Engadin St. Moritz: the home of winter sport
Four large and seven small snow sport areas transform Engadin St. Moritz into a varied winter wonderland – one of the most extensive in Switzerland. And one of the most beautiful, too.
Feel the sun on your face and the powder under your feet the whole day long! For the region can lay claim to 350 kilometres (217 miles) of ski pistes. Not to mention fantastic weather – the Engadin is truly blessed with an abundance of sunshine. When the temperatures sink, the winter really comes into its own; as soon as it is cold enough, the Engadin air begins to glitter, as if it were filled with millions of the finest of snow crystals. The locals refer to these magical moments of bliss as a “champagne climate”. The fact that guests usually associate this word with a glass of the effervescent drink can hardly be held against them. After all, that too can be just as sparkling.
Thanks to its altitude of between 1,800 and 3,303 metres (5,906 – 10,837 ft) above sea level, snow is guaranteed. Moreover, the highly modern ski lifts ensure a minimum of waiting time and a maximum of efficiency in a region that is renowned for its variety; after all, it was here that, according to the legend, winter tourism was born some 150 years ago. St. Moritz – the original winter holiday resort. And a ski area, that even among world-class athletes enjoys an excellent reputation.
Engadin St. Moritz is a paradise for everyone who feels at home in the (bicycle) saddle. Exploring this glorious Alpine landscape is a never-ending thrill – whether alone or in a group, independently or on an organised tour… …
such as on a mountain bike, for example – over 400km (250 miles) of enchanting singletrails and marked routes lead throughout the Engadin mountain landscape, past breathtakingly beautiful backdrops and up to spectacular heights. Those who prefer a gentler start to their day can take a cable car, funicular or gondola and ride the first couple of hundred vertical metres up onto the Corviglia in comfort. And their smile is sure to last, given the breathtaking panoramic trails and the thrilling descents that await them at the top.
It is not without good reason that the Engadin is one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the Alps. The route network is constantly being expanded.
Incidentally, bikers will sleep even better at night by taking advantage of the Mountain Bike Special: this special arrangement comprises accommodation, transport on the mountain rail- and cableways, guided tours and various other discounts.
When the sun shines over the Upper Engadin, the lake plateau, the side valleys and the flanks of the mountains are transformed into a poetic interplay of shadow and light. The air is infused with the scent of larch needles and the bark of Swiss stone-pine trees. The intense blue of the sky is intoxicating to the eye; everyday cares feel as if they have been blown away by the pleasantly light, dry breeze.
In Engadin St. Moritz, 580 kilometres (360 miles) of footpaths are waiting to be explored: on strolls, walks, longer hikes and multi-day tours. And for every taste, there is another path to happiness. The views are particularly spectacular on the hiking mountain of Muottas Muragl, whose challenging paths offer a magnificent natural high. Strolls down in the valley, meanwhile, are especially idyllic – for example, in the pleasantly shady Staz forest, followed by an invigorating dip in the lake. Those who simply cannot have enough of hiking can plan a multi-day tour through the glorious natural landscape – along the Via Alpina, for example, or through the Swiss National Park, home to an exceptionally rich wildlife
Alpinism enjoys a long-standing tradition in the region, especially in Pontresina. The mountain village, surrounded by the Bernina massif, is the ideal location for mountain-climbing. The imposing mountains were first conquered in the middle of the 19th century, mainly by local mountaineers. And the majestic ice- and snow-covered Engadin mountains have been a major attraction and destination for mountain-climbing enthusiasts ever since.
How about traversing a glacier equipped with pickaxe and crampons, or climbing via the Bianco ridge up to the Piz Bernina attached by rope to an experienced mountain climber, or feeling the proximity of the granite along a climbing route? Try one of the vie ferrate, or manoeuvre your way along the easy or difficult obstacles at lofty heights on the high-rope challenge course. All these thrilling challenges can be tackled in Pontresina and the surrounding area.
The height of good taste
In Engadin St. Moritz, there are 34 mountain restaurants situated right next to the pistes, offering a surprisingly wide selection of culinary treats.
Naturally they also serve fondue and alpine macaroni. But now and again, it is worth spending an extended lunch break or even a whole evening delighting in outstanding alpine gastronomy. For the ski areas in the Upper Engadin are also veritable gourmet Meccas. The cuisine on offer ranges from simple home fare, such as that prepared at the cosy Berghaus Fuorcla Surlej, to the market-fresh menus and crisp salad buffet at the Murtèl middle station on the Corvatsch, right through to the superlative Kempinski gourmet dishes served at the Chesa Chantarella.
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