50.04 Isola (I) - Chiavenna (I), ViaSpluga

21.2 km
6:00 h
149 mhd
1105 mhd
Holzsteg zwischen Isola und San Giacomo

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Steintreppe bei Isola
The fourth and final stage of the viaSpluga, the 65 km long classic cultural and long-distance hiking trail, takes you  from  Isola  through  the  San  Giacomo  Valley  to Chiavenna. The village of Chiavenna, which sits at the exit  from  the  Val  San  Giacomo  and  Val  Bregaglia valleys,  was  regarded  as  an  important  stopping-off point back in Roman times. It enchants visitors from all corners, exuding a charm more akin to the countries of  the south.
Technique 3/6
Fitness 4/6
Highest Point  1282 m
Lowest Point  288 m
Best Season
Isola, village
Chiavenna, town centre
46.443921, 9.330825



The viaSpluga is a cultural and long-distance hiking trail in the central Alps which has linked the peoples ofthe German,  Romansh,  French  and  Italian-speaking regions,  as  well  as  the  villages  of  Thusis  and Chiavenna. The Via Spluga mainly follows historic mule tracks,  whose  original  structures  have  largely  beenpreserved or restored. The Via Spluga stretches for a total distance of about 65 km.  

Stage 4 / Isola-Chiavenna: We descend into the valley in  the direction  of  Portarezza-Campodolcino.  You  will want to stop and linger at the small plain in the middle of  the  steep  mountain  valley.  The  two pilgrimage churches, San Guglielmo and Santuario di Gallivaggio, remind us that the Splügen Pass was more than just a trading route, it was also well trodden by pilgrims. The viaSpluga trail reaches its conclusion in the village of Chiavenna. Back in Roman times, Chiavenna was an important  stopping-off  point  on  the  routes  from  Italy over the  Alps.  (Splügen, Septimer,  Maloja and Julier) Sights  worth visiting in Chiavenna include the "centro storico", with its cobbled alleys, walkways and squares, stone  bridges  and  fountains,  churches,  chapels  and stately  town  houses.  And  if  you've  had  enough  of walking,  th wines  from  the  neighbouring  Valtellina taste particularly good in the many crotti and trattorie.


It is worth making a detour to the Museo della viaSpluga e della Val San Giacomo in Campodolcino, which documents the history of the valley and of the transit route.  The rocky slopes of the hamlet of Vho contain the so-called "Scribaìta" - an 8 x 12.5 metre gneiss slab with puzzling, rectangular, step-like recesses (Attention! It is not signposted). The pilgrimage church of Gallivaggio with the highest church tower in the valley is visible from far and wide. The Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to two girls at this place in 1492. The historic centre of Chiavenna, with its characteristic narrow alleys, exudes an enchanting southern charm.


The viaSpluga is a mountain hiking trail. You need to be sure-footed and have a good head for heights (bridges, Cardinello  Gorge)  along  some  sections.


Appropriate, weather-proof equipment is strongly recommended.


The viaSpluga is marked throughout from Thusis to Chiavenna as regional hiking trail No. 50, as well as with brown viaSpluga signposts. 

Stage 4: Isola-Chiavenna: Following the course of the Liro through the shady chestnut forests of the San Giacomo Valley into Chiavenna with its air of southern charm.  Leaving Isola, a country track runs along the left-hand side of the balancing reservoir to the dam wall. There is a rather steep descent down to the Liro. Keep to the left at all times until you get to the Ponte Granda Rossa. Continue along the right bank of the river, past Campodolcino (we recommend that you visit the viaSpluga Museum) and the balancing reservoir in Prestone and through one of the first large deciduous forests to the hamlet of Vho. After the plain in Vho, cross the Liro and switch river bank for a short time until Cimagangda. From here, the route continues along the right bank of the river as far as San GiacomoFilippo. Cross through the village of San Giacomo Filippo and, at the upper end of the village, rejoin the trail which rises once again to the end. Now take the high route from here via Bette to Chiavenna. The last section affords beautiful views of the town.


Public Transport

Southbound  by  Rhaetian  Railway  to  Thusis  and  by postbus  to  Splügen.  Then  by  Italian  bus  over  the Splügen Pass to Isola (Italy), Paese. 
Northbound  by  rail  to  Bellinzona  and  by  postbus  to Splügen, Post Office. Then by Italian bus to Isola (Italy). 
www.postauto.ch (Switzerland) 
www.stps.it (Italy)

Anreise Information

Southbound  on  the  A13/E43,  in  the  direction  of  San Bernardino,   "Splügen/Splügenpass"   exit,  via   the Splügen-Pass road to Isola.  
Northbound to Chiavenna and the Splügen-Pass road to Isola.


Isola: there is a public car park to the rear of the village: Via alla Piota.

Responsible for this content Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren.

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