The smuggler trail
Are you interested in discovering a beautiful smugglers' landscape?
Come and visit us!
Smugglers were once prevalent from Bregaglia's Maloja to Italy's Val Malenco.
The smuggler trails offer a lovely alpine hiking experience along historically significant trails. From the beginning of the 19th century to well into the 20th century, smuggling was an important source of income for the people of Bregaglia and Engadin. A wide range of goods, particularly food and beverages, were smuggled over the Swiss-Italian borders. Smuggling was a lucrative business and allowed the people of these previously sparse mountain valleys to live more comfortably.
In summer 2014, the Smuggler Interpretative Trail was opened in Maloja. The trail offers a unique outdoor experience and fascinating stories. You learn about the life and times of the smugglers and their goods, as well as the tricks and skillful maneuvers they used to avoid danger. The reasons for smuggling operations were varied, including shortages of particular goods and ample supply of others. High tariffs, different rules and regulations, prohibitions and penalties all promoted clandestine illegal border crossings. The smugglers were not always harmless and their work was often carried out under the cover of darkness.
The "Smuggler Interpretative Trail – Capel, Maloja" heads south from Maloja and takes approximately 1 ½ hours. The trail winds through an enchanting larch forest to Bitabergh Lake, where the Smuggler Interpretative Trail ends. Bitabergh Lake is an inviting and idyllic place to rest and relax. Along the trail, 17 interpretative panels explain the exciting life and work of the smugglers and give first aid and survival tips.
While searching for the hidden smugglers' goods you will learn how to orientate yourself in the wild using the sun and sky while getting some outdoor exercise and having fun in the mountains. The Smuggler Interpretative Trail is an ideal combination of adventure, nature, outdoor exercise, learning and fun for families and groups. Children and youth are motivated to hike in the mountains and experience the great outdoors firsthand. Even adults will find it fun. This attractive mountain hike will take you back hundreds of years and give you a glimpse into the history of the region and life many generations ago.