Covering an area of 370 square kilometers, the valleys of the Beverin Nature Park are home to historically, culturally and linguistically diverse communities. There are 2500 inhabitants in the park’s eleven communities. For visitors coming from Thusis, the Via Mala Gorge is the entrance portal to the park. Daunting historical bridges adorn this “evil road”. Often referred to as “Sixtina of the Alps,” the Church of St. Martin in Zillis boasts a fully preserved ceiling fresco from the 12th century – the only one of its kind in the world. On the San Bernardino transit route, the Roffla Gorge opens up and farther on, towards Splügen, the Hinterrheintal, or Upper Rhine Valley, where the visitor exits the southern end of the Nature Park. The experienced hiker is familiar with this trail, since it is part of the Via Spluga.The Safien Valley is reached by PostBus coming from the area of the Ruinaulta (Rhine Canyon) or by foot from Tschappina. Before the mountains became accessible to vehicular traffic at the end of the 19th century, the historic route via the Glas Pass was the most important link to the North for the inhabitants of the Safien villages. Around 1300 A.D., Walsers from Rheinwald came over the mountain and settled in the inner Safien Valley. A peaceful and secluded lifestyle and love of nature, home and hearth are to this day the defining characteristics of the people living in the Walser Valley. Beverin Nature Park encompasses valleys in different language regions, each with its own cultural heritage. 3000 people live in the park’s eleven communities. The cultural diversity of Beverin Nature Park is reflected in the intact townscapes, the typical dispersed settlements and gently tended cultural landscapes as well as in the vernaculars of the Walsers and Rhaeto-Romans.
The 2998-meter Piz Beverin, located in the middle of Beverin Nature Park, dominates the park’s scenery. Majestic, serene, frugal, persevering and peaceful – these are the characteristics defining this habitat of the capricorn (Rhaeto-Romanic for ibex). The park covers 412 square kilometres from Thusis to Schams and includes large parts of the Safien Valley.