Silvaplana, a charming village located at the foot of Julier Pass right between Sils and St. Moritz in the Engadine Valley, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and extensive range of outdoor activities. At 1,816 meters above sea level, Silvaplana is a high-altitude location with crisp air, pristine lakes, and several mountains nearby. It consists of Silvaplana, Surlej, and Champfèr; the Suvretta River marks its boundary to its neighbor St. Moritz.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday in the Swiss Alps or an action-packed adventure, there is something for everyone in Silvaplana.
Here are some of the 8 best things to do in Silvaplana, Switzerland:
8 Best Things to Do in Silvaplana, Switzerland
1. Enjoy Water Activities on Lake Silvaplana
One of the best things do to in Silvaplana is to enjoy its beautiful lake called Lej da Silvaplauna. Lake Silvaplana is perfect for many enjoyable water activities such as swimming, windsurfing, kitesurfing, stand-up paddling, and sailing.
Lake Silvaplana is known for its strong and constant winds, which make it perfect for exciting water sports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. In case you want to enjoy water activities on Lake Silvaplana, you can contact the following schools:
- Swiss Kitesurf Silvaplana (Sportzentrum Mulets, 7513 Silvaplana) for kitesurfing, wing foiling, and snow kiting
- Windsurfing Silvaplana (Stradun Chantunel 4 7513 Silvaplana) for windsurfing, stand-up paddling, canoeing, and pump foiling
Thanks to the favorable conditions brought about by the Maloja winds, Lake Silvaplana is a great destination for a range of fun water sports. These activities are among the most enjoyable things to do in the region for those who are sporty or adventurous.
2. Go Skiing or Snowboarding in Corvatsch (Winter)
Silvaplana is quite close to the Corvatsch Ski Region. With an altitude of 3,303 meters above sea level, it is the highest mountain station in the region. Corvatsch Ski Region offers a variety of slopes ranging from easy to challenging, making it an ideal destination for skiers and snowboarders of all levels and one of the best things to do in Silvaplana.
Freestyle enthusiasts will love Corvatsch Snow Park. A fantastic snow park for the freestyle culture, it has become one of the best snow parks in the Alps, complete with jumps, rails, and boxes. It even gets used as a venue by the FIS Freeski & Snowboard World Cup regularly.
With a variety of runs and slopes to choose from, there is something for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced skier, you’ll find plenty of fun on the slopes in Corvatsch.
You might also want to check out Corviglia and Diavolezza ski areas nearby.
3. Hike Around Silvaplana and Surlej
Silvaplana is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With its pristine lakes and breathtaking mountain views, there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails to enjoy in the great outdoors. Visitors can explore the surrounding mountains, alpine lakes, and valleys, taking in the stunning views of the Engadine region.
There is an extensive hiking trail near Silvaplana for all levels of hikers. You can expect easy walks around the larger lakes to more challenging climbs up Corvatsch. Silvaplana offers winter hiking as well.
Here are some of the most popular hikes near Silvaplana:
|Route||Estimated Hiking Time|
|Silvaplana to Sils||1 hour 30 minutes|
|Silvaplana to Lej da la Tscheppa||6 hours|
|Surlej to Sils Maria||1 hour|
|Surlej to Champfèr||1 hour|
|Surlej to Crastatscha Circular Trail||2 hours 30 minutes|
|Murtèl to Surlej||3 hours|
Hiking Time Calculator
Plan your hikes with ease using our Hiking Time Calculator. Calculate estimated hiking times based on distance, altitude, terrain, and average speed.
4. Take in the Stunning Views at Fuorcla Surlej
Fuorcla Surlej is without a doubt one of the most impressive viewpoints in Switzerland. Therefore, visiting Fuorcla Surlej is definitely one of the best things to do while you are in Silvaplana.
Fuorcla is a Romansh word meaning fork. The word comes from the Latin furcula meaning “small fork” or “small mountain pass”. The fork itself is a saddle between Piz Murtèl and Munt Arlas. Surlej village can be found beneath Fuorcla Surlej. And if you were curious where the name comes from, sur lej means super lacum, which translates to “over the lake”.
The views from Fuorcla Surlej are amazing. You can find the following mountain peaks along with their recorded heights (in meters):
- Piz Boval – 3,353 meters
- Piz Tschierva – 3,546 meters
- Piz Morteratsch – 3,751 meters
- Bernina Massif – 4,049 meters
- Piz Scerscen – 3,971 meters
- Piz Roseg – 3,937 meters
- Dschimels (The twins) – 3,479 meters and 3,508 meters
- Piz la Sella – 3,584 meters
- Piz Glüschaint – 3,593 meters
- Piz Chapütschin – 3,386 meters
If you would like to learn more about how to visit Fuorcla Surlej, I recommend checking out this article Fuorcla Surlej: One of Engadin’s Most Beautiful Viewpoints.
5. Visit Nearby St. Moritz
While not technically in Silvaplana, the nearby town of St. Moritz offers a wealth of activities for visitors. From the famous Cresta Run to the Segantini Museum, you will enjoy many things to do in this town.
Shopping fans will also enjoy the choices that they have here from designer brands like Valentino, Bogner, Louis Vuitton, and Loro Piana, to more accessible brands such as United Colors of Benetton and Save the Duck. There are also small boutiques, food shops, high-end jewelers like Bucherer, and art galleries.
The Segantini Museum, on the other hand, is an art museum dedicated to the work of Giovanni Segantini. Segantini, one of the most important artists of the late 19th century, depicts the landscapes of the region around him in his work.
St. Moritz also has a long bathing tradition going back thousands of years. I suggest visiting Ovaverva in St. Moritz Bad. Here, you can relax in the hot pools and enjoy the stunning views of the Swiss Alps. I highly recommend enjoying a dip in the warm outdoor pool during winter when it’s snowy outside.
6. Drive Through Julier Pass
Driving through Julier Pass is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Silvaplana, especially for those who love mountain trips. The mountain pass, 2,284 meters above sea level and located in the Albula Alps, connects the village of Bivio in Val Surses with Silvaplana in Engadine.
This breathtaking mountain pass is a delight. It is typically open all year round unless the weather does not permit it. Until August 2023, there will be a red tower on top of the Julier Pass used for the Origen Festival. Near the tower, there are several hiking trails and alpine meadows to explore. The temporary red tower will be dismantled in August 2023.
Whether you are driving or cycling, the road to Julier Pass is a wonderful journey that I can highly recommend. We have done this many times and it’s always really nice. With several hairpin bends and steep gradients, the Julier Pass can be tricky for some. But the rewards are well worth it.
7. Discover Silvaplana Village
Although not the largest village to discover, there are some places that you can visit around Silvaplana village. Here is a short list of things to look out for when you are in Silvaplana:
- Old village district with its beautiful Engadine houses decorated with sgraffiti.
- Mulin vegl is the oldest mill in Silvaplana, dating back to the 15th century. It is located near the old village district.
- Crap da Sass is a romantic little castle on the shores of Lake Silvaplana. It was built in 1906 by the architect Nicolaus Hartmann for Graf von der Lippe.
- The Nietzsche Stone near Lake Silvaplana
- Chesa Guardalej, nowadays the Hotel Giardino Mountain, is a historical and beautiful Engadine house located in Champfèr.
8. Explore the Best Panoramic Viewpoints around Silvaplana
You can obtain the Silvaplana Explorer Map from i-Lounge 3303 (Address: Via dal Farrer 2) and follow the instructions in order to see the best panoramic viewpoints around Silvaplana. The routes will take you to Frata, Ova dal Sagl Waterfalls, Crap Alv, Crest’Alta, and Tschüchas.
Pictured above are the views near Murtèl.
Final Thoughts: Best Things to Do in Silvaplana, Switzerland
Silvaplana offers a wide variety of activities to choose from, and the best ones take place outside. There is something for everyone, regardless of age or interest. This charming village has a lot to offer, so I highly recommend you visit it.
If you still wish to explore other options in the region, check out this additional list of things to do in Silvaplana:
- Reformed Church of Silvaplana – It has frescoes from the 15th century, a late Gothic baptismal basin, and a baroque wooden pulpit.
- Reformed Church of Champfèr – This church dates back to the year 1521.
- Swimming – With over 50 mountain lakes in the region, you can simply take your pick. Lej Nair and Hahnensee are recommended.
- Ice skating – If the weather permits, you can skate during winter in ice skating rinks in and around Silvaplana.
- Fishing – Fishing is allowed in Silvaplana provided you have permission. Fishing can take place between 5:00 AM and 11:00 PM.
- Confeserie Hanselmann – For those who want something sweet, this is a pastry shop with walnut cakes and chocolate.
Silvaplana is a picturesque Swiss village known for its stunning mountain views and lakeside setting. I truly believe that it is an ideal destination for those seeking adventure due to its offers on land and water. Compared to its more glamorous neighbor St. Moritz, Silvaplana offers a more laid-back and authentic Swiss experience.
With so many things to do in Silvaplana, we hope you have found at least one that appeals to you and adds to your memorable experience.
- Fuorcla Surlej: One of Engadin’s Most Beautiful Viewpoints
- 9 Best Things To Do In Sils, Switzerland
- How to Spend 1 Day in St. Moritz, Switzerland
- Experience Alp Grüm At Least Once In Your Lifetime
- Why We Love Hiking Around Ospizio Bernina
- Most Beautiful Villages In Graubünden
- Glacier Express or Bernina Express: Which is better?
Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.