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Old 06.09.2007, 10:01
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Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

We're thinking of heading down to Ticino this weekend to explore the Valle Maggia (which extends to the NW of Locarno) and maybe some of the side valleys. There is not a lot of information online or in the Lonely Planet about the area, so if anyone has any experiences and/or advice that they'd like to share then please do so. So far, the most useful resources I've found are:

Valle Maggia tourism (a large part of which is only in Italian).
Wikipedia reference-linkValle_Maggia
A blog entry (see last paragraph about Valle Maggia)
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Old 06.09.2007, 12:46
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

Is there anything specific you'd like to know?
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Old 06.09.2007, 13:34
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

Anytihng really - which villages are nicest, which of the side valleys are worth exploring and which are not, good grottos /restaurants to visit, etc. What was the highlight when you visited? What shouldn't be missed? What was disappointing?
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Old 06.09.2007, 13:37
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

Staying along the river allows magnificent views but after 60 minutes or so you'll come to a dead end, where the paths either join the road (not so fun as it's like a race track) or become forest and private land. Mountain biking isn't encouraged if I remember correctly, but lock the bikes and walk on for an hour, it's wonderful scenery: pretty dells and brooks, meadows and fairy-tale chalets. Even the occasional grotto. You'll also find rock pools everywhere but mind the water as that river's cold.

Heading up the hills near the Ascona end is an ordeal for your muscles but the tiny roads up there take you to really remote villages where there are eight families, a few cowsheds and a church. Try to go up early on a Sunday to one of these places (also manageable by car) and see the whole village turn out for the Church Parade,which is kinda eerie and fascinating: Madonna's on carts being wheeled around the square with everyone in solemn procession, incense wafting and black-clad widows praying out loud. Not unique but somehow I feel it's like a trip back in time.

Afterwards (the service, that is) you can get a bowl of pasta and some vino then free-wheel back down! Yipee!
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Old 06.09.2007, 14:21
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

The water level in the Maggia can rise in a short time, be careful if you want to go swimming. It's a nice valley though
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Old 06.09.2007, 15:12
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

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Anytihng really - which villages are nicest, which of the side valleys are worth exploring and which are not, good grottos /restaurants to visit, etc. What was the highlight when you visited? What shouldn't be missed? What was disappointing?
Definitely plenty of walking/hiking/climbing opportunities - I guess that the best thing is to get hold of a walking/hiking map of the region; Val Bavona is the place to go for more challenging hiking. Also quite a few of small lakes up in the mountains, if that's the kind of thing you like (e.g. see Robiei).

You'll find the more traditional villages in the side valleys such as Val Bavona, Val Lavizzara, Val Rovana - this is simply because they're far away from the town and the younger generations tend to flee the place. The villages in the main Valle Maggia have expanded a bit and got somewhat modernized, but they still have retained their traditional squares and some traditional areas within the village.

A couple of suggestions: the waterfall in Foroglio is a nice sight; on a sunny day, why not try a lunch at the Grotto Pozzasc in Peccia (don't expect any fancy food, though!); in Mogno you can find the (in)famous church designed by Botta. Maybe check the web for info on Bosco Gurin and see if it's an option - it's a bit far away and possibly not plenty of other interesting villages on the way, but it's also the only (traditionally) German-speaking village in Ticino and (traditionally) populated by Walser (therefore with a more Swiss-german look).

Also, make sure you go there by car if you want to visit a vast area: buses don't run very often. In that case, just go up and down the valleys and stop if you see a village which looks interesting!

Last edited by Cochrane; 24.07.2008 at 17:30.
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Old 06.09.2007, 17:02
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

parts of the maggiatal have very high steep sloping cliffs... lots of fatal accidents over the years i have heard.... so dont underestimate this... especiallly in the ponte brolla area.

apart from that, i assume you are cycling. just cycling up the valley is a lot of fun.

alternatively, you can also head for the nearby valle versasca (not sure of that spelling).... thats where the big dam is located, which james bond bungee jumped from. some nicer hill climbs on that route for the hill climbing cyclist like yourself.
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Old 06.09.2007, 18:06
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

Actually, we're leaving the bikes at home this time. Thanks everyone for all of the useful tips, it should be a fun weekend, and the weather is supposed to be perfect.
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Old 06.09.2007, 18:58
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

And I thought you would be riding the whole way down over the passes?

We were down there the other weekend so ask Carsten tonight - he will be there to have a beer or two in the Pub.

Cheers

Kath
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Old 29.11.2007, 10:57
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

It's taken a little while, but we've now put a few photos of our trip along with extensive captions in an album on our photo blog. Thanks everyone for the info you provided.
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Old 14.10.2009, 20:27
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

I've bumped this thread to recommend visiting the chapel in Mogno. Say what you like about the outside (and I think it's pretty cool), the sound of the cow bells inside is something else. This has to be one of the most enchanting buildings I've ever been in and urge you to visit. Now, form an orderly queue please so as not to spoil it for the others...
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Old 17.07.2013, 16:27
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

Hi All,

Sorry to revive this old thread, I was thinking of going with a few friends to Valle Maggia this weekemd for sun bathing & swimming(weather permitting), I have been walking around the hills there in winter and saw it was nice, some friends have mentioned that it is nicer than Lake Lugano,

Could someone advise which place is best?
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Old 17.07.2013, 16:37
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

Stay in Cevio.

Tom
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Old 18.06.2016, 17:00
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Re: Visiting Valle Maggia - any tips/info?

Sorry to bump this thread but I wondered if there are any nice small beach areas in Valle Maggia or Versaca and safe to swim.
Id like to take the teenage children
Any tips or directions appreciated, we are coming from Lugano
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