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Brissago Islands (Isole di Brissago)

Family friendly island with plants and flowers from all over the world, treasure hunt, infinity swing and a play house. Suitable for strollers.

Lake Maggiore | district of Locarno (Canton of Ticino, Switzerland).

The "it" factor


Munggeweg Amden hike Amdo Mugg Groundhog

What makes it special:



What needs to be considered:


  • No playground (which personally we did not miss)

  • Restaurant serves food only during limited hours



Don't feel like reading? Watch a video instead!



The fun factor


The Brissago Islands (Isole di Brissago) on Lake Maggiore are a perfect family outing spot. There are two islands, but only one, Isola Grande, is open to the public.


To get there, you can take a boat. We accessed it from Ascona, though there are other options listed in our practical info.


You can explore lush botanical gardens filled with over 2,000 exotic plants from around the world, making it an amazing day out in nature. The islands also feature fun activities for kids, including a flower-themed treasure hunt, an infinity swing, playhouse, memory game, educational signs and dedicated picnic spots, offering a delightful mix of relaxation, learning, and fun.




The island is quite small, and you can probably walk the entire island in about 20 minutes. However, with exploration, the adventure can take anywhere from half a day to a full day, depending on how much time you want to spend relaxing and discovering. For us, combined with the Ascona trampolines and bouncy castle, a picnic, and an ice cream break at the restaurant, it turned out to be a beautiful full day outing.




Here are our Top 4 Fun Factors of the Brissago Islands (Isole di Brissago)



1. Set off on a flower-themed world tour


Even just walking around the Brissago Islands is a fun adventure. The island is divided into sections featuring plants from different parts of the world, including the Mediterranean, China, Japan, South Africa, Australia, America, Oceania and more. You can explore all areas using an interactive map here. This layout makes it feel like a plant-themed tour around the globe! The short distances make it easy to explore with kids, and it's stroller-friendly.



2. Embark on a flowery treasure hunt


Right next to the island entrance, you can grab a treasure hunt map for 2 CHF. This map sends you on an exciting quest to find 10 special spots around the island. Each location features a cardboard cutout of a girl representing a unique flower, complete with a brief description. With a puncher in hand, you mark your map at each spot. Once all locations are discovered, returning the completed map to the shop rewards you with a small prize.


Our 4-year-old was thrilled by the adventure, eagerly searching for each cutout.


The island's compact size means you frequently stumble upon these spots, keeping the hunt engaging and turning exploration into a fun and educational experience.


3. Discover hidden adventures


While there isn't a specific playground on the island, there are three fun spots for kids to enjoy. First, there's an infinity swing with breathtaking views over the lake. Second, a straw hut provides a cozy play area. Third, a wooden house structure by the beach features a house and a memory game. Combined with the island exploration and treasure hunt, we found these spots to be more than enough, beautifully integrated into the natural surroundings without being intrusive.



While the island is more geared towards exploration than beach adventures and does not have a proper swimming beach, you can still cool off in the water. The infinity swing area and the spot with the wooden house structure both offer access to the lake for a refreshing stroll in the water.




4. Begin and end your day with a scenic boat ride


To reach the Brissago Islands, you'll need to hop on a boat, and the ride itself is an adventure! Our kid loved it. As you glide across the sparkling waters of Lake Maggiore, you're treated to stunning views of mountains and the lake. It’s the perfect start to a day of island exploration.




Beyond the Brissago Islands: Dive into Ascona Adventures


If you're taking a boat from Ascona and want even more fun adventures, Ascona has you covered. Just a two-minute walk from the boat dock and next to the parking area, there's a temporary trampoline park and a bouncy castle right by the playground. We confirmed with the staff that the attractions will remain open all summer. Our daughter loved ending the day there, and we enjoyed relaxing on a bench with a beautiful lake view. Plus, Ascona is a charming town with a lovely promenade filled with restaurants, making it a perfect spot to unwind.




The fitness factor


The island is quite small and easy to navigate, requiring no particular fitness level. The paths are well-prepared and stroller-friendly, making it suitable for families with young kids.


The food factor


You can either opt for the BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) option and enjoy a picnic at one of the island's designated spots, or visit the restaurant. We chose to do both, starting with a picnic and later finishing our adventure with ice cream on the restaurant terrace. The view from the terrace is absolutely worth it!




The value factor


Boat:


Island access:

  • Adults: 10 CHF | Holders of Railway / App myAscona-Locarno and Guest card: 8 CHF

  • Children under 16: Free


The Brissago Islands (Isole di Brissago) | Practical info




 

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