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Guide to 38 graded day walks in Ticino, Switzerland, covering Lugano, Locarno (Lake Maggiore), Bellinzona and Biasca, and Airolo and the St Gotthard Pass. Routes for all abilities, ranging from 4km to 19km, highlight the best the Ticino countryside has to offer, from villages and lush valleys, to stunning mountains and gushing waterfalls.
Late summer/early autumn is the best time to walk in Ticino, with the heat and crowds from high summer gone and the weather often fine and clear.
Ticino features the five main areas of lakeside resorts Lugano and Locarno; the Cantonal capital Bellinzona, and its neighbour Biasca; and Airolo, at the foot of the St Gotthard Pass.
Routes are graded to cover a wide range of difficulties, from level lakeshore strolls to trails that cross more challenging terrain up to an altitude of 2600m (the snowline). Apart from walking poles and a pair of stout boots, no specialist equipment is required.
Ticino's most iconic places are the two lakeside resorts of Lugano and Locarno, with their Italianate piazzas and handsome architecture, and the wilder mountain areas to the north, especially around the high passes that link the Canton with the rest of Switzerland - most notably, the St Gotthard.