Cycle along the shore around Monte San Salvatore

Lago di Lugano is a true holiday dream for thousands from Switzerland and abroad. The wonderfully kitschy Morcote, simply beautiful as a photo motif. If you want to head further south, you can drive over the Melide dam to the southernmost tip of Switzerland, the Mendrisiotto. This is the largest wine-growing area in Ticino.

From the airport in Lugano we first start along the lake basin of Agno to Figino. Here we have lunch at Luca's cosy Osteria degli amici.

We continue along the lake to picturesque Morcote. Before entering the town, however, we reach the "magic garden" Parco Scherrer. In 1930, the rich textile merchant Arthur Scherrer bought a plot of land and a 14th-century house, which he had moved here from Lugano. Palm trees, camellias, wisteria, oleander, cedars, cypresses, camphor, eucalyptus and much more grow in the public park. In between, there are works of art from the most diverse cultures and epochs to discover.

The village of Morcote with its arcaded buildings on the lakeside was once the largest harbour on Lake Lugano and an important goods transhipment point for the Dukes of Milan in the Middle Ages. Other sights include the Torre del Capitano palace, mansions from the 16th to 18th centuries and the pilgrimage church of Santa Maria del Sasso, which probably dates from the 13th century.

Just a few pedal strokes further on we come to the largest open-air miniature museum in Switzerland. "Swissminiatur" is Switzerland in pocket format: 128 models on a scale of 1:25 - important castles, entire villages, patrician houses and other architectural monuments. Railway fans will be thrilled by the 18 model trains that run through the 14,000m2 park landscape on a 3.5km-long rail network. Cogwheel, cable and funicular railways also operate in Melide.

If you want to avoid the traffic, you can change here to a boat with your bike back to Lugano. It is just under five kilometres along the lake on the rather busy cantonal road to Lugano-Paradiso.

Realised by Roland Baumgartner

Pictures: Switzerland Tourism


Rail connections to Lugano. To Agno by narrow-gauge railway from Lugano (railway station).

Another tip:
The Val Colla, north of Lugano, is famous for its mountain bike trails, for example to Monte Bar.