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Ascona, Switzerland

Lakeside Cocktails

Ascona, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, with its swaying palm trees and mild climate is Switerland's lowest lying town (at 196 meters above sea level). Joe and I strolled the lakeside promenade (Lungolago) which has a very South of France feel with its streetside cafes, warm breezes, and diners clinking wine glasses all with a backdrop of historic 19th-century merchant's houses. We walked all the way to the end and stopped at the Seven Sea Lounge, right on the promenade, with some tables underneath and beside the distinctive arches in the surrounding lake-front wall. Sitting with a drink in one of the bar's oversized all weather patio chairs was the perfect introduction to Ascona. The town, a former fishing village, has grown into a very upscale resort—known for its water sports and some of the best hotels in the country. Ascona's old town center, the Borgo, is an enchanting warren of charming alleyways and chic boutiques.

Ready to embark on your own Swiss adventure? Check out the itineraries that have been created by the members of AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council and other specialists at AFAR Journeys.

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almost 5 years ago

Promenade of Ascona, Lago Maggiore

Ascona is Switzerland's lowest-lying town, at 196m above sea level.

At the northern shore of Lago Maggiore, Ascona is famous for its mild climate, its old town, and the lake promenade, which is dotted with street cafes and boasts a Latin ambience.

A boat ride on the Maggiore is highly recommended, and if time permits, visit the Island of Brissago, home to more than 1,000 plants from all over the world, which thrive there thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate.

Explore by either hiking or biking the surrounding towns along the Maggiore (see link below).

Some top events:
Artisti di Strada – over 100 shows of all kinds of art forms, with free admission, performed by artists from all over the world along the lake promenade (Piazza) and in the streets and alleys of Ascona (May).
JazzAscona – Europe’s largest hot jazz festival (June-July).
Settimane Musicali di Ascona – The most prestigious classical music festival in Ticino (August-October).