Amongst ibexes and marmots

Alto Antrona Valley Natural Park

Wild, green ranges, towering peaks covered the changing colours of the seasons, and water that both gushe sinto waterfalls and is quiet and serene in peaceful Alpine lakes.

In a valley where the natural environment is still intact and there are only a few small signs of human civilisation,  the Park is rich with springs feeding into the countless lakes scattered across the slopes and valleys.

The Antrona Lake was formed in 1642 following a dam caused by a landslide; today it is a hydroelectric basin. A lake that has preserved all the charm of an enchanting alpine destination and is a place not to be missed on excursions.

Walking uphill, you can get to the Lakes of Camposecco, Cingino and the Dam of Campiccioli and its basin.

The small town of Cheggio, at an altitude of 1,497 metres, surrounded by mountains whose peaks reach 3,000 and 4,000 metres, is in a stunning location, next to the impressive body of water: the Lago dei Cavalli.

Nearby… the ibexes of the Cingino

In Valle Antrona, at an altitude of 2,230 meters above sea level, agile female ibexes, pregnant with their offspring, scale dozens of metres above the ground in search of salt on the artificial wall of the dam lake Cingino, which has a 90-degree slope. They find this salt in the cracks in the dam in the form of saltpetre. The surrounding habitat and high altitude pastures where herbivores spend the summer are particularly suitable for reproduction, but the grass is lacking in salt. The shape and structure of the ibexes  hooves makes this feat possible: they are wide and flexible, with a fatty padding on the bottom that grips the rock like a pincer. Such a spectacle, , the only one of its kind in the world, featuring the wild mammals typical of the Alpine arc, is a true marvel that you can sit back and enjoy  after a walk of approximately four hours along the “Strada Antronesca”, an ancient passage way that connected the Ossola with the Swiss Canton Vallese, through the valleys of Antrona and Saas. Ibexes are not afraid of visitors and are typically found in groups of 3 or 4, but might sometimes be in groups of up to fifteen.

Antrona Valley

  • Covering a total of 141.43 km²
  • Province of Verbano Cusio Ossola (Piedmont)
  • Ski Stations: Alpe Cheggio Ski (downhill) and Antrona Fondo (for cross country)
Key towns: Montescheno, Borgomezzavalle, Antrona Schieranco