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Fitness
Hiking trail Stage

50.04 Isola (I) - Chiavenna (I), ViaSpluga

Hiking trail · Sondrio
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Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren Explorers Choice 
  • Enziane
    / Enziane
    Photo: Romedi Conradin, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
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    Photo: Foto © Consorzio per la Promozione Turistica della Valchiavenna, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
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    Photo: Foto © Consorzio per la Promozione Turistica della Valchiavenna, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • /
    Photo: Foto © Consorzio per la Promozione Turistica della Valchiavenna, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • /
    Photo: Foto © Consorzio per la Promozione Turistica della Valchiavenna, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • /
    Photo: Foto © Consorzio per la Promozione Turistica della Valchiavenna, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
m 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Museo del Tesoro

The fourth and final stage of the viaSpluga, the 65 km long classic cultural and long-distance hiking trail, takes you  from  Isola  through  the  San  Giacomo  Valley  to Chiavenna. The village of Chiavenna, which sits at the exit  from  the  Val  San  Giacomo  and  Val  Bregaglia valleys,  was  regarded  as  an  important  stopping-off point back in Roman times. It enchants visitors from all corners, exuding a charm more akin to the countries of  the south.
moderate
20.6 km
6:00 h
351 m
1286 m
The viaSpluga is a cultural and long-distance hiking trail in the central Alps which has linked the peoples ofthe German,  Romansh,  French  and  Italian-speaking regions,  as  well  as  the  villages  of  Thusis  and Chiavenna. The Via Spluga mainly follows historic mule tracks,  whose  original  structures  have  largely  beenpreserved or restored. The Via Spluga stretches for a total distance of about 65 km.  

Stage 4 / Isola-Chiavenna: We descend into the valley in  the direction  of  Portarezza-Campodolcino.  You  will want to stop and linger at the small plain in the middle of  the  steep  mountain  valley.  The  two pilgrimage churches, San Guglielmo and Santuario di Gallivaggio, remind us that the Splügen Pass was more than just a trading route, it was also well trodden by pilgrims. The viaSpluga trail reaches its conclusion in the village of Chiavenna. Back in Roman times, Chiavenna was an important  stopping-off  point  on  the  routes  from  Italy over the  Alps.  (Splügen, Septimer,  Maloja and Julier) Sights  worth visiting in Chiavenna include the "centro storico", with its cobbled alleys, walkways and squares, stone  bridges  and  fountains,  churches,  chapels  and stately  town  houses.  And  if  you've  had  enough  of walking,  th wines  from  the  neighbouring  Valtellina taste particularly good in the many crotti and trattorie.

Author’s recommendation

It is worth making a detour to the Museo della viaSpluga e della Val San Giacomo in Campodolcino, which documents the history of the valley and of the transit route.  The rocky slopes of the hamlet of Vho contain the so-called "Scribaìta" - an 8 x 12.5 metre gneiss slab with puzzling, rectangular, step-like recesses (Attention! It is not signposted). The pilgrimage church of Gallivaggio with the highest church tower in the valley is visible from far and wide. The Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to two girls at this place in 1492. The historic centre of Chiavenna, with its characteristic narrow alleys, exudes an enchanting southern charm.
Profile picture of Romedi Conradin
Author
Romedi Conradin
Updated: February 28, 2020

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1281 m
Lowest point
311 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

The viaSpluga is a mountain hiking trail. You need to be sure-footed and have a good head for heights (bridges, Cardinello  Gorge)  along  some  sections.

 

Tips, hints and links

Viamala Visitor Information
Bodenplatz
7435 Splügen 
Tel. +41 (0)81 650 90 30 
info@viamala.ch 
www.viamala.ch

Start

Isola, village (1280 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.443221, 9.331407
DMS
46°26'35.6"N 9°19'53.1"E
UTM
32T 525455 5143347
w3w 
///permitting.thornier.cuddled

Destination

Chiavenna, town centre

Turn-by-turn directions

 The viaSpluga is marked throughout from Thusis to Chiavenna as regional hiking trail No. 50, as well as with brown viaSpluga signposts. 

Stage 4: Isola-Chiavenna: Following the course of the Liro through the shady chestnut forests of the San Giacomo Valley into Chiavenna with its air of southern charm.  Leaving Isola, a country track runs along the left-hand side of the balancing reservoir to the dam wall. There is a rather steep descent down to the Liro. Keep to the left at all times until you get to the Ponte Granda Rossa. Continue along the right bank of the river, past Campodolcino (we recommend that you visit the viaSpluga Museum) and the balancing reservoir in Prestone and through one of the first large deciduous forests to the hamlet of Vho. After the plain in Vho, cross the Liro and switch river bank for a short time until Cimagangda. From here, the route continues along the right bank of the river as far as San GiacomoFilippo. Cross through the village of San Giacomo Filippo and, at the upper end of the village, rejoin the trail which rises once again to the end. Now take the high route from here via Bette to Chiavenna. The last section affords beautiful views of the town.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Southbound  by  Rhaetian  Railway  to  Thusis  and  by postbus  to  Splügen.  Then  by  Italian  bus  over  the Splügen Pass to Isola (Italy), Paese. 
Northbound  by  rail  to  Bellinzona  and  by  postbus  to Splügen, Post Office. Then by Italian bus to Isola (Italy). 
www.postauto.ch (Switzerland) 
www.stps.it (Italy)

Getting there

Southbound  on  the  A13/E43,  in  the  direction  of  San Bernardino,   "Splügen/Splügenpass"   exit,  via   the Splügen-Pass road to Isola.  
Northbound to Chiavenna and the Splügen-Pass road to Isola.

Parking

Isola: there is a public car park to the rear of the village: Via alla Piota.

Coordinates

DD
46.443221, 9.331407
DMS
46°26'35.6"N 9°19'53.1"E
UTM
32T 525455 5143347
w3w 
///permitting.thornier.cuddled
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Appropriate, weather-proof equipment is strongly recommended.

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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
20.6 km
Duration
6:00h
Ascent
351 m
Descent
1286 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available

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