FOROGLIO – CALNEGIA

Foroglio waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Ticino. We came to see it numerous times. It’s a perfect day trip with yours out of town guests. For a possible itinerary you can check my previous post: https://inlugano.com/2018/06/21/foroglio-waterfall-vallemaggia/

This time we wanted to have a look to the Val Calnegia so we chose a part of “Percorso della transumanza” from Foroglio to Gerra. (unfortunately we didn’t have time to reach Calnegia village)

After we fuelled our energy levels (we had a coffee and a fantastic home made chocolate cake in Grotto La Froda) we tackled the 30 min. climb to Puntid. (Just to remind you we hike with a 4 year old and a baby in the carrier.) You basically hike to the top of the waterfall.

It looks like much, but you can do it (have some chocolate cake before) and what’s more, it is soooo worth the climb.

How cute is the stone bridge? Shorty after Puntid we had fun exploring Spluia Bela

From there the path slightly climbs up to Gerra. This village was truly magical. On the way there we ate tuns of alpine strawberries, I took it as a sign that there are not that many tourist around here. That and the fact we met only 2 other hikers.

Gerra represents for me Ticino. Beautiful, ever so green, rocky and bit unappreciated.

Since this is not a circular walk, at this point, we had to start thinking of the way back, the time and the hunger. We leave Calnegia for another time.

Before going home we had a super late lunch in Grotto La Froda (thank God they serve hot meals all day long.) It’s really a must if you visit Foroglio. Not only the view (wow), the food (mmm) but the history of this place (whaaat???) that is worth stopping.

SENTIERO DEI GROTTI

Let’s situate ourselves. We are in beautiful Val Maggia, easy one hour drive from Lugano, in a village called Cevio. We left our car in the parking lot of a local school just in front of the Valmaggia Museum.

Sentiero dei grotti is a short (45min) hike. It’s not really a hike it’s an easy circular walk suitable for anyone who can climb some stairs. In reality it is an extension of the Valmaggia museum because it shows you how people of this region lived, coexist and took advantage of sometimes impossibly rocky terrain. Over 60 grottoes can be seen, which have been dug between boulders that had come from a huge landslide. “Grotto” meaning a cave or a cellar.

I would definitely recommend this plan for the whole family. We went with friends and the kids had blast discovering new caves on the way. We took torches and suddenly boring walk became an exciting expedition . For adults it is interesting too. You will be amazed how locals embrace the nature and what they have built on seemingly impossible land.

After the walk we ate in Grotto Franci located just 70 m. from the museum.

After the lunch we had to go check an amazing playground with a bike circuit which is not that easy to find situated just next to the parking lot.

We didn’t want to finish our day yet so we went to see small village called Boschetto only about 5 km from Cevio. We walked the circuit around the village we found in a tourist brochure. It’s an super easy 30 minutes walk around nice old village.

I’ve enjoyed it a lot but if you have only have time to see one thing before going home I would rather recommend our last stop of the day: “Cascata Grande” in Bignasco. 5 km from Cevio in opposite direction.

BAGNI DI CRAVEGGIA

Today we went to see the old Craveggia baths. There are suppose to be 2 baths there. One with thermal water which has a constant temperature of 28 degrees all year long and the other one is filled with water from Isorno river. This information was enough for my 4 year old to get really excited. We started in Spruga (Onsernone valley). You have two options: 40 min. walk on the road (Spruga is the last village so there is no traffic) or hike through the forest around 1,5 /2 hrs. We came here to do some hiking, so deep green woods here we go.

I feel obliged to warn people with smaller children that this is NOT route for you. Some sections are really narrow and steep. I don’t want to sound dramatic but I was really stressed few times during the hike.

Anyway, the nature is really beautiful and the forest is just incredible. There are many streams and rivers to cross or jump over so that was fun.

With a few stops for snacks it took us 2 hours to arrive to the baths.

The bath house was built in 1820, recently there were some restorations done. There is a marble bath you can fill with the hot spring water but it takes forever.

The bath house stands on the italian side of Isorno river bank. We have decided to cross the river and walk back on the road. I’ve seen pictures of the baths in summer and winter but not in spring. That is why i was surprise to see that the river has quite significant stream and it wasn’t easy to find a safe and easy place to wade with a baby and 4 year old.

After lunch, sunbathing and 10 kg of stones thrown into the water by my son, it was time to head back to the car. Easy 40 min. slightly uphill walk on the road (this is a great option for visiting the baths with a stroller)

Dalpe – Piumogna

Last time we were in Dalpe (check my previous post https://inlugano.com/2020/05/27/percorso-del-monte-piottino/) we fell in love with this “Switzerland feel like” place. We came back to do some hike, any hike actually around the area. Little did we know we will discover more amazing places and guarantee we will come back for more.

From the parking lot in Dalpe you can see a huge waterfall in the distance, so we decided to go check it out. I was surprised to find out it was an upper part of the same Piumogna waterfall we visited countless time before. (check my previous posts)

can you spot the waterfall?

The sign said 20 min. to Piumogna waterfall and 45 to Piumogna. There is a Piumogna village? hmmm, this day is full of surprises. Off we go and all uphill of course.

After 10 min. you’ll find a turn towards the waterfall. From there it is only a short walk until you reach your destination.

After we had our fill we returned to the main path towards Piumogna.

After we left the woods, the path joined a dirt road and we followed the river Piumogna.

Soon we’ve reached a bridge and big parking lot in the entrance to Piumogna valley. This place is a starting point for other hikes. From there it takes only few minutes to arrive to Piumogna. The surroundings were so beautiful that we’ve decided to continue at least a little bit more.

As we continue walking we were getting closer to the mountains. There were still patches of snow on the grass. Naturally we had to touch the remaining snow. It was definitely a highlight for my four year old.

My son spotted a lot of holes in the ground. Unfortunately we have not seen any marmots.

Nor deer.

animal tracks

After lunch whole valley started to feel less wilderness-like, because suddenly it filled up with people. But anyway, still gorgeous.