The Foroglio Waterfall & Village, Canton Ticino, Switzerland

The Foroglio Waterfall (Cascata di Foroglio), is a stunning 110 meters high waterfall located deep in the Swiss Canton Ticino. The waterfall takes its name from the Village of Forologio, which lies at its foot. This is one very picturesque location—and one mighty waterfall.

Foroglio Waterfall viewed from a trail above the village

The Impressive Foroglio Waterfall, from a viewpoint above the village.

Located in Val Bavona, at the top of Valle Maggia, Foroglio lies within the regional boundaries if Canton Ticino, the Italian-speaking Canton of Switzerland. I think one could safely say the Foroglio Waterfall is possibly the best waterfall in Canton Ticino.

The small Village Foroglio is an absolute beauty and worth the trip in itself. Its beautiful stone houses and natural surroundings create a unique atmosphere that is hard to find anywhere else.

The Forogio waterfall viewed from the Village of Foroglio, in between stone houses.

The Foroglio waterfall, viewed from The Village of Foroglio.

But wait, there’s even more: the even smaller village of Sabbione on the road to Foroglio is another beauty. Especially in autumn, when the leaves and colors start to turn yellow, the atmosphere here is magic.

Sabbione is one of those villages that could find its place in any fantasy book or movie – so make sure you stop by.

The village of Sabbione in a magic warm light shortly after Sunrise

Sabbione, in the warm light of an early autumn morning.

Table of Contents

Overview of the Foroglio Waterfall Hike & Map

The area offers several hiking trails from easy to challenging. In this case, I  more or less randomly walked around the waterfall and up to it as well as in and around the Village of Foroglio.

So the map and details here below pretty much show my random wanderings rather than a real trail. Nonetheless, you can use it to locate the spots I visited and the best vantage point.

Max Altitude  807 m
Distance  2.84 KM
Elevation gain  160 m ↑ / 160 m ↓
Hike time  01:00/ 01:30  Hours
Hike Difficulty  Easy

And here is the map of my own Foroglio Waterfall Hike.

How to get to Foroglio and Parking

It takes a bit of time to drive. From Zurich to Foroglio, for instance, it’s more than three hours. From Lugano, it’s almost two. So it does take a bit of time to drive there but it’s well worth every minute of it.

  • Driving Directions: From north of the Alps: you’ll have to get south of the Gotthard pass, exit at Bellinzona, and drive up Val Maggia. From shout of the Alps, You’ll have to get to Locarno first, and then drive up the Maggia valley from there.
  • Parking: There is a small, paid parking by the village. It pays off to be there in the early AM to catch the best light and to make sure you find a spot! You can pay with Twint, EasyPark, or just coins.
  • Public Transport: PostBus 333 stops at Foroglio. The best way to get there is to go to Locarno first, by train. From the train station, you can take bus 315, change to Bignasco, and that bus 333 from there. The trip takes a little over one hour. Search the timetable here.
The picturesque Foroglio Village and the tower of its church

The picturesque Foroglio Village

The Foroglio Trail

Hiking around Foroglio is a magic experience. This is a place where time has apparently stopped. Or, if you prefer, it’s a bit like traveling back in time.

As you arrive there, you’ll probably be attracted by both the village and the waterfall at the same time, not sure where to go first. I went to the waterfall first and then to visit the village.

Walking pat leading to the Foroglio waterfall which can be seen in the background.

The walking path to the Waterfall.

Hiking to the Foroglio Waterfall

Regardless, you’ll need to cross the pedestrian bridge across the Bavona River to either get to the village of Foroglio or to the waterfall. There’s a nice path leading down to the waterfalls. Once you get down there, you can roam around the side of the river up and down.

The Foroglio Waterfall surrounded by trees

The Foroglio Waterfall (Cascata di Foroglio) and the Calnegia River

I’d imagine it’s possible to hope to the other side of the river too in Summer, or when the water level permits. Actually, I’d see myself bathing in the fresh mountain waters too in Summer!

To visit Foroglio, you’ll then need to walk back the same way.

Drone photo of Foroglio and the Foroglio Waterfall

View of Foroglio and its Waterfall. Drone Capture.

Walking around the beautiful Village of Foroglio

There are a few stone paths in and around Foroglio. Some circle inside the village while others lead to hiking paths in the area. While it’s a small village, it’s kind of fun trying to get lost in it.

The narrow, stone paths can be a bit of a maze and this adds to the fun of visiting Foroglio. As you walk around in wonder, you almost feel as if each turn and path may lead to a new discovery. And, sooner or later, you’ll fund yourself at the starting point without knowing how you got back there.

Stone path inside the Village of Foroglio with a view of the Waterfall

There are no modern constructions in Foroglio, it’s just a stone houses village and quite an archetypical one. The same goes for Sabbione. Walking around here in the silence of the early morning was one of the best experiences I’ve had this year.

One path I’d recommend taking is the one that leads up above the waterfall, up until you reach a little chapel. This location offers an amazing view of the whole valley, not just the waterfall.

Chapel above the village of Foroglio with a view of the powerful waterfall as well as Val Bavona

The Small Chapel above Foroglio and the waterfall overlooking Val Bavona

Sabbione, a magic Little Village on the way to Foroglio

This for me was a discovery and a very much unplanned stop. As I was driving toward Foroglio I spotted a few small stone houses and then a parking area. I stopped. The village was still in the shadows, but as the sun was rising, I knew the light would soon hit the village.

I walked around the area a bit, just waiting for the warm light to hit the trees and the stone houses. I was there alone, which added to the magic of this village.

The dew on the grass started to shine as the sun rose and the light found its way between the stone houses. Needless to say, this was a very beautiful start to the day.

Stone path to enter the village of Sabbione

Entering Sabbione.

The Foroglio Waterfall Photos and Photography Tips

There are several vantage points from where you can take photos of the waterfalls. Your creativity in finding compositions is the limit here – but the trees, the vegetation, and the water level may limit it further.

There are a lot of trees and plants around d the river, sometimes directly in front of the waterfall. Rather than trying to avoid them, I preferred to conclude them in the show and use the trees and branches as leading lines even if that meant they partially covered the waterfall.

Cascata di Foroglio on an autumn day

The Cascata di Foroglio viewed from the river banks in the woods

Cascata di Foroglio with some rocks in the foreground and colorful autumn leaves

The Cascata di Foroglio in Switzerland and its blue waters

Cascata di Foroglio viewed from the rocks next to the river banks and colorful autumn leaves

Drone photos of the Foroglio waterfall surrounded by woods showing the colorful autumn leaves

The other problem is water levels. if the water level is high there’s only so much space you can move around and entering the water isn’t exactly safe even with waterproof boots. there are a lot of big slippery boulders and the river bed is plenty uneven.

Anyway, plenty of compositions to find all around the area!

The same goes for the village of Foroglio. Those stone houses with the backdrop of the waterfall are a very unique sight.

And again, make sure you stop by Sabbione to take a few photos there too. Actually, if you are planning to visit in the early morning, it would be best to stop by Sabbione first and catch the early morning light hitting the village. That’s what I actually did.

aerial photo taken with a drone of the village of sabbione catching the warm light of an early morning

Sabbione, Drone Photo.

The village of Sabbione in a magic warm light shortly after Sunrise

Sabbione, the entrance of the Village.

Stone path to enter the village of Sabbione

Drone Video of the Foroglio Waterfall

Here is also a short drone clip of the waterfall and the village:

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Where to stay

Foroglio is a small village but there is a Rustico you can book if you want to stay there. Be ready to get used to the roaring sound of the waterfall though!

In general, Valmaggia offers several options for an overnight stay and it is worth spending a night in the area to explore the surroundings further.

Additional Resources