peak in 10 minutes. At an altitude of 1624 metres there are 360 degree views over Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore, northern Italy and distant alpine peaks.
Miglieglia is reached by bus from the centre of Lugano with a change at Lamone-Cadempino or FLP train (the station is on opposite of road to mainline station) to Magliaso and from there by bus with a change at Novaggio.
For more information on these and other attractions visit:-
Timetables can be found at:- www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm