About Lago Maggiore Express
Available: daily (except Weds) early April - early October.
38 Sfr from Locarno or Ascona
Please note that as the majority of this lake is in Italy, the boats are operated by an Italian company and your Half Fare Card is not valid.
This is a splendid journey taking in the scenic highlights of the Swiss/Italian border region. You'll travel by boat along the Lake Maggiore to Isola Bella and on to Stresa. Here there is a change to rail for a train ride through the Italian countryside to Domodossola. The final stage of the trip is on the Centovalli Line through the 'Hundred Valleys' back into Switzerland and your return to Locarno.
Your boat leaves Locarno at around 9am (the second stop is Ascona, so those staying in this resort can join here). You'll enjoy a spectacular cruise along Lake Maggiore, taking in the passing villages and picturesque bays. On the Swiss section of the lake, you'll sail to Brissago and then into Italian waters, with views of the Cannero castles, the Borromeo islands and the lovely resort of Stresa.
If you stay on board for the whole journey, it will take around 2 hours. However this day trip allows for time to stop off en route for a look around before continuing your onward journey on a later boat.
Why not enjoy lunch on board - certain boats offer a restaurant with a set lunch menu. Please book this when you you purchase your ticket locally as pre-payment will be required. Alternatively, you can find plenty of restaurants on the lakeshore in Stresa.
A half hour's train journey on Italian rail will transport you from Stresa to Domodossola. The line takes you northwards through holiday resorts such as Baveno and some pretty scenery.
This two hour journey offers a spectacular end to your day. From Domodossola you travel through the rugged Vigezzo Valley as far as the border back into Switzerland. The train then enters the Centovalli 'hundred valleys' region, which is replete with vineyards, chestnut forests and idyllic mountain villages. You'll cross over mountain streams and enjoy a number of bridges and viaducts with outstanding views before arriving back into Locarno.
The Lago Maggiore Express is an 8 hour round trip which departs from the boat station in Locarno and returns you to the town's railway station. You can also board in Ascona if you are staying in that resort.
Please note that you will need your passport for the crossing into Italy.