While in the beautiful canton of Ticino, it is a must to spend some of your time at the village of Ascona. This stunning summery village is well looked after, has the most delicious Italian restaurants and perfect for some local boutique shopping. It is the most ideal and romantic village for couples, but also fun for those with children.
Ascona is officially one of the few Swiss villages on the water’s edge of Lake Maggiore. It is near to Locarno and easily reachable by car or public transportation when in the area from many other locations. The village has a Mediterranean-style architecture and has a beautiful 16th-century church in the village centre.
So why do we suggest visiting with only 9 reasons? Ascona has of course way more than 9 beautiful reasons to visit, but we have decided to focus on the best ones based on our personal experience as locals.
Our Top 9 Reasons To Visit Ascona
The Ascona Weather
As you may know, Ascona is part of the Ticino canton, so the weather here is mostly sunny and hot. Even on an average rainy day you won’t need much clothing to keep you warm. So it’s definitely a location where you should consider bringing a hat to wear, suncream and your sunglasses for protection!
The Overall Vibe
When visiting Ascona, the relaxed and welcoming vibe is instantly felt. When taking a walk along the waterfront, even on a cloudy day, there is an overall vibe of acceptance. Whether you are just walking around the village, sitting somewhere for drinks, heading to the beach area or doing a bit of shopping, the village is lovely to be in.
The Local Ascona Beach
From the main village area to the beach (Bagno Pubblico Ascona / Lido di Ascona), it is only a 15 minute walk. At the weekends it can get very busy, especially in the summer months, but I’m sure you can still find a spot and enjoy a dip in the water. There is a small parking area for cars, but keep in mind this will also be completely filled up in no time.
Travel Tip: If you are visiting the area for longer, make sure to check out Locarno as well as the gorgeous crystal clear water location of Lavertezzo! Else a quick visit to the capital of Ticino, Bellinzona, is also well worth a day trip!
The Brissago Island Botanical Gardens
The two islands (Isole di Brissago) situated in Lake Maggiore can be visited by a local boat ride every day. They belong to the district of Locarno, but can be easily seen and visited also from Ascona. The San Pancrazio island is the main and bigger of the two, which is home to the beautiful botanical gardens. There are more than 1500 plant species here and well worth visiting when you have time in Ascona.
The Waterfront Restaurants
One of our recommendations is to stop for a pizza or pasta dish at the Ristorante Osteria Nostrana. Here they have lots of tables outside and service has always been great. It’s a cute place under the trees and right on the waterfront too, so you can watch the local boats sail past.
The Little Boutiques
On every little street and alleyway in Ascona you can find little shops and boutiques selling local products, clothing and more. It’s a great place to find something unique rather than shopping from the bigger well known brands. Even if you don’t want to shop, enjoy a walk in the village for some shade!
Swing The World
One of the famously known and instagrammable Swing The World wooden swings can be found on the waterfront of Ascona. It’s a popular swing since its so easy to find, with it being a popular spot for photos.
There is a new swing also installed on the Brissago Island at the beginning of August 2022, so you can also take some beautiful photos there!
The Delicious Ice Cream
Since Ascona is in the Italian speaking region of Switzerland, you can find also the most delicious Italian ice cream being sold here. We can recommend stopping at Gelateria Sole for many choices of ice cream. Here they have many flavours (all delicious!!) that you can take with you in a choice of beaker or ice cream cone.
Fun Little Attractions
If visiting with young kids, there are a few fun things to do together. You can visit the local mini golf not far from the waterfront, or play at the local playground. Of course there is also the beach area which is great for all ages. The beach area is great that allows you to swim but also enjoy the water with inflatables and toys.
We hope these reasons inspire you to visit the gorgeous village of Ascona in Switzerland. There are of course a lot more things to see and do in Ascona, depending on your interests and how much time you will visit. This post is written based on visiting Ascona in the spring or summer time, since this is the most warmest for some activities like the beach. However Ascona really is a beautiful place that you can visit all year long. So if you are ever in the Ticino canton, we highly suggest you pop by!
- Dress for the weather (its usually warm so think suncream too!)
- Spend at least half a day walking around the village
- Treat yourself to lunch, an ice cream or an aperol spritz by the lake