Engadin St. Moritz in 60 Hours

Thursday

7.00 pm - Arrive and immerse yourself

Proud patrician houses like Chesa Planta show off their Sgraffito designs, hidden alleyways, secretive nooks and crannies entice whimsical exploration in the living past: the village of Zuoz is known as one of the most beautiful in the whole Engadin, and this is not simply a façade, so to speak. Upon the village square children play, while the grown-ups enjoy a coffee at Hotel Klarer and perhaps even a Klarerli chocolate dessert from the in-house confectioner’s.

8.00 pm - Two true originals

This corner of the Engadin has a fair bit to offer in terms of culinary delights, as well. Daniel Bumann in La Punt’s Chesa Pirani scores two of Michelin stars. Anyone preferring something a bit more down-to-earth is bound to prefer the rustic variety in restaurant Dorta in Zuoz. Here, in the cosy ambience that only a converted archaic hay-loft can provide, one can sample a wonderful array of regional delicacies in what many agree is one of the most original locales in the whole valley.

Friday

9.30 am - In seventh heaven

In the footsteps of the famous painter, Giovanni Segantini, to one of the Engadin’s most beautiful viewpoints: the Segantini Hut. The ascent is steep, but the view is worth the effort. The hospitable host and hostess of the Segantini Hut will pamper you with a selection from their simple menu.

1.00 pm - Earthly pleasures, divine views

Such a spectacular view of the Engadin’s lakes is found nowhere else: in the restaurant of the romantic hotel Muottas Muragl, one is given first-row seats, while the regional and Mediterranean specialities combined with the alpine backdrop are sure to overwhelm you with delight. Notably, this is the first Plus-energy hotel in the Alps and generates, throughout the year, more energy than it consumes.

3.00 pm - A stroll through time

Graubünden’s oldest cable car conveys one in just a few minutes to the valley floor, with a connection by bus to St. Moritz. The history of this legendary place can be grasped in the course of this short tour. From the village centre, where the enchanting old structures are found, to Chesa Futura of the well-known British architect, Norman Foster with its façade of over 250,000 larch shingles, which rises from the rooftops. Via Maistra pulsates with village life, while above on the hill, the famous leaning tower of St. Moritz, erected in the 12th century, can be seen.

6.00 pm - A glass at the lake

Thanks to the steady Maloja wind, the St. Moritz Sailing Club, founded in 1941, was able to become firmly established in Europe, as the wind keeps the skiffs and catamarans scooting along at a good clip. Enjoying an aperitif in front of the Sailing Club restaurant, you can set your gaze out on the water and relax, watching the small waves rock the boats lazily to and fro.

7.30 pm - Dinner with local colour

The oldest house in St. Moritz is not only impressive because of its 350-year history, but also due to its inner beauty: Chesa Veglia is a small, rustic offshoot of the 5-star hotel, Badrutt’s Palace – and a proper oasis for aficionados. A more down-to-earth alternative is to be found in the Veltlinerkeller, which is also a favourite among locals and offers its attractions homemade Italian pasta.

10.00 pm - Wine and singing

Anyone on the lookout for a nightcap will find the best chance of getting a refined glass of cultivated wine at Pavarotti & Friends on the Plazza dal Mulin. The host of this cosy locale does bear a stark resemblance to the famous opera star, and is even known to belt out an aria of his own from time to time. Above all, however, he seems to have the rare ability to match the suitable wine to the taster, making the wine list almost superfluous.

Saturday

9.00 am - Mountain biking

All beginnings are easy: the first few meters of elevation gain up to Corviglia are not so hard – thanks, of course, to the gondola, which comfortably brings both bikers and bikes to a height of 2500 meters above sea-level. From up here, a fantastic network of trails leads through the alpine panorama. It is just the thing to get you in the flow – until your stomach starts to growl and you realize it is high time for an early lunch.

11.30 am - Arena for pleasure seekers

The Trutz Hut, the mountain restaurant of the renowned Suvretta House, is a promising locale. But it is not just the cuisine which is gratifying (from the heartily traditional, or sporty and light, to succulently sweet), but also the view that can be enjoyed from the expansive, platform-like sun terrace. Aficionados will also surely not be disappointed at Mathi’s Food Affairs on Corviglia or at El Paradiso. It will not be long before you are feeling antsy, however, and wanting to get back onto your bike and onto the Flow Trail.

12.30 pm - Go with the flow

The unique flow trails on Corviglia turn every mountain biker into wave rider. This is not a typical downhill biking course meant for pros, but rather a softly undulating and flowing trail which the whole family can enjoy. Through hill and dale, wood and meadow, ride the flowing ribbon of trail through this delightful mountain panorama to St. Moritz on either the Corviglia or WM Flow Trails, or even to St. Moritz-Champfèr on Foppettas Flow Trail.

4.00 pm - Pure relaxation

After a long day on the bike, it is time to kick back and relax – you’ve earned it! Take, for example, the Ovaverva bathing facility in St. Moritz with its sauna area and exterior heated pool with a view to Piz Julier and Piz Albana. Alternately, you could simply lounge cosily on the sun terrace with a nice tea. There is also the mineral bath and spa in Samedan which leads you on a relaxing journey through three storeys of stylishly designed spaces with a variety of sensual baths and steam rooms, ending at length on the roof under the Engadin’s star-studded sky.

7.00 pm - The finest meat in Graubünden

Such a variety of tastes, yet all seem to agree: in Bellavista in Surlej, not only is the food sensational, but it also has an atmosphere to match. In five separate dining parlours, you will find a celebration of the senses and comfort taking place as you sample both an array of regional specialities as well as excellent dishes of locally hunted game.

10.30 pm - Welcome to the clubs

Anyone not yet ready to call it a night will be pleased: St. Mortiz’s clubs provide all the makings for perfect nightcap. For example, in Vivai in Hotel Steffani, where «tout St. Moritz» meets.

Sunday

10.00 am - Hot chocolate à la Graubünden

In the local cafés and confectioneries, Hauser and Hanselmann, the best hot chocolate in the valley is served, which promises an especially sweet start to the day. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to succumb to additional temptation while you are at it; the Engadin nut cakes of these two confectioners are of unrivalled scrumptiousness.

11.00 am - High alpine cruise

For more than 100 years, at exactly 1800 meters above sea-level, there has been a scheduled boat service underway upon the Lake of Sils, making the crossing from Sils Maria to Maloja in forty minutes. It is recommended to debark in Plaun da Lej, as here there is another siren on the shore, calling seafarers into temptation.

1.00 pm - High-noon at the lakeside

Restaurant Murtaröl in Plaun da Lej, with its wind-sheltered terrace, is the Engadin’s premier fish restaurant. The proprietors, Aris Plaun da Lej, as both the heart and soul – as well as the treasurers - of this company, pride themselves on having the greatest selection of fresh and live fish, crustaceans, mussels, oysters and molluscs in the Alps.

2.00 pm - In Nietzsche’s footsteps

Next stop: Chasté. It is best to prematurely end the return trip by ship by debarking at this wonderful peninsula. Here, in the shade of the larch trees, stands the same bench that renowned philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once sat upon while receiving inspiration for his work. Feeling closely kindred to the Engadin, he spent several summers in Sils Maria, leaving his traces – especially prevalent in the Nietzsche House, which now serves as museum and research institute.

3.00 pm - Gone with the wind

Shortly after noon in the Engadin, the Maloja wind comes up and the kites begin to dance upon the Lake of Silvaplana. This is a good reason to take a break and watch the colourful motions of the kitesurfers before heading home over the Julier Pass.



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