Lake Maggiore is the largest lake and a major tourist hotspot in southern Switzerland. There are some well-known holiday resorts in this part of Switzerland endowed with a warm climate and jaw-dropping beauty. The climate of the region is extremely favourable to the growth of beautiful sub-tropical plants and a wide variety of flowers. All this not only draws tourists to relax and unwind by the shores of the lake but also acts as a perfect venue for a number of internationally acclaimed events. A number of artists and celebrities have come here and fallen in love with its incredible beauty, culture and natural resources. The towns on the shore of Lake Maggiore are also known for their beautiful gardens, iconic villas, historical churches and numerous other heritages sites.
On the northern shore of Lake Maggiore in Ticino, the southernmost canton of Switzerland, sits the quaint and beautiful town of Locarno which is often called the Mediterranean soul of Switzerland. Popular for the Locarno Film Festival, one of the most important International Film Festival which is organized in Europe, the town is also known for its picturesque settings, historical monuments and unique attractions. The history of the town is considered to go back to the Bronze Age. There are numerous historical structures, most notably castles, tombs and churches built during the Roman era and afterward. Among these, the 12th century Castello Visconteo, which is located at the edge of the old town, is worth visiting. The old town is the most characteristic part of Locarno. The tourists love to take a stroll in this part of Locarno appreciating the castle, patrician homes, arcades, beautiful ancient frescoes, courtyards and gardens. The old part of the town starts from the Piazza Grande, one of the most popular squares in Switzerland. The square has been a major center of trade and commerce since the Roman era and continues to be the most important spot in the town till date. Visitors and locals love to come here to dine and shop. The weekly market which is organized every Thursday is a major draw for tourists who love to shop. Piazza Grande is also the venue for the annual Locarno Film Festival. Every August, the square turns into the place where the world’s largest open-air screening of films happens. If you are lucky, you might even brush shoulders with important film personalities and celebrities. The square is also the venue for the Moon & Stars Festival. The 10-day festival of pop-rock music in the spectacular Piazza Grande attracts international celebrities from the world of music who perform live in front of thousands of spectators. Other attractions in the town which are quite famous among visitors include the Falconry where visitors can watch birds of prey like hawks, eagles, owls and vultures from close quarters. A funicular cable links the town with Madonna del Sasso which is an important pilgrimage site for Christians. Visitors can go further up on a cable car to Cardada and a chair lift to Cimetta and enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the landscape. In fact, there is a viewing platform which allows you to enjoy unique views of the lake, the Ligurian Apennines and the most famous peaks of the Alps including the highest point in Switzerland (Monte Rosa) at the same time. Cimetta is particularly popular among foodies and mountain lovers. Locarno is a beautiful lake town which has something for everyone. There are so many things to do and enjoy here while the landscape and the weather provide the best settings for a memorable vacation.
Ascona is a small but beautiful village ideal for an exclusive holiday break on the shore of Lake Maggiore. Characterized by a beautiful landscape, colourful houses that dot the waterfront and a tranquil setting, the village is popular also because it has hosted a number of artists, philosophers and well-known personalities. While the lakefront is usually a great place for a quiet and romantic stroll, it turns into a beautiful and colourful shopping destination every Tuesday from the 22nd of March to the 11th of October where you can buy handicraft, wool products and woodcraft. There are also numerous food stalls which promise to take care of your appetite. However, during JazzAscona music festival, an annual international Jazz festival which is organized on the lakefront, the market shifts to the parking lot. The historical Castello San Materno, the 16th-century church of San Pietro e Paolo and the narrow alleys which take you to the old town and historical city center are some of the numerous sites which remind you of the medieval and Renaissance roots of the village. Tourists also flock to the village to be a part of the numerous events, festivals and carnivals which have an extra appeal owing to the unparalleled landscape and pleasant atmosphere here. There is an 18-hole golf course nearby, a tennis court, elegant shops and boutiques which make it quite an eventful destination where you can never run out things to do and experience. Ascona is a good place to set up your base on your lake vacation also because of the various other destinations and attractions which can be easily visited from here. For instance, the Brissago Island, which has been turned into a large botanic garden, and the Centovalli, or the Valley of a hundred valleys are unmatchable in terms of the kind of experiences they offer. The village promises an unforgettable holiday experience and should definitely feature in one of those few places you should visit at least once in a lifetime.