Category: Destinations

Winter hiking to Capanna Leit and Pizzo delle Löite, Lepontine Alps, Switzerland


Trip Summary
Duration: 2 days (11-12 October 2017)
Route: Dalpe – Passo Venett – Capanna Leit – Pizzo delle Löite – Capanna Leit – Passo Venett – Dalpe
Distance: 22.1 km
Ascent: 1380 m / Descent: 1380 m
Total number of hikers met along the way: 0

Pizzo Campolungo is a mountain of the Lepontine Alps, overlooking Prato and Dalpe in the Leventina valley of the canton of Ticino. It lies just south of the Campolungo Pass.
The plan for the weekend was a 2 days circular hike around Pizzo Campo Lungo starting in Dalpe, with an overnight at Capanna Campo Tencia. We have chosen this route through Passo Venett with Capanna Leit on the way in case the conditions/time would not allow us to reach Capanna Campo Tencia. It was November and there was already snow in the mountains but we didn’t know exactly how much snow is over there…

DAY 1
Duration: 7h 10min
8:10 Dalpe parking 1192m
8:55 Boscobello 1345m
10:00 Scontra 1670m
10:20 Alpe Cadonighino 1750m
11:00 Stüéi
12:20 Passo Venett 2138m
15:20 Capanna Leit 2257m

We started our hike in Dalpe at 8:10 AM from small parking located in front of a small supermarket (Address: Botea da Dalp, Nucleo Dalpe 17, 6774 Dalpe) and headed toward Boscobello. It was a beautuful, sunny, autumn day. The sky was blue and views over Dalpe and rourrounding mountains were magical. The snow started already in Scontra at an altitude ca 1600m. This is where we met 2 hunters looking for prey which turned out to be the last human beings we have encountered before coming back to Dalpe the next day.


The 1000m ascent to Passo Venett was quite challenging but the trail was visible and straightforward without any major obstacles. It was just hard work. We reached the highest point of Passo Venett after 4 hours. Only 35 min behind the time indicated on a signpost in Dalpe. So far, so good but from this point the hike got tough. There is a straight route to Capanna Leit from here, running south-west along the mountainside and the signpost indicated only 25min to the hut. The snow cover was arround 50 cm and we could not identify this route when we looked at the mountain in front of us. Even if the trail was somwhere there, it seemed quite dangerous to climb that route in these conditions. We decided to make a detour and take the route down to Alpe Campolunge. It took us 3 long hours before we finally saw the roof of Capanna Leit. The time was 15:20, much too late to continue towards Capanna Campo Tencia so we set up fire in the oven, put some bacon on frying pan, poured some strong beverages in our cups and relaxed after 7 hours climb in deep snow. It was one of these nights you never forget. No electricity, no network coverage, 1 hour light only from solar batteries, no water (snow can be easily converted to water), quietness and beutiful snowy landscape outside.






DAY 2
Duration: 9h 15min
8:45 Capanna Leit 2257m
9:15 – 11:35 Passo Leit / Bocchette Passo Leìt
11:35 Pizzo delle Löite ca. 2420m
12:35 Capanna Leit 2257m
14:45 Alpe Campolungo
15:05 Passo Venett 2138m
16:00 Alpe Cadonighino 1750m
16:30 Scontra 1670m
18:00 Dalpe 1192m

The next day we tried to continue towards Campo Tencia. After passing an easy, flat section running along Laghetto Campolungo, there was a tricky climb through Passo Leit which led to the highest point along the route at an altitude ca. 2420 m called Bocchette Passo Leìt, lying at the foot of Pizzo delle Löite mountain. Getting here took us 3 hours. It was a long, difficult and quite dangerous route. Taking into consideration the time required to cross this short part of the route and the fact that the next section of the trail doesn’t seem to be easy at all, we decided to come back to Dalpe the same way as we got up.
First we descended back to Capanna Leit where we cooked quick dinner and then continued towards Passo Venett. We followed our trail from the previous day which saved us lots of time and energy. We reached Dalpe at 6pm crossing last section of the trail in darkness with headlamps on.










Booking.com


HIKING TO CAPANNA LEIT – PHOTO GALLERY

LINKS
www.map.geo.admin.ch – Topographic map of Switzerland
www.capanna-leit.ch – The Leìt Hut (Capanna Leit)
www.campotencia.ch – Capanna Campo Tencia
http://www.schweizmobil.ch – Traversata Leit-Tencia
www.wetterspiegel.de – Weather forcast for Capanna Leit
www.fat-ti.ch – Federazione Alpinistica Ticinese

3 days in Muscat, capital city of Oman

Muscat is an amazing city! It is Middle East’s best-kept secret. It is located on the Oman Gulf at the Arabian Sea and surrounded by the rocky Western Al Hajar Mountains. A city which will become the top travel destination soon (or maybe it already is…) What makes it so special ? Muscat is considered as one of the smallest capitals in the world, but this relatively small city has a lot to offer. The Omani culture and history, architecture, beautiful sandy beaches along the Arabian Sea, mountains, delicious food, local markets, amazing people (some even claim that the Omanis are the most hospitable people on earth !). There is so much to see there. Oman advertises its natural beauty with the following campaign: ‘Beauty has an address – Oman’. READ MORE !!!

The 15 Best Snorkeling Destinations in Europe

best snorkeling 002

There are amazing snorkeling places around the globe. I am aware of this. I have seen lots of them on TV. But not everyone can afford a trip to Belize, Maldives, Palau, Virgin Islands and the like. The old continent offers also great snorkeling places where the natural beauty, marine life and crystal clear water is comparable to world’s top snorkeling destinations.
Here is a guide for travelers to the best places for snorkeling in Europe. I am a snorkeling freak and have explored myself the majority of snorkeling spots included in this list. Feel free to comment on this post and include your own suggestions.

Medes Islands, Costa Brava, Spain

Medes Islands
Description: Small group of seven islets in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea located just 1 km from L’Estartit (spain). The Medes Islands archipelago is part of the Montgrí, Medes Islands and Baix Ter Nature Park. It is one of the most important marine flora and fauna reserves in the western Mediterranean.
Nearest airport: Girona (GRO) or Barcelona (BCN)
Access: By boat from L’Estartit
Website: Medes Islands


Area Marina Protetta Capo Carbonara, Sardegna, Italy

Capo Carbonara
Description: The protected Marine Area of Capo Carbonara together with two islands of Cavoli and Serpentara form a natural park in the south-east Sardinia near Villasimius (Italy).
Nearest airport: Cagliari (CAG)
Access: Direct access from shore excluding islands which can be reached by boat
Website: Area Marina Protetta Capo Carbonara


Lobos, Canary Islands, Spain

Lobos
Description: Lobos Island (Isla de Lobos) is a small island of the Canary Islands (Spain) located just 2 kilometres north of the island of Fuerteventura. It is now a protected area: Parque Natural del Islote de Lobos
Nearest airport: Fuerteventura (FUE) or Lanzarote (ACE)
Access: By boat from Corralejo (Fuerteventura) or from Lanzarote
Website: Lobos, Canary Islands


Elafonisi beach, Crete, Greece

Elafonissi snorkeling
Description: Elafonisi is an island located close to the southwestern corner of the Mediterranean island of Crete (Greece). The island is a protected nature reserve.
Nearest airport: Chania (CHQ)
Access: Directly from the shore. It is possible to walk to the island through the shallow water.
Website: Elafonisi beach


Ustica, Sicily, Italy

Ustica
Description: Ustica is a small island, about 9 kilometres across, situated about 50 km north of Riserva Naturale Orientata Di Capo Gallo, Sicily (Italy) in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Nearest airport: Palermo (PMO)
Access: By boat from Palermo
Website: Ustica, Sicily


Riserva Naturale Orientata dello Zingaro, Sicily, Italy

Zingaro snorkeling
Description: Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro (Zingaro Nature Reserve) is a natural reserve stretching along the unspoilt coastline of the Gulf of Castellammare, north-west Sicily (Italy).
Nearest airport: Palermo (PMO)
Access: Directly from the shore. Walk through the nature reserve and explore all hidden bays.
Website: Zingaro Nature Reserve


Pantelleria, Sicily, Italy

Pantelleria
Description: Pantelleria it is the largest volcanic satellite island of Sicily (Italy) in the Mediterranean Sea located 100 km from the Sicily mainland and ca. 40 km from Tunisian coast.
Nearest airport: Pantelleria Airport (PNL) or Palermo (PMO)
Access: Directly from the shore
Website: Pantelleria, Sicily


Mar Menuda, Costa Brava, Spain

Mar Menuda
Description: The Platja de la Mar Menuda or Playa de Mar Menuda (in Castilian) is a beach in Tossa de Mar, Catalunya (Spain). It is a point of departure for divers and diving schools in Tossa de Mar. The marine life starts immediately off the shore here.
Nearest airport: Girona (GRO) or Barcelona (BCN)
Access: Directly from the shore
Website: The Platja de la Mar Menuda


Maddalena Archipelago National Park, Sardegna, Italy

Maddalena Archipelago 001
Description: Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago di La Maddalena (Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park) is a geomarine national park at the north-east coast of Sardinia. It includes region all islands and islets within the territory of the Municipality of La Maddalena, Italy.
Nearest airport: Olbia (OLB)
Access: Directly from the shore (if staying at Isola Maddalena) or by boat from Sardegna mainland
Website: Maddalena Archipelago National Park


Asinara National Park, Sardegna, Italy

Asinara 001
Description: Parco Nazionale dell’Asinara (Asinara National Park) is the second largest island of Sardegna (Italy), located about 40 km north from Alghero.
Nearest airport: Alghero (AHO)
Access: By boat from Sardegna mainland
Website: Asinara National Park


Spiaggia di Tuerredda, Sardegna, Italy

Tuerredda
Description: Tuerredda beach (Spiaggia di Tuerredda) is located on the south coast of Sardegna (Italy) between Capo Malfatano and Perda Longa, about 60 km drive from Cagliari.
Nearest airport: Cagliari (CAG)
Access: Directly from the shore
Website: Spiaggia di Tuerredda


Cephalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece

cephalonia 001
Description: Cephalonia (Kefalonia) is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece. The island has a rich biodiversity, with a substantial number of endemic and rare species.
Nearest airport: Kefalonia (EFL)
Access: Directly from the shore
Website: Cephalonia


Reserva Natural das Berlengas, Portugal

Berlengas
Description: Reserva Natural das Berlengas is formed by Berlengas archipelago which is a a group of small islands west off the Portuguese coast, about 10 km by boat from Peniche town.
Nearest airport: Lisbon (LIS)
Access: By boat from Peniche or Lisbon
Website: Reserva Natural das Berlengas


Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, Andalucia, Spain

Cabo de Gata-Nijar
Description: Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park (Parque natural del Cabo de Gata-Níjar) is located in the southeastern corner of Spain about 45 km drive from Almeria (Spain). It is the largest coastal protected area in Andalucia.
Nearest airport: Almería (LEI)
Access: Directly from the shore
Website: Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park


Makarska Riviera, Croatia

Makarska
Description: The Makarska Riviera is a region on the west Croatian coast of the Adriatic Sea, about 60 kilometers long and only several kilometers wide, at the foot of the Biokovo Mountain.
Nearest airport: Split (SPU)
Access: Directly from the shore
Website: Makarska, Croatia


SNORKELING LINKS
wikipedia.org – Protected Marine areas in Italy
www.sardegnamareprotetto.it – Protected areas in Sardegna
www.mpatlas.org – Map of Marine Protected Area by Marine Conservation Institute
snorkelstore.net – Best snorkeling spots in the world
www.snorkelingdives.com – Database of snorkeling destinations
blog.edreams.com – World’s best places to snorkel
www.islands.com – World’s best islands to snorkel
edition.cnn.com – World’s best places to snorkel
www.minube.net – Best snorkeling destinations in Europe
www.parks.it – Maddalena Archipelago National Park, Sardegna, Italy
www.parks.it – Asinara National Park, Sardegna, Italy
www.frankaboutcroatia.com – Snorkeling in Croatia
www.ustica-diving.it – Ustica Diving
www.lamaddalenapark.it – Maddalena Archipelago National Park, Sardegna, Italy
www.parcoasinara.org – Asinara National Park, Sardegna, Italy
traveltamed.com – Snorkeling beaches in Europe

Santa and Reindeer on holidays, France

Calonge 001
Where does Santa Claus and his reindeer spend holiday after the busy Christmas time before hitting the road again? Some would say in his residence (Santa Claus Village) at the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland, some would say at the North Pole… It may be true of course but we found Santa Claus in France. READ MORE !

Saint Petersburg, Russia

saintpetersburg-001
Why visit Saint Petersburg (Leningrad) ?
First of all: it is in Russia which already makes the trip interesting. The city gained also some interesting Nicknames such as “The City on 101 Islands”,“The Northern Capital of Russia”, “The Venice of the North” or “The Palmyra of the North”.
It is the most Northern city in the world with a population over 1 million. It has one of the biggest museums in the world: The Hermitage Museum. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg is the second biggest UNSECO World Heritage Site (after Venice). With it’s amazing churches and cathedrals, museums, parks, imperial buildings, historical sights, houndreds of canals, vicinity of Lake Ladoga and Finland it is certainly one of the most interesting city to visit in Europe. READ MORE !

Solo hike in the Lepontine Alps, Ticino/Piedmont, Switzerland/Italy

Calonge 001

Late autumn is the perfect time for hikers who wants to get some “Into the Wild” feeling. The snow has already covered the higher parts of Alps, most of the mountain huts are closed, days are short and temperatures during the night are around zero or less. Only very little hikers decide to go into the higher parts of the Alps which makes it almost a wilderness area. The landscape during the spring is fairy-tale-like and colours almost unreal. With a great weather forecast for the next few days, it was a perfect time for a nature-lover adventure. I packed my backpack with everything I need for 4 days and went to swiss canton of Ticino in the Lepontine Alps region. READ MORE !

Calonge, Costa Brava, Spain

Calonge 001

Once you have a family tent in the basement, there is nothing stopping you from opening the car’s trunk, throw inside everything what is needed for 1 week camping, fill up the tank with gasoline and hit the road. It doesn’t take much time if you have done this many times before and you know exactly what you need. No need to make any bookings, not many people decide to go camping in October. The only which is needed is a couple of addresses of campsites which are open at this time of the year. So we hit the road and arrived at Camping Internacional de Calonge in Calonge, Costa Brava. READ MORE !

Canoe Trip Kolovesi-Joutenvesi-Linnansaari (64km), Finland

Kolovesi 001The Finnish Lakeland (Finnish: Järvi-Suomi) is the largest lake district in Europe. Nature-made labyrinth of 168’000 crystal-clear lakes and countless number of islands covered by unspoiled forest.
The fabulous landscapes of National Parks Linnansaari, Kolovesi and Nature Reserve Joutenvesi offer a paradise for paddlers. There is only one way to explore this area the right way – by kayak or canoe. Finnish Lakeland is also a home to the endangered freshwater Saimaa ringed seal. It is the only place in the world where they live. READ MORE !

50km family hike in the Northern Vosges Regional Nature Park, France

Northern Vosges 001Grande Traversée des Vosges(Vosges Grand Trail) is a 17 days hike through the Northern Vosges Regional Nature Park and Ballons des Vosges Nature Park. The 298km long trail follows the long distance footpaths (Grande Randonnées) GR 53-5, GR 531 and GR 532. Having 4 days free we decided to hike from Wissembourg to Obersteinbach, which is stage 2,3,4 of the Vosges Grand Trail. READ MORE !

Ski Holiday Meiringen-Hasliberg, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Meiringen-Hasliberg 001
This winter we have visited the Meiringen-Haslital ski resort again and booked accommodation in Brienz as last year. On the first day we took the cable car from Mägisalp to Alpentower where we could observe the uncommon phenomena called “sea of clouds” formed by the uniform layer of clouds below. It is often compared to an open sea with the mountain peaks rising above the clouds looking like small island on the horizon. Standing there, looking at the clouds below and the surrounding mountains, it was really hard to believe that it is only about 2245m above the sea level and there are mountains on our planet which are almost 4 times higher than this one… READ MORE !

Giverola, Costa Brava, Spain

Giverola 001

It was the autumn holiday again and this time we decided to fly to Girona and spend a week at the coast of Costa Brava. Girona airport is located only about 30km from the coastal line and the nearest cities such as Lloret de Mar or Tossa de Mar can be reached by a shuttle bus in 30 minutes.
We wanted to stay away from cities like Lloret de Mar and spend our free time closer to the nature. One of our choices was Camping Cala Llevadó but at the end we decided to book an apartment at Giverola Resort. READ MORE !

Kayaking on the Ruda River, Poland

Ruda River 001

Poland is one of the best kayaking destinations in Europe. There is Mazury (Masurian Lake District) in the north, also known as The Land of a Thousand Lakes, with endless kayaking routes where you can paddle for days or even weeks and also many, many great rivers for paddling.
Some of the river kayaking routes in Poland are considered as the most beautiful in Europe. The most popular routes are: Krutynia River, Biebrza River, Czarna Hańcza River and the Augustow Canal.
I was not aware that the Ruda River, which is located about 25km from my hometown, is one of the most interesting kayaking rivers in the south of Poland… READ MORE !

Climbing Barrhorn (3610m) in 1 day, Switzerland

Barrhorn 001Highest Mountain Hike in Europe or Highest “snow-free” Mountain in Europe.
This is how the Barrhorn summit is often described. What does it really mean ?
Barrhorn summit claims to be the highest mountain in Europe which is “snow-free” during summer and can be ascended via the normal route by an experienced hiker without any climbing gear. I have came across this mountain while searching the web for a summit over 3000 which can be ascended in 1 day without previous mountaineering experience and without crossing any ice/glacier. READ MORE !

Marrakech & Sahara Desert Tour, Morocco

Sahara 001Spending a night on the desert was one of many things I wanted to do before they put me in the coffin. Visiting south Morocco and Sahara Desert has been on my mind for at least 3 years but I was never sure whether it is a good idea to do such trip with kids… Now I know. The idea was great and it was fun for everybody including kids.
Normally we plan our holiday ourself but this time we decided to spend the first and second night in Marrakech and book Sahara Desert Tour from Marrakech. This saved us a lot of time, hustle and allowed us to enjoy the trip fully having more time for our kids and everything else.
Finding a good tour provider which also had reasonably prices was not easy. My main criteria was that it had to be a local Moroccan company so the money goes to local community rather then to some foreign fat cats… READ MORE !

Lago Ritom, Ticino, Switzerland

MTB Lago Ritom 001The natural lake Lago Ritom, located in Piora valley, Ticino, Switzerland is used as a reservoir to generate hydro-electric power for the Gotthard line. Our plan was to cycle up to Lago Ritom and cycle some of the trails around the lake. Unfortunately all trails were covered by snow and we only got to the lake after breaking through some small snowdrifts and a road blocked by an avalanche… There was no chance to get further.
I am posting some pictured from our short ride. I am hoping to come back to this place in Summer and explore the area on a bike … READ MORE

Ski Holiday Brienz & Haslital, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Haslital 001The winter holiday were approaching and we still didn’t have anything booked… This year instead of going to Klewenalp-Stockhütte we decided to try something new … The prices during winter holiday for accommodations located close to ski slopes are pretty high so we decided to stay in a much cheaper place located not far from a good ski resort. Our choice was Brienz which is located only 14km from Meiringen-Hasliberg resort and ca. 17km from Axalp ski resort. READ MORE !