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The Scenic Village of Foroglio, Switzerland

Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Darla Uhl

Foroglio, Switzerland, is a captivating village nestled within the picturesque Bavona Valley in the region of Ticino, Switzerland. It is a place you’ve probably seen on Instagram more than once. The area is very scenic and popular, and it’s not hard to see why. In this article, we will discuss the scenic village of Foroglio, Switzerland.

Image of Foroglio Village with a Waterfall Behind
Image of Foroglio, Switzerland by TouringSwitzerland.com

Foroglio is in Val Bavona, Switzerland. The valley is also among the steepest and rockiest in the entire Alpine region. It features simple, stone houses called Rustici, plus an amazing waterfall as a backdrop. Located in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, it is ranked among the most beautiful villages to visit along with Morcote and Corippo.

Foroglio, Switzerland is a small village away from the hustle and bustle of the larger cities and towns of Ticino, such as Lugano, Bellinzona, and Locarno. The beauty of this place comes from its peace, which allows you to slow down and enjoy it all.

While it is becoming more and more popular over time, the site is rather secluded and would take time for a tourist to reach. It is not one of the first stops for tourists and remains largely a hidden gem.


Where is Foroglio, Switzerland located?

The town of Foroglio lies in Bavona Valley (Val Bavona), arguably the wildest one among the valleys of Ticino. This spectacular side valley is part of the Maggia Valley in the Vallemaggia District. The whole region is part of the Lepontine Alps – a mountain range that covers various parts of Switzerland (Valais, Ticino, Uri, Graubünden) and Italy (Piedmont and Lombardy). 

In this valley runs the Bavona River, a 19-kilometer river with the same name.

Here’s a beautiful spot in Mondada near Grotto Baloi restaurant – a stone bridge. The rustic bridge spans the Bavona River.

Stone Bridge in Mondada
Gorgeous Stone Bridge in Mondada. Image by TouringSwitzerland.com

Let’s talk more about Bavona Valley now.

This place, a trough valley, is lined with granite walls left and right. The Bavona Valley has seen massive rocks fall from mountains time and time again. Sometimes the granite boulders are as big as houses. Locals then build new houses next to the stones after they fall. Locals refer to it as Splui. As such, it is no surprise that the houses in this area are built from stone. 

Stones, waterfalls, and forests are some of the things you’ll find in Bavona Valley. 

The valley begins in Bignasco and continues northwest. San Carlo marks the end of the valley. Twelve places make up this area: 

  • Mondada
  • Fontana
  • Alnedo
  • Sabbione
  • Ritorto
  • Foroglio
  • Roseto
  • Fontanellata
  • Faedo
  • Bolla
  • Sonlerto
  • San Carlo

 Below is a picture of one of them – Ritorto.

Ritorto Hamlet in Val Bavona
Image of Ritorto, Val Bavona by TouringSwitzerland.com

The valley begins in Bignasco and goes northwest. The valley ends at San Carlo. If you are in San Carlo, you can also take the cable car up to Robiei for a panoramic view. This valley feels rather quiet compared to the rest of the canton. The majority of villages (or hamlets) are not inhabited.

Only the main village of Cavergno has residents. This is a result of a variety of factors, but most of them are related to electricity (or the lack thereof) and the economic status of the valley.

Bavona Valley
Image typical of Bavona Valley by TouringSwitzerland.com

Bavona Valley, despite producing electricity from its three power plants and three reservoir lakes, doesn’t have an official power grid due to protective measures. The sole sources of energy for residents are solar cells, gasoline, small water turbines, candles, and petroleum.

As a result, residents choose not to live there due to harsh living conditions. Holiday homes or seasonal residences dominate this area. 


How Do I Get to Foroglio, Switzerland?

Foroglio Switzerland and the River
The image was taken in Foroglio, Switzerland by TouringSwitzerland.com

You will need to take a bus from Locarno to Bignasco, Posta. In Bignasco, you will have to change to the bus that goes to S. Carlo (Bavona). Following this route, you will get off at Foroglio, Bavona

The bus line is available from April to October. Please check the availability on sbb.ch in any case.

Traveling by bus from Locarno to Foroglio takes 1 hour and 11 minutes.

You can reach Foroglio by car from Locarno or Ascona. Simply take Via Valle Maggia and follow the main road through Maggia and Cevio until you arrive at Foroglio. It takes 44 minutes to drive from Locarno by car.  

Nearby, Foroglio offers parking spaces for car visitors. Parking is limited, so finding a spot might prove challenging if it’s busy. If you’re contemplating renting a car, consider browsing the RentalCars website.

Depending on the weather conditions and your level of interest, you can also hike through the Bavona Valley via Cristallinapass. There is a long-distance hiking trail called Sentiero Cristallina (Hiking Route 59) that goes from Airolo to Bignasco or vice versa. Alternatively, you can do a shorter version of this hike. 


Things to Do in Foroglio, Switzerland

The Foroglio Waterfall is the highlight of Foroglio, Switzerland. Foroglio Waterfall plunges from 108 meters high down the rock. This picturesque location is set within a beautiful village filled with stone houses.

Image of Foroglio Switzerland with a Waterfall Behind
Image of Foroglio Waterfalls, Ticino by TouringSwitzerland.com

Also, you can wander around the little village, take pictures, and explore the houses. One thing I noticed was that some houses sold little souvenirs.

The stone houses are scattered throughout the village. Made of local stone, the houses are well-preserved and provide visitors with a glimpse into the traditional architecture of this secluded idyll.

There is also a little chapel in this area called the Oratorio di Foroglio. The Oratorio di Foroglio is a modest chapel in terms of size and appearance. While its exterior may appear simple, the interior reveals a captivating painting adorning the ceiling and intricate white designs throughout. This painting, rich in detail and artistry, serves as a focal point that draws the eye upward and invites contemplation.

If you’re feeling athletic, you can make the hike up to Val Calnègia, which is located about 100 meters above Bavona. You can only access Val Calnègia on foot. The scenic trail leads to Alp Puntid before you reach the high plateau where the Fiume Calnegia River flows. The scenery, a submerged creek, and the bizarre buildings are worth the trek to this isolated valley.


Where Can We Eat in Foroglio, Switzerland?

A restaurant called La Froda can be found right at the entrance of the village of Foroglio for those who wish to eat. The restaurant serves local food from Ticino such as Brasato di Manzo, Polenta, Pizzoccheri, Torta di Pane, and Panna Cotta, as well as drinks. You may even take home some of their products such as Polenta, Codighe, and Cheese.

As it has a very nice outdoor seating area, it also has a great view of the waterfalls and the village. It is worth a visit. 


Final Thoughts

Switzerland’s Foroglio is a scenic spot in the Italian-speaking region of Ticino. It is well worth a visit, especially if you are staying in Locarno or Ascona during your holiday.

Foroglio is located in the rocky, trough-shaped Bavona Valley. Waterfalls, stone houses, and granite walls abound in this valley. Despite not being as popular as Verzasca Valley, Bavona Valley is equally beautiful. There are even those who claim it is more beautiful.

It is worth a visit to Foroglio, Switzerland. This small village can be toured in less than one hour if you want to, but it is truly worth the trip.

If you would like to discover the other amazing valleys of Ticino, you can check out our article 5 Best Amazing Valleys in Ticino, Switzerland.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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