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Mountains, quaint villages, lush hills and the "grotti" on the water
Travel itineraries, hiking, kayaking and sailing in Italy and around the world

Lake Lugano is not as famous as other lakes of Northern Italy, but it deserves a visit and can be amazing for kayakers. Lugano is a beautiful, vibrant city in the summer, the quaint villages abound and the surrounding mountains boast nice treks and memorable views, when you get off the kayak. Shared by Italy and Switzerland, the lake water is clean and warm in July and August (23-24 degrees).
Under the map, we introduce a guide to Lake Lugano based on our latest kayaking trip.

Kayak on Lugano Lake
Kayak on Lugano Lake: map of the kayaking itinerary
The itinerary
Lake Lugano has several branches; we decided to visit the part of the lake to the east of Lugano, which also has the most imposing views. There are other possible itineraries: in the South, the beautiful houses of Morcote lie on a very interesting stretch of coast.

We rented the kayaks in Cressogno, in Italy, but only a couple of kilometers far from the border with Switzerland. From Cressogno, we paddled in front of nice little towns lying at the feet of the mountains, unitl we crossed the lake and we reached Rescia, on the South bank.
Swans on lake Lugano By kayak on Lake Lugano
Swans on thee green waters of Lake Lugano
Mountains on lake Lugano By kayak on Lake Lugano
Mountains and green hills sourround the kayakers
Here we saw a nice waterfall, then we continued along the shouthern shore, kayaking towards west, near steep hills covered by trees. Still a very beautiful landscape, and there were few houses, and they were beautiful. We had lunch on a little pier in front of the riuns of an old building, a fascinating place in a beautiful environment.

Going west, we got back to Switzerland and we reached Cantine di Gandria, where among the trees there are some "grotti", old houses, made of stone, that are now picturesque restaurants. Most of them may only be reached by boat (or by kayak!).
Old building on Lake Lugano Grotto on lake Lugano
Grotti and other beautiful buildings on lake Lugano
Swimming in lake Lugano Clean water in lake Lugano
It's good to swim in the clean waters of lake Lugano
Continuing westward, you may arrive at Campione d'Italia, an Italian town in Swiss territory, boasting a huge casino. We crossed the lake again and we reached the eatern part of the city of Lugano, where in the summer weekends, in the evening, there is a lot of life, with musicians and street artists. From here, we paddled east towards the departure point. We visited the beautiful village of Gandria, perched on the lake at the feet of Mount Brè.

Then we crossed the border and, in Italy, we admired the fascinating coast of Albogasio, where there is also the villa of Fogazzaro (a famous Italian writer of the end of the 19th century). Here we moored the kayaks and visited the beautiful old houses on the lake.
Lugano villa Fogazzaro
Many beautiful villas and old houses may be seen by kayaking on the lake of Lugano
Quaint town on lake Lugano
Quaint town on lake Lugano; from the kayak everything is even more picturesque
When we got back to the departure point, at the feet of Mount Boglia, we had another swim and we contemplated the panorama with satisfaction. Then we got ready for trekking the following day; as an alternative, one could paddle for at lease two days on Lake Lugano, seeing most of it: it doesn't lack beautiful destinations!
View on Lake Lugano
View over Lake Lugano from Mount Boglia, reachable with a nice trek
Morcote, lago di Lugano
The beautiful town of Morcote, on the southern part of Lake Lugano
As it is a very good idea to spend more days around the lake of Lugano, you could click here to find the best offers for accomodation.
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You can find more photos (with higher resolution) of the lake of Lugano in this photogallery:
Photos of the lake of Lugano
Photos of the lake of Lugano visited by kayak and on foot

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