Guided 3-day hike on Sentiero Cristallina
The Sentiero Cristallina connects Bignasco in Valle Maggia with Airolo in Val Bedretto. In between are steep mountain flanks, a waterfall on the edge of the village, crystalline rock, alpine (reservoir) lakes, idyllic Alps, and remote hamlets.
The Val Bavona has experienced a lot. Steep mountain slopes, landslides, floods, and wild vegetation shaped the landscape. Fertile land was destroyed, costing lives and livelihoods. Year-round living in the valley was therefore forbidden early on. The winter was spent at the valley entrance in Cavergno. With work also no longer available by the mid-19th century, community support encouraged young men to emigrate to Australia, where gold beckoned.
This trip is led by Otto van Andel, mountain leader.
What’s the plan?
Day 1: Bignasco – S. Carlo
The hiking trail leads through the beautiful Val Bavona with its twelve small hamlets, past typical, idyllic Ticino stone houses. The narrow U-shaped Ice Age valley is characterised by many boulders and stones that dot the valley floor. They date from when the glaciers retreated and from landslides. At the end of the day, we take the lift up and spend the night in Hotel Robei.
Technical information: 13.5km – 850m ascent – 250m descent
Day 2: Circular hike to Bocchetta di Val Maggia
After a restful night at almost 2000m above sea level, we make a very nice round trip. We start in Robei and walk over rugged terrain in the direction of Piano del Ghiacciaio and arrive in Valetta dir Fiorina and then turn off to Bocchetta di Val Maggia. On the pass we have a beautiful view of the surrounding peaks. From here it goes down to the picturesque Lago dei Matörgn, a nice place to take a break. The hike continues over the plateau until we are back at the Hotel Robei where we can have a well-deserved aperitif on the terrace.
Technical information: 15km – 1’300m ascent and descent
Day 3: Hotel Robei – Bedretto
On our last day, we do the actual Cristallina tour, the second part of the Sentiero, and the most exciting part. We walk past the Capanna Critallina about halfway, which is located exactly on the pass and offers a spectacular panorama of the Basodino glaciers. A coffee and cake stop would certainly be possible here. From the stony mountain slopes, the route leads down to lovely alpine meadows and forests. The mountain trail on the sunny side of Val Bedretto runs through high moorland and offers beautiful views of the Gotthard massif. The wonderful tour comes to an end in Bedretto.
Technical information: 15km – 900m ascent – 1’350m descent
To join this Sentiero Cristalline hike, you need to be a fit hiker, able to climb more than 1’000m in a day carrying your backpack.
It is the participant’s responsibility to get health and accident insurances that cover mountain rescue, including extreme sports. Becoming a Rega patron is highly recommended (CHF 40 per year only for emergency medical assistance from the air).
How to get there
If you are traveling from Zurich by public transport, we recommend you to take the following:
-Zurich HB 07:05 – 10:08 Bignasco Posta (via Bellinzona, Locarno)
-Bignasco Posta 17:45 – 20:55 Zurich HB (via Locarno, Bellinzona) – depending on the time the event finishes
Day Clothing Essentials
-Hiking trousers or shorts
-Waterproof over trousers
-Sleeping bag liner
-Hiking backpack (30-40L)
-Waterproof backpack cover
-Waterproof inner bags or bin bags
-Headlamp with spare batteries
-Packed lunches (possibility to buy packed lunches from the huts for Saturday and Sunday)
-Sun screen and lip protector
-Plasters and basic medicine
-Health insurance card
-Air rescue membership card (e.g. Rega, Air Glaciers)
The price for this event is CHF 450 in a single room with shared bathroom or CHF 465 in a double room with private bathroom.
Included in price
-3 days of guided hike with a mountain leader
-2 nights of accommodation at Hotel Robei
-Dinners on Friday and Saturday
-Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday
Not included in price
-Transport to Bignasco and from Bedretto
-Drinks and snacks
Min. 3 participants
Max. 10 participants
By signing up for this event, you agree that you have read, understood and will adhere to our Terms and Conditions.