This five-day hike takes you to four mountain huts, past numerous lakes and the ice masses of the Basòdino glacier through the breathtaking natural landscape of the southern Alpine region. The surrounding landscape is home to a rich flora and fauna with rare plants and sparkling rock crystals to discover along the way.
The tour starts and ends in the picturesque village of Fusio (or "Füs" in the local dialect). Fusio is the highest village in the upper Maggia Valley at 1,289 m a.s.l. The first day of the new circular tour covers a stretch of 12 km (6.5 hours) and is the most challenging leg of the tour with an elevation gain of 1,760 m and a loss of 1,060 m. The destination of the first leg is the Capanna Poncione di Braga at 2,000 m, a self-catering hut with cooking facilities. On day two, the trail passes countless mountain lakes, covering a stretch of 9.5 km (elevation gain: 840 m; elevation loss: 990 m; 4.5 hours) to Capanna Basòdino in Robiei, located at the foot of the glacier of the same name. There, hut warden Niccolò Scarselli cooks polenta in a cauldron over an open fire, as in olden times, which he serves with succulent spare ribs. On day three, the tour takes you into Italy to the Maria Luisa mountain hut in the upper Formazza Valley, where tired hikers can enjoy a risotto Milanese (distance: 9.2 km; elevation gain: 810 m; elevation loss: 500 m; 4 hours). On day four, the tour crosses the San Giacomo Pass back into Switzerland and takes you to the modern Capanna Cristallina (distance: 13 km; elevation gain: 1090 m; elevation loss: 680 m; 5.5 hours). Designed by architects Baserga and Mozzetti, the Alpine Club hut was inaugurated in 2003 and is located on the Cristallina Pass at an altitude of 2,572 m. From there you can enjoy another breathtaking view of the Basòdino glacier, before making your way back down to Fusio past Lake Naret and the Sambuco reservoir for the last leg of the tour through largely pristine nature (distance: 17 km; elevation gain: 660 m; elevation loss: 1,880 m; 6 hours).