Hiking in Ticino: through the magical Maggia Valley

The route stretches for less than nine kilometers through the magical Vallemaggia valley from Maggia to Someo, with its typical architecture of stone houses. And three suspension bridges to cross! Your kids will love it!

Vallemaggia –  the magic valley

Vallemaggia is the largest valley in Italian-speaking Switzerland. The valley is named after the crystalline Maggia River, which rises in Pizzo Cristallina, is 56 kilometers long, and flows into Lago Maggiore. In this “magical” landscape you will find not only lush vegetation, protected floodplain forests but also traditional architecture – stone houses called rustici.

How to get to the start of the trail

Take the bus line 315, which starts at Locarno Train Station, Stazione (bus runs every half hour) and takes less than half an hour to get to Maggia, Centro. The route ends in Someo, from where the same line will take you back to Locarno.

Locarno Stazione

Trail

As soon as you get off the bus, head to the underpass under the main road and from there along Via Crosello to the first suspension bridge, at the end of which the route turns right along the paved road towards Someo.

In addition to the yellow signposts, we are accompanied on this hike by brown signposts with the inscription “Vallemaggia pietra viva“. This is a project initiated by the local municipalities with the aim of introducing visitors to Vallemaggia as the region “based on stone”, the basic building block of the local architecture. It also aims to showcase the local villages and ancient churches, historic buildings and nature reserves, vineyards, frescoes, and museums.

Lodano

The trail passes through beautiful old settlements such as Lairè or Torn, through wooded sections, along centuries-old dry stone walls and terraces with vineyards until the village of Lodano. Here you can refresh yourself at the local Osteria Cramalina or fill up your water at the fountain. The route continues and after about a kilometer it finally turns towards the river.

Giumaglio

Less than two kilometers from Lodano, you will find another suspension bridge at Giumaglio. If you would like to shorten your route at this point, you can cross it into the village and take the bus back to Locarno. We had planned to continue on the route, but our kids still couldn’t resist trying the bridge crossing back and forth. They said it was the greatest experience of the whole hike 🙂 Maybe someone would have thought to bath in the river here, but as you will see from the information boards, it is not allowed because there are nesting birds in the floodplains.

Someo

After another 2.5 kilometres we came to the last – also the longest – suspension bridge. After crossing it, we couldn’t resist getting our feet wet in the river (and someone even took an involuntary bath when she slipped on a rock).

Before we arrived at the bus stop, we walked a short nature trail in the forest to learn more about the Maggia Valley. From here, a hiking trail leads you directly to the bus stop. The return journey to Locarno takes 42 minutes.

Summary

  • The trail is just over 8 kilometers long and is not suitable for strollers.
  • I found the route in the hiking guide Die 55 schönsten Wanderungen im Tessin (The 55 most beautiful hikes in Ticino) by Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ.
  • Attention! The river can very quickly become a raging, life-threatening river when the reservoirs are drained and during thunderstorms in the mountains!
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