Verzasca Valley (Valle Verzasca in Italian is a long narrow valley located in Ticino, the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. This valley offers a wild and fascinating landscape, with the Alps on one side and a lake on the other. The river has an emerald green color, and thanks to its good visibility, it is famous as a river diving destination.
Villages around the valley
The double-arched bridge "Ponte dei salti" in Lavertezzo
, Verzasca Valley
- Mergoscia - Altitude = 731m
- Corippo - Altitude = 563m
- Vogorno - Located at an altitude of 490m, Vorgono is the main village of the Verzasca Valley. It is where the famous dam is located. The dam belongs to the hydroelectric power station and is 380 metres long and 220 metres high.
- S.Bartolomeo - Altitude = 490m
- Lavertezzo - At the altitude of 536m, this village is the preferred spot for sunbathers, swimmers and divers.
- Aquino - Altitude = 592m
- Motta - Altitude = 615m
- Brione (Verzasca) - Altitude = 756m
- Gerra (Verzasca) - Altitude = 826m
- Frasco - Altitude = 885m
- Sonogno - At the altitude of 919m, this is the last village situated at the end of the valley.
The nearest big city would be Locarno and the nearest town just at the end of the valley is Tenero.
Nearest train station is Tenero. Other train stations are Locarno and Bellinzona. From all those stations, there are buses going to the valley.
The postal bus leaves approx. every 2 hours from Locarno, Bellinzona, or Tenero. Having 18 stops around the valley, the bus passes all villages and the surrounding area, making it easy for travellers to hop in and out at any point. In Lavertezzo, the bus stops near the church tower.
Take highway A2 Basel to Chiasso, exit at Bellinzona South.
There are several hiking paths along the valley. Hiking from Tenero to Sonogno takes 10-11h, from Sonogno to Mergoscia 4:45h. The path is suitable for practised walkers.
Postal bus passes the villages approx. every 2 hours. Swiss Pass is valid.
To go all the way to Sonogno, one should take the road on the east side of the valley. The road on the west side only goes up to Mergoscia. There are possibilities to park in some areas along the road.
- Bungy Jump...James Bond style!. A jump from the Verzasca Dam was the opening scene of James Bond's "Golden Eye". The jump lasts 7.5 seconds, as the height of the dam is 220m -- it is supposed to be the highest bungy jump place in the world. Only do it with a reputable operator. Contact "Trekking Team AG", Casa Rosina, 6652 Tegna, Tel. +41-91-7807800, Fax. +41-91-7807801, Mobile +41-79-6007007, email: [email protected] . Price: CHF255.
- Diving in River Verzasca. Best to do late spring to early autumn. There are several diving sites. The hotel Pizzo Vogorno offers reasonable accommodation for divers (Tel. +41-91-7451256).
- Hiking is suitable for practised walker. No mountaineering skills required. The postal bus stops at several places along the valley, making it possible to hop in and continue your trip whenever you feel tired. Ask for a hiking map at the Tourist Information in Tenero, Locarno, or Bellinzona.
- Verzasca Dam. This dam is spectacular as one of the highest dam in Europe (220m). Access to the dam is possible by postal bus (stop: "Diga Verzasca") and by car. The construction of the dam was started in 1960 and completed in 1965. The water blocked by the dam forms the Lake Vogorno. It is possible to walk along the dam wall (380m) and enjoy the view of the valley from there.
- Church San Bernardo, the oldest in the valley (built in 13th century), decorated in Byzantine style.
- The old double-arched bridge Ponte dei Salti which mistakenly known as "Roman Bridge".
- Sentiero per l'Arte (art trail), permanent collection from 21 Swiss and international artist blend with nature. Located in a path from Lavertezzo to an area called Ganne (approx. 4 km).
- Castello Marcacci, a castle used to be former summer residence of family Mercacci from Locarno.
Restaurants can be found adjacent to hotels. Sandwiches are offered in the shop nearby the dam.
Souvenir shops can be found in Sonogno or nearby the dam.
- Al Lago, Tel. +41-91-7453232, Fax +41-91-7451198. Rates: Single CHF75-85, Double CHF120-140.
- Pizzo Vogorno , Tel. +41-91-7451256, Fax +41-91-7451256, Rates: With communal shower/toilet: Single CHF45-60, Double CHF80-100; With private shower/toilet: Single CHF60-80, Double CHF90-120.
- Verzasca, Tel. +41-91-7451597, Fax +41-91-7454055. Rates: CHF80-100.
- Posse, Tel. +41-91-7461796, Fax +41-91-7461726. Rates: Single CHF60-90, Double CHF100.
- Vittoria, Tel. +41-91-7461581, Fax +41-91-7461008, Rates: Single CHF70-100, Double CHF120-140.
In Brione (Verzasca)
- Ai Piee, Tel. +41-91-7461544, Fax +41-91-7461558, . Rate: CHF110
- Jeanne & Marco Togni, Tel. +41-91-7461606, . Rate: CHF40 pro person
In Gerra (Verzasca)
- Froda, Tel. +41-91-7461452, Fax +41-91-7461862. Rates: Single CHF55-70, Double CHF110.
- Alpino, Tel. +41-91-7461163, Fax +41-91-7461017. Rates: Single CHF35-50, Double CHF70-100.
The river may be very inviting, but it is known that the current can be dangerous. The rocks are sometimes slippery. Make sure to look for any warning sign and ask locals for information on safe areas for swimming.
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