Holidays at Lago Maggiore with dogs: tips and hikes


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The first time we went to one of the big italian lakes - Lago Maggiore. The starting point of our trip was the Italian village of Cannero Riviera, where we rented a holiday home with a breathtaking view of the lake. And although the view was so beautiful, of course we still wanted to explore the area - and of course on hikes with the dog. I present our favorite hikes to you here, of course including a link to follow them, and I also have a few tips for you for your holiday with your dog on Lago Maggiore.

Holidays with your dog on Lago Maggiore: tips and things worth knowing

Before we start with the hiking descriptions, I have one or two tips for you on how to plan the perfect holiday with your dog on Lago Maggiore and answer frequently asked questions. Is it dog friendly on Lake Maggiore? Our answer is clearly yes. Rarely have I ever seen so many dogs in one holiday destination. Although there may be restrictions on the beaches in summer (our trip took place in April), there are bathing opportunities everywhere around the lake that are also accessible to dogs. Dogs are welcome guests in the towns and restaurants and can accompany you inside and outside. A bowl of water is often given. And finding accommodation was no problem at all. Most holiday homes, campsites and hotels allow dogs. With a dog in Switzerland and Italy: Which rules do I have to observe? For entry with a dog, you only need the pet ID card (with proof of the chip) and a valid rabies vaccination for both Switzerland and Italy. You should know that in Italy there is a general obligation to carry a muzzle (it does not have to be worn). You can only insist on wearing it on buses, boats or cable cars. In practice, this is actually rarely the case. If you use the bus, the ticket costs the same as for humans, small dogs, which are transported in a carrier bag, travel for free. For boats, dogs under 50 cm in height are considered small and travel for free, larger dogs incur a small fee. Mountain railways usually have an individual dog tariff.

Where is the most beautiful place on Lago Maggiore with a dog?

We particularly liked two places: Cannero Riviera and Cannobio. Both places are on the Italian side. Here you will find pretty old towns, wide, car-free promenades, access to the lake and good, dog-friendly restaurants. In Cannobio there is also a large, dog-friendly campsite with its own beach. In addition to pitches, there are also mobile homes for rent. With the ferries and buses, you can also visit numerous other places on the lake from here. In addition, particularly beautiful hikes start here (see below). When is the best time to travel with your dog on Lago Maggiore? The climate on Lago Maggiore is Mediterranean. The temperatures in spring and autumn are particularly pleasant, but in summer it can get really hot. If you want to hike a lot, spring and autumn are ideal, and summer is better suited for a beach holiday. Hiking with a dog on Lake Maggiore In the following, I will introduce you to my three favorite hikes with a dog on Lago Maggiore. Imitation desired. 

Circular hike from Cannero Riviera to Oggiogno 

  • Length: 6 km 

  • Elevation meters: 300 
  • Difficulty: Easy 

A sweet mountain village and fantastic views await you on this circular hike. You start in the center of the pretty coastal town of Cannero Riviera, where your hike will also end. Tip: Not only is it pleasantly cool in the morning, you also have a good chance of finding a free parking space in the town center. Now you cross the village and the coastal road, where you meet the hiking trail. This leads well fastened but quite steeply up the slope. You quickly get a fantastic view of the town and the lake. Due to the good signage, you can hardly miss the way to the mountain village of Oggiogno. It leads up the mountain in serpentines through a forest. Walk past the cemetery to the small and incredibly picturesque village of Oggiogno. Tip: Treat yourself to a break in the only café in the village, as well as a snack and a drink. Dogs are welcome. Payment is made in cash. The café is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed on Wednesdays. Take some time to explore the village and then follow the path leading out of the village. With a view of Lake Maggiore and the mountains, it now loops back down to Cannero Riviera. By the way: There are no water points along the way, so take enough water with you for your dog. Large parts of the route are exposed to the sun. In summer it is better to avoid lunchtime. 

Hike from Cannobio to Cannero Riviera via Carmine Superiore 

  • Length: 7 km 
  • Elevation meters: 370 
  • Difficulty level: medium 

You can start this hike both in Cannobio and in Cannero Riviera. You can easily return to the starting point by bus. Starting from Cannero Riviera, the path runs gently uphill along the coast. In doing so, it repeatedly reveals breathtaking views of Lago Maggiore and the robber baron islands of Castelli di Cannero. Now it is a constant up and down, whereby the path is always well paved. Halfway you pass the pretty stone village of Carmine Superiore, where you can take a break with a fantastic view. However, there is no rest stop here. Now follow the signs to Cannobio (do not go down to the right after Carmen Inferiore).

Now the path becomes a bit steeper and a few meters of altitude have to be overcome up and down before the path to Cannobio falls again. By the way: the hiking trail is an old mule track. The last meters run almost by themselves here. In Cannobio you will find a variety of rest stops where you can strengthen yourself before the return journey

Worth knowing: Even if you occasionally cross small streams, you should take enough water with you for your dog. In addition, the path is often exposed to the sun. Better to avoid midday on hot days. In Italy you have to wear a muzzle for your dog when traveling on public transport (bus, cable car and boats). Bus tickets can not be bought on the bus, but in the kiosk (in Cannobio directly at the bus stop). The return journey by bus takes around 10 minutes.

Hike to the Froda Waterfall (Cascate della Froda) in Sonogno (Valle Verzasca) 

  • Length: 3 km 
  • Altitude: 90 m
  • Difficulty: Easy 

The Valle Verzasca is almost a must-visit on a holiday on Lago Maggiore. The water runs through the valley in a mesmerizing green. You can do a particularly beautiful, easy circular hike from Sonogno. A hiking trail leads directly from the town center along the Verzasca to the impressive Froda waterfall. Shortly before you reach it, there is a small serpentine up the slope, where the view is finally revealed. There are a few benches that are ideal for a rest with a fantastic view. Then a serpentine leads down to the basin and over a bridge back into the valley. A paved path takes you back to the town centre. On the way there you have the opportunity to stop at the Grotto Efra. You can find more restaurants and smaller shops in the place worth seeing.