Excursions on Lake Maggiore
From a parachute jump to a stroll through the city
We show you what you need to see!
Excursions on Lake Maggiore
A vacation on Lake Maggiore offers much more than just the beach and the lake. Even if leisurely days on the beach or water sports are an important reason for many of our guests to spend their vacation in Cannobio, at some point even the most beautiful lake and the most well-kept beach get boring. You also want to see and experience things that you will remember for a long time to come and that you can talk about with pride at home.
So here they are – our best tips for excursions, sights and exciting things to do on Lake Maggiore. You will see: the surroundings of Cannobio and the whole of Lake Maggiore are very varied and colorful!
City strolls – the quiet excursions!
Let’s start with something quiet – strolling through beautiful cities. Here, of course, we recommend Cannobio, with its beautiful Italian old town, the fantastic view in Sant’Agata and the nice. small stores and restaurants in the historic village center. Ascona is also just a short drive away in the Swiss canton of Ticino and is easily accessible by public transport. Ascona is a beautiful old fishing village, known for its outstanding gastronomy and small but fine (and expensive) stores. The old town invites you to stroll around, the local mountain Monte Verita is perfect for a short hike. Those who like it a little bigger can continue on to Locarno, known for its world-famous Festival del Film that takes place in the town and on the market square in summer. Both the historic city center with its famous piazza and the local mountain Cardada (accessible by cable car) are beautiful. On our site you will also find a comprehensive overview of the towns worth visiting on Lake Maggiore.
Parachute, zipline, bungee – pure adrenaline!
If a stroll through the city is too boring for you and you are in the mood for an adrenaline rush, we also have a few tips. Let’s start with the most harmless, the zipline. 350m high, almost 2km long, 120km/h fast. Are you tingling already? Lago Maggiore Zipline offers flights like a hawk, reservation recommended. But it gets even faster! Who remembers the James Bond movie Goldeneye? At the beginning, the British secret agent jumps from a dam wall into a Russian military base. Well, this world-famous jump took place far away from Russia – on Lake Maggiore, in the beautiful Verzasca Valley. Today you can recreate the scene – with the famous Goldeneye bungee jump from the Verzasca dam, one of the highest in Europe at around 200 meters.
You can also do it without a protective rope: the Paracentro Locarno offers a parachute jump on Lake Maggiore (as a tandem). The ascent alone, during which you can admire the northern Italian lakes from the airplane, is gigantic. When you sit at the open door and see the lakes and mountains from above, you do feel a little sick to your stomach – but it soon passes. The free fall from a height of around 5 km is probably the most impressive memory you can take home with you from Lake Maggiore! Much less adrenaline is released at Wonderwood – a beautiful high ropes course near Trarego on Lake Maggiore.
Shopping, museums & co – the best indoor ideas for rainy days
Even if it doesn’t rain often in summer – there is always a rainy day in Cannobio on Lake Maggiore. The museums on Lake Maggiore are well worth a visit. On rainy days, shopping is of course also an option!
A real money-saving tip here is the Vicolungo Style Outlet in Vicolungo, a good hour from Cannobio. A huge outlet village offers bargains on clothing, shoes, cosmetics and everyday items. Vicolungo is right next to the highway, you can’t miss the Style Outlet and can easily spend a whole (rainy) day there. On the way to Vicolungo you pass Gravellona-Toce – THE shopping town directly on Lake Maggiore. In Gravellona, you can store to your heart’s content in several shopping centers on Lake Maggiore. On the Swiss side in Mendrisio (near Lugano), the Foxtown Outlet is also a very large outlet center near Lago di Lugano. Even if Switzerland sounds very expensive, you can often find really good bargains at the Foxtown Outlet. Here, too, you will find everything your heart desires: well-known brands such as Armani, Hugo Boss, Versace, Diesel, Pepe, Hilfiger and, of course, sportswear from Adidas, Nike, Puma and Salomon. Household goods are not neglected either, with several restaurants and cafés where you can spend the whole (rainy) day. And the big advantage: on the way to Mendrisio there is a large and very nice wellness and fun pool.
Fun pools & wellness on Lake Maggiore
Those who have had enough of the lake will find many alternatives on Lake Maggiore in the Cannobio area. Aqualand Cannobio is located directly on Lungolago Cannobio in summer – with a water slide, adventure climbing park on the lake and trampoline park on the shore. In the neighboring town of Brissago (Swiss side) is the beautiful Lido Brissago lido with water slide, children’s pool, small swimming pool and diving platform into the lake. The“Lido Locarno” is larger and more impressive – and can be used in both summer and winter: with indoor pools, indoor and outdoor children’s pools, a diving platform (outdoor only) and several large water slides, the lido in Locarno is a really nice place to spend a nice day. There is also a thermal spa with steam bath and sauna area right next door.
You will also find a very nice spa with a large water slide park on Monte Tamaro (Swiss side towards Lugano) – the Splash e Spa. But the absolute highlight in summer is Ondaland: Italy’s largest outdoor water park with a wave pool, countless water slides and a huge children’s area. An absolute must for water slide lovers on a vacation at Lake Maggiore!
Hiking, skiing & co
A vacation in Cannobio on Lake Maggiore is also ideal for outdoor activities and fresh air. The Valle Cannobina (Cannobina Valley), which borders directly on Cannobio, deserves special mention. Countless hiking trails through chestnut forests and along the Cannobina river, which flows into Lake Maggiore at Cannobio, will delight every hiker. The two Swiss valleys Valle Verzasca (Verzasca Valley) and Valle Maggia (Maggia Valley) are world-famous. While the Verzasca Valley is wild and rugged, the lower part of the Maggia Valley is rather wide and accompanied by a large, broad riverbed. In both valleys you can go on beautiful hikes and enjoy Ticino specialties such as salami, ham and cheese or the famous polenta in rustic grottos. A real insider tip is the area around Robiei, which can also be reached by cable car. Here you can see a large dam wall from the inside and hike on one of the largest glaciers in Ticino.
Two nearby ski areas are particularly suitable for alpine skiers: in the Italian Piana di Vigezzo, a modern 6-seater chairlift (“Funivia Piana di Vigezzo”) near Craveggia takes skiers up to the ski area. From there you can reach the children’s lift and several downhill runs and chairlifts. A small but nice and not too crowded ski area. The Swiss alternative Bosco Gurin is slightly more expensive: here you can also reach the ski area with a modern chairlift and from there several drag lifts and chairlifts. Both ski resorts cannot be compared with the large Alpine centers, but offer pleasant and well-groomed slopes for a few days of skiing in between.
Excursions especially for families on Lake Maggiore
Many of the excursions mentioned above are suitable for families with children. There are also a number of attractions aimed specifically at families and children:
The Pombia Safari Park near Campora has a lot to offer families: animal safaris in your own car through enclosures with wild animals are just as possible as some smaller theme park attractions. Recently, there is even a small outdoor water park in the Pombia Safari Park. The interesting mix of attractions and themes makes the park very attractive for young and old. Monte Tamaro also offers some attractions for children in addition to other beautiful routes. The small gondola chairlift takes you up the mountain, where a summer toboggan run and flying fox, a small zipline and the large “Monte Tamaro high ropes course” with various levels of difficulty await. Another high ropes course is the “Wonderwood” near Trarego, about 30 minutes from Cannobio. And the BoBosco marble run hike in Valle Verzasca near Brione is something very special: a hiking trail awaits the family here, which can be walked in several stages and is therefore also suitable for small children. 16 large ball tracks, in the middle of the wonderful nature of the Verzasca Valley, offer fun and games for young and old. And the indoor tip for really bad weather: “Space” in Verbania-Fondotoce, a very nice indoor trampoline park for young and old!