Discover the beauty of the traverse taking you from Monte Tamaro to Monte Lema. You’ll face a challenging hike but one which offers breath-taking views over both the Locarno and Lugano regions, and their valleys and lakes. Along the route you’ll come across the spectacular Santa Maria degli Angeli church, designed by renowned architect Mario Botta, as it reaches out towards infinity. In addition: adventure parks, paragliding… where else can you find all of this?
The excursion starts in Rivera, from where you can reach the Alpe Foppa (at 1530m) in just a few minutes thanks to a cableway. Here you'll find the Santa Maria degli Angeli church, designed by Architect Mario Botta during the 1990s: it has always attracted those with a fascination for architecture, and for many this is the sole reason for their visit, to admire both the decisive lines of the building, leaning out towards infinity, and Enzo Cucchi's paintings which adorn it.
But the Tamaro region offers a multitude of opportunities for sport too, including an adventure-park, coaster bob, paragliding, mountain biking and Nordic-walking. As if all this weren't enough, the restaurants, culture and the sheer diversity of the place make it an exceptional destination for amusement and recreation.
To start the traverse you climb toward the Tamaro Summit (1962m) which you reach in around an hour, to be met with some magnificent views. This is the beginning of a sinuous but not too challenging route along the crest of the mountain, crossing summits, slopes and alpages, which takes you to Monte Lema in the Malcantone region (at 1620m). The entire route offers spectacular views north over Lake Maggiore, Centovalli, Verzasca, Vallemaggia, Locarno and Bellinzona, while to the south you can admire Lugano with its valleys and lake. In addition, the most commanding summits of the Alps, including Monte Rosa and Matterhorn, stand out in the distance.
This is a four and a half hour itinerary between Ticino and Italy requiring some degree of fitness, not so much because its level of difficulty (it's classified as a T2) but rather because of its duration. From the Lema you can go down to Miglieglia in comfort using the cableway. Alpe Foppa offers accommodation and food, as do others on Monte Tamaro and Monte Lema. However, you'll need to take a good reserve of water, as along the path sources are very restricted. Proper mountain equipment is also recommended.
To explore the route, we recommend buying the official maps of the Federal Office of Topography Swisstopo. In addition, the following website map.geo.admin.ch offers constantly updated data.
- Waterproof clothing, light and warm
- Hiking boots
- Gloves, sun cap, change of clothes
- Backpack maximum 5-8 kg
- First aid kit with penknife
- Sleeping bag for overnight in alpine hut
- Torch, sunglasses, sun cream, water-bottle
- Hiking map/topographic map
- Raincover for backpacks
Montagnepulite: This project was born to promote an effective management and sustainable use of mountain huts in Ticino, and in particular the litter management. The responsible management of litter in the mountains is a matter of common sense. We can all contribute: https://www.montagnepulite.ch/en/golden-rules
It is also possible to start the excursion directly from the Rivera parking area (at 554 m), as well as alighting at the Piano di Mora (1150m) intermediate cableway station, from where you can continue up towards Alpe Foppa (1530m).
Many trekkers prefer the crossing starting from Monte Lema towards Monte Tamaro. In this case, it is recommended that you organise your return route to Miglieglia before traveling, checking the possibilities offered by public transport.
During the summer a shuttle bus service allows you to return to the starting point with a combined ticket which may be purchased at the desks of the respective stations before 11:30am. We suggest starting in Rivera and purchasing the ticket with combined entry to the super new Splash & Spa water centre, so you can enjoy some deserved relaxation after the trek.