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Hiking at Lake Robiei and glacier in Ticino, at the end of Vallemaggia (val Bavona), San Carlo

Embarking on these captivating journeys to Lake Robiei, Lake Zott, and Lake Cavagno (Cavagnöö) is an invitation to immerse yourself in the unparalleled beauty of the Swiss Alps. Each step you take unveils a new facet of nature's splendour, whether it's a leisurely stroll around a serene lake, a convenient walk along a paved road, or a rewarding hike to a picturesque alpine jewel. Whether you're seeking tranquillity, stunning vistas, or the thrill of adventure, these experiences offer a harmonious blend of exploration and appreciation for the natural world. As you stand at the shores of these pristine lakes, take a moment to savour the profound connection between yourself and the magnificent surroundings that have welcomed your presence.

If you are driving, put San Carlo, Ticino in your GPS or take the bus or you can use a bicycle.

Drive time from Brissago to San Carlo: 1hr

Cable Car: 25 min

Distance 47km

Fun factor: Very high

Family Trip with kids: yes

Adventure grade: high

Difficulty Level:

  • low if you stay on the paved roads

  • medium if you go further outside easy paths

  • high if you go glacier

Hiking Activities:

  • Lake Robiei Exploration: Start your adventure by hiking from the cable car station to Lake Robiei. Once there, you can enjoy an easy walk around the lake, which takes around 5 minutes. Don't miss the chance to take a short 5-minute stroll to the dam for a closer view.

  • Lake Zott Excursion: A convenient and easy walk awaits you as you follow the wide paved road from the cable car station through a tunnel to reach Lake Zott. The leisurely 30-minute walk each way offers pleasant views. If you're up for a challenge, consider embarking on a Basadino glacier climb from this point.

  • Lake Cavagno (Cavagnöö) Adventure: For a medium-difficulty hike, head from the cable car station to Lake Cavagnoo. The journey takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes each way. This scenic hike promises captivating vistas and an enriching outdoor experience.


  • Fishing Opportunities: If you're an angling enthusiast, take advantage of the fishing opportunities available in the area. The lakes are home to lake trout, providing a chance for a rewarding fishing experience amidst the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Directions to San Carlo: You can opt to either drive or take a bus to Vallemaggia, then make a turn onto Val Bavona and proceed to the far end of the valley where the village of San Carlo is situated. There, you'll find the Robiei Funivia cable car operated by a private company that oversees the water dams in the area. Typically, the cable car ascends and descends once every hour. The journey itself lasts approximately 15 minutes, and if the weather is clear, you'll be treated to magnificent panoramic views.

For detailed information regarding the cable car schedule, you can visit their website:

Lake Robiei - walk from cable car to Lake Robiei then go around the lake (easy tour) - 5 Min walk to the dam. There is a big hotel where you can stay overnight and a restaurant.

Lake Robiei (reservoir)

Reservoir Robiei

Robiei Reservoir and hotel


Lake Zott - a must see

A leisurely stroll of approximately 30 minutes will take you from the upper Robiei station to Lake Zott. During this easy walk, you might be fortunate enough to spot marmots and mountain goats, adding to the charm of your experience.

For further details about this straightforward hike and a map of the route, you can refer to this link:

Lake Zott

Lake Zott

Lake Zott - going above lake Zott to the Glacier "Sentiero Glaciologico del Basodino"


Mountain Goats


Lake Cavagno (Cavagnöö): For a medium-difficulty hike, head from the cable car station to Lake Cavagnoo. The journey takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes each way. This scenic hike promises captivating vistas and an enriching outdoor experience.

Nestled within the breathtaking Alpine landscape of Val Bavona, Lake Cavagno (Cavagnöö) stands as a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Surrounded by towering peaks and tranquil meadows, this alpine lake offers an enchanting escape for adventurers seeking a harmonious blend of nature and serenity. With its medium-difficulty hike leading to its shores, Lake Cavagno promises an immersive journey through captivating terrain, rewarding those who venture forth with an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

These three distinct lake activities provide a range of options for outdoor enthusiasts, from easy walks and leisurely exploration to more challenging glacier ascents. Whether you're in the mood for a brief nature stroll or an extended adventure, the lakes of Robiei, Zott, and Cavagno offer something unique for every visitor.


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