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Smugglers trail

Theme trail · Bregaglia
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Bregaglia Engadin Turismo Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
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    Photo: Bregaglia Engadin Turismo, Bregaglia Engadin Turismo
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    Photo: Bregaglia Engadin Turismo, Bregaglia Engadin Turismo
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    Photo: Bregaglia Engadin Turismo, Bregaglia Engadin Turismo
m 1850 1800 1750 1,0 0,8 0,6 0,4 0,2 km
On the search for the hidden smuggler's goods you learn to locate yourself in nature, to orientate yourself by the position of the sun, combined with lots of exercise, games and fun in the mountains.
Distance 1 km
1:30 h
90 m
3 m
1,869 m
1,779 m
Smugglers were once prevalent from Bregaglia’s Maloja to Italy’s Val Malenco. The smuggler trails offer a lovely alpine hiking experience along historically significant trails. From the beginning of the 19th century to well into the 20th century, smuggling was an important source of income for the people of Bregaglia and Engadin. A wide range of goods, particularly food and beverages, were smuggled over the Swiss-Italian borders. Smuggling was a lucrative business and allowed the people of these previously sparse mountain valleys to live more comfortably.

In summer 2014, the Smuggler Interpretative Trail was opened in Maloja. The trail offers a unique outdoor experience and fascinating stories. You learn about the life and times of the smugglers and their goods, as well as the tricks and skillful maneuvers they used to avoid danger. The reasons for smuggling operations were varied, including shortages of particular goods and ample supply of others. High tariffs, different rules and regulations, prohibitions and penalties all promoted clandestine illegal border crossings. The smugglers were not always harmless and their work was often carried out under the cover of darkness.

The “Smuggler Interpretative Trail – Capel, Maloja” heads south from Maloja and takes approximately 1 ½ hours. The trail winds through an enchanting larch forest to Bitabergh Lake, where the Smuggler Interpretative Trail ends. Bitabergh Lake is an inviting and idyllic place to rest and relax. Along the trail, 17 interpretative panels explain the exciting life and work of the smugglers and give first aid and survival tips.

While searching for the hidden smugglers’ goods you will learn how to orientate yourself in the wild using the sun and sky while getting some outdoor exercise and having fun in the mountains. The Smuggler Interpretative Trail is an ideal combination of adventure, nature, outdoor exercise, learning and fun for families and groups. Children and youth are motivated to hike in the mountains and experience the great outdoors firsthand. Even adults will find it fun. This attractive mountain hike will take you back hundreds of years and give you a glimpse into the history of the region and life many generations ago.

Author’s recommendation

Ideal for children from 4 to 12 years old 
Profile picture of Bregaglia Engadin Turismo
Bregaglia Engadin Turismo
Update: March 03, 2021
Highest point
Lägh da Bitaberg, 1,869 m
Lowest point
Orden, 1,779 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Good  hiking boots, suntan cream and rain protections.

Tips and hints

Fof further information: Bregaglia Engadin Turismo, Via Principale 101, 7606 Stampa (CH), Tel. 0041 (0)81 822 15 55


Maloja (1,790 m)
2'773'330E 1'140'418N
46.392720, 9.692403
46°23'33.8"N 9°41'32.7"E
32T 553233 5137915


Lägh da Bitabergh

Turn-by-turn directions

From the Ordnen parking lot keep to the right and cross the Orden Dam. A few meters later you will find the first post of the smugglers' trail . From here walk through an enchanted larch forest, always following the hat symbol and the clues, to the Bitabergh lake.The trail will cross the hiking trail to the mountain pond several times.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Train station: St. Moritz station

Public Transport: PostAuto

PostAuto website :

Bus stop: Maloja Cad'Maté

Getting there

Bregaglia Valley is easy to reach by car. From Zurich/Chur, take the Julier Pass; from Klosters take the car shuttle train through the Vereina Tunnel (train departs every half hour); from Thusis, take the car shuttle train through the Albula Tunnel; from Germany/Austria arrive via Landeck; from Milan, Italy, drive via Lecco and Chiavenna.

Zurich - Bregaglia 225 km (140 miles), approximately 3 hours

Milan - Bregaglia 150 km (94 miles), approximately 2. 1/2 hours

Monaco of Bavaria - Bregaglia 325 km (202 miles), approximately 4 hours

Basel - Bregaglia 305 km (190 miles), approximately 4 hours

Arrival by public transportation
From Zurich to Chur with the SBB (Swiss Federal Railways). From Chur you will board the RhB (Rhaetian Railway), which will take you through the picturesque Albula and Engadin Valleys to St. Moritz. From there, take the Postbus to Bregaglia Valley.
From the South, take the train from Milano to Colico, where you change trains and continue to Chiavenna, then take the Postbus from Chiavenna to Bregaglia Valley. 

Arrival by airplane
Daily flights to Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Milan and Munich international airports. Available air-taxi connections to and from St.  Moritz-Samedan. 


Free Parking at Orden


2'773'330E 1'140'418N
46.392720, 9.692403
46°23'33.8"N 9°41'32.7"E
32T 553233 5137915
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Good  hiking boots, suntan cream and rain protections.

Basic Equipment for Nature Trails

  • Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Umbrella
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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1 km
1:30 h
90 m
3 m
Highest point
1,869 m
Lowest point
1,779 m
Public-transport-friendly Circular route Scenic Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest Botanical highlights Flora and fauna


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