Mounts of Gambarogno
The mid-range walk that crosses the Monti del Gambarogno (Gambarogno Mountains) offers spectacular views on Lake Maggiore and on the Bays of Locarno and Ascona. The different mountains with little villages, nowadays holiday destinations, are connected to each other by a comfortable trail. The excursion is done with the assistance of public transportation. From Locarno you can reach Magadino by boat and continue by bus to the Monti di Fosano. The walk that crosses the mountains of Vairano, Gerra, S. Abbondio, Caviano (known for their traditional hay roofs) starts here and then descends to Dirinella.
Itinerary: Mounts of Gambarogno (3h, see map)
After crossing the lake by boat, you take the bus in Magadino to Indemini and get off at the Monti di Fosano-Bivio Piazzogna. From here, in about half an hour walk on the road, you reach the Monti di Vairano and, after an additional hour on a trail, the Monti di Gerra. These little settlements, today vacation destinations, preserve a few traditional buildings between the woods, meadows and yards. Each of these are at about an hour walk away from each other and after passing them you then reach the Monti di Sant’Abbondio and Monti di Caviano (known as Centocampi, or "A Hundred Fields") – the only place in Ticino where you can find hay roof houses. Little by little as the farming activities were abandoned, these buildings fell to ruin but a few years ago the local tourist office invested in restoring some of the roofs using the traditional technique. The cover was made of rye, a lightweight but resistant material, that was weaved together and fixed to the wooden chestnut beams.
Along a steep descent you reach Scaiano and Dirinella. To return to Locarno by boat it is necessary to walk another 15-20 minutes along the cantonal road to Ranzo. From Dirinella it is also possible to return by bus to Magadino and then take the boat from there to Locarno. The excursion can be shortened since every mountain is connected by a trail to the villages below, which in turn are connected to Locarno by boat during the tourist season.