For those that love Alpine settings and vast spaces that mountains can offer, the region of Greina is a destination not to miss. The highland is located at an altitude of 2,300 meters on the border between Ticino (high Blenio Valley) and Graubünden and extends for another six kilometers in length and one kilometer in width. The landscape of the Alpine tundra can have a strong impact and is protected at national level because of the richness and the variety of its biotopes. The Greina is a wonderful excursion also for those who do not particularly enjoy altitude. It is important however, to be well trained.
Itinerary: Greina (5h, see map)
Rich in water that overflows from the ground creating streams, rivers, ponds and little swamps, the Greina region is crossed by old trails. In fact, it was an area of transit and pastures already during the Roman days and in the Middle Age. Only one sign of the ancient presence of humans is seen at the centre of the highland: the Crap la Crusch (stone of the cross), a boulder that bears a metal cross on its summit. During the summer, short but intense, the highland offers beautiful flowers in bloom thanks to the diversity of the Alpine flora. It is even possible to have close encounters with groundhogs and other animals typical of the region.
The easiest and most popular itinerary to the Greina starts from Campo Blenio-Ghirone. Here you take a bus to Pian Geirett at an altitude of 2,000 meters. Then, in about an hour ascent, you reach the Scaletta cabin with its traditional pointed roof. Slightly above, there is a vast highland that opens up for the visitor with immense spaces, grey or dark rocks, miniscule flowers, mosses, lichens and water courses that wind through the rocks. It takes an additional 30 minutes to reach the Greina Pass and another hour to Crap la Crusch.
A distinctive trait of the region is the natural arch of stone that can be admired on a detour from the main trail. From Crap la Crusch in about half an hour you can reach the Motterascio plain, ploughed by numerous streams and slightly below the namesake cabin. From here, along a long and steep descent, walk to the Luzzone dam where the bus stop to return to the departure point in Campo Blenio is located (keep an eye on the schedule!)
There are three Alpine cabins in the region (Scaletta, Motterascio, Terri) offering room and board. We recommend making reservations for an overnight stop.