The Brissago Islands, Isole di Brissago in Italian, are undoubtedly one of the most enchanting spots in the region – a small subtropical paradise. The islands are located on the Swiss side of Lake Maggiore, around 2.5 km north-east of Brissago and 3.5 km south-west of Ascona.
Brissago Islands open to visitors every day
The islands can be reached by boat from Locarno, San Nazzaro, Ascona, Porto Ronco and Brissago. The crossing from Locarno takes between 40 and 60 minutes, depending on the timetable. From Ascona it is only 15 minutes.
San Pancrazio, also known as Isola Grande, is the larger of the two islands and is home to a botanical garden.
The smaller island, Isolino or Isola Piccola, also known as Isola di Sant’Apollinare, is largely left in its natural state.
Brissago Islands with the warmest climate in Switzerland
Thanks to their favorable location, the Brissago Islands enjoy a mild climate with plenty of sunshine. Over the years, a unique vegetation has developed, consisting of rare and majestic trees, lush shrubs, fragrant exotic flowers and extraordinary ferns that create an intoxicating atmosphere.
The Brissago Islands have an insubrian climate, which means that there is a lot of rainfall and hours of sunshine and the average annual temperature is relatively high at around 14°C. This gives the island the warmest climate in Switzerland. As a result, the island has the warmest climate in Switzerland. Various species of palm trees and plants that are not normally found at these latitudes thrive here, and there are no frost days on the islands.
The uniquely mild climate on Lake Maggiore makes it possible for subtropical plants to grow in the open air on the Isola Grande. The botanical garden of the canton of Ticino is home to around 1700 plant species.
Brissago Islands with botanical garden
The Brissago Islands Botanical Garden extends over 25,000 m2 and is home to over 2,000 plant species from Mediterranean regions such as the Mediterranean, Chile, South Africa, Australia and California as well as humid subtropical regions such as Asia, America and Oceania.
Lotus flowers, sequoias, bald cypresses, banana trees and even eucalyptus trees thrive in the botanical garden on the two Brissago Islands in Lake Maggiore.
The water in the lake stores heat so well that there are hardly any frosty days in winter and the Alps provide additional protection from the cold from the north. These climatic conditions favor the growth of exotic plants.
The smaller Brissago island, the Isola di Sant’Apollinare, is covered in spontaneously growing vegetation, which is left in its natural state.
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