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Hike to the Three Castles of Bellinzona

Bellinzona - Artore - Castello di Sasso Corbaro - Castello di Montebello - Castel Grande - Bellinzona

Route Infos ▾ | Tour Ratings (1) ▾ | Tours in the Vicinity ▾ | Favourite Entries (1)

Bellinzona - Artore - Castello di Sasso Corbaro - Castello di Montebello - Castel Grande - Bellinzona

Published/updated on 03.05.2019 by GabrielleMerk | 27362 points
 | Date of Tour: 11.04.2015 | Favourite Entries (1) 

The focus of this easy 2-hour hike is the three castles of Bellinzona: Castelgrande, Castello di Montebello and Castello di Sasso Corbaro, which together with the city walls of Bellinzona were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2000. These castles have dominated this strategic location at the junction of the Gotthard and San Bernardino routes since the 4th century when the fortresses were built to protect Northern Italy from invading Allemanic tribes.

This tour starts at the Bellinzona train station and after an uphill climb on a terraced trail past the distinctive yellow church in Artore (highly visible from the train station below) you first reach the smallest of the three castles: Castello di Sasso Corbaro, which currently contains a restaurant and a museum. The location offers some gigantic views of the Leventina Valley, the Magadino Plain, and the best view of the two other castles below.

Downhill along the paved roads and through vineyards you reach the most accessible and interesting of the three: Castello di Montebello, where you can walk the ramparts and admire the construction of the drawbridge.

A set of stone steps at the lower end of the city walls takes you back to the main piazza in Bellinzona, from where you ascend to the final and largest of the three castles: Castelgrande, before returning along the main pedestrian street back to the station.

Published/updated on 03.05.2019 by GabrielleMerk (27362 points) | Date of Tour: 11.04.2015

Route Infos

Time Required
2 hours
6 km
300 m
300 m
Max. Altitude
460 m
Min. Altitude
227 m
Season Start / Season End
January - December
Level of Difficulty (Hiking)
Points of Interest
Great views up and down the Leventina Valley and Magadino Plain. // Impressive and well-maintained fortresses.
Starting Point
Bellinzona train station
Starting Point with Public Transport
Bellinzona train station
Return with Public Transport
Places to Eat
Sasso Corbaro, Piano del Castello, Bellinzona
Things to Note
You have to pay access to the museum at the Castello di Sasso Corbaro in order to go up the tower // If you don't want to walk up to the first castle, there is a bus that runs every couple of hours from the Bellinzona station.

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  • Detailed map with traced route on SwissMobility map, including elevation profile
  • GPS file for download
  • Route description in text form
  • Printable tour description



I did this tour the other way round to ensure that I got to the largest castle by the...

Rating: 6/6

Hiked on 21.04.2018 by gzhtub

I did this tour the other way round to ensure that I got to the largest castle by the train station early on to try to avoid tourists in my photos as much as possible. Walking up the stairs to the top of the tower is great for views over Bellinzona. The 3rd castle at the top is worth the effort, again for the views & nice food. Note that the SBB often has a Combo offer on for the museums (which are not that great).

Publish your own Tour-Rating. Push the button on the right. >> >>




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