Bergell: The most beautiful villages & our tips for the idyllic Alpine valley

Posted on

Oh, you dreamlike Bergell! Here, where Switzerland meets Italy and rugged mountain ranges meet authentic mountain villages, one of the presumably most beautiful Alpine valleys is waiting to be discovered.

The Bergell, called Val Bregaglia in Italian, is a region that exudes a very special magic . Secluded, untouched, wildly romantic – this is how Bergell presents itself.

If you are looking for a real Switzerland insider tip for an unforgettable mountain holiday, then you don’t need to look any further: With the Bergell you have found the ideal travel destination – believe us. We tell you our best tips for your trip on our travel blog.

1. The Bergell: Swiss mountain panorama & Italian flair Where is the Bergell? The Bergell is in south-eastern Switzerland, to be more precise said in the canton of Graubünden on the border with Italy. It is surrounded by rugged three-thousanders. Nevertheless, the valley feels anything but cramped. This is (in our opinion) partly due to the lovely alpine villages, which represent a wonderful contrast to the imposing mountain world.

The northernmost point in Bergell and the only entrance gate on the Swiss side into the valley Mountain village of Maloja on the pass of the same name. From here the road gradually meanders down into the valley towards Italy. It goes past magical villages – one more beautiful than the other. The climate is becoming milder, the flair more Italian.

What can I expect on a holiday in Bergell? Arrived – and immediately in love. This is what happened to us in Val Bregaglia. The charm of this Italian-influenced valley is very special. Alpine charm merges with Mediterranean flair. Here figs and palm trees grow and snow-capped mountains rise into the sky on the horizon. We were immediately drawn to this combination.

What can you look forward to in Bergell? We start the attempt to describe this unusual region in the south-east of Switzerland in a few keywords:

Italian flair: The immediate proximity to Italy characterizes the region of course. You can hear many people speaking Italian on the street. The Mediterranean influence can also be seen on the menu. Seclusion: Here you really have the feeling of having landed in the furthest corner of Switzerland. But we mean that in a positive way. So if you are looking for a destination off the beaten track, Bergell is the right place for you.Charming, partly medieval mountain villages: Whether Soglio, Vicosoprano or Bondo – a walk through the sometimes tiny villages of Bergell is like a journey into the past. Of course, we will introduce you to the most beautiful villages in Bergell later in this blog article.Mountains: Last but not least, the Val Bregaglia is of course characterized by rugged mountain ranges. So if you like to climb a lot of meters, you will feel right at home. There are not many mountain railways. 2. Excursion destinations and sights in Bergell: Our tips Lägh da Cavloc Let’s start with one of our absolute favorite places in Bergell, the Lägh da Cavloc. This mountain lake is on 1.809 meters above sea level, surrounded by wooded mountains. Here you can really look forward to a natural jewel.

The lake is very easy to reach from Maloja: In a leisurely hour (many walk the Definitely faster route) you have already arrived at Lägh da Cavloc. This makes the lake one of the most popular destinations in Bergell. Despite the wonderful weather, we did not find the lake to be overcrowded.

By the way, daredevils can take a dip in the cool water. However, the water temperature is rarely more than even in midsummer Centigrade. During the day you can also stop at the small restaurant Cavloc, which is located directly on the lake shore.

Information about the hike at a glance Altitude: approx. 240
Requirements: Easy and suitable for families (comfortable forest road or alternatively a somewhat steeper forest path, no exposed areas)
Duration: approx. 1 hour from Maloja (there and back approx. 2 hours)

Route: Maloja – Lägh da Cavloc (Outdooractive)

Belvedere Tower Such a dreamlike place! The medieval-looking tower actually comes from the end of 19. century. Today it is only used for tourist purposes.

The tower is enthroned on a rocky hill and lives up to its name: the view is really fabulous. From here you can enjoy a beautiful view down into the Bergell.

The tower is only open in summer and autumn (and not 24 hours a day either), but don’t worry: you don’t have to climb it for the best view. You can also enjoy a spectacular view of the mountains of Graubünden from the viewing platform in front of the tower, which is accessible at all times.

The tower can be reached after a short hike from Maloja. A kind of forest path over roots and stones leads you up. The ascent is short, but rather steep – but overall the path is quite easy to manage.

Information about the hike at a glance Altitude: approx. 100
Requirement: SimpleDuration: approx. 1 hour for the whole loop
Route: Maloja – Tower Belvedere (Outdooractive)

Albignasee & Albignahütte What a reservoir! The sight of the mighty, 100 meter high dam wall of Lake Albigna is indeed impressive. While we prefer mountain lakes in their most natural form, we have to admit that the location and size of Lake Albigna is memorable.

The fact that this is a reservoir has one advantage: A mountain railway leads from the valley ( Pranzaira near Vicosoprano) about 1. meters in height. The gondola belongs to the power plant, but is also used for tourist purposes.

From the mountain station you are only separated by approx. 10 minute climb from the sight of turquoise Lake Albigna. From here, our tip would actually be to continue to the Albignahütte, which you can already see in the distance from the shore of the lake.

Unfortunately, an approaching thunderstorm prevented us from climbing. (And if we can give one useful tip, it’s that thunderstorms in the mountains should always be taken seriously!) When the weather conditions are stable, this short hike to the hut is definitely very worthwhile.

Overview of information about the hike Altitude: approx. 683 from the mountain station

Requirement: easy to moderateDuration: Ascent about an hour, descent a little shorter Route: Mountain station – Albignahütte (mountain worlds)

3. The prettiest villages in the Bergell What is an essential part of a holiday in Val Bregaglia? A walk through the charming villages. Really very special pieces of jewelery await you here.

Soglio Let’s start with the superlative of all villages in Bergell. Soglio is considered something of a picture book village. Its location alone could hardly be more picturesque: Soglio is enthroned on a sunny mountain slope at almost 1.100 meters above sea level.

On a walk through Soglio you stroll past ancient stone houses, colorful doors and stacked wood. In short: A paradise for detail-loving, photography-enthusiastic people like us

Our tip: You shouldn’t miss the short walk uphill to the vantage point. It lies along the Via Panoramica (= Sentiero Panoramico), a hiking trail that (theoretically) 14 kilometers long to Casaccia. You can reach the vantage point we have described from the center of Soglio within a few minutes.

Bondo Despite the upcoming thunderstorm, it was quickly clear: We really liked the tiny village of Bondo. Not even the dense clouds and raindrops could harm the magic of this place.

Bondo exudes a very special flair. The village looks as if it had sprung from times gone by. You have a bit of the feeling of strolling through a film set – the charm of Bondo is so rustic and authentic.

A historical detail on the side: The village gained in 2017 notoriety. A massive rock fall happened in Bondo, which led to unbelievable destruction. If you look closely, you can still see the remains of the rubble on the outskirts.

Vicosoprano Vicosoprano is the largest town in Bergell (it was once even the main town) but quite Honestly: There is nothing to notice on site. It is cosy, quiet and village-like here.

A stroll through Vicosoprano should not fail to take you to the historic stone arch bridge that crosses the Maira River. What a great photo opportunity! Another eye-catcher is the round medieval tower called Senvelenturm. It also passes the two churches and many patrician houses.

We were very impressed by the location of Vicosporano. A rugged or wooded summit of the Alps is hidden in the distance behind almost every house wall.

Borgonovo (incl. detour to Stampa) Welcome to Birthplace of Alberto Giacometti – the world-famous Swiss sculptor who is one of the most well-known personalities from Bergell.

Borgonovo is a tiny village that consists more or less of just one street. Compared to the surrounding jewels, Borgonovo stands out a little less in our opinion. Nevertheless, the small village is of course well worth seeing.

Tip: Pontisella Stampa Our recommendation: Just a stone’s throw away from Borgonovo is the village of Stampa. Here is the beautiful Bed & Breakfast Pontisella Stampa – a jewel of accommodation. The lovingly restored patrician house has only four rooms. We therefore definitely recommend booking early!

You can also stop by as an external guest. On the ground floor there is a kind of art exhibition including a shop where regional alpine handicrafts are sold.

We enjoyed a delicious apéro in the garden of the Pontisella. Cheese from the region, olives, pickled wild garlic blossoms and a good glass of wine – wow, what a treat. Add to that the view of the mountains and the free-ranging chickens in the garden. We really liked the informal, very family atmosphere in the Pontisella.

Pontisella StampaPontisella Stampa 4. Our hotel tip for Bergell In which place to stay in Bergell? We chose the northernmost village in Bergell as our place to stay: Maloja. What a perfect choice, as it later turned out.

Maloja is very high on 1.809 meters above sea level on the pass of the same name. The mountain village is the highest point, so to speak, before the road meanders down in serpentines towards the valley.

And that means: From Maloja you can enjoy an incredible view of the whole of Bergell. Especially at sunset it’s just wonderful up here – what a hit for both of us who love spectacular views. Another plus: From Maloja you can hike directly to one of the most beautiful places in Bergell, the Lägh da Cavloc.

Our personal hotel recommendation The Our hotel of choice was the highly recommended Maloja Kulm, which is conveniently located directly across from a vantage point (see the second photo above in this blog article).

The hotel itself was built in 2019 has been completely renovated and has radiated a wonderful charm that combines old with new. If you’re lucky and get there in time, you might be able to enjoy one of the vintage rooms, whose historical flair with the floorboards and the wood paneling is so cosy. Wow!

The culinary deserves a particularly high praise. Even the breakfast in the morning is pure pleasure. Nothing is missing here and the delicacies, from fruit to cake, are presented with an incredible amount of love.

In the evening, a multi-course menu of very high quality is served. Not only did it taste really good, we were even spontaneously served a vegan menu upon request. The experience is rounded off by the extremely courteous and cordial service staff.

Our conclusion: Recommendable through and through! We would stay here again in a heartbeat. You should know that the hotel is right on the street (like many hotels in Bergell). But although we had the rooms facing the street, it didn’t bother us in any way. Traffic is also very limited, especially at night. We’d love to come back!

You can book the hotel here: Hotel Maloja Kulm

Transparency: Invitation & Affiliate Links This blog article was created in the course of an invitation from Graubünden Ferien and Bregaglia Engadin Turismo. Thank you so much for this wonderful trip.

This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever ended up in Bergell? We would be very happy if you tell us about your additional tips and experiences in the comments.