Neither New Zealand nor the Pyrenees – Ticino is the canyoning paradise in Europe. With over 40 canyoning routes in wild nature and within a relatively small area, there is something for everyone here, even for beginners.
What makes Ticino special is not the mere quantity of canyons, it is their quality. The steep terrain and abundant rain create perfect conditions for the formation of canyons. For eons water has cut down through thick layers of gneiss and granite to form narrow gorges with waterfalls and deep pools: the perfect canyoning terrain. Since the valleys are mostly bedrock with very little soil, the water stays crystal-clear. The moist canyon environment is the perfect habitat for moss, ferns, and other “tropical” plants; it makes you think you’re in a rainforest and not in Switzerland. Canyon-tours are available all over the world, but what makes them outstanding in Ticino – apart from its beauty and variety – are its “dynamic” canyons. In other places canyoning is often nothing but abseiling. There are few jumps and slides. Ticino is much more diverse. Its clear waters and deep pools invite sliding. Naturally, for all of those who love to abseil or are scared of jumping and sliding, there are tours available featuring mostly abseiling. In Ticino everyone finds the kind of canyoning that they like best.
Canyoning seems like an “extreme” sport, but it is quite safe when done with trained tour-guides and the right equipment. The small team of SwissChallenge in Cresciano has been guiding groups through Ticino’s canyons for 14 years; they are certified with the label “Safety in Adventures”. SwissChallenge’s house canyon is the Boggera Gorge, a sunny fun-canyon with exceptionally beautiful rock formations bristled with several abseiling places of no more than 22 meters and many chutes and jumps into emerald green water of up to 10 meters. Where to stay? Ostello Cresciano is the perfect place to spend the night.