Top of the World: Engadin St. Moritz
It is a worldwide known holiday region for the rich and famous. But, Engadin St. Moritz is also a top destination for every nature lover and sports enthusiast. The possibilities of different activities in the mountainous are almost endless.
The mountains of the Upper Engadin region reach more than 3,000 metres into the sky. Their slopes are blanketed with forests of pine and larch, and the lake plateau at their feet glistens in the sun. Nature is clearly boss in the Engadin, and the sun its ally. Indeed the valley offers sun all year round. It is no wonder that Engadin St. Moritz is one of Switzerland’s most appreciated holiday regions. It includes thirteen different resorts, and the contrasts between them could not be more striking. While sophisticated and cosmopolitan St. Moritz is a glamorous star of the world stage, local villages continue to preserve their country traditions, with lovingly restored houses, intact old towns and cosy wayside inns.
The spacentred reputation of Engadin St. Moritz exists thanks to the area’s healthgiving mountain springs, which were discovered over three millennia ago and soon helped to establish the zone as a summer destination. The natural attractions, culture, sport, lifestyle, and opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment offered by presentday St. Moritz have turned it into the world’s number one mountain holiday destination for jetsetters and lovers of the great outdoors.
A paradise for sports enthusiasts
Engadin St. Moritz was the original cradle of winter tourism. Legend has it that winter tourism was born in 1864, thanks to a bet made by a St. Moritz hotelier named Johannes Badrutt. Beginning on a small scale, with a handful of British guests, Engadin St. Moritz quickly grew into a favourite winter destination. The region is nowadays the worldwide epitome of what an exquisite winter resort should be. Winter sports enthusiasts have no fewer than 350 kilometres of ski slopes, 200 kilometres of cross-country runs and 150 kilometres of winter hiking trails at their disposal in the surrounding area. For those who find these attractions too tame, there is also snow kiting on the frozen lakes, a natural bobsleigh run or rock climbing in icy gorges to enjoy.
Engadin St. Moritz is also in its element in summer, with outdoor fun at its finest, including the region’s 580 kilometres of mountain tracks for day hikes, trekking tours or just strolling. Trekkers with a taste for heights can go up to 4,049 metres above sea level – with Piz Bernina regarded as a must for climbers. Those who like to take curves on two wheels will love the 400 kilometres of clearly marked mountain-bike routes that criss-cross the Engadin region. Watersport enthusiasts are also catered for on Lake Silvaplana, with the legendary Maloja winds that make it a paradise for wind- and kite-surfers alike.