There is no doubt that the Cardada Cimetta mountain is one of the most popular attractions in Locarno because of its breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings. Here’s a useful guide to the Cardada Cimetta mountain in Locarno, Switzerland, if you’re interested in learning more.
Cardada Cimetta mountain provides an exceptional vantage point of Locarno, Lake Maggiore, and the entire Ticino region that are not visible from lower elevations. The mountain also offers clear views of many high peaks of the Swiss and Italian Alps on a clear day. Getting to this mountain resort from Locarno’s city center is effortless with a funicular.
All in all, a visit to Cardada Cimetta mountain, which is only a short ride from Locarno, is undeniably worth the trip.
Cardada Cimetta: Things to Do
Cardada Cimetta is more than just a destination for enjoying panoramic views. It boasts a plethora of attractions catering to both adults and children of all ages. Furthermore, it is an ideal spot for hiking enthusiasts. Here are some of the things to do in Cardada Cimetta.
Enjoy the Scenic Views
At 1,671 meters above sea level, Cimetta is one of the most popular viewpoints near Locarno. Cimetta is situated in the Lepontine Alps, which span across Valais, Ticino, Uri, Graubünden, Piedmont (Italy), and Lombardy (Italy).
Despite its lower altitude of 1,340 meters, Cardada still boasts stunning views of the Locarno region, Magadino Plain, Maggia River, Lake Maggiore, and the Brissago islands.
It’s fascinating to know that from Cimetta, one can witness both the highest peak in Switzerland, Dufourspitze, towering at 4634 meters, and the lowest point in Switzerland, Lake Maggiore, situated at just 193 meters.
Among the highest mountain peaks that you can expect to see here are the following:
- Dufourspitze – 4,634 meters
- Dom – 4,545 meters
- Punta Gnifetti / Signalkuppe – 4,554 meters
- Finsteraarhorn – 4,274 meters
- Strahlhorn – 4,190 meters
- Punta Grober – 3,497 meters
- Pizzo Bianco – 3,215 meters
You can also catch a glimpse of some of the famous mountains in Ticino, particularly those from the Lugano Prealps mountain range, including:
- Monte Tamaro – 1,961 meters
- Monte Gambarogno – 1,734 meters
- Monte Lema – 1,619 meters
Hiking around the Mountain
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Cardada Cimetta. To and from Cardada Cimetta, you will see many hiking trails of varying lengths.
Here are some of the hikes near Cardada Cimetta:
|Hikes||Estimated Hiking Time|
|Cimetta – Cardada – Orselina||2 hours 45 minutes|
|Cimetta – Pizzo Trosa – Bietri – Mergoscia||4 hours|
|Cardada – Cortaccio – S. Bernardo – Orselina||2 hours|
|Cardada – Cimetta – Alpe Vegnasca – Cardada Round Trip||2 hours 15 minutes|
|Cardada – Chiodo – Giorledo – Resa – Tendrasca – Brione||2 hours 30 minutes|
|Cardada – Alpe Cardada – Monti Lego – Mergoscia||3 hours|
Hiking Time Calculator
Plan your hikes with ease using our Hiking Time Calculator. Calculate estimated hiking times based on distance, altitude, terrain, and average speed.
The Panoramic Walkway is a suspended viewing platform that offers a 180° panorama of Lake Maggiore, the Centovalli, and part of the Maggia Valley. Created by landscape architect Marco Bürgi, this paved path leads to a spacious viewing platform equipped with a panoramic map, which helps visitors identify the surrounding landmarks.
The Panoramic Walkway is easily accessible, making it suitable for people of all ages. I highly recommend visiting this attraction as the views are truly breathtaking.
Cardada is not just a place for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers, but also a destination that offers a variety of exciting activities for children. Located right at the mountain station, a large playground greets visitors with its numerous attractions. With its giant swing and Noah’s Ark, this playground is possibly one of the best in Switzerland for children.
The seesaw is also a coordinated one that can be enjoyed with a friend or sibling. In addition, there are other unique features such as a giant tic-tac-toe, a giant blue bench, and a chessboard. The centrifugal merry-go-round provides an exciting experience for children and adults alike, as they spin around and enjoy the panoramic views.
Moreover, children can also enjoy a foot sole massage path, adding to the experience of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Overall, Cardada is not only a great place for outdoor enthusiasts but also an excellent destination for families looking for a fun and memorable experience.
Apart from the playground, there are also other activities that children can engage in at Cardada. One of the most exciting is the treasure hunt, where children have to find the answers to clues scattered around the mountain. There is a booklet about it that can be obtained from the Cardada Cimetta Valley Station. When we visited, they also offered a small prize as a token of participation, which was a little flashlight.
It can be quite challenging, but the sense of accomplishment after completing it is well worth it. Furthermore, the view from the treasure hunt location in Cimetta is breathtaking, making it an unforgettable experience.
For those with a keen interest in Geocaching, it is worth noting that there are scattered geocaches located throughout the mountain.
Geological Observatory Platform at Cimetta
The highest point of Cimetta is home to a geological observatory platform that offers a 360 ° view of the entire region and the surrounding mountains. This platform provides visitors with the opportunity to scrutinize the Insubric line, a fault that marks the division between the northern and southern parts of the Alpine chain. This chain, which spans much of Switzerland, was formed millions of years ago when the European continental plate collided with the African one.
Information boards located on the platform explain the characteristics of this fault line and the types of rocks that can be found in each of the two different plates. This enables visitors to observe the grandeur of the Alps from a privileged vantage point while gaining an understanding of how they were formed.
Overall, the geological observatory platform at Cimetta offers a unique opportunity for visitors to marvel at the natural beauty of the region while learning about the geological history of the area.
Restaurants around Cardada Cimetta
In the Cardada Cimetta area, visitors can take advantage of several mountain restaurants offering a delightful dining experience coupled with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding region. These restaurants are the perfect place to take a break from exploring the mountain and indulge in some delicious food while taking in the breathtaking scenery.
Whether it’s a quick snack or a full meal, visitors can enjoy the fresh mountain air and spectacular vistas while savoring their favorite dishes.
How to Get to Cardada Cimetta Mountain
Accessing Cardada Cimetta is incredibly convenient, as you can reach it easily via funicular from Locarno and cable car from Orselina. Once in Cardada, you can walk until you reach the 2-seater chairlifts, which will bring you to Cimetta at 1,670 meters above sea level.
Final Thoughts: Cardada Cimetta Mountain
If you are visiting or living in Locarno and want to enjoy nature close by, as well as the most spectacular views of Lake Maggiore and Ticino, Cardada Cimetta is a highly recommended excursion. Cardada Cimetta is quite easy to reach and is a pleasant activity for people of all ages.
What I appreciate about this particular mountain destination is that it offers an extensive range of activities tailored specifically for children. It’s not guaranteed that you come across such a wide variety of child-friendly options in Swiss mountain destinations, which tend to primarily cater to hikers.
The stunning vistas from various points in the area are truly awe-inspiring. But what makes this experience even better is the availability of explanations and maps that have been put in place for visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the region.
Cardada Cimetta is a truly remarkable destination that can be enjoyed year-round, thanks to the diverse range of activities on offer. While the mountain is certainly an excellent place to engage in physical activities like hiking, it is also a perfect location for those seeking moments of relaxation and solitude. Visitors can find peace amid the stunning natural surroundings, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life to unwind and recharge.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.