Bird Shows in Europe – Locarno, Switzerland


Bird Shows in Europe – Locarno, Switzerland

Looking to see birds of prey on your next European trip? Do you want a child-friendly activity that is educational and fun?

Visit the Locarno Bird Show in Locarno, Switzerland. Locarno is at the northern end of Lake Maggiore and is home to a spectacular bird show!


The Locarno Bird Show, or Falconeria Locarno, is an impressive one-hour show (performed twice a day). For the show, the audience sits in a large outdoor theater (which sits up to 600 people!). The audience will see an array of birds flying before them and over them. The show is in Italian and German, but even if you do not speak the language, the privilege of seeing these birds of prey is awe-inspiring.

The Locarno Falconry show has an unusual collection of birds that are not in the typical roster of bird shows. I saw birds that I have not seen before, including: the impressive bearded vulture, the adorable spectacled owl, and the powerful Steller’s sea eagle (one of the largest eagles in the world!).

If you are in the Locarno area, make a point of see the bird show!

*For more photos of the birds, Locarno, and Lake Maggiore click here for my travel photography website where you can also purchase photos, prints and canvas prints.



1 – WALK – The Falconeria Locarno is not far from the main downtown. You can reach the Falconeria by walking to the Castle in Locarno, past the castle through the Piazza Castello and up the Via A. Nessi street where you will see signs to the Falconeria

2 – BUS – You can also take the 311 bus from the train station in downtown Locarno and get off at the “Palazzo FEVI” then walk a few minutes to the Falconeria (follow the signs).

3 – For more information, see the website for a map and tips on how to reach them by clicking here:



Hours – Open 10am to 5pm (4pm in the winter)

Show Times – 11am and 3pm

Closed – Mondays

Prices – 25 Swiss francs for adults, 18 for children (ages 4-16), special prices for groups (*prices listed as of Summer 2017)

Website – For the official website click here.


To read more about what to see and do in Locarno, click here for how to get a spectacular view of Lake Maggiore.

To read about other locations to visit on Lake Maggiore, click here.


Cable Car ride to Albigna Dam – Switzerland

Bregaglia Swiss Valley

The Bregaglia Valley in Switzerland adventures continued… Part Six

Apart from all of the lovely Swiss valley towns to see in the Bregaglia Valley there is also hiking, rock climbing, biking, and more. To read about the Swiss valley towns see previous posts or click here to read about the town of Bondo or click here for more information about this Swiss Bregaglia Valley.


Cable Car ride up the mountains

Another great activity to do while visiting this area is to ride the cable car up to see the Albigna dam and Albigna Lake. Soon after the town of Vicosoprano the road starts to have more switchbacks and there is a dirt parking lot to pull into where you can park and then walk over to the cable car building. The cable car is very small, it probably only fits about 6 to 8 people, and if you are not good at heights this will be terrifying for you as the car goes up to 2,163 meters elevation (7,097 feet). For those not afraid of heights this is a spectacular ride and on a clear day you can see all the way down the valley.

The cable car takes you to the foot of the Albigna dam, one of 150 dams in Switzerland! The dam was built in 1959 as a hydroelectric station. You can walk up to the dam and along the dam edge, again getting more great views of the valley and the Lake Albigna on the other side. From here there are numerous hiking routes available.


To read more about Swiss dams click here

** Click to see more photos of the Bregaglia Valley here at Monica Goslin Photography where you can also buy prints!


Traveling in the Swiss Valley of Bregaglia – Part Five

Bregaglia Swiss Valley

Traveling in the Swiss Valley of Bregaglia continued – Part Five

Driving through the Swiss Valley of Bregaglia means you can stop at all of the adorable Swiss valley towns. Below I describe the main stops one should make. Enjoy the scenery and keep reading to learn about these charming Swiss towns. See previous posts to read about the towns of Bondo, Soglio, and Stampa.


A map measured by steps – literally

The town of Vicosoprano comes after Stampa and it is also extremely charming. Vicosoprano dates by to 1096 and is rather larger than the other towns. You will find it best to park in the large parking lot at the foot of the town, right off the main valley road again, and explore the town by foot. Vicosoprano is a town with bakery and dairy farm with the little grocery store selling the locally made bread. You can smell the sweet smell of breaking bread as it wafts through town but make sure to be ready in the store because the bread goes very quickly until the next batch of hot bread is ready for sale.

Walk down the main road in Vicosoprano and pass large Swiss houses that are dotted with many small windows. Notice the sgraffiti artwork along with some frescos on the facades of the houses. And one very neat fresco is that of a map of the valley with all of the towns listed and a note of how long it takes to walk to each town from Vicosoprano.

The main road leads to a square with a charming stone fountain, a church off to the right, and more houses. In the spring and summer time you will find the towns abundant with flowers, adding a great array of color to the valley towns. And if you explore a bit further and go off the main road in Vicosoprano you will find log cabin homes, more frescos, and a bridge leading over the river to more of the town.


So make sure to buy some freshly baked bread before you head up the road and drive on to St. Mortiz if that is your final destination.

Click to see more photos of the Swiss towns here at Monica Goslin Photography where you can also buy prints!

Don’t miss the next post for information on riding a funicular up into the mountains of the Bregaglia valley!


Stampa – Swiss Valley of Bregaglia – Part Four

Bregaglia Swiss Valley

Traveling in the Swiss Valley of Bregaglia continued – Part Four

After visiting the towns of Bondo and Soglio, the next stop should be the small town of Stampa.

To read the previous post about the Swiss town of Bondo and Soglio click here.

– To read about the Swiss Valley, how to get there, and what are the typical features… click here


The pink castle of Stampa

You will know Stampa by the pink castle that you can see from the main driving road that runs through the center of the valley. The pink castle of Stampa is called the Palazzo Castelmur and was built in the 1700’s with the addition of the Moorish style structure in the mid 1800’s by Giovanni Castelmur. Mr. Castelmur was born in Stampa but raised in Marseille where the Castelmur family owned a pastry shop. The pink castle in Stampa is now a museum that shows how the Castelmur family lived and has a room recreated to look like the family pastry shop.

For more information about the pink castle in Stampa, click here

The town of Stampa also runs over the main road of the valley with the Ciasa Granda on one side. The Ciasa Granda is a massive building that dominates the roadside, it was built by Giovanni Stampa in 1581, renovated in the 1950’s and today houses a museum about the valley as well as housing works by the Giacometti family. Stampa is the home of the famous Swiss artist family, Giacometti. Hours for the museum vary and there is a rather large lunch break when the museum is closed.


After Stampa there is the small town of Borgonovo, which is literally one road but dotted with more cute houses.


See these Swiss towns and more by clicking here for Monica Goslin photography where photos are also available to buy as prints and canvas prints.


Traveling in the Swiss Valley of Bregaglia – Bondo, Soglio


Traveling in the Swiss Valley of Bregaglia continued – Part Three – Bondo and Soglio

Driving through the Swiss Valley of Bregaglia means you can stop at all of the adorable Swiss valley towns. Below I describe the main stops one should make. Enjoy the scenery and keep reading to learn about these charming Swiss towns. After the border town of Castasegna (mentioned in the previous post) you approach a fork in the road leading one way to the quaint town of Bondo at the valley floor and the other that leads high into the mountains to Soglio.


Bondo is a charming town that is pretty much all pedestrian, so drive off the main road and park at the small parking lot and get out to explore this small town on foot.

The history of Bondo says the town dates back to 1250 and had about 200 buildings until a fire in 1621, which destroyed the village. The town rebuilt and it appears that all of the buildings date back to just after the fire as you will see a set of two dates carved into the stones above the doorways, one date for when the house was built and another for when it was renovated.

Interesting Fact: This two-date system can also be seen throughout the valley and even up into the Engadin Valley with St. Mortiz.

In the center of Bondo you will find a small church, S. Maria, with late 15th century frescos. Note that the fresco of the last super in the church of Bondo has the apostles enjoying a meal of what appears to be cray fish, which I must say I have not seen before.

And on the outskirts of Bondo you will find large wooden structures that are barns and storage for hay. These wooden barns are another common feature in the Bregaglia Valley.


Soglio is a wonderful Swiss town filled with stone houses, wooden barns, and every turn provides spectacular views of the mountains. In fact, Soglio is said to be one of the most picturesque towns in Switzerland!

After visiting Bondo at the foot of the valley you can drive up to Soglio, which sits at 1,090 meters (Bondo is at 823 meters). The earliest mention of Soglio is from 1219 and like Bondo you can see two dates above many doorways. This is another town you can park, get out and walk through. Many hiking trails start in Soglio as well and you will see yellow signs indicating how long it takes to walk to certain points which is always helpful, although I don’t know who’s walking pace these times are based on.

Interesting fact: The yellow signs with times and distances are a common feature throughout Switzerland where hiking is a great hobby.

If you spend the night in the valley I would recommend the Hotel Palazzo Salis which is in the heart of Soglio, sports a gorgeous garden in the back which is home to two giant sequoia trees, and cozy Swiss interiors. Or you can also just stop in for a gelato in the spring and summer time or a good cappuccino in the winter. The historic Hotel Palazzo Salis was built in 1630 and the baroque rose garden dates back to 1701.


* For more photographs of Swiss towns Soglio and Bondo by clicking here for Monica Goslin photography where photos are also available to buy as prints and canvas prints.