Lake Maggiore is a fantastic holiday destination for those who enjoy the outdoors and an active lifestyle. There are loads of superb opportunities to enjoy outdoor pursuits, ranging from ‘tamer’ options for children and teenagers to more heart-stopping activities for the thrill-seekers out there! We have included a selection of these activities in this guide.
www.indepthoutthere.com offer canyoning for everyone in the rivers that run from the mountains into the lake. They offer canyoning experiences for family and beginners to advanced and heli tours for thrill seekers. Prices range from CHF125 to CHF350. Tel 00 44 (0) 78 614 9877 for more information. Another company offering canyoning is www.canyoningtours.ch.
Arguably the most famous bungee jump in the world is in the Valle Verzasca, one of the valleys leading into Lake Maggiore. The Verzasca Dam featured in the opening sequence of ‘Goldeneye’ starring Pierce Brosnan. At 220 metres high, and taking 7.5 seconds to reach the bottom, it’s not a jump for the faint hearted! But if you’re not quite ready to take on bungee jumping, ‘swinging’ is also available here. You’re hooked up to two ropes instead of one, which could make you feel safer and perhaps will make you want to do a real bungee jump afterwards! Prices are from 130 euros upwards and the minimum age to jump is 10 years old. It is open every afternoon from the Easter weekend until the end of October, however, opening times do vary and it is necessary to phone to book a slot beforehand. Classic jumps, such as a swan dive or a backwards jump, all the way to special jumps for trained jumpers, such as the ‘helicopter’ are all possible at the dam. Tandem jumps are not available at the dam. However, you can do tandem jumps at the Centovalli bridge jumping centre which is only 20 minutes away from the dam. (Visit the website www.trekking.ch for more details or email email@example.com)
There is a triathlon held every September in Locarno. With different events for different abilities and even triathlons for children (3-4 year olds swim 20 metres, cycle 0.6 km and run 100 metres!), more details can be found at www.3locarno.ch.
The Cinzano Climbers Studio near Maccagno on the Eastern side of the lake is a great place for climbing. The natural cliffs have been turned into a climbing wall by adding fixed belays, and artificial walls have been added to produce a massive outdoor climbing arena. Telephone 00 39 0332 511101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Diving is becoming increasingly popular on Lake Maggiore. www.crazyshark.ch offers diving tours for beginners, equipment rental, guided excursions and courses.
For the brave among you, you can do a solo or tandem skydive in Locarno. For more details visit their website at www.parcentro.ch
It’s possible to go hang gliding on the Mottarone at Stresa.
You can go paragliding above Portovaltravaglia, on the Eastern side of the lake. Alternatively, there are opportunities to go paragliding in Locarno. Contact www.mountaingliders.com on 00 41 (0) 79 761 5106 or Fly & Smile at www.parapendio.ch on 091 606 6266 for more information.
There is also a paragliding landing strip in Baveno. Flights can be arranged via the neighbouring Adventure Park. Please email using NorthWest Paragliding. This company holds lessons of theory and practice and can arrange tandem flights, where expert instructors accompany clients who want to experience at first hand the exhilaration of flying. In addition, the centre provides facilities, advice and resources for expert fliers. Please email email@example.com for further details.
Please also read our watersports guide, skiing guide and cycling guide.