This tour, described on the Swiss Mobility website as the “Alpe di Neggia Trail” would better be named “Monte Gambarogno Trail” as it is really that, a walk up and around Monte Gambarogno.
As is often the case in the Ticino, if there is little or no snow, you can still do some wonderful mountain hiking till late in the year, as we were able to do on this sunny mid-December day while most of Northern Switzerland wallows in thick fog.
With the opening of the new Gotthard Base Tunnel, the Ticino and its mostly better weather in winter becomes more readily accessible for people living in the Zurich area. In particular, this remote valley near the Italian border, between the Gambarogno and Tamaro-Lema ranges, is better accessible for a day trip. The ride up by bus from Magadino on Lago Maggiore is an experience in itself, taking over an hour along steep hairpin turns to this beautiful sunny upper valley.
The hike is not a difficult one and affords fantastic views especially toward Eastern Ticino and the Maggia Delta, and all the way to the Monte Rosa Massif and the highest peak of the Swiss Alps: The Dufour Peak.
Along the way you can enjoy refreshments and local cheese at the Alpe Cedullo Farm (open May to October) or have your picnic at the 14th century Sant’Anna Oratorio (its hermit rooms now converted to a hostel).
Arriving at the end of the tour in the village of Indemini at the Italian Border, it is of interest to note that this is the only traditional Ticinese settlement to be built entirely of stone quarried from the site itself. There is a lovely restaurant with a view terrace on the main road, but it is also worth walking through the steep and convoluted alleys of the village that hangs on the slope below the main road.
Note: There is a nice option to continue walking along the Eastern flank of Monte Gambarogno instead of descending into Indemini, for people who prefer to finish at their starting point. The trail goes up to the left before the descent to Indemini, and requires 1 hour 20 minutes from there to walk back to Alpe di Neggia. It is an interesting trail along cliff faces and across rock slides. This full tour takes about an hour longer and requires another (total) ascent of about 200m.
Isone is the last stop on the Post Bus route into the Isone Valley, and this rugged terrain is best known as the training ground for Switzerland’s military division of mountain... more >>