We do not spend the summer in our home country and explore the area with the eyes of a visitor every day. When the LAAX team asked me to experience what thehad to offer and the Greenstyle concept, I became very curious. Graubünden is the largest canton in Switzerland and has a unique natural diversity in addition to its trilingualism. Crystal clear mountain lakes, cosy mountain huts, picturesque hiking trails and raging mountain streams invite you to relax.
The holiday region Flims/ Laax/ Falera offers a snow paradise in winter, but in summer the region has transformed itself from an insider tip to a “place to be” for all bikers, hikers, swimmers and nature lovers. The destination in Graubünden is a modern, dynamic and family-friendly resort for holidays in Switzerland. Breathtaking nature together with excellent infrastructure on the mountain and in the valley are some of the reasons to fall in love with my home!
On the blog there is already a guide to the most beautiful mountain lakes (spoiler: Caumasee & Crestasee). In this post, however, I would like to introduce you to an complete mountain weekend and ultimate outdoor summer program. Even with bad weather, LAAX has a cool action programme to keep entertained next to the classic wellness experience.
The stylish Riders Hotel opens its doors for the first time in summer and is especially known and loved by the destination’s young, relaxed and environmentally conscious clientele. Up to now, the hotel was famous as a starting point for ski tourism and especially for the snowboarder community. therefore, I was particularly positively surprised how the concept has changed and the Riders has now become a meeting point for art lovers, sports enthusiasts and gourmet lovers alike. The rooms are elegantly furnished in a minimalist style and tailored to the different needs.
The first vegetarian restaurant in the area convinced with a simple and tasty cart. It is also part of the sustainability concept, because did you know that vegetarian eating produces less food waste? The same applies to the breakfast buffet – local cheese specialities yes; meat no. My tip: Make sure to try the homemade oat milk! (especially with coffee 😉
The Riders has a clear promise of sustainability and with its concept is a pioneer in the catering and hotel industry. The strategy is: REDUCE-REUSE-RECYCLE.
Interior: The furniture has a vintage flair and for example the bar stools are covered with an upcycled carpet. In addition, the bed sheets are made of linen obtained from sustainable sources
Energy: Other sustainability aspects are less prominent or visible to the guests. The hotel commits to maximum energy efficiency and uses the energy from the water reservoir for 15 years already. In addition, there is a photovoltaic system on the roof, which also contributes to the hotel being CO2 neutral.
Food Waste: The food waste programme with the Startup Kitro is very exemplary. It measures the amount of food thrown away and to optimise the handling of food. In this way, quantities can be adjusted, less food can be purchased and produced and therefore fewer emissions are created. But most importantly – the food ends up on your plate and not in the trash.
Beauty: The hotel rooms are equipped with soaps and shower products from Soeder, and disinfectants from the Zurich-based company can also be found in heavily frequented places such as elevators and toilets. The products are natural and 100% biodegradable.
E-Bike Tour & Swimming fun
Length: 16.5 km Duration 2.15h
Basically I’m not a big fan of cycling, but with an e-bike even the mountain landscape can be explored in a very pleasant way. Especially the two mountain jewels Caumasee and Crestasee are a MUST when you are in LAAX. We started from the Riders Hotel and after only 15 minutes we passed Lag Prau Tuleritg and could see the Caumasee from above. On the round trip it is worth to make another stop at Conn. The observation tower “Il Spir” offers a breathtaking view of the Rhine Gorge, also called the “Swiss Grand Canyon”. The Rhine Gorge lies between Reichenau and Ilanz and has wild gorges and rugged rocks. If you are lucky, you can even see the red trains of the Rhaetian Railway.
After a short stop we cycled to the Crestasee. As you might already know, I am a very frequent visitor at the lake. But every time I admire the beautiful lake landscape. Even if Crestasee does not shine as blue as the Caumasee I like it much better here. Because it is not too crowded, and especially in the early mornings or late in the evening you have the crystal clear water reflection justfor yourself.
For the first time I had dinner at the restaurant at Crestasee. Besides the already tested delicious vegan ice cream, I can highly recommend the Burger Patty with vegetables. But of course the specialities from Graubünden like pizokels are a must for all cheese lovers 🙂
Hiking in the UNESCO world natural heritage Sardona
Panorama trail to Segneshütte & Alp Nagens
I have already introduced this unique hike to you in the article with 3 beautiful panorama paths (click here for details). The panorama trail starts from Naraus mountain station and after a first steeper ascent the trail extends with a breathtaking view down into the valley, over the colorful flower meadows to the Tschingelhörner and up to Segnesboden. During the summer months, the alpine cows around the trail but are very peaceful and curious 😉
The Segneshütte invites you to stay, or if you feel like it, you can extend the hike by about 30 minutes and walk to the impressive waterfall at Segnesboden. Parts of the lower Segnesboden are especially known as moorland and offer a special habitat for plants and animals. The water streams listen in new places again and again and banish their way through the bright yellow-orange flower meadows.
Hike // Roundtrip to the Segnespass & Tschingelhörner
If you would like to go on a somewhat more demanding tour and be rewarded with a unique view and natural spectacle, you should definitely consider to climb up to Segnespass (2625 m above sea level). From Segnesboden you take the path to the right with a view to the Tschingelhörner. The Flims landslide (largest one in the Alps) clearly shapes the landscape. At the beginning the path leads past the waterfall and after another 5 minutes the first ascent begins. Very soon you’ll have gained a few hundred metres in altitude and it is worth taking a short break and admire the glittering water streams of the Segnesboden behind you.
Slowly one gets closer to the Martinsloch, which is a spectacular part of the UNESCO World Heritage Tectonic Arena Sardona. Twice a year (13th/14th March & 1st/2nd October) the light of the sun falls here directly through the hole and shines on the church tower of Elm.
The path becomes more and more stony and I had to cross several snowfields on the last part. The last ascent is particularly demanding but secured with chains, nevertheless you shouldn’t suffer from vertigo. When I arrived at Segnespass, the cute Saint bernard dog lady “Dschinny” greated me friendly. This weekend I had decided to stay overnight at the Mountain Lodge and descent the next morning. The stony hut was built at the end of the Second World War as troop accommodation in the eastern flank of the Tschingelhörner and offers room for 12 guests. I highly recommend you to stay overnight at the top of the pass, there is extremely delicious cooking (also vegan!!!) and Raini the hut keeper has so many stories to tell that time flies by. The sunset up here was special too. The next morning the delicious breakfast strengthens me for the upcoming descent.
Personally, I walked a similar route back to Flims. But you also have the possibility to choose the descent to Elm.
Distance: 8.9 km // Round trip: 17 km
Duration: 3:20h // 6h
Ascent: 801m // 865m
Descent: 17m // 884m
The Freestyle Academy is literally a playground on 1200 m2 and offers a unique movement experience with various trampolines, parkour facilities, trampoline walls and skateboard bowls. The facility is not only for kids, but offers an exciting experience for the young at heart among us. The academy is located right next to the Riders Hotel. In case of bad weather you can simply go over to the outbuilding or keep the kids busy for a few hours without worrying. For the admission to the park, everybody has to complete a mandatory one-hour course, but after that, nothing stands in the way of having fun.
Personally, I really liked the trampoline and it made me think back to my childhood. No matter how old or sporty, the indoor playground has something for everyone.
Via ferrata Pinut
Probably the most I had looked forward to was the via ferrata experience. However, the weather had put a damper on our sunrise mountain experience to the via ferrata Pinut. Nevertheless, the destination should be high on your priority list!
Climbing the Pinut through the Flimserstein is a nature experience with thrill but with little risk. Through caves, over ladders and stairs, the route leads over three almost vertical rock steps through the oldest and still existing via ferrata. The Pinut is perfect for beginners, but you shouldn’t be afraid of heights. The appropriate equipment, such as via ferrata set, helmet and gloves, can be rented at the LAAX valley station.
There are various options for the climbing route, which you can see for yourself on the website. If you would prefer a professional guide and want to learn directly from an experienced guide, you can also do this by booking the day before. I would like to make up for my climbing experience in September, and will of course update this here accordingly 🙂
Have you ever been to LAAX or somewhere else in Grisons?
*Press trip, thanks to the LAAX team for the organization