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The Olive Trail from Gandria to Castagnola (Lugano)

Gandria - Elvezia al Lago - Scarigiöla - Castagnola

Route Infos | Details about this tour | Tour Ratings (0) | Tours in the Vicinity

The Olive Trail from Gandria to Castagnola (Lugano)

Gandria - Elvezia al Lago - Scarigiöla - Castagnola

Published on 23.03.2018 by GabrielleMerk | 12357 points
 | Tour Date: 21.01.2018

Did you know that green, pink and black olives are not three different types of olives, but three degrees of ripeness of the same olive?

Or did you know that in ancient times, besides the oil being used for cooking and lighting lanterns, olive oil provided the basis for all kinds of medicines, cosmetics, soaps, lubricants and fiber softeners?

These things and much more you can learn about along the short but charming "Olive Trail" (Sentiero dell'olivo) which winds its way through the village of Gandria and westward along Lake Lugano to the suburb of Castagnola. All along this easy walk there are information panels (also with excellent text in English) describing the history, husbandry, and uses of the olive trees, as well as cultivation of the fruit in the Ticino area (documented in sales documents as far back as 769 AD).

The trail starts at the bus stop in Gandria, a typical Ticino village with narrow alleys and stone houses built in tiers on the steep slope at the foot of Monte Brè, loops to the East and then back westward parallel to the lake. Most of the trail is a wide, sometimes cobblestoned path, and the South slope offers a very Mediterranean climate where such vegetation as cacti, palms, and olive trees all flourish. There are several impressive villas along the way, plus an interesting section with magnificent cliffs.

The trail is popular with the locals so not surprising to see lots of people on a nice day or going for a quick walk after work.

Gandria can be reached by bus or boat, or for a longer hike you can start in the village of Brè higher up and walk down the hill. And of course you don't have to catch the bus in Castagnola; you can continue all the way into Lugano if you prefer.

And for those who like museums, you might consider visiting the "Museum of Cultures" i.e. the Museo Heleneum which is just 100m West of the parking lot on the Lugano side of the trail.

Quick-Links about this Tour


  • Jura Höhenweg

    Hallo zäme ich bin seit ein paar Jahren am Jurahöhenweg ;-) da ich immer wieder andere...

Published on 23.03.2018 by GabrielleMerk | 12357 points
 | Tour Date: 21.01.2018

Route Infos

Time Required
1 hour 15 minutes
3 km
161 m
181 m
Max. Altitude
340 m
Min. Altitude
271 m
Season Start / Season End
January - December
Level of Difficulty (Hiking)
Points of Interest
All of the olive groves! // Very old and large olive tree at the boat dock in Gandria (it has a name, it's called "Olivo di Carlin") // Cliffs at Scarigiöla // Museo Heleneum (Museum of Cultures)
Starting Point
Starting Point with Public Transport
Castagnola (Lugano)
Return with Public Transport
Places to Eat
Gandria, Elvezia al Lago
Hotels, Restaurants and Tourist Information
If coming to Gandria by boat, you can start the Olive Trail by heading East along the lakeshore, then uphill at the graveyard and return to the village before heading West // Expect not to be alone because there is a parking area near the museum and locals use this trail for a Sunday afternoon walk. In summer there are most likely lots of people at the Lido // Most of the restaurants are closed in the winter months except Ristorante Antico, but reservation is recommended (small restaurant)// Buses run only every couple of hours so check schedules carefully.

Details about this tour

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  • Detailed map with traced route on SwissMobility map, including elevation profile
  • GPS file for download
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