Via Spluga - 200 Years Back in History

Via Spluga - 200 Years Back in History

Switzerland, Italy » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • Via Spluga - the two-century route
  • Rofla Gorge with its spectacular waterfalls
  • Options to start from Thusis or Chiavenna
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 645 €

Duration (days): 7

Difficulty grade:  


Print version

“Le grand chemin dItalie” - this is the way nineteenth-century European travellers often called the road from Coira to Chiavenna through the Splugen. For many years this has been the most travelled route from Germany to Italy, thanks to its particularly privileged geographical position. The Splugen Pass (2115m), located in one of the narrowest points of the Alpine chain, marks the passage through the Lepontine and Rhaetian Alps. Equidistant from Milan and Zurich, it is the communication gate of the two basins of Lake Constance and Lake Como as well as the large valleys of the Rhine and Po. Today, after two centuries, it can be seen that interest in that road is coming back to life and this does not depend on trade and economic reasons; more on a mix of motivations including ecology and a reminiscent tourism: the wish to disappear into a intact and well-preserved natural space combines with the desire to recover the ancient way of travelling, to discover new places and to feel the same sensations as those of the ancient travellers.

Day 1: Arrival in Thusis (Switzerland) - a small, active town, where you wll find numerous hotels and shops of all kinds, offering own production along the main street.
Day 2: Visit the magnificent gorges of Via Mala, three hundred meters high rock face, from a close distance, up and down along the river Rhine. In Zillis rises the Romanesque church of S. Martino (1130), Carolingian three apses with the famous ceiling painting set in typically medieval style - the life of Christ. Further on reach the thermal water source (34C) attracting customers with its new facilities and modern hidroterapeutic centre. Overnight in Andeer (Switzerland). /Route Thusis - Verlorenes Loch - Zillis: 9,5km, 4hrs, uphill walk 850m, downhil walk 600m; Route Thusis/Sila - Travorsina - Zillis: 11,5km, 5hrs, uphill walk 1000m, downhil walk 750; Zillis - Andeer: 6km, 1.30hrs, uphill walking 200m, downhil walking 100m.
Day 3: After breakfast you can admire the cascades of Roffla. This is a relatively new trail proceeding on the rocky side of the grge in order to see the spectacular waterfalls of the Rhine. Splugen is the most important settlement in Val di Reno (Rheinwald) - site of ancient trade route, that remained almost perfectly preserved in its splendore. Overnight in Splugen (Switzerland). /Andeer - Splugen: 13km, 5hrs, uphill hiking 700m, downhil hiking 200m; Zillis - Splugen: 19km, 6,30hrs, uphill hiking 900m, downhil hiking 300m/
Day 4: Sublime pass awaits you across to the Swiss Alpine trails of Spluga. Cardinello gorge  is probably the most picturesque stretch of Via Spluga. The trail along the gorge, situated halfway up, is a long balcony overlooking the impetuous Liro River, sill reminding of the tragic winter crossings of the military. Overnight in Isola (Italy). /Splugen - Isola: 15km,  6.30h, uphill hiking 700m, downhil hiking 900m/
Day 5: Walk to Chiavenna: already in Roman times this was an important crossroad for roads that climb from Lario, enter the Alps to overcome them to the end of Rezia and Norico. In the post Carolingian times, Chiavenna was one of the customs of the Italian kingdom, with its “closed” doors to bridges on the river. This charming old town is still kept intact and well preserved. Overnight in Chiavenna (Italy). /Isola - Chiavenna: 19,5km, 6,30hrs, uphill hiking 230m, downhil hiking 900m/
Day 6: Resting day, spent in Chiavenna. You can visit the Mill of Bottonera and Palazzo Vertemate in Prosto di Piuro (1,5 Km from Chiavenna, along the way to the Acquafraggia watefalls in Borgonuovo).
Day 7: Return by public transport to Thusis.

Accommodation and luggage transportation
En-suite rooms on bed and breakfast basis (halfboard possible upon extra payment), 5 lunchpacks and all luggage transfers as per itinerary included.

Price: 645 Euro

Price of extra services:
- Single room supplement: 170 Euro (for groups of two or more; solo travellers not accepted)
- Halfboard supplement (6 dinners; no drinks): 170 Euro/person

The price includes: accommodation in en-suite rooms on bed and breakfast and 5 lunchpacks; luggage transfers; detailed maps and museum brochures; entry to the Rofla Gorge, entry to the Via Mala Gorge, entry to the St. Martino church and the regional museum in Zillis, entry to thermal bath of Andeer (max. 2 hours), entry to Museo of the Via Spluga in Campodolcino, entry to the Mill of Bottonera in Chiavenna, entry to Palazzo Vertemate Franchi in Piuro.

The price does not include: Flights and airport taxes, Transfers to Chiavenna/Thusis; return to Airport, transfer by bus from Thusis to Chiavenna/Chiavenna to Thusis;

Tips: In the first hotel of the itinerary the guests will find a special “Via Spluga bag” with all the vouchers (hotels and museums), information material, maps, parking coupon, gadgets. Possible extensions from Chiavenna: daily excursions to St. Moritz (1,30hrs by bus), to lake Como (30min also possibble ferry trip there) etc.