Ruine of Steinsberg Castle

These ruins, the emblem of Ardez, stand on a rocky outcrop and offer glorious panoramic views.

The castle ruins are the landmark of Ardez.

Ruine of Steinsberg Castle
Zoom map

Albergo Palazzo Gamboni

The Lombardian mansion with French style elements is a proud jewel situated in the village of Comologno at the end of the Onsernone Valley.

The magnificent Palazzo was built in the mid-18th century. Following a gentle renovation and a modern extension, this extraordinary historic hotel now offers five rooms for true rest and relaxation. In-house whirlpool, sauna and massage treatments. The village of Comologno was once a meeting point of many artists such as Max Ernst and Elias Canetti. It is idyllically located in the Onsernone Valley above Locarno. Ideal for hiking and mountaineering. The hotel is managed by an innovative and dedicated team.

Albergo Palazzo Gamboni
Zoom map

The "Poyas" Trail

"Poya" is the local word for the route taken by the cows to the alpine pastures in summer. The tour takes nearly 4 hours and is 15 km long. The starting point is the railway station in Estavannens. From there, the route goes via Grandvillard to Lessoc. The church in Lessoc has an ancient carved wooden ceiling and noteworthy frescoes. In the centre of the village is a fountain with a well-known legend attached to it.

In the Intyamon valley, the “poya” is the annual ascent of farmers and cattle to the high pastures – a scene depicted in naïve paintings on wood that hang over the cowshed doors of many farms.

The
Zoom map

From the Romans to Botta

The Bishop’s Castle (“Bischofsschloss”) with its glass dome designed by Mario Botta towers in solitary splendour over the valley floor. The castle, which was first mentioned in a document dating from 1254, was the summer residence for bishops, and a gaol and torture chamber for scoundrels and criminals.

The Romans called it Leuca Fortis – “strong Leuk” – and until the 19th century this was one of the ecclesiastical and cultural centres of the Valais. Defiant towers, castles and fine patrician houses bear witness to the former strength, self-confidence and determination of the community. The emblematic Bishop’s Castle (built 1254), town hall, late-gothic St. Stephen’s Church (with its romanesque tower and roman fi replace) and baroque Ringacker Chapel can be seen for miles around.

From the Romans to Botta
Zoom map