Lago di Lugano, Lugano
Of course the lake is what makes Lugano. It is such a beautiful lake, dramatically surrounded by the mountains, and with a deep green colour in the sunshine. I never tired of the view, and took many pictures!
The lake is 48,7km² wide, 30,7km² of this are Swiss and 18 km² Italian.
It was really nice to stroll along the lakefront. There are pretty trees planted along the way, benches to have a rest, and you can enjoy the wonderful views. There are of course some tacky souvenir stalls, but they are all in one small area (the part where the tour busses stop), and therefore you can easily avoid them.
Apart from that, there are pleasure boats, places where you can hire small pedal-boats, and other water activities. The further you get north, the quieter it gets, and finally you arrive at Parco Civico where the lakefront is adorned by the most beautiful flowers.
There are several boat trips available from Lugano and we took the 'Tours in the Bay' trip.
It's a short round trip of 60-70 minutes if you stay on board the whole time, but it makes a few stops where you can get off and take a return boat.
It makes a stop at the Museum of Cultures, Gandria and the Swiss Customs Museum. Our chosen destination was Gandria.
Gandria is one of those lakeside villages which is both charming and peaceful - or at least it was when we were here in September.
It's a lovely spot to have a wander around the tiny streets and alleyways and finish up at one of the enticing restaurants that overlook the lake.
The trips run regularly from April to October
It costs CHF25.80 for the round trip (£17.50 / €21.50 - Sept 2012) or if you prefer you can walk the Olive Path from Lugano instead. Whichever way you do it don't leave Lugano without visiting Gandria
The town is dominated by this very beautiful lake. A path runs alongside the lake for the length of the town.