This year we were blessed with a lot of snow in Switzerland and that already early before Christmas. But also January has covered most parts of Switzerland with a beautiful white sugar coating – yes even Zurich was covered with an big amount of snow (what happened last time in 2006!!!). I’d say that not only kids were excited. Building a snowman, trying cross-country skiing or sledding – there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Hello I am back!
It’s something special when winter comes and it’s snowing – Switzerland turnt into a fascinating, calm and fairytale country. The country is a famous destination for winter lovers and snow sports fans. Obviously next to Valais with the famous Zermatt – Grisons (my home canton), has a vast variety of destination where you can forget time and wander in winter wonderland. Engadine is the destination for not only winter sports enthusiasts but also a magnet at high altitude for people who seek to slow down, relax and recharge. Since this season is special and different for all of us, I’ve spent a week over New Years Eve in Sils (i.E.) enjoying freezing cold winter days with huge amounts of snow. The quiet in the valley makes you forget troubles and really take a step back and just be present.
Coming to that – it’s been a long time since the last article on here, but life brings good and sometimes life-threatening surprises. Speaking of the later, it forced me to start from anew, appreciate the little things in life and realize how important health is and things I used to take for granted. But it showed me the beauty of being alive and even a walk in nature is filled with miracles.
Therefore, I’d like to present you 5 beautiful winter walks in Engadine which I am sure you’ll love. They are unique and offer you mother nature’s miracles such as fresh air, snow-covered forests and frozen lakes. The walks are all very easy and relaxing – further all the walks have also cross-country lanes beside. I’ll give you some hints also for the snowshoe hiker friends since there were many more steep routes.
1. Val Fex
Take a walk into the idyllic Val Fex. From the village of Sils, the lovely (and in the beginning steep) gorge path takes you along the crystal clear stream up through the Laret forest to Turba and after that to Güvè. From here, it is only a short climb to the viewing point of the same name, which offers a spectacular view towards Maloja featuring the Piz da la Margna, the Val Fedoz and Lake Sils. Once you reach Fex Crasta (the lovely Romanesque shape church) you can take a rest and admire the marvelous view, enjoying your picknick or a hot drink at Hotel Sonne. You can choose to go the same way back or take little detour but much less steep path. At last you will reach the village Sils at the foot of the Waldhaus castle and Lake Sils.
Difficulty: easy Distance: 6.1 km Duration: 2:00h Ascent: 265 m Descent: 265 m
2. Maloja – Lac da Cavloc
The sunny, well-levelled hike leads from Maloja up to Lake Cavloc and its mountain hut. You can start the walk from Maloja village or directly at the car park Orden Dent. A wide path first leads along the Orlegna through a wide valley. After crossing the river, the climb begins, which for a short stretch lies in the pine forest, but soon offers great views towards Piz Margna. Over some high moors you finally reach the Cavloc lake and further on the Alp Cavloc. Most likely the lake is frozen at this time of the year but nonetheless offers a beautiful view! Further, next to the walking path there are also the lines for cross-country skiing which I find pretty cool so you can watch the athletes too 🙂
Difficulty: easy Distance: 6.8 km Duration: 2:30h Ascent: 166 m Descent: 166 m
3. Pontresina – Lej da Staz – St. Moritz – Celerina Staz (Schloss Tarasp)
From Pontresina you can follow the path towards Lej da Staz which leads through the forest. If you are lucky you’ll find little birds always watching out for food too! At Lej da Staz you’ll have the possibility to go ice skating. This year, they have an amazing ice ring surrounded by benches to watch. If you’re not into skating you can continue the way towards St.Moritz or also direction Celerina Staz amd from there visit the castle Tarasp which is a pretty impressive landmark.
Difficulty: easy Distance: 8.2 km Duration: 2:10h Ascent: 107m Descent: 163m
A short walk through millennia of the earth’s history: the Morteratsch Glacier Trail leads guests on an easy-to-follow path directly to the glacier tongue. An educational trail informs about the retreat of the glacier.
The starting point is the railway station and the Hotel Morteratsch. It takes about 50 minutes to walk to the ice tongue on a well-maintained nature trail. Always in view: the imposing Bernina Group. If you are lucky, you will find curious birds that like to be fed in winter (Attention: feed only with seeds, nuts or oat flakes! NO bread!!!).
Difficulty: easy Distance: 5.6 km Duration: 2h Ascent: 129m Descent: 129m
5. Muottas Muragl
Philosophy above the Engadin lake district
Muottas Muragl is a famous viewpoint since a long time where artists such as Segantini created some of their master pieces. In winter the Philosophers’ Trail retraces the footsteps of great authors from the past. From the Muottas Muragl mountain station the trail winds its way in a wide loop into the Val Muragl and back to the starting point. Take a deep breath and breathe in all this wonderful panorama: The mountains & vast valley and light.
Difficulty: moderate Distance: 6 km Duration: 3:00h Ascent: 272 m Descent: 273 m
Good footwear and suitable winter clothing are a must. When snowshoeing, you should carry detailed maps – especially along unmarked trails. With the previously described winter hiking trails, there are always also various signposted snowshoe trails, which are much more demanding 😛 Please respect and keep out of the marked wildlife protection zones. Cosy mountain restaurants offer a welcome break along the walks. Guided tours with local experts promise an extra dimension to an unforgettable winter experience.
Further, make sure to check the situation of the various routes and operating times beforehand on the official Website of Engadin HERE.