A 20 minute drive from Locarno, Verzasca Dam is a very popular tourist attraction. The view of the Verzasca Valley, the lake and the dam itself is stunning. If you have more time and enjoy being in the nature, you can use this point to start on a hiking trail or to drive through the beautiful villages along the river.
The dam is officially called Contra Dam, however you will find it named mostly Verzasca Dam and sometimes Locarno Dam. The dam, which was finished in 1965, sits on the Verzasca River. The artificial lake that was created by the water accumulated behind the dam is called Vogorno. Not only the dam itself, but the whole Verzasca Valley is very beautiful.
Several hiking trails start at the Verzasca Dam. For example, the one to Tenero-Contra, a town close to lake Locarno. Two other trails take you to Corippo in almost 4 hours, at the other end of the lake Vogorno. These are among the most popular, as you will walk through amazing landscape and beautiful villages on your way to Corippo. There are plenty of restaurants on the way, so you can stop for a meal or for a drink.
There are numerous other trails in the region as you can see here.
Bungee jumping like James Bond
As of 2017, the first jump costs 255 Swiss Francs, and the 2nd jump during the same day is 125. Definitely not a bargain.
Most people arrive at Verzasca Dam by car. It is possible to walk from Tenero-Contra in about one hour or even from Locarno in about two. When driving from Locarno, there are parking places just before the dam itself. You can pay by the hour at the machines and it’s best to have Swiss Franc coins. There is a small shop and there are also toilets next to the parking lot.
If you are spending more time in the Verzasca Valley region, consider the Verzasca Parking Card. At a cost of CHF 10 per day or CHF 30 per week, it offers unlimited parking in the specially designated areas. There is a chance you will find available parking easier in these special places, you save money when compared to the hourly prices, and you don’t need to have coins all the time. There is a sign directing you to the Verzasca Parking Card parking area at the Verzasca Dam. You can buy the card at various info points, tourist offices, kiosks and restaurants in the area.