Hidden in the beautiful Ticino region of Switzerland is a small but picturesque location called Lavertezzo, in the Verzasca valley. From crystal clear waters and beautiful white stones, the Verzasca valley and river here is a must see! Fancy dipping in your toes to fresh mountain water, sun bathing or enjoying a hike in the valley? Here’s the perfect place to start.
The History of Lavertezzo, Verzasca valley
This beautiful hidden gem is located in the district of Locarno, which can be found in the Ticino canton. Specifically in the mountainous Verzasca valley, Lavertezzo is one of the eight municipalities.
Dating back to 1327, locals would live here during the summer months before heading further down for the winter months. The land and surrounding area was used for farming and grazing. These days there are about 1,170 residents here with an elevation of 543 metres. One of the main highlights for locals and travellers is the Ponte dei Salti. This is a gorgeous double arched stone bridge that’s picture perfect and used by locals to cross the river. It was built back in the 17th century.
How to get to The Verzasca valley
So you are now wondering “how do I get to Verzasca Valley?” right?! Well….
By car, it’s easily reachable to visit. If visiting the canton already as you can simply drive up and stop off for a visit. Keep in mind it’s quite a small village so there isn’t much parking available when arriving at Lavertezzo.
By bike, is the most fun way, as its a gorgeous route to cycle all the way though the valley. It’s best for those who have a day spare, as you will totally stop many times along the way to enjoy the area.
By public transport is suitable if you don’t have your own mode of transport, with local buses leaving from many locations such as from Tenero-Contra, Locarno or Ascona. From experience, we have felt the transportation runs smoothly in Switzerland. Using google maps for the directions and local buses works well. Most people take the bus to ‘Lavertezzo, Paese‘ bus stop near the Ponte dei Salti. However you can consider a stop after or before as well and enjoy the short walk along the river.
If you are visiting the Ticino canton, its very easy to visit Lavertezzo with a day trip from most areas. We personally visited as a day trip from Bellinzona, and it worked out very easy with a short train and bus ride.
What can you do and see in Lavertezzo, Verzasca valley?
Lavertezzo’s crystal clear waters is what mostly attracts locals and tourists to the area. It’s the perfect place for those who want to dip their toes in some fresh waters. The colours of the water is truly amazing to see in person too. The temperature of the water can actually be rather cold all year round, but from early Spring you can already witness locals having a quick dip or swim. Some even jump from the Ponte dei Salti bridge. If you dare, try it for yourself!
Top tip: Bring your own snacks, drink and enjoy a picnic along the water’s edge. It’s easy to find a quiet spot where you can only hear the river flowing past.
As well as enjoying the beautiful crystal clear waters in Lavertezzo, there are multiple hiking routes that you can choose from. Starting at the main bus stop, one hike that we recommend is from the Ponte dei Salti bridge. From there you can walk south on the left side of the river (not the main road side) all the way to the Ponte bivio Corippo bridge. The route is about 1 hour 20minutes long.
This route will take you along the river’s edge and through where many locals still live. The houses are very traditionally build with stone and very picturesque. This route also allows you to walk through forestry sections and over some rocky paths, so it’s not advised for those who can only handle a flat path.
What to expect when visiting
First thing to know is that this whole Verzasca valley is a beautiful and rural area, so do not expect to find lots of restaurants or shops. You can even visit Ticino’s Smallest Village of only 9 inhabitants in the same valley.
As mentioned above, it’s best to bring your own food and drink such as for a picnic while visiting. Something very important to highlight is to make sure to take your trash with you when leaving. There are not many rubbish bins either, and let’s keep it clean by not leaving anything behind.
When swimming in those gorgeous clear waters, keep in mind that some sections of the water has stronger currents. So you need to be careful where to dip your toes and swim in. The stones may also be a little slippery under the waters surface.
During summer months it can also get a little busy during the day time hours. It is best to arrive a little early or for the afternoon hours for relaxing and enjoying most. Keep this in mind also for the local transportation, as the buses can only take so many people. When it is so busy you may have to wait for the next one if it fills up quickly.
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