5. Stage: Bex - Cevio (14 June 2017) - Hilly stage
Start in Bex
With the third largest territory in the state of Vaud, Bex municipality stretches from the banks of the Rhône to the summit of Les Diablerets and is characterised by a wide variety of landscapes and a particularly rich range of colours.
Nestled at the foot of Montet Hill and sheltered from the wind, Bex village is located at the meeting point of the two valleys of Avançon de Nant and Avançon d’Anzeindaz. Higher up, Pont-de-Nant and the Solalex pasture make for wonderful excursions, in an abundant, welcoming natural environment, forming a haven of peace and healing for many visitors. With more than 3000 mountain plants classified by region, “La Thomasia” Alpine garden at Pont-de-Nant is the entrance to the Vallon de Nant Natural Reserve.
Crisscrossing clay-like soil, the vineyards of Bex produce a characteristic wine whose fame goes way beyond the canton’s borders. A large number of other natural sources feed the network with exceptional quality drinking water while a salt mine supplies the entire population in the Canton. The Salt Mines are also a not-to-be-missed attraction to visit while in the area.
A large number of events are organised in Bex regularly, such as the tri-annual “Bex & Art” – an exhibition of huge contemporary sculptures of national importance in a fantastic natural setting.
Finish in Cevio
Being modelled through the years by its river Maggia, Valle Maggia is the broadest valley of the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.
The side valley linked to Valle Maggia – called Bavona, Lavizzara and Rovana – enrich the territory with spectacular mountains that appeal to hikers from all over the world.
Cevio is at the coming together of three alpine valleys and the town represents the last portion of flat land before the steps carved in the ice ages.
The existence of Cevio and its central role in the valley has been reported since 1230.
The town is rich in well-preserved historical sites, like the charming “Piazza” that is surrounded by nineteenth-century houses.
The Museo di Valmaggia, the museum in the old district of Cevio, is the most important cultural facility of the whole region.
In the hamlet of Boschetto time stopped in 1700: even today people can see the structure of the ancient rural village, with its typical stone wall houses.
In areas marked by fallen rocks in ancient times, the caves are until today used to store wine, cheese and cold cuts - and they will be consumed all together on the traditional stone tables.
Throughout the low Maggia Valley, the river flows slowly and offers visitors beautiful beaches made of fine sand, with natural wells dug into the rock where the emerald fresh water can be enjoyed.
The town of Cevio is also the starting point of the road to Bosco Gurin. With its 1506 meters above the sea level, and the arrival of a memorable stage of Tour de Suisse in 1997, it is the highest village of Canton Ticino.