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With a shimmering blue lake and the Alps as its backdrop, Orselina is a tranquil spot. If you can tear yourself away from the pool in your luxury hotel, take a funicular to the 15th-century Madonna del Sasso church, set dramatically into the cliff overlooking the town of Locarno. Or simply breathe in the pine-scented air as you walk through the Cardada woods.

A heady mix of Mediterranean sunshine with winter skiing just a cable car ride away.

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If you fancy rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, visit Locarno on Lake Maggiore during its international film festival in August. Regular concerts and markets are held in the Piazza Grande. And the Renaissance Old Town, with its ornate 17th-century churches, highlights just how deeply Italy has influenced this part of the Alps. 


From rustic home cooking and vine-clad trattorias to inventive culinary adventures, if you love Italian food you’ll be more than satisfied. And if you’ve an appetite for heights, take a chairlift up to Cimetta, where panoramic views from the restaurant terrace make for an unforgettable experience.


23,000 hours of sunshine a year means there’s plenty to enjoy in nearby Locarno. Dive into the Lido with its own palm tree-lined lake, beach and pools of every size, including an Olympic-sized one. There are also waterslides for the kids, a volleyball court and far-reaching views of the mountains where novice skiers will appreciate the gentle green and blue slopes of Mottarone. 

Fulfil 007 fantasies by re-enacting the opening scene in Goldeneye and bungee-jumping 220m off the Verzasca Dam, just east of Locarno. 

Top tip from SLH

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