THINGS TO DO IN VALLE VERZASCA, TICINO

WHAT TO DO IN VALLE VERZASCA + TRAVEL TIPS

Valle Verzasca is one of the top places to visit in Switzerland – and if you are wondering about the best things to do in Valle Verzasca and the most beautiful places to see this post is for you. Here, you will find this info as well as more travel tips.

It is a beautiful valley in Southern Switzerland comprising the municipalities of Mergoscia, Vogorno, Corippo, Lavertezzo, Brione, Gerra, Frasco, and Sonogno. And though Valle Verzasca only has a population of a bit more than 3000 people, it has become Instagram-famous – and if you have seen the pictures, you will know why. 

Valle Verzasca is gorgeous. Like really, really gorgeous. Stunningly gorgeous. I do not say it lightly – I consider myself a Switzerland expert, and I have seen (almost) all of the country. And while many places in Switzerland are gorgeous, Valle Verzasca is different gorgeous.

Sonogno Village in Ticino, Valle Verzasca
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR VALLE VERZASCA

But before I get repetitive, let me show you some photos of this gorgeous valley, and also provide you with some information on the valley itself as well as some travel tips for your Valle Verzasca itinerary.

LOCATION

Located close to the city of Locarno and Ascona in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. 

HOW TO GET TO VALLE VERZASCA / HOW TO GET AROUND

From Locarno, you can get to the “entrance” of the valley by bus or car/motorcycle/bicycle. You can imagine it as a one-way street – you can get to the end of the valley, but then there is a stop and you have to turn around if you visit by car/bus/cycle, etc.

  • CAR: Driving there can be a lot of fun – but be aware that the mountain roads are partly narrow and windy. It is not for everyone. I enjoy driving there if it is not busy. When there are too many cars, I always wish that I had taken the bus. If you get around by car, make sure to buy a day park ticket. This ticket allows you to park, after you paid the one-time fee, at many places in the valley without any extra costs.
  • If you want to rent a car, then check rental cars here. I have always driven with my own car/van, so I have not used them in Switzerland but I booked with them in Albania and everything went smoothly. They compare the prices for you, so you get the best deal.
  • BUS: The yellow bus (Postauto) brings you around all of Valle Verzasca – all the way up to Sonogno. Overall, public transportation here is good – given that it is quite a remote valley. However, buses do not run very frequently. So, if you get around via buses, you always need to check the schedules, so you do not end up waiting at the bus stop for 30 minutes or so. I recommend getting around by Postauto if you are not used to driving narrow mountain roads.

SWISS TRAVEL PASS

I strongly recommend that you use the Swiss Travel Pass if you do not road trip. It is only available to non-Swiss – but for most visitors from abroad, it is perfect for getting around. 

  • Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass is quite expensive but it will pay off.
  • You can use buses and trains without any extra costs.
  • Also, most boat cruises on most lakes are included.
  • Even some mountain excursions are included (like Mount Rigi) and for most others, you will get a 50% discount.
  • The Swiss Travel Pass also covers most museums and entrances to castles.
  • There are passes for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 days available. I suggest, getting the 8-day pass for this itinerary.
  • Click here to find the rates for a Swiss Travel Pass.

WHERE TO STAY IN VALLE VERZASCA

I have been to the valley a couple of times but never stayed there myself. However, I do think it is a good idea to stay in Valle Verzasca – especially if you want to explore the villages and more of Valle Verzasca.

While you could do a few day trips from Locarno to Valle Verzasca, for example, keep in mind that it would be extremely time-consuming to travel back and forth. So, two days in Valle Verzasca seems to be a good amount for discovering the valley. 

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Summer is the best time to visit if you want to spend time in the water – remember the stunning Verzasca River? It is quite cold, even in the summer months. But the hot summer months are the best choice if you like doing water activities. 

However, be prepared for the crowds. Especially Lavertezzo – and all around the famous bridge – can be jam-packed. This also leads to higher accommodation prices and difficulties in finding parking (at least on Sundays).

Personally, I love Ticino (and all of Switzerland) in the fall – the fall season is even more stunning. Valle Verzasca in the fall months – on some warm and sunny days – is the best time to visit if you ask me.

For the best time of day, come here early or later on in the day. This way, you can avoid the crowds.

Valle Verzasca valley in Switzerland
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BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN VALLE VERZASCA

So, now let´s talk about the best villages and the main Valle Verzasca attractions. 

Vogorno / Contra Dam

Are you up for a thrilling activity in Ticino? Then you might enjoy a bungee jump. On your way to Valle Verzasca, you will pass Vogorno and the Contra Dam (Verzasca Dam). It has become very famous after James Bond jumped from this dam in the movie GoldenEye. And bungee jumping – from the dam at 220 meters – is popular amongst visitors as well. 

Prices start from about 195 CHF for adults (255CH for the classic “head first” jump). It is possible to bungee jump from mid-April until the end of October.

I would never do it in my life – like never – but you might be braver than me!

Ponte dei Salti and Lavertezzo

This famous and very photogenic bridge was completed more than 400 years ago and soars over the Verzasca River with two arches. Some not only use it to cross over or photograph it but also as a springboard for diving.

Ponte Lavertezzo in Valle Verzasca valley in Switzerland
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Valle Varzaska, Ponte di Salto
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Locarno Tecino best places to visit
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Not for me, but here is also where you have the most people bathing – right next to the bridge in the village of Lavertezzo. When I visited Lavertezzo before, I noticed the very fast currents. On my last trip, the currents were much slower, but make sure to only jump into the water if you are a good swimmer.

Bring your towel and some snacks – this is the place to chill and rest. If you have just a few hours or a day, then this will probably be the last stop and you will not have much more time before driving further into the valley.

Lavertezzo bridge in Valle Verzasca valley in Switzerland
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View from Lavertezzo bridge
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Sonogno and Froda Waterfall

This gorgeous (here we have that adjective again) little village lies at the end of the valley and is the last village. Getting here is quite time-consuming, but worth it. You have many stone houses and typical alleys, which are also beautifully decorated.

Sonogno village in Valle Verzasca
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Beautiful Valle Verzasca in summer
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Even though it is a small village, you have a few cafes/restaurants here. If you can stay here overnight, you probably would not regret it because it is really cute. And pretty. And lovely.

Sonogno, walking towards the waterfall Frodo in Valle Verzasca
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There is also a waterfall. Actually, not just any random waterfall, but the Froda Waterfall (Cascata della Froda) that you should visit. From the village center, it is a short hike – about 15 minutes – but wow, it is a tranquil and lovely place. I visited on a hot summer day, after some hot weeks, so the waterfall was probably not as powerful as it normally it. Either way, it was still worth it.

Froda Waterfall in Valle Verzasca
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You have to leave your car at the entrance of the valley and first walk to the village center (just 5 minutes). 

Frasco

There are many more waterfalls, and villages, along the way to Sonogno. One place you should stop by is Frasco. The village is known for a 19th-century mill that has been restored and put back into operation – for educational purposes. It is part of the Museum of the Verzasca Valley, which is actually located in Sonogno.

Waterfall in Valle Verzasca along the way
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But more than that, I was very impressed by the waterfalls that you pass when driving there. They are randomly there – these pretty waterfalls. Thus, it is even more important to drive slowly – for your safety, but also because you do not want to miss them. This one is just before you get to Frasco. Pretty, right?

Hike /Cycle 

Valle Verzasca is heaven for lovers of the outdoors – and while I did not do any crazy or long hikes, I think Valle is perfect for some beautiful walks and hikes. Particularly if you walk away from the main street, you have some unspoiled nature and can walk along the river and enjoy it.

Ticino stone houses, Valle Verzasca
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FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN VALLE VERZASCA

Valle Verzasca is a heavenly place – full of gorgeous nature and natural attractions, as well as cute traditional villages. There are quite a few things to do in Valle Verzasca, besides seeing the famous bridge in Lavertezzo. So, whether you visit Valle Verzasca for one day or longer, enjoy!

Lavertezzo village in Valle Verzasca in Switzerland
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