Fossil mountain in the southern Ticino

San Giorgio

Even though Monte San Giorgio was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003, neither the mountain nor anything around it has changed at all. Fossils up to 240 million years old – often in perfect condition – are concealed within this mountain. Some of the impressive findings can be admired in the Fossil Museum in Meride.

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Technical information

Begin of tour:Capolago station - Riva S. Vitale
Point of arrival:Capolago station - Riva S. Vitale
Access starting point:Regional trains from Bellinzona, Lugano, Chiasso
Access point of arrival:Regional trains to Bellinzona, Lugano, Chiasso
Technical requirements:Medium difficulty
Physical fitness:Medium difficulty
Altitude gain:766 m
Hiking time:4h25
Length:12.3 km
Season:March to November
Catering:Capolago, Riva S. Vitale, Meride
Accommodation:Capolago, Riva S. Vitale
Various:Church of Santa Croce in Riva S. Vitale, Fossil Museum in Meride


Capolago - Riva S. Vitale - San Giorgio - Meride - Riva S. Vitale - Capolago

The first part of the transnational walk leads from the station in Capolago along the road to Riva S. Vitale. The actual climb up to the San Giorgio begins up by the Church of Santa Croce, which can be seen for miles around. A narrow and often very steep path leads up through chestnut woods to a ridge. Then the path levels out a little and a short time later you reach the summit. Following the signs to Meride, you walk down mainly on an old narrow pass. Then down from Meride to Riva S. Vitale it gets quite tricky again. Finally, you go back along the road to the station in Capolago.

Tour Overview

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The careful planning of a tour will ensure that you also derive the maximum pleasure and enjoyment from it. Please take the time to contact the local information centre and enquire about route and weather conditions before setting off. Your intended trail may be fully or partially closed, depending on the time of year and weather conditions.

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