11 December 2011

Hiking on Stabbio, Ticino CH

December 2011

Spent a week in Ticino. Hadn't recovered from a long and persistent flu fully so longer hikes were out of the scope at this time, peccato as they say. However, valleys in there offered perfect routes for daily hikes, some easy, some less easy. After cloudy November days in Finland saw finally some clear blue sky with plenty of sun shine.

In Valle di Blenio, a northern valley in Italian spoken Ticino (aka Tessin) canton in Switzerland, there are many small villages on the slopes of its surrounding mountains. Cottages on these mountain villages are either ancient houses where people used to live a long time ago, some old/existing animal warehouses or cottages just built for leisure time. Some of the villages could only be reached by walk via small paths, although many by vehicles via tiny and narrow roads, still mostly for agriculture purposes. Ringing bells on cows' necks at summer time is often heard.

One of such a small village is Stabbio. It lies on about 1200m level, where as its closest village down in the valley, Motto, is on about 400m level.

In the old times, people used to live up there (children rushed to school every day, think about it). Now it's just for leisure usage (and for a summer time agriculture of course, too). It is very active summer times. Festa di Stabbio takes place in every July. Helicopter carries people in a couple of minutes from the valley, as only few still climbs in there via old hiking path (there's a high risk of getting sweat though).

There are two hiking paths from the valley to Stabbio, one from Motto village and another one from Dongio village (in between these two villages is one more village, Marogno, which hiking path attaches to Dongio one).

From Motto to Stabbio the path is about 3km long, ascending about 800m. I've always taken the one from Motto, and usually descended to Dongio. It is a steeper path to ascend, increasing your heartbeat. Views along the route are very nice. There are a couple of streams, which depending of rain or snow, have more or less water in them. Path crosses both of them.

Higher you climb better the view along the Blenio Valley. Very ofter you see some Capra (Goat). A couple of years ago they attacked against me, putting me to run faster on mountains than ever (survived).

Did a hike this time on early December. Ticino hadn't had any snow yet (except on some few mountains above 2500m). Fallen leaves of nut trees (Castagne) made the path almost invisible. However, trees without leaves make mountains look nude, bringing their real forms and shapes into view. That's great, at least to me, as in summer all are more or less hided behind green.

Here's the route (view Stabbio in a larger map):

... and this is what it looked like in there (some more pics here):

Motto (down) and Stabbio (up there)

Chiesa di San Pietro, Motto

Lots of fallen leaves

A small waterfall

Hiking routes in Switzerland are marked as white-red-white

Not for rock climbing

A view to Blenio valley


The church of Stabbio

A warehouse in Stabbio

Newly made water storage, for hikers!



Una Capra piccola!


Path to Dongio

Hiking paths

Back at Motto

Locals call the road in Blenio valley as 'Piccola Monza'


  1. Looks a lot better than the continuing misery in Finland.

  2. At least different :)

    This particular valley was a wide one, meaning the sun beams reached most of the villages now during the winter time, where as in much more narrow valleys you don't see much sun at this time of the year. Higher you climb, longer day's guaranteed.

    And when there's some rain, it usually means a lot of rain in short time (higher altitudes it also means lots of fresh snow).