Switzerland is home to many villages with a fairytale style, with quaint cobblestone pathways, historical stone houses and surrounded by nature. This list of Ticino villages are special and unique, most with a little grotto for a bite to eat and with a stunning view, a large waterfall, near a forest or hidden up a local mountain. Each village that is listed here is possible to visit by car or public transport and all friendly for tourists.
This list is based on our visits to each village, and we will expand the list with every new village that we explore!
Here below is a list of picturesque Ticino villages that you can easily visit with a car, public transportation or by cycling and hiking! We’ve listed them in no particular order.
Foroglio you may already know and recognize from many famous photographers and hikers who share photos on instagram. Once a hidden gem in the valley North West from Locarno, Foroglio village is a popular but still pretty village worth visiting.
The village has one grotto restaurant serving typical Swiss food – perfect after exploring! Though keep in mind that during late August and Winter, the grotto is closed up, so worth bringing a picnic or some snacks with you while exploring Foroglio during the colder months.
You can get there easiest by car, or with a 1 hour bus ride from Locarno. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the local black cat who resides here in the village!
A charming, cobblestone and stone-housed village at the very end of the Verzasca Valley. There are a few little restaurants and a grotto providing local Ticinese meats, cheeses and polenta, and a few little stores with some locally made items.
A highlight of the village is also a small 10 minute walk to the Cascata La Froda huge waterfall. It’s impressive to see all year round, and you might even get to meet some local goats enjoying the water too.
It’s beautiful to visit all year round, but Sonogno in Spring being exceptionally special with all the flowers, insects and the large amount of water coming through the fall. For a bite to eat, we suggest first to enjoy the waterfall and then to stop at the pretty Grotto Efra restaurant. It’s nearby, offers some basic but delicious Ticinese dishes and has plenty of seating outside for when the sun is shining!
With quaint little granite houses, a tiny historical church and plenty of surrounding forests, the village of Corippo is the smallest village in Ticino you can visit. It’s picture perfect all year round, and an ideal pitstop while on a local hike in the Verzasca valley.
The village is also perfect for those looking for some peace and quiet, a place to relax, for a village experience in the mountains and for those who love hiking. It’s ideal to reach with a local bus from Tenero.
If you want to experience this Ticino village longer, consider sleeping here for a night at one of the local houses for the public to rent, which can also be quite romantic for couples!
For explorations in a complete car-free village, Gandria is your place to visit on our Ticino villages list.
It is only a short bus ride North East from Lugano, but we can highly suggest that you walk there. It takes around 1 hour along the Olive Path, where you pass local houses, olive trees and the lake up close. This hike to Gandria is quite easy in our opinion, as it is mostly flat and you can take your time there and then consider taking the boat or bus back. Else to take one of these first and walk back to Lugano instead!
There are a few local restaurants here with balconies hanging over the water, which all provide great service, food and a stunning view of the boats. We’ve eaten in many of them, which have all been delicious with many options to choose from. On weekend days during Summer, consider making a reservation for a balcony spot if you are visiting for lunch time!
Check our full Discover The Village of Gandria, Lugano post for more information!
TIP: Along the hiking route to Gandria, you can also stop off at Villa Heleneum Park which is a beautiful place to enjoy bamboo, palm trees, wisteria flowers and a swim in the lake!
Home to the Swiss Miniatur Museum, the village of Melide is also perfect for those wanting to enjoy a walk along the lakeside and swim from the designated area. The swimming area in the Summer is really nice in the calm waters here, as well as the mountainous views around.
There’s lots of parking, as well as easy to reach from Lugano with a short 7 min train ride.
Although it’s not the prettiest village area in this list, we think it’s a great place where you can visit and start a few local hikes from. You can choose to walk up to Carona (next village mentioned below) or to Morcote or Bissone. From here you can also consider hiking all the way up to Monte San Salvatore!
You can spot Monte Generoso from this Ticino village easily too!
From Melide, you can choose to hike to Carona for another Ticino village. With around 830 inhabitants, Carona is based at 597m elevation and reachable easily by car, public bus or hiking.
The village is lovely to explore by foot, with many houses surrounded by plants and you’ll definitely spot a few local dogs enjoying their little gardens here. For a drink or bite to eat, you can choose to stop at Ristorante Posta which is centrally located.
From here, it’s also an enjoyable walk to Parco San Grato – a wonderful public space in the forest that has a garden area and beautiful flowers in Spring.
From Carona, you could also consider a hike up to Monte San Salvatore!
We have a fully-loaded, high content Ticino Guide sharing local things to see, do and explore with each season: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.CLICK HERE
At at 798m elevation, the village of Brè is a lovely place to explore with some amazing views of the lake. The village has only around 300 inhabitants, but also with plenty of kitties to greet. It’s lovely to combine with a funicular trip to the top of Monte Brè!
While in the village, consider checking the ‘Path of Art’ where you follow outdoor art galleries and workshop areas showcasing local talent and craftsmanship. The Wilhelm Schmid Museum is also based here, who spent his last days living in the village and was the only Swiss painter of the northern Magical Realism style.
For a bite to eat, our recommendation is to visit Osteria Salotto Brè – delicious food, quick drinks and a lovely atmosphere.
Morcote is an award winning location of the ‘most beautiful village in Switzerland in 2016‘ in Switzerland, and we can see why. It’s small but stunning location right on the lakeside of Lake Ceresio is the perfect spot for a bite to eat, to enjoy a local botanical garden (Parco Scherrer!) and to spend time exploring at. There is a Grand Tour of Switzerland sign here as well as a store or two for buying a souvenir.
You can climb the stairs to the top and enjoy the surrounding views towards Italy, before heading back down and enjoying a drink in one of the lakeside restaurants. The top of Morcote has one of the Ticino ‘swing the world’ swings, which is very picturesque for a photo on a swing in Morcote!
Check out main post Morcote Switzerland: One Of The Prettiest Villages In Ticino for full information and tips!
You can arrive by boat or bus with not much time, as it’s located just a little South of the city of Lugano.
Ascona is one of the prettiest lakeside villages (in our opinion) to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat while watching the boats on Lake Maggiore. The village has lots of cafes and restaurants, with our favourites being on the promenade of Ascona. They all serve fresh cuisine that you’ll be craving again as soon as you leave, from a freshly baked pizza to a seasonal risotto dish. Yum!
Need some more convincing? Here are 9 Beautiful Reasons To Visit Ascona, Switzerland!
There are also some lovely boutique stores in Ascona for shopping. The village has many stores to choose from, for clothes, antiques, souvenirs, home decorations and even estate agents if you want to check out some local houses for sale!
Ascona is lovely to view also from above, such as to take a hike up to the Balladrum viewpoint above the village! It’s a nice hike climbing first up the village pathways and then into the forest to the view.
TIP: You can take the local boat during Spring and Summer to the botanical garden island of Brissago Island!
Bissone is a small historical fishing village is on the lake front where the trains and the car highway passes over towards the village of Melide. It is home to around 823 inhabitants and neighbors the Campione d’Italia: An Italian Village Surrounded By Switzerland. You can walk around the lake front and stop at a local restaurant while soaking in some sunshine. We’ve not eaten at any here, but we do plan to do so when we have time!
During Summer, the local pool here is a great place to be at for a day of relaxation or fun. If you want to watch the sunset in Lugano, Bissone is a great place for this during the Winter months as the sun sets directly in front of the lake from Bissone towards Morcote.
For the adventurous hiking type, you could hike from Bissone to the The Balcony Of Italy up above!
TIP: There is a Grand Tour of Switzerland sign here in Bissone, so if you want a photo with it, check it out!
Located a short drive and bus trip from Ascona and Locarno is the village of Intragna. It’s located at 366m elevation and home to around 900 inhabitants. The village consists of a historical of buildings grown around a charming village square with a fountain.
As you can see from our photo, we visited on a rainy day! But we look forward to going back and exploring more when the sun is shining!
A fun way to arrive to the village of Intragna is to take the The Scenic Centovalli Railway: Between Locarno and Domodossola. It leaves frequently for both directions and you can use the SBB app to use it in Switzerland.
Fun Fact: The Ticino Tourism classes Intragna with the most unusual 360 degree panoramic viewpoint of Ticino, with also the highest bell tower of the canton at the height of 65 meters.
Situated up the mountain at 612m elevation with stunning views down to Bellinzona, the village of Curzutt is a great place to wander. There is a hotel, restaurant and some unique tiny homes to stay in here (we hope to try the bird box soon!) as well as hosting local events like cheese and wine tasting, jazz nights and you can view an open air photography exhibition.
Curzutt is a good starting point for many hiking routes too, such Hiking To The Ponte Tibetano Carasc Bridge!
TIP: Make sure you reserve a time slot for a seat on the 4-persons gondola to go up to Curzutt, as on busy days you will not be let on without a time slot. Else you can also buy a ticket at the office/machine at the bottom of the gondola and wait for the space.
13. Bosco Gurin
All place on this list so far have been villages we have personally visited, but we felt that adding Bosco Gurin should also be highlighted here – just that we haven’t visited yet!
In Summer, its a wonderful place for hiking. There is the most scenic beauty, nature and the peace and quiet of the mountains. They have wooden and rock built “Walser”houses here, which are a living testimony of the Alpine ‘Walser’ population that in 1253 colonized the valley, coming from Valais.
In Winter, Bosco Gurin is a top Ticino place to be for enjoying the snow snow, skiing and sledging! The village becomes hidden under a blanket of fresh white snow and perfect for winter enthusiasts.
When To Visit A Ticino Village Best?
We find that Spring time in Ticino is the best time to visit the smaller villages for exploration. This time of the year is always very pretty with all the plants and flowers opening their petals to the fresh sun and warm temperatures. The Spring season is also not as busy as Summer, so you are able to enjoy village life with locals and take your time exploring.
However, any time of the year is just as lovely, such as in Winter with a possible layer or snow, Summer with the long evenings and Autumn with the falling orange leaves.
These Ticino villages are definitely some very fun, pretty and unique villages that you can personally explore. Whether in Winter or Summer, the Ticino canton is a great place to spend time in and these villages would be the highlight of your day. We hope this post helps inspire you to visit one of these Ticino villages!
Have you been already to one or more of these Ticino villages?
Let us know in the comments which ones you’ve already enjoyed!
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