This post is a no brainer, probably the easiest article I will ever write for this blog as it is simply an easy walk I take about once a month, often on a sunny Sunday afternoon, usually with my niece and nephew, sometimes with friends and occasionally alone. When I was younger I used to live near the “red path”, as we affectionately call it, and I cycled part of it to go to school or to the swimming pool in summer. It is tied to a lot of memories, but even for tourists traveling to this part of Switzerland it’s a wonderful way to spend a few hours walking next to the Lago Maggiore.
The walk starts at the railway station in Locarno and finishes at the station in Tenero, but if by any chance you are staying in one of the many camping sites in Tenero, feel free to walk it the other way round.From the station walk down to the Lago Maggiore, the shortest way is along Via Cattori. At the bottom of Via Cattori you may want to stop at Al Porto al Lago (2) for a cappuccino or a latte to get yourself in the right relaxing mood for the walk. Or stop at the Al Porto (1) just opposite the railway station to pick up some sandwiches or a salad for a nice pic-nic. If there are kids traveling with you, you may want to plan a stop at the Burbaglio playground (3). Another favourite of my niece and nephew is to feed the ducks and swans, so if you have some old bread lying around, take it with you and make the birds happy. Then it’s all straight on through Muralto, first near the lake, then you will be walking for a few metres between to rows of houses, before you’re back next to the lake. That’s when you will walk into the village of Minusio. At some point there will be a small path leaving the red street on the left, it’s so small that it’s not even on the map, but you will have to walk up that path, pass under the railway tracks and then turn right into the park of Villa San Quirico (4). Villa San Quirico is an old villa that can now be hired for private events, so if there are many people around you may just have crashed a wedding party :) Next to the villa you may want to have a look at the San Quirico church (5). Then have a walk through the old neighbourhood of Rivapiana (6) before heading back down to the lake and the red path. Walk straight on again, if it’s really hot you may even want to consider having a quick dip in the lake, you will come across a few beaches if you want to do so.While the scenery is the highlight of this walk, you will also see some beautiful and interesting buildings, one of them is Ca’ di Ferro (7), an old military base for the recruitment of mercenaries built in 1560. Only a few metres further there’s the Hotel and Restaurant Giardino al Lago where you can stop for a drink, an aperitif or even a full meal. In front of the hotel there is also a nice place to swim in the lake, it’s where I used to spend many summer afternoons about 20 years ago.
Continue straight on until you reach the restaurant L’Approdo in Tenero-Mappo, another great spot for a rest and a meal. Then you just have to walk to the train station and you can travel back to Locarno by train in only 5 minutes.
As always, here‘s the map to download and below there’s the online version. Enjoy!