Stage 31 of the Trans Swiss trail is 12 km long with 840 m ascent and 880 m descent and goes from Lugano (Paradiso) to Morcote. This was one of prettiest hikes of the entire Trans Swiss Trail with some absolutely stunning views from the top of Monte San Salvatore. I highly recommend this hike.
|Lugano (Paradiso) to Morcote
Canton Ticino, Switzerland
| Zürich HB -> Paradiso – 2 hr 6 min
Morcote -> Zürich HB – 2 hr 30 min
|Trans Swiss Trail – Stage 31 – Lugano (Paradiso) to Morcote
Yellow trail markers/ Red and white trail – Trans Swiss Trail Route 2
Lugano Train Station to Paradiso – unmarked but walkable
| Medium – About 4 hrs 30 min
Length 12 km, Ascent 840 m, Descent 880 m
There is additional 2 km from the Lugano train station to Paradiso that is unmarked but walkable using directions from Google/Apple maps. As it goes along the lake shore it is a very pleasant walk, but you can take a train and skip it if you want.
|Stage 1 – Porrentruy to St-Ursanne
Stage 2 – St-Ursanne to Soubey
Stage 3 – Soubey to Saignelégier
Stage 4 – Saignelégier to St-Imier
Stage 5 – St-Imier to Chézard-St-Martin
Stage 6 – Chézard-St-Martin to Neuchâtel
Stage 7 – Neuchâtel to Murten
Stage 8 – Murten to Laupen
Stage 9 – Laupen to Bern
Stage 10 – Bern to Worb
Stage 11 – Worb to Lützelflüh
Stage 12 – Lützelflüh to Langnau i.E.
Stage 13 – Langnau i.E. to Eggiwil
Stage 14 – Eggiwil to Schangnau
Stage 15 – Schangnau to Sörenberg
Stage 16 – Sörenberg to Giswil
Stage 17 – Giswil to Flüeli-Ranft
Stage18 – Flüeli-Ranft to Stans
Stage 19 – Stans to Seelisberg
Stage 20 – Seelisberg to Erstfeld
Stage 21 – Erstfeld to Wassen
Stage 22 – Wassen to Andermatt
Stage 23 – Andermatt to Passo del San Gottardo
Stage 24 – Passo del San Gottardo to Airolo
Stage 25 – Airolo to Osco
Stage 26 – Osco to Anzonico
Stage 27 – Anzonico to Biasca
Stage 28 – Biasca to Bellinzona
Stage 29 – Bellinzona to Tesserete
Stage 30 – Tesserete to Lugano (Comano)
Stage 31 – Lugano (Paradiso) to Morcote
Stage 32 – Morcote to Mendriso
Getting There – Lugano to Paradiso
Stage 31 doesn’t start where stage 30 ended (Lugano, Comano), and it is recommended that you take public transport from Comano to Paradiso. Because we want to cover as much of Switzerland on foot as possible, when we did stage 30, we walked the additional 5 km from Comano to the Lugano train station. As we ended the last stage at the Lugano train station, that is where we started this stage.
From the Lugano train station it is 2 km or so walk to Paradiso where the hike official starts. The walk is flat, easy, and along the lake front with gorgeous views over the water, including the view in the third picture above of Monte San Salvatore.
When we reached the Paradiso train station, we found the signs for trail 2 and were on our way. The first part of the hike is a very steep climb up to the top of Monte San Salvatore. If you would prefer to skip the steep part of the hike, there is a funicular you can take up to the top. The views won’t be that different from hiking, as the trail mostly follows alongside the tracks.
As we neared the top of Monte San Salvatore, we were sweating from the effort. We certainly didn’t mind stopping to enjoy the views along the way!
When we reached the viewing platform near the top of Monte San Salvator, we noticed that trail 2 bypasses the very top of the mountain, so we took a detour off the trail to get to the highpoint. You absolutely must take the detour up to the chapel and then climb the chapel steps up to the roof. There is the most amazing 360 degree view from there and after hiking up the mountain, this view is the best reward.
In the photo above, you can see the ridge along the right side where the rest of the hike will be – a nice preview of what’s to come.
After the excursion to the top, we returned to trail 2 which took us past the top station of the funicular where there is a playground and restaurant (Ristoranti Vetta). We decided to have lunch there and both the pasta and the views were excellent!
After lunch, we were back out on the hike. The next few kilometers meandered up and down through the forest and towns. After the town of Carona, the trail passes through a botanical garden – mostly rhododendrons and azaleas. It was too late in the year for the blooms (April/May would be best) but it was still a nice section to hike. I liked getting a look back along the ridge to Monte San Salvatore.
After the gardens, it was more forest trail. The shade was nice as it was a rather hot day. When we reached the field in picture two below, the trail began the very steep descent with many, many, many, many stairs, down to Morcote.
When we paused at the viewpoint above, we still had many, many stairs to go. But, with Morcote visible below, we knew there would finally be an end to the stairs and our hike.
Morcote is an adorable town and I think it would be nice to spend a bit more time there. But, I was done walking for the day. This was a tough hike for me.
It was time to start heading home, but first, we needed to stop for some gelato. The bus stop was another 15 minute walk away and the ferry was right there. The next section of the hike starts with a ferry ride across the lake and I was too tired to walk to the bus station. So, although it was slower, we decided to take the ferry back. The first stop (picture three) is where we will pick up the trail next time.
After a relaxing and pretty ferry ride, we reached Lugano where we got our train home. I really loved this section of the hike. One of my favorites, in fact. I would defiantly do it again, but I think I would take the funicular up and skip the steep climb at the beginning. I can’t believe we have only one more section to go! This trail has been a great adventure!