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The gateway to the South: Here the railway tunnel (inaugurated 1882) and road tunnel (inaugurated 1980) enter the Leventina Valley and lead to Bisaca. Airolo, located at 1141 meters in the southern foothills of the Gotthard Pass, provides access to the Bedretto Valley, from where one gets via the Nufenen Pass to the neighboring Canton of Valais, or via the San Giacomo Pass (hiking trail only) to the Italian Formazza Valley.

The history of Airolo is closely linked with the history of traffic across and through the Gotthard Massif. In spite of the stresses caused by transit traffic, Airolo is a much-visited vacation resort.


The Airolo skiing area extends from 1141 to 2256 meters above sea level. At Pesciüm one gets a direct view of the St. Gotthard Massif. There are 30 kilometers of pistes with a breathtaking panorama. Two aerial cable cars, three ski lifts and one chairlift take snow riders to the runs of Sasso della Boggia, Comascnè and Varozzei. Besides the Airolo-Pesciüm lift, there are the small ski lifts of Lüina near the village, as well as Cioss Prato in the Bedretto Valley. Both places are ideal for families.

In the Bedrotto Valley, ski hikers as well as cross-country skiers find a variety of trails and cross-country tracks on the Piota Plain and in Pesciüm.


In the summer, Airolo is the ideal starting point for hiking tours: The Trans Swiss Trail and SchweizMobil’s Alpine Pass Trail intersect here with the Strada alta Leventina, a mountain road leading to the South, the Strada degli alpi and the Passo di Cristallina in the direction of the Maggia Valley - all are well-known routes. The mountain huts Cristallina, Corno Gries, Piansecco, Cadlimo and Cadagno or the steep funicular to the Ritom region are desirable excursion destinations accessible from Airolo.

Interesting hydropower sites are also found in this area, for example, the feeder canal of Favre, which used to take the spring water up to the entrance of the railway tunnel. Remains can still be discovered.


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