Robiei cable car

An excursion with an impressive cable car to Lago di Robiei, the starting point for beautiful hikes.

San Carlo - Robiei cable car (San Carlo, CH)

Seilbahn San Carlo Robiei

Robiei: Discover the breathtaking alpine region at the Basodino Glacier

Admittedly, the hour-long journey via Locarno and the Maggia Valley to the Bavona Valley alone is time-consuming, but well worth it. At the end of the Bavona Valley in San Carlo, the real adventure begins: you climb the San Carlo – Robiei aerial cableway, built in the 1960s for hydroelectric power and later opened to the public. The cable car, which can carry over 100 people, is high and steep – and the destination is beautiful!

Robiei, idyllically situated at the foot of the imposing Basodino glacier, is a true pearl in the Alps. In addition to its enchanting nature, the area offers an abundance of wildlife and exceptional flora. There you can marvel at ibexes, chamois, marmots, rare stoats, field mice and a variety of majestic birds, such as the golden eagle.

Set off from Robiei on various walks and hikes to discover the impressive Basodino area, the majestic glacier and the idyllic mountain lakes in the surrounding area. We particularly recommend the Basodino glacier nature trail with its 360-degree panoramic view and the fascinating tour inside the Robiei dam. The rather short walk around Lago di Robiei, a green mountain lake, is also relaxing and beautiful, especially with children.

The hotel and restaurant of the same name, which serves regional specialties, is located at the top station of the Robiei cable car. Ideal for recharging your batteries, as the hikes from here can be long and strenuous.

The fascinating nature trail inside the Robiei dam wall

An absolute highlight of our Robiei tour is the extraordinary nature trail inside the impressive dam wall of Lago di Robiei. This unique experience allows you to take a look behind the scenes of the construction that has permanently changed the landscape of the upper Bavona Valley.

The imposing dam walls are impressive concrete structures that store the enormous volume of water required for hydropower generation. The nature trail explains how the dams are integrated into the natural water cycle. You will learn more about the construction of the plants, the safety controls and the efficient conversion of hydropower into electricity. The tour inside the dam wall, which is unique in Ticino, takes around 30 minutes and offers fascinating insights.

To enter the (free) nature trail, you can get a key at the reception of Hotel Robiei. Please note that access for dogs is not permitted and the temperature inside the dam is a constant 8°C – so bring suitable clothing.

Explore the majestic Basodino glacier on the glacier nature trail

The Robiei – Zött – Basodino glacier – Randinascia – Robiei glacier trail takes you on a 5-hour tour through a breathtaking high mountain region. You will be transported into this unique geological and geomorphological environment and can admire the impressive flora and fauna. The Basodino Glacier, the largest glacier in Ticino, is an impressive example of the natural development of a glacier south of the Alps. Covering an area of around 2 km2, it extends between 2500 and 3120 meters above sea level. Unfortunately, however, as with many glaciers in the Alps, a rapid decline in area and volume can be observed here too. The route takes you along a stretch of almost 10 km and reaches its highest point at 2430 m.

Along the trail you will find eight numbered metal signs which refer to detailed descriptions in the hiking guide. You can get this at the Albergo Robiei, at the valley station of the cable car in San Carlo, at the Basodino hut or at the Vallemaggia tourist office.

For those who prefer to avoid this somewhat greater effort, the hiking trail back to San Carlo is highly recommended: the very attractive descent from Robiei to San Carlo takes around two hours and is also suitable for children who are ready to hike (but not with baby carriages!). Lakeview tip: just a few hundred meters after the start of the trail you reach the mountain hut”Capanna Basodino“, a very rustic hiker’s hut with excellent dishes of the day and Swiss cheese and sausage specialties with a fantastic view.

Attention: check the opening hours and timetable of the Robiei cable car here: – there is quite a long winter break and a daily lunch break!