The Val Mesolcina reaches from the border to Ticino in the south at around 300 metres altitude up to the San Bernardino pass at 2000 metres altitude, with the highest village (also called San Bernardino) at 1600 metres. The whole valley has around 8000 inhabitants, with a big part living around the town of Roveredo, the lowest town in the valley.
By public transport
While you might still come across old tracks, there are no more trains running through Val Mesolcina. The closest train stations are in Bellinzona and Castione to the south and Chur and Thusis to the north.
An express bus runs between Bellinzona and Chur through the valley hourly during the summer and every second hour during the rest of the year. This bus stops in San Bernardino (1h 10min from Chur, 50 min from Bellinzona) and during the summer every second hour in Mesocco (1h 30min from Chur, 30 min from Bellinzona).
A slower bus runs between Bellinzona and Thusis with stops at all smaller villages along the way. This bus runs roughly hourly, but the timetable is quite irregular with some courses requiring a change of bus in Mesocco, so do check the timetable beforehand.
To get to the Calanca valley, a bus departs from Grono (where it connects to the bus from Bellinzona) to Rosso at irregular intervals with around 10 trips a day. During weekends, this is reduced to just a handful of trips. There is another bus to Sta. Maria in Calanca with a similar amount of trips.
The A13 motorway runs along the valley and through all the villages. At the end of the valley is the San Bernardino tunnel or alternatively the San Bernardino pass road. The A13 motorway is often used as an alternative north-south crossing to the Gotthard, where the traffic tends to be slow over holiday periods.
- 1 San Martino Church. A church dating from 1219, which was rebuilt in 1639 in a baroque style. Free.
- 2 San Giorgio Church (Chiesa San Giorgio). Baroque style church built between 1219 and 1656, with a beamed ceiling nave and vaulted choir.
- 3 Museo Moesano, Via Favera 11, 6534 San Vittore, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. W, F, Su 14:00-17:00 from April to October. Museum on history and archaeology of the Mesolcina and Calanda valleys. Fr. 5/3.
There are a couple of ski lifts in the village of San Bernardino. However, there has been long standing issues between the owner and the town, which meant that it was closed for a couple years. As of 2017, it is running again, but only over the main season and weekends.
San Bernardino has however a big variety of cross country skiing options. There are 8 different trails a varying levels of difficulty with one of them open and lit up at night time three times a week.
- 1 Mini Racing. Radio controlled car racing circuit.
- 2 Shankra Festival. 12 - 16 July 2017. psychedelic trance festival with music Fr 100 for 5 days.
- 1 Hostel Humanita, Cabbiolo (1km north of Lostallo), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Three stone country houses and a yurt are available. Also runs courses taught in German or Italian. single from Fr 65, double from Fr 90.
- 2 Groven hotel, Strada Cantonale, ☏ . restaurant closed Sun, Mon. Hotel and restaurant with 7 rooms. mains Fr 45.
- 3 Campsite. 150 pitch campsite with toilets and showers