Castles, chocolate, waterfalls, mountain tops, and vineyards. Every day of this trip held super-wow moments. Even though it was a food tour, it was so much more than just food. It was meeting all the delightful locals who make you feel so welcome. Alpenwild does it right. - G.E. - South Carolina


Day 1 – Arrive Zurich | Transfer to Ticino | Bellinzona

On arrival in Zurich you’ll take a direct train through the new Gotthard Base Tunnel—the longest in the world—to arrive in Ticino. Your 4-star hotel is set within a 400-year-old villa in the heart of the Ticino region. We have an afternoon excursion and visit to Ticino’s best-known chocolate maker. Dinner and evening in Ticino. D

Day 2 – Lugano | Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angioli | Olive Path | Lake Lugano Cruise | Risotto Class and Grotto Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel before heading for the lakeside resort of Lugano. A culinary walk through town introduces you to the colors, tastes, and aromas of the market district. You’ll be treated to tastes along the way as you learn of traditional foods available only in Ticino. We visit a 500-year old church with ancient frescoes and a remarkable story. A lovely walk guides you along the Olive Path where olive oil is locally produced. The afternoon takes you for a cruise around Lake Lugano and arriving at a traditional grotto. Our host will share the history of the grotto while we prepare classic risotto from the terrace of his secluded restaurant. Enjoy a lovely lakeside dinner including your freshly-made risotto. Return to hotel. BD

Day 3 – Locarno | Explore the Locarno Arcade | Gelato Workshop | Gourmet Lake Fish Dinner

After breakfast, we head for Locarno, a mountain resort famous for its sunshine and palm-lined lakeshore. Strolling and browsing in the Arcades surrounding Locarno's Piazza Grande will allow you to find sought after local treasures. Then it’s off to the site of a local artisan who teaches us what makes gelato so creamy when there isn’t any cream. Then we’ll work on creating a batch to share. A walk along the shore will take us to our gourmet lake fish dinner. BD

Day 4 – Artisan Cheesemaking of Zincarlin | Mendrisio and Vineyard Walk | Traditional Corn Mill of Bruzella | Polenta Class | Visit Chestnut Forest

Depart after breakfast for the dairy of an artisan cheesemaker that produces tangy and golden Zincarlin. Taste the amazing and distinctive local cheese. Then it’s off to the village of Mendrisio (known as the “magnificent village”) on the hillside of Monte Generoso, where you follow a trail that leads through local vineyards. Nearby is an ancient mill for grinding mais to make polenta still powered by water. A local cook will help us learn how to create a batch of delicious cheese-topped polenta for lunch. Walk through a chestnut forest, taste a maron glacé, and learn how essential the chestnut has been to the region. Return to hotel for dinner. BD

Day 5 – Panettone Master Class | Valle Maggia |Gather Mountain Herbs | Village of Foroglio and Waterfalls | Dinner at a Michelin-Starred Restaurant

After breakfast, you get to work with a chef to create the traditional sweet pastry of Ticino—panettone—which the Ticenese eat all year long. After the class, we depart for Valle Maggia, "Magic Valley." Deep in the valley we meet with a local herbalist who will assist us in gathering delicious mountain herbs and teach how to use them. On the return we will stop off in the charming village of Foroglio, where you can see the water plunging from a 300 ft cliff and splash on the boulders below. Return to hotel. Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Bellinzona. BD

Day 6 – Bellinzona Saturday Market | Bellinzona Castles | Ticino Cheese Tasting Class

After breakfast, the Bellinzona Friday Market awaits. Vendors from all over the region bring their artisan wares and favorite locally produced foods. Cheese, bread, sausage, preserves, and fresh produce make up a colorful marketplace. Then it’s up to the three iconic castles of Bellinzona which comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each castle has a different story and deserves attention. Late afternoon you’ll be treated to a cheese tasting experience with local artisan cheeses. Final dinner in Bellinzona. Return to hotel. BD

Day 7 – Depart

After a bounteous breakfast at the hotel, you’ll depart Ticino for your return to Zurich, Milan or onward destinations. Be sure to consult with your Alpenwild Switzerland specialist for help with post-tour travel arrangements. B

Produce from a Ticino market

Activity Level

Alpenwild trips are designed for people who are energetic, active, and filled with a spirit of adventure. We rate this trip as easy. You should be in good physical condition and capable of walking 1 to 2 hours per day on well maintained and graded walking paths with a vertical elevation gain of up to 200 feet per day, at an elevation up to 5,000 feet above sea level.