Hiking in Val Chiavenna on the Italian / Swiss border
Blend the Italian ‘Dolce Vite’ with the majestic Swiss mountains and enjoy hiking the Via Spluga
Linking Italy and Switzerland, the via Spluga represents a classic cultural 65km hiking route within the central Alps which, throughout the centuries, has linked the towns of Thusis and Chiavenna, hence incorporating the Grigionese people, the Rhaeto-Romansch, Walser and the population of Lombardia. Most of the Via Spluga winds its way gently along old mule-tracks which have either maintained their original characteristics or have at least been restored to something like their natural state. The route, gives you the opportunity to appreciate a slice of genuine history and also permits the walker to get to know a very particular mountain terrain alongside the local population whose life has been influenced by generations of travellers making their way across the Alpine pass.
We offer the Via Spluga Classic (7 days / 6 nights) or the Via Spluga Compact (4 days / 3 nights).
June, July, August and September
Self Guided or Guided
Duration: 7 days
Grading: Challenging 65km
Nearest Airport: Milan (MXP, LIN, BGY)
Starting point: Chiavenna
NEW: 3D MAPPING
The complete route…
From Thusis to Chiavenna
Check out the 3D map to view the entire route. The plane icon offers a fly-through of the pass, whilst the bullet icon will give you a topographical, bird’s eye view. Click on the 3D map to enlarge to full screen.
Contact us for seperate GPX files, split per day into your chosen schedule.
Days 1 - 2
Travelling by bus from Chiavenna we arrive in the historical town of Thusis in the canton of Grisons. Its appearance has been particularly influenced by a centuries-old role as a transit town. The historic centre of Thusis has for this very reason assumed an almost urban character with its tightly-knit housing, and wide streets for the passage of horse-drawn carriages, and pack-carrying animals, alongside extensive cellars and huge warehouses. Setting out from Thusis, before very long we arrive at one of the most picturesque yet dramatic of environs: the Via Mala gorges, this stretch ends at the delightful village of Andeer, hosting its splendidly decorated houses and little cobbled streets. An opportunity to enjoy a complimentary spa.
Days 3 - 4
From the capital of the Romansch language, a somewhat particular Neo-Latin native tongue, we head off for the magnificent Roffla Waterfalls. From there we journey through Spruce woodlands
which lead us to Sufers, a village dating back to the Carolingian epoch, situated in a basin in the valley floor. Following the ancient dirt track we finally reach Splügen, a town which continued to develop over the centuries thanks to commerce in transit through the Pass which separates Switzerland and Italy. Alpine pastures with breathtaking panorama of the surrounding peaks, cobbled/paved mule-tracks that feature along this high-altitude and expansive section. As we move up from the village on the northern slope of the Pass prior to the descent on the Italian side to the village of Montespluga, where you can breathe in the atmosphere of times past.
Days 5 - 7
A section which is practically all downhill in nature, following the route of the Liro torrent and introducing the hiker to the joys of Val San Giacomo: we’re wandering along pathways between well-tended dry-stone wall and meadow, through chestnut groves and taking in places of considerable historical and religious interest. We approach Chiavenna along a path with magnificent panorama over the length of Valchiavenna; from the age-old terraces hosting traditional vineyards you catch your first glimpse of a very special Alpine community, with its immaculately preserved historic centre. On arrival in Chiavenna you have the opportunity to visit the splendid renaissance mansion – Palazzo Vertemate Franchi – with is elaborately frescoed walls and ceilings depicting huge scenarios from Greek mythology.
Need To Know
There are two options for accommodation levels – standard and superior.
A variety of charming friendly hotels all centrally located.
- All accommodations
- All breakfasts
- Packed lunches
- Optional half board on request
- Entrance to Thermal Baths Andeer (2 hrs)
- Entance to Via Mala Gorge, St Martino church, and the regional museum in Zillis, the Roffla Gorge, the Museum of teh Via Spluga in Campodolcino, the Mill of Bottonera or Paradiso botanical garden in Chiavenna, the Vertemate Franchi Palace in Piuro
- Luggage transfers
- 1:50 000 map , GPS coordinates and information guide
This is a SELF GUIDED trip, however should you prefer to have the expertise of an International Mountain Leader then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We adopt an excellent guiding ratio meaning we can cater for differing levels within the group:
One Guide – 1 – 7 clients
Two Guides – 8 – 14 clients
Booking and Price
Via Spluga – Classic 7 days and 6 nights – includes breakfast and picnic lunch
Standard room €740 pp
Superior room €820 pp
Via Spluga – Compact 4 days and 3 nights – includes breakfast and picnic lunch
Standard room €480 pp
Superior room €520
Single supplement €22 per day
Dog friendly €11 per day
We manage every booking independently to ensure attention to detail and provide a personalised service.
Terms & Conditions
Terms and Conditions (updated November 2020) – All trips are sold subject to these Terms and Conditions (hereinafter T&Cs).
All clients need to be adequately insured for all activities they are taking part in. Insurance must include repatriation and details should be provided at the beginning of each trip.
All European clients should obtain a European Health insurance card (EHIC), however, this is not a substitute for travel insurance.
2. Health and fitness
Trip members have the responsibility to select a trip appropriate to their abilities and interests. In order to assist with this, all trips are graded and we welcome the opportunity to discuss trip details/answer questions in advance of your reservation. Trip members must be in sufficiently good health to undertake the trip, and if unsure seek medical advice in advance. For your own safety, you need to inform us of any medical conditions in advance or at the start of the trip. Trip members are also required to bring adequate clothing/equipment as advised in the pre-departure information.
3. Dietary Requirements
We endeavor to work with clients and accommodate their dietary requirements. However such is the nature of adventure travel we may be limited to specific menus e.g remote Mountain Huts, Tea Houses in the Himalaya’s etc. We fully encourage you to contact us in advance to discuss your requirements then we have every opportunity to explore options thereafter.
4. Cancellations and Fee Schedule Per Person
91 days or more prior to departure – €250 cancellation fee
61 – 90 days before departure – 25% of the trip cost
46 – 60 days before departure – 50% of the trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost
Fees are calculated from the date we receive written cancellation notice which can be via email. If clients are unable to access email and cancel over the phone we will confirm in writing the cancellation.
If you cancel 91 days or more prior to departure, it may be possible to transfer to another trip without occurring any fees. Please discuss this with us in the first instance.
With specific departures, there may be an increase in cancellation fee if the accommodation provider T & Cs mean we are liable for payment.
4.1 Cancellation due to COVID travel restrictions.
If your chosen destination country or the country where you reside have restrictions in place due to COVID, meaning you are unable to travel, you have three options:
4.11 Postpone your trip until a later date.
4.12 Take a credit note and use against a future trip with LBH.
4.13 Request a full refund.
If any other reasons prevent you from travelling, including quarantine measures then our normal (4) T&Cs will apply. We recommend that you check with your travel insurance provider to fully understand your level of cover.
If you have a complaint, please contact us as soon as possible, in the first instance your leader is often your obvious point of contact. This ensures we have every opportunity to explores solutions to the problem(s) arising and we will do all we reasonably can to resolve the complaint. You must tell us within 4 weeks after your holiday of any complaints that you feel have not been dealt with properly.
6. Alterations By Us
We will tell you as soon as reasonably possible if we must make any alteration to your holiday. Most alterations are minor, but very occasionally we might have to make a major alteration. A major alteration is a change of location or to a lower standard of accommodation for a substantial part of your holiday, a change in start/finish dates or necessary price rise in your holiday caused by rises in costs (e.g. exchange rates, internal transport etc). You may then choose as follows:
- To accept these alterations
- To withdraw from the holiday, in which case we will repay all monies paid to us including your deposit and this is the sum of our liability to you
- To accept an alternative holiday that we may propose to you, in which case if the proposed holiday is a lower price we will pay you the difference and if it is a higher price we may ask for the difference.
You must inform us of your choice as soon as possible after we contact you.
7. Group Leadership
On a guided holiday your leader is responsible for the safety and enjoyment of the whole group and has sole discretion, on behalf of Live Breathe Hike, to exclude temporarily a participant from the group. They may also choose to terminate the participants holiday without the possibility of a refund if the leader thinks the participant is likely to endanger the group safety or spoil its enjoyment.
8. Your Responsibility
Mountain holidays by their very nature are adventurous, with a certain level of risk is undertaken. Individuals need to conduct themselves in a safe and responsible manner at all times; responding to advice, guidance, and instruction that may be given by the group leader / experienced professional and take all reasonable actions to eliminate accidents or injury.
9. Our Responsibilities
We will take all reasonable care to ensure that the information we give to you is accurate, including on our website, in your schedule and information pack. We will do all that we can to provide the service as described in the information we give to you. We are not liable if any failure is:
- Attributable to anyone other than us
- Attributable to a third party unconnected to us, and unforeseeable or unavoidable
- Due to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control and could not have been avoided even if all due care had been taken
- Due to an event which even with all due care we could not foresee or forestall
10. Cancellation By Us
Live Breathe Hike reserves the right to cancel any trip prior to departure for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient signup or logistics problems that may impede trip operations. The refund of all land payments received shall relate Live Breathe Hike from any further liability.
Live Breathe Hike must normally make substantial payments to its suppliers far in advance of the scheduled trip departure date. If a trip is canceled due to force majeure; (acts of God, war, strikes, earthquake, flooding etc), Live Breathe Hike will promptly refund the portion of the trip cost not already advanced to suppliers and use its best efforts to recover and refund the balance as promptly as possible. However, Live Breathe Hike does not guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made.
11. Additional Costs
Live Breathe Hike shall not be liable for (a) expenses such as additional nights and meals not specified in the individual trip itineraries, but which may required to get to from a trip start or end; expenses due to the delay of a trip for any reason (e.g. bad weather, trails conditions, land slides, flooding, sickness etc); (c) expenses occurred in recovering lost luggage by airlines, belongings left behind on a trip or in shipping purchases or other goods home from abroad; (d) visa and other incidental costs.
Live Breathe Hike reserves the right to take photographic or film records of any trips, and may use any such records for promotional and/or commercial purposes without payment.
Truly the highlight...