Looking South along the Valley as you ascend with the cable car to Landarenca
Vehicle-free village of Landarenca
View of Landarenca from the trail to Arvigo, below the village
Chapel about 20 minutes from Landarenca on the trail to Arvigo.
Arriving above Arvigo. From here you descend through the village to the other cable-car station.
View of Arvigo as you ascend by cable-car to Braggio.
View of Braggio from above along the Panorama Trail (Braggio Mondent)
Larch forests along the Panorama Trail
At the Auriglia Canyon you see across to Bersach. From there you can walk down to Selma or Cauco.
Looking North into the Calanca Valley from Selma toward Cauco.
Landarenca - Arvigo - Braggio - Bersach - Cauco
Published/updated on 13.06.2018 by GabrielleMerk | 26719 points | Date of Tour: 22.11.2017
The Calanca Valley is a remote, wild and narrow valley, with the Italian influences from Canton Ticino, but is actually located in a southern arm of the neighbouring Canton Grisons, accessed from the Ticino side. The valley is not...
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The Calanca Valley is a remote, wild and narrow valley, with the Italian influences from Canton Ticino, but is actually located in a southern arm of the neighbouring Canton Grisons, accessed from the Ticino side. The valley is not well-known, and has suffered the typical loss of inhabitants through emigration to more populated areas.
The Valley has earned its name "Calanca" which means "Steeply Sloping" and although the valley opens up slightly at the back to allow for a scattering of villages, there are a couple of villages on sunny terraces that are accessible only on foot or by cable car.
This description is for a quasi-Round Tour to visit both sides of the valley using the cable cars for the ascent, and walking back down to the valley on both sections. There are also well-groomed mule trails that you can ascend on foot from Selma to Landarenca and from Arvigo to Braggio, but for the price of 4 Fr. per ride, it makes more sense to skip those stretches.
Starting in Selma, the 2004-renovated cable car (runs 24-hours, 7 days per week) takes you 350m up to the pleasant and peaceful vehicle-free village of Landarenca, which was originally a community of mountain farmers who were rather progressive in their thinking, as this was one of the first two Swiss communities (the other being Zurich) to allow their women to vote in 1960.
From Landarenca you walk about an hour through the forest to Arvigo, and after walking through this equally lovely village you reach the second cable car station on the main road, which ascends 550m to Braggio (the highest village in the Calanca Valley) on the sunny terrace amidst a large expanse of meadows and pastures.
Braggio has only 40 inhabitants now compared to the original 150, but still boasts a little village shop that provides a nice variety of necessities.
From Braggio, a 20-minute ascent to the upper trail at Mondent then leads you along a very lovely trail through larch forests, later meeting the road into and out of the Auriglia Canyon, where on the other side, once arrived at the smattering of homes at Bersach, you can decide to descend to Selma (which makes it an actual round tour) or to Cauco (20 minutes longer) where there is a bus stop, or from which you can also walk back to Selma (30 minutes).
In the late fall or early winter months there is of course less sun at the bottom of this steep valley, but these upper villages have been ideally conceptualized to receive the longest amount of sun in the short winter days.
Restaurant in Landarenca open only Fridays and weekends. Ristorante Al Pont in Selma closed on Mondays. In Braggio near the cable car station there is a small grocery store that sells most everything you need for a picnic. // Map (trail) of this tour includes the cable car ride from Arvigo to Braggio to join the two legs. It is also possible to walk up to Braggio.
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Detailed map with traced route on SwissMobility map, including elevation profile
GPS file for download
Route description in text form
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This wonderful hike in the lesser-known Val Malvaglia is best suited for people without knee problems, as the hike out of the valley requires much downhill, sometimes steep,... more >>