Awe-Inspiring Via Spluga Adventure: Hiking through the Swiss and Italian Alps with Your Family
Imagine embarking on an unforgettable family adventure amidst the majestic landscapes of the Swiss and Italian Alps. The Via Spluga offers a unique opportunity to bond, explore, and create lasting memories while reveling in the region’s natural wonders and picturesque villages.
- Via Mala Gorges: Explore one of the most breathtaking hiking trails in the Alps, offering unparalleled views and a profound connection with nature.
- Historic Villages: Immerse yourself in the charm of Alpine villages like Splügen, Isola, and Chiavenna, each boasting a unique blend of history, culture, and picturesque landscapes.
- Year-Round Attractions: Experience the region’s versatility, with winter skiing followed by springtime hiking in one of the world’s most beautiful locations. The pass village of Splügen is the perfect stop for rejuvenation during your Alpine walking holidays, with its well-preserved European architecture and palazzi.
The Swiss Alps, cradled between Bern, Luzern, and Lake Geneva, are distinguished by their awe-inspiring peaks, deep valleys, and crystalline blue lakes. Whether your heart is set on summer hiking or winter sports, this part of Europe beckons with its abundant natural wonders that can be cherished year-round.
Conversely, the Italian Alps, whether you find yourself in the Dolomites of Northeast Italy or the Valle d’Aosta in the Northwest, present a wealth of natural beauty. Lush valleys, dramatic mountains, and picturesque landscapes await you in this Italian Alpine paradise.
Hiking Bliss in the Alps
This region stretching from Thusis in Switzerland to Chiavenna in Italy’s Lombardy region is a haven for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and culture connoisseurs. Blessed with ancient trails, idyllic Alpine towns, and some of the world’s most spectacular panoramas, the Alpine region is a magnet for hikers, mountain bikers, and lovers of the great outdoors.
Your journey may begin in Thusis, a charming Swiss settlement that provides a glimpse into the local way of life. This picturesque town, home to around 3,000 residents, is the largest in the region and offers a splendid introduction to your Alpine adventure.
For those in search of one of the most breathtaking hiking routes in the Alps, look no further than the Via Mala Gorges, located just outside Thusis. This trail reveals awe-inspiring vistas and the unparalleled beauty of Mother Nature. Another renowned ancient route in the region is the Via Traversina, which guides hikers to the delightful village of Andeer.
The settlements in this part of the world are some of the most picturesque in Europe. Destinations like Splügen, Isola, and Chiavenna boast museums, charming eateries, cobblestone streets, and a European charm that feels timeless.
Whether you are an experienced hiker or a novice, this Alpine walking holiday promises an abundance of beauty and unforgettable experiences for all. The Alps are ready to enchant you with their unparalleled natural wonders and cultural richness, making it an adventure that the whole family will cherish.
|Time of departure
|INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
|NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
*This tour is based on a minimum of two participants. Only the services mentioned above are included in the price.
|August, July, June, May, October, September
Hiking the viaSpluga
This is an example of a viaSpluga six day hiking tour. Your final itinerary may differ, depending on factors such as the availability of hotels and eateries. The four day version will start at Splügen, but end in Chiavenna like the six day version.
Total distance: 71 KM
Level: Easy to medium.
Day 1: Arrival in Thusis
Your viaSpluga hiking trail begins in the charming village of Thusis. Meet our representatives at your hotel to receive an initial briefing and some essential documentation. We will also issue any passes and vouchers you might need during your Alps hiking trip. Then it’s off to bed for an early start the next day.
Day 2: Thusis - Andeer
Your first full day of hiking in the Alps begins with a brisk walk through Thusis and into some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. This 15 km hike takes in some truly jaw-dropping vistas and the very best of the Via Mala gorges. Running parallel to this famous route is the Via Traversina — an equally historic route that takes hikers a little higher.
Our first day of Alpine hiking ends in the charming village of Andeer, which is characterised by its quintessentially European architecture and cobblestone streets. The evening is yours to enjoy at your leisure.
Length: 15.5 km
Duration: 5-6 hours
H+: 630 m
H-: 30 m
Day 3: Andeer - Splügen
Our second full day of hiking in the Alps begins with a walk to one of the region’s most stunning beauty spots — the Roffla Waterfalls. After spending a few minutes taking in the scenery and spectacular falls, we take a well-trodden path that runs parallel to an ancient road. This is where we leave the modern world behind, as we make our way into the forest in search of flora and fauna.
Our next stop along the way is the pretty village of Sufers. This ancient settlement was founded during the Carolingian epoch and is awash with history. Once there, you’ll be able to take in the majesty of what surrounds you — a gorgeous valley and towering mountains at every turn. Then it’s back to the ancient path as we wind our way through the valley and onto the town of Splügen. This bustling town offers all the trappings of modern life, yet its ancient character and mystique remain almost unchanged.
Length: 14.5 km
Duration: 5 hours
H+: 730 m
H-: 230 m
Hotel Alte Herberge Weiss Kreuz
Day 4: Splügen - Isola
Alpine pastures with breathtaking panorama of the surrounding peaks, avalanche barrier tunnels and well-maintained, cobbled/paved mule-tracks are all set to feature along this high-altitude and expansive section, enhanced by the heady fragrance of blooms as we move up from the village on the northern slope of the Pass prior to the descent on the Italian side to the village of Montespluga, where you can breathe in the atmosphere of times past.
From the village of Montespluga the route takes on the right side of the reservoir in order to reach one of the two dams and to appreciate some spectacular views over the Cardinello Gorge: this is one of the most dramatic sections guaranteed to linger long in the memory.
It’s a route which was not created without considerable exertions over the years, with the imposing rock faces to the left and up above and the steep gorge plunging away to the right where the torrent itself courses. The descent requires a certain amount of caution but it’s not demanding and leads us gently towards the typical wooden mountain dwellings (baite) of Sosta, Mottaletta and finally to Isola.
Length: 17 km
Duration: 6 hours
H+: 700 m
H-: 900 m
Day 5: Isola - Chiavenna
From Isola a wander through attractive fir woodland beckons and Campodolcino lies in wait.
A section which is practically all downhill in nature, following the route of the Liro torrent and
introducing the hiker to the joys of Val San Giacomo: we’re wandering along pathways
between well-tended dry-stone wall and meadow, through chestnut groves and taking in
places of considerable historical and religious interest. We approach Chiavenna along a
path with magnificent panorama over the length of Valchiavenna; from the age-old terraces
hosting traditional vineyards you catch your first glimpse of a very special Alpine community,
with its immaculately preserved historic centre.
Length: 18 km
Duration: 6 hours
H-: 930 m
Day 6: Chiavenna
Today is a day to recharge your batteries and explore everything the historic settlement of Chiavenna has to offer. Whether you simply want to sip coffee and watch the world go by or explore the town’s frescoes, ancient architecture and piazza, take the time to immerse yourself in the local way of life.
Breakfast and departure.
Equipment and clothing to bring for Alpine hikes and runs
We’ve compiled a list of essential items you’ll need to take on your adventure in the Great Outdoors. While each trip has its own minimum requirements, we have split the list into “need-to-have” and “nice-to-haves”.
Need to have:
Lightweight, waterproof shell
Sunscreen with a high factor
Smartphone with a relevant trip app and a WhatsApp and code number for your local representative
Thin hat, cap, and thin gloves (merino or similar)
Daypack for hiking (tours with luggage transport)
Duffel bag or similar (trips with luggage transport) — DO NOT pack in suitcases.
30 L rucksack on trips up to six days (without luggage transport)
40 L rucksack on trips of more than six days (without luggage transport)
Quick-drying inner layer
Shorts (quick drying)
Technical t-shirt (quick drying)
Fleece sweater for cool evenings
A pair of comfortable jogging bottoms or similar for the cabins
Good mountain shoes — trail running shoes or hiking boots
Water bottle (1.5 L)
A pair of thick socks or light slippers (you can often borrow a pair in the cabins)
A few energy bars, fruits or similar snacks for the trip
Sheet liner — can also be purchased on-site (only if you are staying in a dormitory)
Small first aid kit
Comped or similar
Sleeping bag (on selected tours)
Nice to have:
Sandals for the cabins
Plastic bags to keep things dry