Available: all year round.
Swiss Travel Pass & Half Fare Card: 14 Sfr cable car from Orselina to Cardada, then 18 Sfr to Cimetta
Ticino Ticket: 28 Sfr cable car from Orselina to Cardada, then 36 Sfr to Cimetta
The modern ‘tear drop' cable car glides up to Cardada, where there is a 10 minute walk to the Alpe di Cardada at 1,340m with wonderful views over the lake. There are a variety of walks from here and of course a friendly restaurant for a drink or lunch. You can continue by chairlift to Cimetta at 1,670m for its stunning views over the high Alps.
Cable car and chairlift
The cable car from Orselina to Cardada only takes around 5 minutes, but offers fabulous views as you glide from an elevation of 395m above sea level to 1,340m! The modern cable car with its distinctive tear drop shape was inaugurated in 2000.
From Cardada you can climb even higher on the chairlift, which takes you to Cimetta at 1,670m.
The breathtaking view which can be enjoyed from Cardada is the most striking aspect of this splendid mountain, also known as 'The Pearl of Lake Maggiore'. The vista includes the whole Locarno region including the Centovalli region and the Maggia river, and along the lake past where it turns from Swiss territory to Italian. There is a scenic promontory that winds its way across the treetops and ends with a suspended platform with unforgettable views.
At Cimetta, the view widens out, offering a 360 degree panorama over the whole of Lake Maggiore and the surrounding Alps. The view is unique, as it takes in the lowest AND highest point of Switzerland - from the delta of the Maggia river between Ascona and Locarno to the highest spot, Dufourspitze, situated on the Monte Rosa massif. You can even see the fault line where the Alpine chain separates the European Continental Plate and the African Plate. Information boards explain the geology of the line and the types of rocks that are found on either side.
Walking on the mountain
Cardada offers an idyllic natural landscape and a wonderfully mild climate. You can stroll through the mountainside woods and fields or try the Kneipp path next to the cable car station. This traditional wellbeing activity massages your bare feet with various materials and surfaces.
There are more demanding walks available from Cardada and Cimetta. You can follow the hiking trails for exceptional views of the Alps from Cima della Trosa (1,869m) and il Madone (2,039m). There are also paths down to the Maggia and Verzasca valleys.
While all the mountain paths are suited to Nordic walking, there are two official Helsana paths featuring information boards with stretching exercises and advice on the correct way to train.
There are 5 mountain restaurants in the Cardada/Cimetta region. All feature a terrace so you can enjoy a scenic view along with your lunch.
There is also a playground near the cable car station and families will enjoy the trail through the woods with various activities.
This delightful day out can be easily enjoyed from Locarno.
Take the funicular from the centre of town (near the railway station) up to Orselina. From Orselina, the cable car takes you up to Cardada at 1,340m. You then have the option to take the chairlift up to Cimetta at 1,670m.
Please note that the cable car and chairlift are closed for maintenance 29 October to 19 December.