We’re more likely to choose places that have consistently been on the most popular bucket lists because it seems like the proper thing to do. However, there is always a subgroup of people who prefer going to the magical place where only a few people go. I’m going to tell you about a wonderful place in Switzerland that not many people know about. You don’t hear much about it. It’s called Val da Morts.
Overview: Val da Morts
Val da Morts translates to “Valley of the Dead” in Romansh. Despite the fact that no one lives here, it’s incredibly beautiful. Val da Morts is a small valley in the Surses region located 1,572 meters above sea level. This is canton Graubünden in the mountainous southeast corner of Switzerland. You can only get there on foot or by bike.
How to get to Val da Morts
You can get there several ways, but hiking is probably your best option. Please note that this is a protected area where lots of wild plants and animals live. Make sure you stay on the marked trails. You can hike to Val da Morts. In the following sections, we’ll describe two hikes you can do to get there. You can also ride the bike trail 650 called Bike Ziteil. This route also goes through Val da Morts.
Here’s how to get there by hiking:
- Via Salouf (5 kilometers): Salouf – Salaschigns – Val da Morts – Lungatigia – Tigignas
- Via Savognin (8.2 kilometers): Savognin – Tigignas – Rodas – Salaschigns – Rodas – Prada Setga – Cresta da Lai – Radons – Val da Morts – Rezgia – Riom – Savognin
Hiking to Val da Morts via Salouf and Salaschigns
Get the bus to Salouf. Walk to Salaschigns from Salouf. Located at 1,492 meters above sea level, Salaschigns is a hamlet on the left side of Val da Morts. Both Salaschigns and Salouf are located at the foot of Piz Toissa, a volcanic-looking mountain 2,657 meters above sea level.
Follow the hiking path on the way to the forest after reaching the Chapel of Saint Bartholomew and the small hamlet of Salaschigns.
You’ll pass through a forest until you get to Ruigna Gorge. Take note there are no rails to protect you near the gorge, so be careful here, especially if you’re taking pictures. Though there is ample room to pass, I would still be cautious. It will be a horizontal walk on the side of the gorge while you enjoy the sounds of rushing water below.
After, you’re about to see something pretty cool. There’s a bunch of prominent rock heads that stand out like pointed needles to the sky, but I don’t know what their name is. It’s like Crap Furo, the geographic center of Graubünden. I heard locals call it Steinmannli, which means “little stone men”.
After passing it, you should head over to Lungatigia, a small hamlet with pretty wooden houses. A short walk will take you to Tigignas. After that, you can grab a snack or meal at Tigignas before returning to Savognin by cable car or on foot.
Hiking Path: Salouf – Salaschigns – Val da Morts – Lungatigia – Tigignas
Hiking to Val da Morts via Savognin and Tigignas
From Savognin, take the gondola up to Tigignas. You can then walk under the mountain restaurant to get to the stream under Rodas, past Prada Setga, Cresta da Lai, and Radons. As the path continues into the forest, it goes through a landscape similar to a national park.
Near here is the Chapel of Saint Bartholomew in Salaschigns. Previously, this hamlet was inhabited. Now, the people who maintain it live in Parsonz. From here, you can see a gorgeous view of Surses Valley. Come in the spring or early summer and you’ll see lots of pretty wildflowers.
The hike goes back and left down through the Val da Morts via Rezgia to Riom. After passing Riom Castle, you are on your way to Lai Barnagn, a bathing lake in Savognin where you can swim and engage in other sports activities.
Hiking Path: Savognin – Tigignas – Rodas – Salaschigns – Rodas – Prada Setga – Cresta da Lai – Radons – Val da Morts – Rezgia – Riom – Savognin
Final Thoughts: Val da Morts
Val da Morts is an amazingly beautiful place that gets almost no tourists. It’s certainly a hidden gem in Switzerland. Almost nothing is written about it. Even though it’s small, you can walk to it in an hour from Salouf in Switzerland. It’s also accessible from Savognin.
Check out Val da Morts if you can. It’s pretty and peaceful.