Are you looking for an exceptional destination for a fun-filled Easter holiday or Easter weekend away? Look no further than spending your beautiful Easter in Ticino, Switzerland. With mild Mediterranean climate, stunning mountain scenery and hosted local events with live music, Ticino offers plenty of fun activities to have a perfect Easter vacation.
To help you make the most of your stay, here are our local top 10 ideas to make your Easter in Ticino truly memorable. This is written by a local!
Easter In Ticino
This sun-drenched Swiss canton at the southernmost tip of the country has lots to see and do during Easter. Whether you want to spend the whole weekend hiking, drinking coffee in a local village, exploring the Easter markets or trying local cuisine, theres something for everyone.
1. Discover The Easter Market in Lugano
Easter celebrations in Lugano are usually held for the whole Easter weekend in the city center, perfect for those wanting to spend the weekend in Lugano specifically. These Lugano celebrations include a large Easter market as the main event. The city has stands throughout the city, with the main road often closed to fully enjoy the weekend without car disruption.
During this weekend there is also a treasure hunt at Parco Ciani, local folk and Alphorn music and street entertainment. There are also a few guided tours to explore the city of Lugano by foot, so you can really maximise your weekend discovering Lugano.
TIP: If you want to watch the sunset in Lugano during Easter weekend, check our best locations for this!
2. Walk In A Flowery Camellia Park
Throughout Ticino there are numerous spring gardens and parks, full of blooming flowers during Easter weekend. These range from the cherry blossom trees, camellia flower bushes (well known for Ticino!) and botanical plants.
The camellia’s are well known for growing in Ticino, based on the Mediterranean temperatures. These flowers are classed as one of the most romantic flowers around. They have a very deep meaning of romantic love, devotion, adoration and care.
The most special place in Ticino to see camellia’s for Easter Weekend is the Parco delle Camelie Locarno – which is the largest park of this kind that you can wander around.
They also host a Camellia exhibition (usually late March), which is one of the most important events of its kind in Europe, with over 200 types of this flower beautifully arranged as well as 1100 types of camellias in total to see!
Other locations include:
For the full list of Spring Gardens in Ticino, check here!
It’s possible it might be raining during Easter in Ticino! Here’s some tips to Enjoy Lugano In The Rain!
3. Hike Above 2,000m Elevation
Within Ticino, there is an unlimited amount of hiking that you can definitely enjoy during Easter in Ticino. Many local funiculars open up from the end of March, making is perfect timing to take a funicular up first and then hike even higher within the local mountains.
Some examples of where you can hike above 2,000m in Ticino include:
- The ValleMaggia district, specifically with Lago del Narèt and Lago di Sassilo lake
- Piora Valley – discovering Lago Ritom, via Lago di Tom to Lago Cadagno
- Lago di Leit (separate post coming soon!)
More hiking suggestions in Ticino during Easter can be found here. Our local tip is to make sure to dress for the weather. Even though it might be super sunny for your trip, it’s always best to have something to wear to keep you warm/dry incase of weather changes.
4. Aperols In Ascona
Since it’s highly likely it’s going to be sunny during Easter in Ticino, what better way to enjoy the sunshine than to sit on a local terrace with a refreshing cold drink. Our favourites on a hot day include Aperol Spritz, especially in Ascona along the lakeside terraces. All the restaurants there have outdoor seating right on the promenade.
Here are 9 beautiful reasons why Ascona should be on your list to visit!
5. Go Swimming – if you dare!
If the weather is expected to be extremely warm, which is possible, consider bringing a swimming costume with you for the Easter weekend. There are many places to swim locally in Ticino, such as in specific areas of Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore or in the valleys within Ticino. A local gem worth visiting for a dip, even if it’s just your toes, is to Verzasca Valley!
There is car parking and plenty of public bus stops throughout the Verzasca Valley, with a few popular stops to swim at. One of these spots is Lavertezzo. With crystal clear waters, peaceful mountains and beautiful white stones, this rural area is very picturesque.
Keep in mind that the water temperatures here in the valley is pretty much freezing waters from the mountains, even in Summer, so a full dip in the water during Easter will be quite adventurous!
For your Easter weekend in Ticino, sleep at one of these hotels!
6. Be The King (or Queen!) Of The Castles!
Easter weekend is perfect for climbing castle cobblestone pathways and hidden castle rooms and walkways in Bellinzona. The three UNESCO World Heritage castles are all located not far from each other within the city of Bellinzona, which is the capital of Ticino.
Each castle is unique to explore, which you can visit all three within one day. Castelgrande is the main castle that you can find right in the city centre, making it also the most easiest to visit. Montebello is the second castle with deep moat walls. Thirdly we have the Sasso Corbaro castle, which is located as the highest of the three. You can visit this one with public transport if you don’t want to hike up there!
7. Wander In A Village With Less than 100 inhabitants
Ticino has some very charming villages worth exploring that have less than 100 inhabitants. Most of these villages have the original stone houses, built historically and often hidden or not so easy to access. These villages are also usually very photogenic, making them popular among photographers.
Most of these little villages will have a cafe or more specifically a local grotto nearby, so grabbing a drink and a small bite to eat (with local cuisine!) is always a good idea when exploring.
A few villages we can recommend having a wander in are:
Some Ticino activities you can book in advance:
Lake Lugano Cruise to Morcote & Sightseeing – Sail from Lugano on a panoramic boat cruise to the fishing village of Morcote.
Guided Walking Tour to Gandria with Boat Cruise – A 1.5-hour walking tour on the Olive Tree Trail from Lugano to Gandria.
8. Get Sightseeing with a boat
Both Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore are great for sightseeing by boat. With such great weather, it’ll be very memorable to enjoy a boat trip over either of the lakes.
With Lake Lugano, the boat trip during Spring can take you to many Swiss villages around the lake, such as Gandria, Morcote and Melide. You can also consider staying on board to enjoy a round trip seeing Ticino from the water. The boats have plenty of outdoor and indoor seating depending on the weather.
With Lake Maggiore, you can get on a boat from a few stops such as from Locarno or Ascona. This boat is great during Easter as you can get off at the Brissago Islands – which is a botanical garden hosting 2000 Mediterranean plant species! The crossing to the Brissago Islands from Locarno takes under 60 minutes and from Ascona it is just 15 minutes.
Both lakes you can explore with a boat day ticket and hop on and off where you want. Else to buy a specific single or return ticket to the place you wish to stop at. Tickets for both can be bought on SBB.ch or usually in person at the docking area.
TIP: Check our full post about Things To Do In Locarno: Recommended By Locals!
9. Open Your Eyes At A 110 meters high waterfall
Forogolio is home to a 110 meter high waterfall, which is very much accessible to visit and stand next to! On a hot Summer’s day, it can get very busy with everyone who wants to take a dip in the water and river, however Easter time at Foroglio can be a rustic, magical visit.
In our detailed post the waterfall as you can see is quite impressive to see in all seasons. The post also shares how to get there with own or public transport.
If you are limited to travelling or don’t want to explore too far, there are other waterfalls in Ticino that are accessible by bus and closer to the cities!
10. A Bit of Me-Time At The Spa
For the final Easter in Ticino suggestion, we suggest to take it slow with a bit of relaxation, tranquility and peace at a local spa. A long Easter weekend can be a busy one, so taking some me-time can be important. Whether you want to visit a local sauna and do your own thing, or to take a full day spa package, there is an option for everyone. We personally love a visit with an open day ticket as well as to combine the day with a massage.
Ticino has a few great spa options that we can recommend to make it a memorable visit:
- Termali Salini Spa – Locarno
- The View – Lugano
- Splash & Spa – Tamaro
- Hotel Kurhaus Cademario – Lugano
- Campra Alpine Lodge & Spa – Olivone
For more Ticino inspiration, check our ultimate guide for the canton with a whole year of activities & things to do!CLICK HERE