Monte San Giorgio: a sea of memories

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:Meride - Museum
Point of arrival:Meride - Museum
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:439 m
Hiking time:4h25
Length:12.3 km
Season:March to November
Catering:Capolago, Riva S. Vitale, Meride, Serpiano, Alpe di Brusino
Accommodation:Capolago, Riva S. Vitale, Serpiano
Various:Church of Santa Croce in Riva S. Vitale, Fossil Museum in Meride


Meride - Spinirolo - Crocifisso - Serpiano - Alpe di Brusino - Pianascio - Pissarda - Albertina - Meride

A didactic offer in nature makes the complex, geo-paleontological history of Monte San Giorgio more lively; this area has been recognised by UNESCO as having universal value.
A circular route at average altitude passes near to the Fossil Museum. On the Swiss side the circular route is 12.3 km long, with access from Brusino Arsizio, Riva San Vitale and Meride. On the Italian side the path is connected to the Swiss one and is accessible from Besano, Porto Ceresio and Viggiù. About twenty didactic panels along both paths illustrate the exceptional features of the place, leading the visitor through the fossil levels which make the mountain one of the most important in the world; they also narrate of the happenings which have given the mountain its origins over a period of about 350 million years.

Tour Overview

3D hiking map Download GPX coordinates Download KMZ (GoogleEarth)





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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