Four valleys, two cultures, one park - famous for its deep gorges, intact villages, clear mountain lakes and capricorns (Romansh for ibex). These great kings of the mountain live majestically in the cliffs around Piz Beverin (2'998 metres) and watch over the wild and unique landscape. Approximately 3'000 inhabitants, living in the eleven municipalities of Andeer, Casti-Wergenstein, Donat, Ferrera, Lohn, Mathon, Rongellen, Safien, Sufers, Tschappina and Zillis-Reischen make up the basis of the Beverin Nature Park. Together with the park's municipalities, the local population, and various partners, the Beverin Nature Park staff strives to find innovative and creative solutions to work towards an economically and socially sustainable development of the region.
The famous Viamala gorge forms the northern entrance to the Nature Park. The name was in earlier times a warning sign, «veias malas» meaning «bad roads». In its depths, the Hinterrhine winds rapidly northwards through mystical cliffs and, since centuries, forms a barrier for people travelling to the south. Once the obstacle is overcome, the valley opens up and travelers reach the Val Schons. Rare cultural goods show evidence of the valley's eventful history. With its unique painted wooden ceiling from the 12th century, the St.-Martin church in Zillis, also known as the «Sistine Chapel of the Alps», is one of the most important cultural goods in the Beverin Nature Park. The Rofflaschlucht, with its impressive hike to the roaring waterfall, connects the Val Schons to the Rheinwald and to the Val Ferra. Behind the Rofflaschlucht, the idyllic village of Sufers in Rheinwald is the Nature Park's southern gateway. Sufers is the only municipality in the park to have a lake. In its cheese dairy, delicious and well-known cheeses are made from goat, sheep and cow milk. When the municipality of Safiental merged, the fractions Versam and Valendas joined the park. Thanks to this extension, a part of the Rhine Gorge - known as the Grand Canyon of the alps - is now an important natural and landscape element of the Beverin Nature Park. You can access the Safiental's Walser villages through the Ruinaulta (Rhine Gorge). As one of the most pristine region in Switzerland, Safiental has a lot to offer: a vibrant Walser culture, amazing natural landscapes and the first solar ski lift in the world. From Safiental you can also reach Tschappina by going over the «Stäga» (Glaspass). This historical route over the Glaspass was the most important link to the north for the people of Safien before the development of the transport system in the 19th century.
The Beverin Nature Park is influenced by two cultures. The municipalities of Safiental, Tschappina and Sufers belong to the Walser culture. At the beginning of the 14th century, the German-speaking Walser came from Upper Valais and settled in these areas. The Val Schons and the Val Ferrera are home to the Romansh culture. The smallest of the five Romansh dialects, the Sutsilvan is spoken there. In the other municipalities, people mostly speak Swiss-german (either the Graubünden dialect or sometimes the Walser dialect). In the Safiental, the Walser dialect is still spoken and is an unmistakable link between the Walser settlements and the Upper Valais, where the Walser originally came from.
The Beverin Nature Park has an ibex on its logo because in the heart of the park, around the Piz Beverin, lies the federal no-hunting protected area, which hosts the Safien- Rheinwald colony (around 350 animals). With a bit of luck, you might be able to spot one of these majestic animals during the very challenging 3-day trail «Via Capricorn» or during a guided Wildlife excursion.