The Gambarogno Riviera, with its typical Ticinese villages, extends for roughly 10 kilometres on the left shores of Lake Maggiore up to the Italian border. The area itself, though, begins in Contone, at the foot of Monte Ceneri and includes part of the Magadino Plain, as well as the famous “Bolle di Magadino” (Magadino Ponds), at the mouth of the Ticino river. This comprises the following municipalities: Contone, Magadino, Vira, Piazzogna, San Nazzaro, Gerra, Sant'Abbondio, Caviano and Indemini.
The luxuriant vegetation, the green chestnut woods, the lake’s iridescent colours – from turquoise to dark green – give a unique character to this still intact region. Given its Mediterranean climate, the average annual temperature is 15°C. In the summer months, the weather is ideal for all water sports. The Gambarogno Riviera does not only boast its lake and shores. It is also a steep mountain with a sheer drop to the lake: its boundaries span from Monte Tamaro (1961m s/m) to Monte Gambarogno (1735m s/m). Hence its name. From here there is a spectacular view on the Alps, from Monte Rosa to the west, and from the crown of the Ticinese Alps to the north. Itineraries and excursions.
The lake’s sparkling beauty, the amazing richness of the Bolle di Magadino (Magadino Ponds), the artistic and gastronomic variety of the Riviera. Practise all possible water sports, admire rich and rare flora and fauna, or simply relax. They house a particular vegetation and fauna, typical of the transition zones between water and terra firma. The present aspect of the Bolle di Magadino is basically due to the natural factors linked to the dynamics of the two rivers that have formed them and to the presence of the lake. The factors linked to the activities of man, both positive and negative, should also be kept in mind.
The garden skills of the breeder Otto Eisenhut can be admired in all their magnificence on the brow of the hill between Piazzogna and Vairano, in the Gambarogno Riviera. This botanical garden extends on a total area of more than 17,000 square metres and contains a myriad of plants: approx. 950 different qualities of camellias and nearly as many magnolias, not to mention the azaleas, peonys and rhododendrons surrounded by pine trees, junipers, ivys and fir-trees that are exotic or rare in Europe. The Foundation "Gambarogno's Botanical Garden" has been managing this garden since the beginning of the year 2000. Its aim is to guarantee the continuity of this precious landscape, both botanically and culturally. Unless you are a botanical garden expert, count on a full hour for the visit.
The Gambarogno region, due to its lake, hills and mountains, is ideal for a number of sports. It offers water sports, e.g. swimming, diving, rowing, canoeing, sailing, surfing, water skiing, wakeboarding and motor boats; horse riding, with horse centres in Quartino; tennis, with tennis courts in Vira and Contone; minigolf in Vairano, Magadino and Quartino (indoors); two hundred kilometres of footpaths, the winning card for the region's tourism.