The River Adda that flows into the lake Como runs through the valley.
Valtellina is located in the middle of the Alps, not far from Milan and the Swiss border, in Lombardy. From south it is reachable coasting the Lake Como, travelling over the National road n.36, from north the approach routes are the mountain passes, most of which are open during the whole year.
The valley develops from east to west and has a longitudinal aspect which is the most extended one in the whole Alpine arc. It is totally crossed by the National road number 38, known as “Statale dello Stelvio”.
The land is prevalently mountainous, with peaks reaching 4000 meters which frame the bottom of the valley.
The landscapes characterizing the province of Sondrio are varying and charming in every season of the year. You start with Valchiavenna, which is situated in the furthermost western part of Valtellina and is particularly popular thanks to the “crotti” and the beauty of its main town, Chiavenna; then you pass through the Bassa Valle surrounding Morbegno, the town from which the popular Bitto cheese originates. The terraced viticulture and the renowned cellars are characteristic of the area of Sondrio and Valmalenco, as far as Tirano and Teglio – this last one, the birthplace of pizzocheri. The journey discovering Valtellina ends in Alta Valle, with the thermal baths in Bormio and the summer skiing at Stelvio Pass.
Valtellina is a great green park in the heart of the Alps.
Many are the protected areas and the natural oasis in this area. The most popular ones are undoubtedly the Stelvio National Park and the Orobie Valtellinesi Park, but you don’t need to go too far from the main roads to discover unique and extraordinary landscapes.
The wide natural scenery of the valley allow you to satisfy the desire of pure air and of walks in an extremely beautiful environment that had always inspired a lot of artists and writers.
The first step of your holiday in Valtellina might be through the knowledge its valleys and peaks.
For the nature lovers, there is a lot to choose from the numerous parks and reserves of the valley.
Valchiavenna, for example, proposes many itineraries immersed in the luxuriant nature of the Alps, as well as other itineraries in order to discover its rich history.
In Bassa Valtellina two are the main protected areas: the Park of the Orobie Valtellinesi and the Natural Oasis of Pian di Spagna.
The natural parks in Sondrio and Valmalenco are extraordinary. You can admire landscapes, watch animals and characteristic flowers in their natural habitat.
Media Valtellina offers the tourists its most stunning environmental beauties. A patrimony which is entirely to discover.
Alta Valtellina is synonymous with nature, uncontaminated environments and oasis of peace where it is still possible to immerse in the life of the Earth and to feel Her hearth beating.
In this land even flora and fauna assume different characteristics and colors according to the height above sea level in which they are.
They stretch from the spectacular vineyard terraced systems spread in the valley floor to go uphill through chestnut woods, maples, oaks and lindens, to reach finally an altitude of about 2000 meters, where the vegetation is characterized mainly by bushes – rhododendron, juniper and blueberry.
The rocks and the glaciers allow the tourist to become acquainted with the ancient history of this land. The mineralogical museums spread in the valley store a wide and detailed variety of the typical rocks of this area. Even the glaciers offer a really exciting example of the signs left in the past time in Valtellina.
And then there is water, with lakes and rivers. In Valtellina the presence of this element is so important that it is possible to count hundreds of streams and a moltitude of alpine lakes. These are charming places and represent the ideal destination for anyone who loves walking and sunbathing by the side of a mirror made of crystalline water.
A precious patrimony to be discovered also in Valtellina’s thermal spa centers.
Snow in Valtellina
Valtellina’s skiing district develops on over 450 kilometers of slopes, provided with about 140 ski lifts and equipped with modern structures with a system of planned snowfalls and ski-schools. A lot of skiing resorts offer all the snowboarders numerous reserved areas – the snowparks – including various structures to do acrobatics on the snow. In addition you can also find endless cross-country skiing trails, alpinistic skiing itineraries and many other trails you can discover on “ciaspole”. The winter furthermore offers the opportunity try out the numerous skate rinks -many of which are indoor- and the routes for dog-sledging, the sleigh hauled by dogs. Livigno, Bormio, Santa Caterina, Valdidentro, Madesimo, Aprica, Chiesa in Valmalenco, Valgerola and Teglio are the most famous ski areas in Valtellina.
Summer in Valtellina
You can discover the charm of the mountain in any period of the year in Valtellina. During summer then you can do summer skiing at Stelvio Pass, going on with an excursion which will allow you to plunge into the green or with a ride on your mountain bike which will make you discover countless valleys. While in winter there is no better suggestion than such a wide range of skiing resorts surrounded by extraordinary natural settings which offer the opportunity to play all winter sports.
That is your holiday in Valtellina, in search of extraordinary experiences.
Text courtesy of Provincia di Sondrio Ufficio Turismo