Cruises on Lake Lugano
Locked in by mountains whose forests make their way down to the shore, Lake Lugano, differently from Lake Maggiore, prides itself of its untamed look. The beautiful panoramas already fascinated travelers of the Grand Tour who couldn't miss the traditional boat tour. The first steamer to sail the lake's waters was the "Ticino" in 1848. Today, a network of modern boats offer a wide choice of cruises and the possibility of reaching the region's main attractions by lake, including: Gandria, Morcote, Swissminiatur, the San Salvatore funicular and the Monte Generoso cogwheel railways.
Lake Lugano (also called Lake Ceresio) has a surface of 50 square kilometers of which 63% are located in Switzerland and the remaining 37% in Italy. With an average width of 1 km it is very narrow but also quite deep (up to 288 meters). Its shore is not entirely accessible by car and for centuries some villages, like the picturesque Gandria and Morcote, were reachable only by lake.
Cruise and excursions
To best enjoy the Ceresio you can refer to the vast offer of the "Società Navigazione del Lago di Lugano" (Navigation Society of Lake Lugano). From April to October there are numerous excursions to choose from: the "classic tour" and the "scenic tour" which navigate the northern part of the lake between Lugano, Gandria and Porlezza; the "magic tour" reaching the main attractions around Lugano lake; the "lake and mountain tour" combining the cruise with the cogwheel railway to the top of Monte Generoso; the "lunch-boat cruise" to enjoy a lunch break on the lake; the "night cruise" (June-August) for a dinner in a typical "grotto" at the lakeside, admiring the landscape in the charm of the night.
The boat is also a useful means of transport to visit some of the most interesting places in the Lugano region, many of which are located on the lake. The boat cruise can therefore be combined with some walks: the Sentiero di Gandria (Gandria Trail), the itinerary of the Caprino cellars, the walks around the Monte Caslano or descending from San Salvatore towards Carona and Morcote. A boat excursion may also be combined with a visit of the picturesque village of Morcote, the Swissminiatur in Melide, or the Museum of Fossils of Monte San Giorgio.