The Valley of the Sun Crossing the Blenio Valley on the Trekking del Sole trail.




In northern Ticino, between Biasca and the Lukmanier Pass, lies a hidden gem: The Blenio Valley, also known as the Valley of the Sun. A new world opens up here, far from the well-known cities of Ticino. Rugged mountain landscape meets Mediterranean flair. This is a particularly harmonious blend best discovered on the Trekking del Sole tour. This multi-day tour combines the most beautiful hiking trails of the valley.

The Blenio Valley

The Blenio Valley stretches between Biasca and the Lukmanier Pass in northern Ticino. Here, time seems to stand still. The rugged mountain landscape meets southern flair. In a region with a tradition of winegrowing and cultural treasures, a combination of history, landscape and culinary delights create an unforgettable experience.

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Blenio Valley
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A little-known gem


When you think of Ticino, you usually think of Locarno, Lugano or Bellinzona. Yet there is so much more to be discovered. It is worth travelling away from the towns into the small side valleys. The journey from Bellinzona to Biasca is a short one. Here the Blenio Valley branches off in an easterly direction. This valley offers a sense of Ticino as it originally was. Much is unchanged since centuries ago. There is no motorway or train line into the valley. Anyone who comes here should take their time. Time to see the valley in all its splendour. Time to soak up the magic. And time to relax. 

Valle del Sole, the Valley of the Sun

Green meadows, colourful wildflowers, rugged mountain peaks, magical forests - all under a bright blue sky. It may sound like a picture book, but in Blenio Valley this is the reality. A true idyll, also known as the Valle del Sole or Valley of the Sun. Thanks to the countless hours of sunshine, even winegrowing thrives on the valley floor. It’s not just the nature and culinary delights of the Blenio Valley that are impressive. It also offers a wide range of cultural activities. From ethnological museums to art galleries and chocolate museums, you’ll find it all here. 

Angela Canepa, a native of the Blenio Valley

She grew up in the Blenio Valley and still lives there. Angela is an avid nature lover. She spends as much time as she can outdoors. A spontaneous hike after work? Or maybe a short bike tour? Angela will be there. 

Blenio Valley, Hiking

Sun trekking


The best way to discover the most beautiful places in the Blenio Valley is on foot. The multi-day Trekking del Sole, or sun trekking trail, connects the most beautiful hiking trails and huts in the Blenio Valley. In six leisurely daily stages, the long-distance hiking trail takes you through dense forests, past Ticino mountain villages, along deep blue mountain lakes and over Alpine passes. 

  • 6 days The length of the time Trekking del Sole hikers are on the move.
  • 60 kilometres The total distance travelled during the Trekking del Sole tour.
  • 4200 metres total ascent Although it sounds like a lot, this is actually quite feasible when spread over six days.

From the Capanna Quarnei to the Capanna Adula CAS

It’s a balmy summer morning. The grass is still damp from the previous night’s dew. Angela has already had breakfast. She is ready for the second stage of the Trekking del Sole. With her trusty hiking rucksack in hand, Angela makes her way to the boot room. She packs her hut slippers away and laces up her hiking boots. Time to get started. Today’s stage starts at a leisurely pace. We first go straight ahead to Alpe Quarnei. 

Angela meets other visitors at Alpe Quarnei: a herd of horses.
  • 6.2 kilometres Located between the Capanna Quarnei and the Capanna Adula CAS.
  • 630 metres The total ascent to reach today’s destination.
  • 3 hours Angela’s actual hiking time.

From the alp, the trail first leads gently uphill along a stream. But it soon becomes steeper. The path meanders upwards in a constant zigzag. The higher Angela climbs, the rockier it gets. At almost 2400 metres, it’s worth taking a short break. The path becomes a little flatter here and offers a wonderful view back into Val Malvaglia. The last 250 metres up to the Passo del Laghetto are challenging. Between stones and scree, the route goes straight up the mountain. 

Top of the pass with surprises


A completely new world opens up at the top of the pass. The small mountain lake known as Laghetto dei Cadabi nestles beautifully in the surroundings. This enchanting lake is one of the highest in Ticino. Time for a fearless jump into the ice-cold mountain lake before the tour continues. The path leads gently downhill to the moraine of the Adula Glacier. Climate change is also evident here. Unfortunately, there is not much left of the glacier. Nevertheless, the view up to the Adula, the highest peak in Ticino, is impressive. 

Arrival at the day’s destination


The Adula SAC hut is visible even from afar. It is perched on a rocky outcrop like an eagle’s nest. A smile spreads across Angela’s face. She is looking forward to a cosy evening in the hut. The Adula Hut has all the charm of a traditional mountain hut. The stone building and its rustic living room tell stories of times gone by. Over the years, the 24 bunks have accommodated thousands of hikers. This will be Angela’s bed for the night. After registering in the hut, she enjoys the last rays of sunshine outside.

There is nothing to beat that relaxing feeling after a day’s hike.

During supper in the hut, Angela sits at the table with other mountaineers and hikers. The simple three-course meal of salad, a hot main course and dessert tastes even better after a day of hiking. Angela is always impressed by what the simply furnished kitchen can conjure up with just a few ingredients. She also enjoys the company of like-minded people. The discussions are inspiring and motivating. Hiking in the fresh air makes you tired. Angela soon retires to her bedroom and slips into her hut sleeping bag. 

The hike continues.


Fresh air blows through the window into the bedroom. Refreshed, Angela packs up her things. After breakfast, Angela pulls on her hiking boots in preparation for the next stage. From the Capanna Adula CAS, the trail leads through the lovely Carassino Valley. Along the Carassina stream, the gravel trail descends gently through the wide valley. The landscape is in stark contrast to the previous stage. There are no rugged rocks and cliffs to be found here. Lush green pastures, alpine roses and conifers characterise the scene. 

Alpine cheese and man-made lakes

The Alpe della Bolla is almost at the end of the valley. If you like dairy produce, you should definitely try the Alpine cheese. Passing alongside the Carassina reservoir, the path soon leads through a tunnel. Angela then catches sight of the turquoise blue water. The Luzzone reservoir winds its way deep into the valley. Just imagine the strength of the dam have to hold back all that water. After a few tight bends, Angela reaches the dam wall. 

Climbing the dam


The Luzzone dam wall is 160 metres high. If you look closely, you can see small colourful handles in the wall. Can you really climb the dam wall here? Yes you can. There are around 650 holds in the climbing wall from bottom to top. Enthusiastic and experienced climbers can conquer the wall in five pitches. An unrivalled challenge. The climbing wall is the longest artificial climbing route in the world.  

Angela watches in awe as two young climbers scale the wall. She used to climb herself, but today the 160 metre ascent is too much. Nonetheless she shares in the excitement. It's great to see two men, both so young, conquering the climbing wall together. Angela congratulates them and then retires to the quiet lake shore. 

Pure idyll


After the adrenaline rush from watching the climbers, Angela enjoys a short break at the reservoir. There is no wind. The surrounding mountains are reflected in the smooth lake. Silence reigns. Only the song of birds can be heard. Just relax. Angela continues her hike in this relaxed mood. Today’s destination is the Capanna Motterascio CAS. 

Blenio Valley, Luzzone Reservoir