Magical Verzasca Valley in Switzerland
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Emerald green water, dramatic mountains, countless waterfalls and original stone villages - the Verzasca Valley is a small paradise in the middle of Ticino (Switzerland), just a short drive from Lake Maggiore.
- Location, directions, accommodation
- Accommodation in the Verzasca Valley
- The villages of Valle Verzasca
- Sights in the Verzasca Valley
- Hikes in the Verzasca Valley
- Useful information
- Verzasca Valley with dog
Verzasca Valley: location, access, accommodation
The 25 km long Verzasca Valley is in Ticino, Switzerland, north of Lake Maggiore. The valley can easily be reached via the Via Valle Verszaca pass road, which connects all the villages in the valley and meanders dramatically along the wild river. The drive down into the valley is already a real highlight and getting lost is practically impossible as there is only one road. In addition, buses (Postbus) run from place to place, so you can also easily explore the valley from the surrounding area. For the route from Locarno (Lago Maggiore) to Sonogno (end point in the Verzasca Valley), for example, you only need a travel time of 1:10 hours. By the way: Dogs can of course be taken on the bus. Small dogs up to 30 cm in transport bags travel free of charge, for a large dog you have to buy a ticket.
In the Verzasca Valley you will find some small hotels along the main road and in the villages. Almost all with a fantastic view of the mountains and the river. There are also a few holiday apartments - also in the traditional stone houses. Unfortunately there are no campsites, you will find them on Lake Maggiore.
The villages of Valle Verzasca
The Verzasca Valley belongs to the district of Locarno. In the Verzasca Valley you will find along the river (from south to north) the villages of Vogorno, Corippo, Lavertezzo, Brione (Verzasca), Gerra (Verzasca), Frasco and Sonogno, all of which form the municipality of Verzasca and the district of Verzasca. What is special about the villages of the Verzasca Valley are the original stone houses that look back on a long history. The Church of San Bartolomeo in Vogorno, for example, is the oldest church in the Verzasca Valley and was first mentioned in 1234. The villages of Lavertezzo and Sonogno, which are particularly well preserved, are particularly worth seeing.
Sights in the Verzasca Valley
The center of Sonogno: Sonogno is the last village in the valley and has a particularly beautiful center. Since the Cascata La Froda waterfall plunges into the valley directly behind the village, you can hear the rushing from afar. It's just a short walk to the waterfall. In the village itself you will find well-preserved traditional stone houses and also the Val Verzasca Museum, a former, typical residential building. Those who want to learn more about the village's handicrafts can also do so in the Casa della Lana (House of Wool).
Lavertezzo and surroundings: A particularly well-preserved stone village also awaits you in Lavertezzo. The Revöira ethnological trail in Lavertezzo takes you back to a bygone era. But my highlight was the Roman bridge Ponte dei Salti, which was built in the Middle Ages. After being partially destroyed in 1868, it had to be partially rebuilt. You can sunbathe on the rocks below the bridge, cool off in small pools and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Verzasca dam: You cannot miss the 220 meter high James Bond dam on Lago di Vogorno, right at the entrance to the valley. We paid a visit to the dam directly on the way there (an experience even without bungee jumping).
The Sentierone Valle Verzasca: The Sentierone Valle Verzasca hiking trail runs along the river through the entire valley. Walking at least part of the way is a must on a trip to Valle Verzasca. By the way: along the way there are always adventure sections especially for children and families.
The bathing spots at the Verzasca: If you hike through the valley, you will automatically pass the many bathing spots. They are particularly accessible in Lavertezzo and Brione. The diving spots Pozzo della Misura and Pozzo die Salti are also popular. Attention: The currents of the Verzasca should never be underestimated.
Nature: To be honest, my highlight was the unique natural scenery of the valley. The high mountains, the emerald green water of the Verzasca, the countless waterfalls and bathing spots - the beauty of the valley can hardly be put into words.
Hikes in Valle Verzasca
Hiking Sentierone Valle Verzasca
The most famous hike in the Verzasca Valley is of course on the Sentierone Valle Verzasca. The red and white marked hiking trail (mountain path) first leads from Tenero above Lago di Vogorno or via Mergoscia and later runs directly along the Verzasca. You can hike in several stages through the entire valley to Sonogno or pick out individual stages.
My tip for a day hike:
Use the bus and let yourself be driven to your desired starting stage. You can then walk through to your parking lot or hotel. A particularly beautiful stage, for example, is Sonogno to Lavertezzo. On this 14-kilometer stage you can see almost all the highlights of the valley. By the way, the advantage of this running direction is that you run consistently slightly downhill. In the other direction you overcome almost 400 meters in altitude.
Trek 700 Valle Verzasca
Would you like to go hiking in the mountains? Three stages of the mountain hike Trekking 700 from Mesocco (GR) to Formazza (I) lead through the Verzasca Valley, namely stage 4 from Biasca to Capanna Efra, stage 5 from Capanna Efra to Sonogno and stage 6 from Sonogno to Prato-Sornico.
Insider tip: at medium altitude through the Verzasca Valley
During our research for a day hike, we discovered hiking trails that lead slightly above the Sentierone Valle Verzasca. These hiking trails are a bit hidden but worth it. In this way, medium-sized circular hikes can also be planned. You can find our route, which turned out to be a real insider tip, in this blog post.
Worth knowing about the Valle Verzasca
Ever since my trip to the Verzasca Valley, I've been a big fan of this region in Ticino. However, it is no longer an insider tip, at least in summer. By midday, the trails along the river were really busy, so it's worth spending the morning hiking. We were at the particularly popular Ponte de Salti bridge at seven in the morning and had it all to ourselves. In addition, you have the best chance of getting a free parking space in the morning. By the way, parking is not free, you have to take a ticket from the machine (cash or app).
Verzasca Valley with dog
We were in the Verzasca Valley with our dog Frieda and found it, with one small exception, to be extremely dog-friendly. The hiking trail is easy for any dog to walk on, but there are suspension bridges on which it is sometimes necessary to carry the dog because they are wobbly and have a grid floor. Dogs are generally welcome in hotels and restaurants.
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