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Foroglio and the Beautiful villages of Val Bavona (Detailed information on how to explore)

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

The view of Foroglio (How to reach foroglio)

Foroglio: The true example of a sublime natural beauty where all you can hear is a euphonious medley of nature and all you can see is a heavenly view of a village veiled in a mist. Its dreamy environs certainly make you forget all your worries and surrender to the true realm of mother nature. Blessed are those who reside there!

Foroglio is probably the most beautiful Helmet in Switzerland and undoubtedly the most picturesque one in the country as it is situated on a picture-perfect mountainous landscape and the footstep of a majestic waterfall that contributes to the picture-perfect frame of a Village. Being in Foroglio indeed gives a feel of being in the primitive times when people used to live in stone houses without electricity. Foroglio is one of the very few places in Europe that has maintained its primitive and simple way of living without a continuous supply of electricity. Their only source of electricity is through their own solar panels.     

Foroglio is hidden between the Valley of Val Bavona in Ticino Canton of Switzerland. The Valley of Val Bavona is truly blessed with natural beauty. Often many people come to Val Bavona to visit Foroglio but the most common mistake most people make is they only visit Foroglio and they ignore the other hidden Gems of the valley. Indeed, the Foroglio is a must-visit destination of Ticino canton but other villages are as beautiful as Foroglio.

In this article, we will take you through everything you need to know to explore Foroglio and other villages of Val Bavona including what to see, how to reach, important information on public transport, the best places to stay in or around Foroglio.

So let’s Begin our journey back in time!

1. Val Bavona Valley:

View of Foroglio Waterfall (How to reach foroglio)

Val Bavona Valley is a 10 Km long picturesque valley that starts from the village called Bignasco Posta and ends in San Carlo. Most of the villages of the valley do not have a running supply of electricity. They manage the electricity through Solar panels and heating through the traditional Masonry chimneys where they use wood as a fuel. 

Settlements of Val Bavana were started somewhere in 1000 AD despite the difficult terrain and the rocky soil which is not so friendly for cultivation. However, somehow, Humans managed to pass through difficulties and managed to survive. After the modern development, not many people live in the old villages of Val Bavona, they have moved to nearby places where there is a running electricity supply available like Bignasco Posta and Cavergno. The old villages now are mainly used as a summer abode by the locals.

The old villages of Val Bavona are now popular tourist attractions where people from around the world visit to explore the ancient villages of the valley. There are around 12 villages namely Mondada, Fontana, Alnedo, Sabbione, Ritorto, Foroglio, Roseto, Fontanellata, Faedo, Bolla, Sonlerto and San Carlo. All these villages are scattered in around 10 KM and most of them are deserted or used only as summer abodes by locals. Out of these 12 villages, the most picturesque villages in Val Bavona Valley to visit are Foroglio, Sonletro and Ritorto.

2. Foroglio

View of Foroglio (How to reach foroglio)

Foroglio is undoubtedly the best place to Visit in Val Bavona and one of the best in the whole of Switzerland (thanks to increasing the popularity of this place on Instagram). The village has very few houses and a church is in the middle where the waterfall in the background contributes to the breathtaking scenery and makes a picture-perfect frame. All the houses in the Foroglio are old stone houses that have been traditionally used in the region since primitive times which continues till today. Few locals stay there for the whole time; however, many use their houses as a summer abode or holiday resort. There is only one restaurant available in the village called La Froda which typically operates during the peak season from the End of March till the end of October every year. There is also only one hotel or apartment in the village that operates from spring to Autumn. In winter not many people visit Forgolio and therefore, there is no public transport available to visit Foroglio during Winter.  

People in Foroglio live a primitive lifestyle to live in stone houses without electricity or gas. In fact, Locals prefers to live their life in a primitive way. For sure, many of us will love to do that to avoid a modern and hectic lifestyle.

Foroglio is a small village and all you can do is walk and explore the hidden alleyways of the village and look for the breathtaking view of a waterfall.

Pin this Google Map location for the best frame for a view of the Waterfall and Village together:

In the footsteps of the Foroglio, you can reach the picturesque waterfall of Foroglio (Locals call it a Cascata di Foroglio) which falls from a height of 110 Meters. It can be easily reached by walking in a few minutes. As soon as you cross the bridge to enter the village, you can simply take a left turn towards the path leading to the waterfall (look for the yellow direction boards where it is written as a Cascata di Foroglio). To get the views from the top of the waterfall, you can also hike for 1 hour to reach the top. The hiking path starts as soon as you reach the end of a village.

How much time is required to Explore Foroglio

Foroglio can be explored and fully enjoyed in a half day or 3 to 5 hours depending on your pace. However, if you choose to hike to the top of the waterfall and want to bathe in the waterfall, then you would need more time.

How to reach Foroglio

Foroglio can be easily reached by car or by public buses from the nearest town of Locarno. It is located around 35 km from Locarno. Locarno is connected by a good network of trains from Nearby big cities.

How to reach Foroglio by Public Transport:
How to reach foroglio

To get to the Foroglio by public transport, first, you need to get to the Locarno which is a beautiful town situated on the coast of Lake Maggiore. Locarno can be easily reached by trains from nearby big cities like Milan and Zurich as Locarno has direct train connectivity. Milan to Locarno takes 1 hour and 50 Minutes by train whereas Zurich to Locarno takes around 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Foroglio is connected by a series of public buses from Locarno. To reach Foroglio by public bus, you need to follow the following route: -

  • Take Bus Number 315 towards the direction of Cavergno from Locarno Train station. In around 45 to 50 Minutes, your bus will reach Bignasco Posta where you need to get down. Bus 315 typically runs every 30 Minutes from Locarno.

  • From Bignasco Posta, catch bus number 333 towards the direction of S. Carlo (Bavana), Funivia. In around 10 Minutes, bus number 333 will take you to Foroglio.

Important Note: Remember that the bus between Bignasco Posta to Foroglio has a very limited frequency as it typically runs around 5 times a day and operates only from 1st April to 31st October every year. Therefore, always remember to carefully check the bus connections and accordingly plan your trip to Foroglio.

How to reach Foroglio by Car

Foroglio can be easily reached by car as there is good road connectivity from Locarno. The journey from Locarno to Foroglio is scenic as it offers beautiful views of the valley and numerous waterfalls in between where you can stop to take wonderful pictures.

(Take this route from Google Maps: to reach Foroglio from Locarno by car)

There is a large parking area available in Foroglio at the entrance of the village where you can park your car.

3. Sonlerto

Sonlerto (How to reach foroglio)

Sonlerto: A little hobbit village in Switzerland, is another picturesque Gem in the Ticino canton that deserves a visit in addition to Foroglio.  It is located just around 4Km far from Foroglio toward the direction of San Carlo. Sonlerto village was initially formed by the houses built in the huge boulders. Some are built by carving the Boulders and some are even built beneath the boulders. The only known reason to build such houses in Boulders is to preserve the limited land for cultivation. Presently, these old hobbit houses can be seen all over the village. These boulder houses are called “splüi” by locals.     

Sonlerto Village is located beneath the picturesque settings of Val Bavana Valley. The unique and calm ambience combined with the beautiful views of nature makes you spend more and more time in this quaint village. Sonlerto also has a little waterfall that falls in the valley from a height of around 110 meters. The waterfall adds more charm to the picture-perfect setting of Sonlerto village.

Sonlerto village can be easily explored by walking, even if you have a limited time left after exploring Foroglio, don’t forget to Visit Sonlerto as it will take only 1 hour to explore completely. Of course, if you have more time, this village deserves at least half a day of your trip to enjoy its beautiful ambience.

How to reach sonlerto?

The Sonlerto is located just 4 KM away from Foroglio towards the direction of S. Carlo (Bavana), Funivia. It can also be reached by the same bus (Number 333) that you need to take to reach Foroglio from Bignasco Posta.


4. Ritorto

View of Ritorto (How to reach foroglio)

Ritorto is another picturesque village in Val Bavana that deserves your visit in addition to Foroglio. Ritorto is so picturesque that it would definitely make you stop to take a picture if you are passing by. The village of Ritorto is located just 800 meters away from Foroglio toward the direction of Bignasco Posta.

Being located close to Foroglio, the Foroglio waterfall can be clearly viewed from Ritorto village, and it contributes to the picture-perfect frame of the quaint village between the valleys. Ritorto is a very small village with a little church in the heart of the town and very few locals. Most of the houses are deserted or being used as a summer abode by locals.

Ritorto is one of the most impacted villages in Val Bavana that was stricken by the continuous flooded river. However, the stoned houses remained intact even after the strong floods that devasted the valley over the centuries.

Ritordo has no hotels and restaurants and only locals stay there during the summer period.  

How to Reach Ritorto?

The Ritorto is located just 800 Meters away from Foroglio towards the direction of Bignasco Posta. It can also be reached by the same bus (Number 333) that you need to take to reach Foroglio from Bignasco Posta.

Bonus tips for Exploring Val Bavona Valley: -

View of Roman bridge (How to reach foroglio)
  • Look for the picturesque Roman Bridge called Chial Fontana. It offers a wonderful view of a waterfall called Cascata di Cranzunasc and a river flowing beneath the bridge. Google map location:

  • Private vehicle is the most convenient option to explore Bavona Valley due to the limited or no frequencies of public transport.

  • If you want a taxi or hire a private vehicle in Val Bavona, look for a tour agency with the name Mattei Viaggi SAGL in Bigansco Posta. They are very helpful and have great knowledge of the valley. Google Map Location:

  • If you are dependent on public transport, then don’t visit Val Bavona from the Beginning of November 2023 till the end of March 2023 since there is no public transport to visit Val Bavona during these months.


Where to Stay in Foroglio or Val Bavona

Where to stay in Foroglio

Foroglio and Vally of Val Bavona come to life only during the summer months of the year. Therefore, if you are visiting Foroglio and Val Bavona, it is always better to stay in Locarno instead of the valley itself. Valley is easily reachable by Buses or cars from Locarno. We have mentioned some of the best picks to stay in Locarno.


1. Hotel Lago Maggiore:

The hotel situated very close to the train station is one of the most convenient picks if you are exploring Val Bavona or Foroglio by public transport. The Hotel is among the top-rated ones in the city with spacious rooms, delicious breakfast and friendly staff. 


2. Hotel Belvedere Locarno: 

The Luxurious pick for a stay in Locarno offers a spacious room and a huge Balcony with fantastic views of the city and Maggiore Lake. It is a little bit more pricey than other choices but worth every penny.


3. Hotel Millennium: 

If you are looking for a stay with views then nothing can beat the views offered by Hotel Millennium in Locarno. The hotel is situated very close to the lake and rooms offer mesmerizing views of Lake Maggiore. Also, the rooms are available on a pocket-friendly budget.


4. Al Pozz Boutique Resort: 

Another top pick offering fantastic views in Locarno, Al Pozz Boutique Resort also offers luxurious rooms at affordable prices. It is also one of the top-rated hotels in Locarno.


5. Hotel City Locarno: 

The top-rated hotel situated in the heart of the city is another highly recommended hotel to stay in Locarno. The hotel is top-rated for its location, friendly staff, and spacious rooms.


We hope that you liked this article. Please hit the like button if you do. If you have any questions about visiting Foroglio or any other places in Switzerland or Europe, then do let us know in the comments section. We will be very happy to help you. Also, subscribe to our page to get updates on such unique travel content.

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