Enchanting Ticino – where Switzerland and Italy merge into one

If you are familiar with the majesty of the Swiss Alps, and the beauty of the Italian Lakes, imagine a destination where the two are fused into one magical destination, and you are picturing the stunning Swiss Canton of Ticino. A mixture of palm lined lakes and sharp mountain peaks makes this one of the most beautiful parts of Switzerland, where the links with Italy are so strong that it is the native language, the cuisine is heavily Italian, and combined with Swiss efficiency and hospitality you have the perfect holiday base.

Our base is beautiful Bellinzona, capital of Ticino and home to three medieval castles, a historical centre and picturesque setting. If you make use of your included Ticino card during your stay the trains and public transport is included for free!
Day 1 Arrival
We arrive at our hotel with time to settle in before dinner. Perhaps take a wander around the lovely medieval town centre this evening to get your bearings.

Day 2 Ascona, Locarno & Swiss Maggiore 48km round trip
After breakfast we travel south west to the beautiful shores of Lake Maggiore and the popular scenic town of Ascona for a wander along the picturesque water front and perhaps a coffee by the shore, or an optional boat journey. We then continue to nearby Locarno, a popular tourist destination, whether you want to rest by the lake, sample some of the many restaurants or do some shopping in the attractive boutiques. For the more adventurous you can take the train and cable car up to the Cardada viewing platform which hangs in space over the town with breathtaking 180 degree views through to the Italian south part of the lake. After a full day we return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 3 Drivers Day Off
Enjoy a day at leisure in historical Bellinzona. Why not start with a browse at the local market where the colourful stalls offer the best fresh seasonal local produce and gifts (Saturdays, plus some Wednesdays May/June & Sept/Oct subject to change). A must see is also the majestic Castelgrande which is accessed from the centre of town by a lift (some inclines and steps once you are there– using your Ticino card you also get a 30% discount) to experience a story book castle with amazing views. You may also want to make use of your Ticino card to travel further afield on the local trains and buses that can take you to even more amazing places. If you want to return to Lake Maggiore or get a sneak preview of Lake Lugano your ticket is included!

Day 4 Lovely Lugano 62km round trip
Today we head south to the shores of the beautiful glacial Lake Lugano, and the city of the same name which sits elegantly on the shores of the lake. We can enjoy a short guided walk of the pretty historical city centre with its pastel coloured buildings, high end shops and elegant cafes, and the serene lake front and attractive gardens that residents and tourists alike flock to. Enjoy free time here to browse for souvenirs, sit gently by the lakeside in a café or for the more adventurous you may want to take a pedalo or motor boat on the lake itself where you can sail to nearby the Italian border. After free time to enjoy all the city has to offer we return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 5 Centovalli Railway & The Italian Connection 148km round trip
Today we head back to Lake Maggiore and drive south along its shores to the lovely resort of Stresa across the border in Italy, and probably the most famous resort on the lake. Enjoy free time to explore the quaint town, and perhaps take a boat to the beautiful Borromean Islands which are situated just off shore. Our return journey starts with a local train from Stresa to Domodossola where we change for the famous Centovalli Railway which crosses its ‘hundred valleys’ with viaducts, amazing scenery and small villages en route. We finish our journey back in Locarno where after some free time we board our coach back to our hotel for our final evening meal.

Day 6 Departure
Today, we say a fond farewell to beautiful Ticino and head home.
Legend

Hotel & Spa Internazionale

Bellinzona, Ticino, Switzerland
The Hotel & Spa Internazionale is conveniently situated, opposite the main railway station in Bellinzona, only a short walk from the historic city centre. This unique location makes it an ideal base for exploring the medieval town, or making use of the excellent train service to Lakes Maggiore and Lugano and beyond. Built in the early 1900’s, and extended in traditional style in 2014, this welcoming hotel has 58 modern guest rooms, all completely renovated and comfortably furnished with air conditioning/heating, hairdryer and TV. The hotel has a lift to all floors. There is an attractive breakfast room on the lower ground floor, modern restaurant on the ground floor and attractive spa area with sauna, Turkish bath, salt room, hydro massage and relaxation area which is free of charge to guests. Coach parking is off-site approx. 10 minute walk from hotel & charges apply.

Hotel & Spa Internazionale

Bellinzona, Ticino, Switzerland
5 Nights Half Board
April - August 2019
Twin from £509pp
Double for Sole Use Supplement from £180

Inclusions
• Short sea crossing Dover to Calais
• Porterage
• Welcome local red/white wine or orange juice on arrival
• 3 course set menu on arrival night
• 3 course menu with 3 choices per course, including a vegetarian option, choice made at breakfast
• Tea/coffee after dinner
• Tables of 10 & 12 in the main restaurant for all meals
• All single rooms are double for sole use
• Ticino Card with free use of local buses and trains, and reductions on attractions and cable cars etc. (subject to continuation by the local government)
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Prices starting from...

£509 for 6 days

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Features of this tour