In this mountaineering village with its glacier view, old Engadine houses mix with proud belle-époque buildings and give the village a unique picture postcard ambience. Pontresina is located on a sun terrace, inviting lovers of beautiful natural scenery to enjoy the panorama. From here, numerous trails wind uphill and offer a view of the Engadine mountains and their majestic Bernina Massif.
Geographically, Maloja is the southernmost village in the Engadine. From a political point of view, it is part of the Bergell, which opens up spectacularly towards the end of the village. Artists, such as Giacometti and Segantini, have raved about this spectacle of nature, leaving behind well-known paintings. Today, you mainly meet hikers, rope parties, and cross-country skiers. Maloja is the starting point for the famous annual Engadine ski marathon.
The centre of the village is peppered with beautiful Engadine houses, which exude an entrancing charm. The legendary Waldhaus is perched above it all, surrounded by scenic locations, such as the Val Fex and the mountains that end here on the shores of Lake Sils and Silvaplana.
Mount Corvatsch dominates the landscape; an invitation to enjoy activities all year round. In the summer months, Lake Silvaplana is covered with colourful dots – it’s Eldorado for kiters and surfers, who cross the lake using the Maloja wind. It’s a splendid spectacle that gives Silvaplana and the hamlet of Surlej an entrancing dynamic.
A stream divides this small town into two communities: Silvaplana and St Moritz. Geographically, the tranquil village, with its 300 inhabitants, is situated in the most beautiful location, with Lake Champfèr on the doorstep and the Albana mountain slope in the background. And it’s only a snowball’s throw from the ski resort of St Moritz.
Snow polo. World Cup races. Shopping destination. This is how the whole world knows and loves St Moritz. Yet, despite its popularity, this village, with its worldly flair, has managed to preserve its tranquillity. Here, you can explore the mountains, cross the frozen lake or simply daydream behind the windows of the legendary hotel lobbies and ski lodges, all within a truly magnificent setting.
Celerina prides itself as the sun queen of the Engadine, because this former farming town is blessed with the powerful mountain sun sending its rays here a little longer than anywhere else. In the centre of the village, the Cresta Palace adds a touch of grandeur, and is an exciting contrast to the well-kept Engadine riverfront mansions on the banks of the Inn and in the narrow streets by the Bel Taimpel (Romansh for ‘beautiful temple’) church.
Touch down at the highest airport in the Alps! Samedan is home to the Rhaetian Railway and a large part of the population of the Engadine. It therefore offers an excellent infrastructure for its approximately 3,000 inhabitants and numerous guests, as well as a considerable number of shops and tourist highlights, such as the panoramic mountain Muottas Muragl and the mystical mineral bath, which opened in 2009.
Usually, when anyone hears of Bever, they immediately think of the Val Bever, a peaceful valley, which can be explored by horse-drawn carriage or on foot. On the right-hand side, the Fairy Tale Trail winds its way into the vale, with stations depicting Engadine stories, as a homage to the fairy tale culture of the old village, with its historic church and the stately houses on the Chà d`Mez and Chà Suot.
The divided La Punt Chamues-ch is where the Plaiv begins, a charming region stretching to the village of S-chanf. Its backyard mountain, Piz Mezzaun, is nearly 3,000 metres high, but it’s not the only highlight of the municipality: the quietest side valley of the Engadine, the Val Chamuera, is followed by a beautifully wild mountain landscape. And anyone who appreciates fine cuisine will find their way to the foot of the Albula Pass sooner or later.
You can spot the stone roofs of Madulain from Guardaval, the largest castle ruins of the Engadine, and once you approach the banks of the River Inn, ornate and colourful painted facades complement the view. Madulain is the smallest village in the valley, but it’s peaceful and has huge recreational potential, thanks to the variety of trails and cross-country ski tracks.
You could easily call it the St Moritz of the Plaiv, because Zouz offers all sorts of specialities. The views are incredible and reach far beyond the valley, while the town centre is particularly well preserved, and attracts people who appreciate the authentic and unassuming. And because the landscape here is so special, winter sports lovers get their money’s worth on the slopes, just as golfers do on the championship course, with its beautifully groomed greens.
There are three unique districts that belong to S-chanf – Chapella, Susauna and Cinous-chel – and it’s more than just a bunch of magnificent examples of Romanesque architecture. Once you’ve mastered the pronunciation, don’t delay – check out the National Park. The Val Trupchun is a wonderful area to explore, and a must for wildlife lovers, especially in autumn.
The Lower Engadine begins quietly and unassumingly in the small community of Brail. It’s named after the River Inn, whose water flows from the upper Inn Valley, the Upper Engadine, into the lower river valley. There, it has formed a canyon-esque landscape, with such well-preserved villages on the hillsides that you’ll rarely find anything quite like them anywhere else. ‘L’Engiadina Bassa’ is a diverse landscape, and anyone who explores the valley will find many pearls: the National Park, the idyllic Val S-charl, the jagged Lower Engadine Dolomites and the artists’ village of Sent – all of which invite you to stay a while.
Set against the backdrop of the highest Grisons mountain, the Bernina Pass leads down to Puschlav. Up there, everything is still covered in snow, but it’s already spring down below. The steep valley is characterised by its changing scenery, famous railroad tracks and the first vineyards, pointing the way into the Valtelline valley. It’s due to this unique setting that, in 2009, the Bernina Railway and adjacent landscape were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Poschiavo, the main village, is probably the best place to satisfy any yearning for the south, with flowering oleanders and a piazza that buzzes cheerfully on market days, and invites you to enjoy a strong espresso in its Italian ambience.
At the Maloja Pass (1,815m above sea level), the high valley takes a break before reaching the Southern Swiss border at 333m. On this 25km stretch, north and south meet in an impressive way. Valley villages, such as Vicosoprano and Soglio, with their northern Italian architecture, are nestled in the varied landscape, characterised by open meadows, the largest chestnut forest in Europe, and rocky ice-covered hillsides. The Bregaglians deliberately shun hustle and bustle; instead, you’ll find traces of Romans, Patricians and peasant alpine culture, which inspired artists such as Rilke, Marlin and the Giacometti family.