At an elevation of 1,671m, Cimetta is an easy mountain to reach for spectacular views, hiking, nature walks and a few sporting activities. The panoramic views are well worth the trip to the top using the 2 cable cars and chairlift. So if you are looking for an amazing Ticino activity, exploring Cimetta should be on your list!
Weather At Cimetta
Since you are 1,671m above Locarno in the Ticino canton, keep in mind the weather and temperature can be quite different. The highest average temperature for the Summer period is 18.3°C and the lowest average temperature for Winter is 1.5°C. So dressing appropriately is required.
Based on what we’ve also seen, during a heatwave of August 2022, Locarno was 34°C degrees whereas Cimetta was only 25°C. Thats quite a difference! So 100% make sure to check the temperatures at the top before visiting to be sure you will not get too hot or cold.
Best Time To Visit Cimetta
The is no real best time to visit Cimetta, since its amazing to visit all year round. Of course you are dependant on the cable cars and chairlift, so check these to be sure when you can reach the summit.
Time wise, of course it can get very busy on the early morning weekends to take the cable cars up the mountain. So if you wish to have a quiet trip to the top, wait until lunch time before heading up. Or to visit on a week day instead. You will then likely be in the cable cars all on your own!
If you prefer not to explore to a high elevation location like Cimetta, check our other Ticino posts such as exploring the village of Ascona, swimming in crystal clear waters of Lavertezzo, castle hunting in Bellinzona or a day walking in Lugano!
The Journey To Cimetta
Cable Car 1: Locarno to orselina
The first cable car is easy to find, as it’s right nearby the Locarno train station. Perfect for those who are not yet in Locarno and will arrive by train. If arriving in the morning, you will likely need to queue. Else by afternoon times its rather quiet to go up with often having the cable car to yourself.
At this first cable car ticket office, you can buy your single or return tickets to Orselina only. So for the rest of the journey to the top, you can buy the next tickets at Cardada. The ticket office is right outside the cable car so you won’t miss it.
If you have time, we suggest to take a single ticket to Orselina on the way up, as the route back down from Orselina and Locarno is great for walking. You pass the beautiful Madonna del Sasso church, which dates back to 1480 and is very photogenic.
Cable Car 2: orselina to Cardada
The second cable car is a lot more exciting, with already the most amazing views towards the Lake Maggiore. The suspense getting to the top is an amazing feeling, with up to 40 persons able to fit in the cable car at once. We also saw dogs and mountain bikes being taken in this cable car, which is great to see. It must be fun to mountain bike all the way down!
Once in Cardada (which takes around 5minutes from Orselina), you are at 1340m elevation and already able to see the most beautiful views of the region. On a clear day, you can see so much that it will be hard to take it all in!
At Cardada you can visit the Cardada Panoramic View Point, a restaurant and also let the children play at the playground area. There is lots of shade here from the large trees, perfect to be outside but no in full sunshine. It’s a stunning area that is well looked after, with pretty flowers and pathways kept clean. For children, it’s also safe with surrounding barriers and a spacious area for playing.
Also at Cardada you can find one of the famously known Grand Tour of Switzerland red signs. It’s located just below the cable car station where you can get a great shot of the the cable car with the view.
Final Chairlift To The Top: Cardada to Cimetta
For the final trip to the top of the summit, you can take the 2 persons chairlift for the last 3/4 minutes. It’s just a little walk from cable car 2 along a concrete path. It’s easy to spot as you can see it heading up the mountain to the final destination!
Here we also spotted a few dogs being taken on the final chairlift to the top, so this seems to be allowed for those travelling and visiting with a furry friend.
This part was the most fun, since you are then on an open chairlift taking in the full beauty of the surrounding nature. It doesn’t take too long until you arrive at the final end station.
Once at the top, you will experience breathtaking views across the region down to Locarno and Ascona. There is a 360°C viewing platform outlining all the mountain peaks around you in every direction. Alternatively, spend longer at the top and hike along one of the many routes that start from here. However make sure to plan ahead based on your time and experience with hiking.
Hiking Tip: Hiking to Trosa peak from Cimetta takes 1 hour one day, and takes you to the elevation of 1870m. It’s a stunning route for impressive mountainous views. Check the official map for the best information.
The top is perfect to have a homemade picnic. If you didn’t bring your own snacks or drinks while visiting Cimetta, we can recommend to stop at the restaurant. While here, you can also watch the paragliders from taking off and landing nearby.
Fun Fact: From Cimetta you can see the lowest point of Switzerland (which is the Lake Maggiore) and the highest point in Switzerland (which is Dufour peak)!
Cimetta is great to visit from Spring to Autumn seasons, but it is also possible in Winter. Of course based on the weather, you need to dress appropriately to make sure you don’t get burnt in the summer or freeze in the winter. The summit and cable cars are very family friendly, allowing also dogs and prams up to Cardada.
We really enjoyed our visit and trip to the top and back. We went on a sunny late morning and then after staying a while at the top with a stop at the restaurant, we headed back down after lunch. It was not so busy, despite being a weekend in August.
You don’t need all day to visit Cimetta, if you are a bit tight for time or only visiting for a short period. Based on the cable cars up and down as well as short walk to the panoramic viewpoint etc, you should consider having minimum 4 hours for everything. If like us, you will also want to just stop and relax with the views at the top for a bit! As it truly is stunning!
- Take snacks and water with you (and also take your rubbish back home too!)
- Prepare for the weather, such as a warm jacket or sunglasses and suncream
- Prepare your feet – wear suitable hiking shoes when walking further from Cimetta