A hike through the Grison southern valley of Bergell is an encounter with the past, with a vast mountain world, lovely villages and varied cuisine – and best of all, you’ll be greeted at the destination by bella Italia.
It is almost an addiction. As soon as you‘ve long-distanced hiked once, you will regularly relapse. The feeling of being outside for several days with a destination in view but at the same time being totally in the now, at peace and distant from everyday life is like a spiritual wellness program. This hiking experience becomes perfect if you can also thereby walk from the Alps to palm trees as you can on the Via Bregaglia.
For some of the biggest highlights, you barely have to hike anywhere as they can be found in Maloja. On the two-hour Sentiero Segantini, you walk through the life and work of the once here located artist Giovanni Segantini. On the village edge, a stop at the Belvedere Tower is recommended, from where, as the name suggests, you have a wonderful view over Bergell. The glacier mills of Maloja are also located here.
And then we set off, down through a coniferous forest to Casaccia and then onto Vicosoprano, while always keeping the Albigna reservoir and the neighbouring majestic mountains in view. If you have enough time, a detour to the Albigna reservoir is highly recommended.
The destination of today's hike already leads to anticipation in the morning: Soglio, a place straight out of a picture book. The way there takes us over the Via Panoramica, which is the fillet part of this long-distance hike. Bridges, waterfalls, narrow paths and wonderful panoramas alternate with one another. A charming place for a stopover is the Café Durbegia – where regional chestnut cake is served. And finally, we reach Soglio and the mountain village does not disappoint us. On the contrary, it is even more magical than expected – especially in the early morning when everyone is still asleep and the first sunrays reach the slate roofs of the village.
The third and last day of hiking takes us through the largest chestnut forest in Europe to Castasegna. Then we cross the border to Italy. We continue to walk with a high level of concentration, as yes, the Via Bregaglia is still signposted on the Italian side, but in one or the other place you need to look around well to avoid missing the signs. The trail leads through villages and forests and in the latter part you can once again see wonderful stone paths with walls from the historic traders’ mule paths. And since we are a little sad that the multi-day trip after three days in the Bergell is almost over, we enjoy another Vino in the Crotto Belvedere just before Chiavenna, the destination of our trip.