We spent 5 days in Airolo, Switzerland as part of a longer summer holiday in Switzerland as a family. Airolo is a tiny village clinging to the hillside above Nante and at the foot of the majestic Gotthard Pass. It was like living in a picture book. Our days were spent hiking, biking, playing chess, reading books and eating fresh cheese and bread from the villages. It was the perfect Swiss family getaway to completely unplugged from the rest of the crazy world.
We started out our journey with a drive through Gotthard Tunnel, the longest tunnel in the world! We checked into an Airbnb, and took a hike through the farming village of Airolo and up the mountain. Most of our food was either purchased at bakeries in the village or the markets and eaten at home. This first evening we came down the mountain after most shops had closed for the night (at 4pm!). But no one complained about fresh cheese and hot bread for dinner. In fact, it was so good we ate it for the rest of the trip.
While my husband had a long bike ride up through Gotthard Pass, the children played outside on the mountain or in the sandbox for most of the day. For lunch a woman who advertised meals from her home, (but didn’t speak any English) made us a batch of risotto and pasta for the children.
This was a nice quiet day trip to Lugano, Switzerland for us to attend our church service. It was a beautiful drive and we packed a picnic. There are many things to do in Lugano that you can explore if you have the time.
We took a ride in the Airolo Ski lifts and had dinner at the top. We drove up the Gotthard Pass with the children. The road is cobblestoned at the top and still nice and bumpy. It was freezing for our Singapore acclimated bodies and we quickly hunted down some hot chocolate and drank it while taking in the gorgeous views.
I think at this point we had hit every bakery in Airolo. We drove 15 minutes to Bedretto and hiked up to find a mountain playground my husband had passed on one of his bike rides. It engaged the children for hours. I made quiche for the 100th time this summer and we had a quiet dinner at home.
We checked out of Airolo and drove south to Valle Verzasca stopping at Castelgrande on the way. This is the Italian Switzerland, it looks/sounds/tastes like Italy. We continued with our perfect Swiss family getaway in Morgarten, Switzerland.
Are you interested in other family road trips through a beautiful countryside? Try this one through Scotland!