Sunday, 19 June 2011

Lugano to Paradiso Running Route

View towards Paradiso past the pedalos
Click here for route map
Length: 3 km (1.9 miles), terrain flat

For another Lugano route, see Lugano to Gandria Lakeside Route

Here's a short and simple route that follows the most popular running path in Lugano: an out-and-back along the lakeside to the Paradiso neighborhood at the south end of town. This is definitely the place most joggers head to when doing their daily run, and for good reason. The route provides an amazing view of Lake Lugano and the surrounding mountains, a tree-lined promenade with boats docked-up along much of the stretch, and elegant hotels along the other side of the street.

The only thing that disturbs the idyll here is the loud traffic along the shorefront street (which changes its name a few times).
Monte San Salvatore dominates the run
There isn't a lot for me to describe here: you just follow the sidewalk along the shore and, at the turn-around spot 1.5 km later, head back again. If you don't have a lot of time to run far, this is definitely the place to be.

NOTE: If this route is a bit too short for you, add a loop through Parco Civico, just 200 meters up the lake from the beginning of the run.

The route starts at the same spot as the Gandria route: in the main plaza, in front of the town hall.

Just like with the Gandria route, you head over to the lakeside, taking the pedestrian tunnel under the waterfront street. But this time, turn right and head along the water as it curves around to the left towards that steep mountain straight ahead, San Salvatore. It looks a bit like Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio, but the dimensions are in keeping with Lugano's much smaller status. But still, it rises about 700 meters from the lake.
Sometimes the path can get a bit crowded
When you go through the tunnel and come up at the lakeside, you'll be able to see the whole route stretching out before you. Right in front of you, you'll see the funny old pedalo boats that are unique to Lugano. They look like 1950s cars.
Some of the many runners on the shore run
You'll also pass the docks where the tour boats stop. There are various routes criss-crossing the lake.

A bit further along the waterfront, you'll pass the bathing house, a very Swiss institution. The mountain lakes have steep banks and few beaches, so the Swiss built bathing houses where swimmers could change and hang out on ring-shaped docks with ladders to the surrounding water.

After you pass the Paradiso boat landing, the promenade ends at Hotel Eden. There is a fountain with an old olive tree which you can circle, and off you go again, back to the center of Lugano.
Olive tree at the turn-around. Monte Bré in the distance

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