Along the border from Val Colla to the village of Brè

The imposing limestone towers "Denti della Vecchia", the teeth of the old, are among the most popular climbing areas in Switzerland. On the four-and-a-half-hour hike (without climbing) from Cimadera via the Capanna Pairolo and Alpe Bolla to the village of Brè sopra Lugano, the Ticino, Valais and Italian mountain peaks present themselves time and again in a new way. Whenever possible we follow the Swiss-Italian border, which runs along the ridge.

Up to Cimadera in Val Colla we take the post bus from Lugano (railway station or Autosilo, with change in Tesserete rsp. Sonvico). From the small village of Cimadera in Val Colla, we then climb up a wooded ridge to Capanna Pairolo SAT, where we should stop for a first stop, as the Ticino plates are excellent. There is no 100m difference in altitude to the ridge and the national border, which we will follow for a longer distance. We always hike around the rocky crags on the south side, so also right at the beginning, where there would also be a northern (rather less attractive) path.

At some places there is the possibility to climb up only a few meters into a gap between the rocks and just enjoy the impressive situation there. Especially during the northern foehn the view from the Denti della Vecchia is always breathtaking. When the weather is clear, you can see the Valaisan Alps with the Dufourspitze in the west and the (inconspicuous) peak of the Matterhorn to the right of it at a distance of 100km. And towards the south, Lake Lugano sometimes shimmers through the trees, the lush deciduous forest providing pleasant shade - an advantage on this tour in high summer.

At the romantic clearing of Pian di Scagn we have to decide to make another detour to the border summit of Monte Boglia - but an additional height difference of 343m. Many prefer to take the high-level trail in the forest via Alpe Bolla with the famous Ticino grotto in the direction of Brè sopra Lugano. On the southern side of the mountain, above Brè, there is a steeper descent or more pleasant continuation on the high trail and then a gentler descent to the finish.

Return by bus from Brè Paese to Lugano, or in half an hour up to Monte Brè and down by funicular to Cassarate.

Realised by Roland Baumgartner

Pictures: Roland Baumgartner


From Lugano by bus to Cimadera in Val Colla (two routes), back from Brè to Locarno.

Another tip:
Hikes in Val Colla, for example from Colla to Monte Bar and descent to Tesserete