Engadine, also known as Engadin, is a picturesque valley located in the southeastern part of Switzerland near Italy. Serving as the western frontier of the Eastern Alps, Engadine epitomizes alpine splendor. It is a popular destination for tourists who want to experience the beauty of the Swiss Alps. Engadine offers a range of activities that cater to different interests, including skiing, hiking, and sightseeing. St. Moritz, a renowned and glamorous town nestled in the Engadine Valley, serves as the vibrant hub and principal destination in the breathtaking region of Engadine.
Spanning across Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Southern Germany, Northern Italy, and Slovenia, the Eastern Alps consists of an exquisite array of magnificent mountain peaks. And towering above them all is Piz Bernina, the crowning jewel of the range, ascending to an astounding height of 4,049 meters.
Overview: Engadine, Switzerland
Welcome to Engadine, a picturesque region nestled in the heart of the Eastern Alps. With its stunning landscapes and diverse attractions, Engadine is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the region as you encounter the iconic alpine ibex in Pontresina, witness the majestic Piz Bernina, and marvel at the enchanting Morteratsch Glacier.
Beyond its natural wonders, Engadine offers a blend of elegance and charm. Explore the glamorous town of St. Moritz, known for its glitzy ambiance and grand hotels. Embark on a scenic journey aboard the Bernina Express train, traversing the magnificent landscapes and crossing the impressive Bernina Pass. Traverse the iconic route from St. Moritz to Zermatt aboard the Glacier Express train, and be captivated by the awe-inspiring vistas that unfold before your eyes. Experience the timeless allure of traditional villages like Guarda and Celerina, where you can soak in the rich cultural heritage and immerse yourself in the local way of life.
Nestled in the captivating Lower Engadine region, Zernez serves as the gateway to the Swiss National Park, a pristine wilderness where nature reigns supreme. Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this protected area, where alpine meadows, dense forests, and snow-capped peaks create a breathtaking backdrop.
Explore the network of hiking trails that wind through the park, providing glimpses of native wildlife, including chamois, ibex, vultures, alpine snow hares, golden eagles, and marmots.
As you venture further into Lower Engadine, you’ll discover a collection of quieter, lesser-known villages that exude a tranquil charm. Experience the authentic alpine culture and soak in the serene atmosphere as you wander through the picturesque streets of Tarasp, Sent, Ardez, and Ftan. These hidden gems offer a chance to escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the slower pace of mountain life.
Engadine is also renowned for its world-class ski resorts, with St. Moritz standing out as a beacon of luxury and winter sports excellence. Skiers and snowboarders from around the globe flock to the slopes of Corviglia and Corvatsch, where perfectly groomed pistes await. But St. Moritz isn’t the only gem in Engadine’s winter crown, as nearby resorts like Sils-Maria, Pontresina, and Zuoz offer their own unique blend of alpine charm and exceptional skiing opportunities. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a first-time visitor to the slopes, Engadine’s ski resorts provide an unforgettable winter experience, combining breathtaking alpine scenery with world-class amenities.
Engadine beckons with its unparalleled beauty and an array of experiences that will leave you with lasting memories.
Key Facts: Engadine, Switzerland
|Languages:||(Swiss) German, Italian, Romansh|
|Time Zone:||Central European Time (GMT+2)|
|Altitude:||1,250 meters (lowest, estimate) to 4,049 meters (highest, Piz Bernina)|
|Travel Socket:||Type C (2-pin) and Type J (3-pin) plugs|
How to Get to Engadine, Switzerland
When planning a trip to Engadine, visitors have several options for transportation. Whether arriving by plane, train, or car, there are convenient and efficient ways to reach this beautiful Swiss region.
The most convenient airport to Engadine is located in Zurich, which is approximately 200 kilometers away. From the airport, visitors can take a train or rent a car to reach Engadine. The train ride from Zurich Airport takes around 3.5 hours and offers stunning views of the Swiss Alps along the way.
Another option is to fly into Milan, Italy, which is approximately 175 km away. From there, visitors can take a train or rent a car to reach Engadine. The train ride from Malpensa Aeroporto takes around 5.5 hours, but the scenic views make it a worthwhile journey.
Engadine is easily accessible by train, with connections to major cities in Switzerland and Europe. Visitors can take a train from Zurich or Milan to St. Moritz, the main town in Engadine. From there, visitors can take a bus or taxi to their final destination.
You can check out this article if you are coming from Zurich and heading over to St. Moritz – Zurich to St. Moritz Train: All You Need To Know.
Driving to Engadine is a popular option for visitors who want to explore the region at their own pace. The roads are well-maintained and offer stunning views of the Swiss Alps. Visitors can rent a car at the airport or in major cities and drive to Engadine. It takes approximately 3 hours to drive from Zurich and Milan.
Visitors should note that Switzerland has strict driving laws, including mandatory winter tires from November to April and a vignette (road tax) for driving on highways. The vignette is a special sticker on your car if you wish to use certain roads. It is important to familiarize oneself with these laws before driving in Switzerland.
Overall, visitors have several transportation options for getting to Engadine. Whether arriving by plane, train, or car, the journey is part of the adventure and offers stunning views of the Swiss Alps.
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Where to Stay in Engadine, Switzerland
When planning a trip to Engadine, finding the right accommodation is key to a successful vacation. Here are some options to consider for every budget:
Engadine is known for its luxurious accommodations, particularly in St. Moritz with its share of grand hotels. There is no shortage of high-end hotels to choose from. Some of the most popular options include:
- Kulm Hotel St. Moritz (5-star) – Due to the pioneering efforts of hotel founder Johannes Badrutt, St. Moritz became a winter sports mecca. This makes the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz a special part of the city’s history. There are 5 restaurants, a spa with a pool, a whirlpool, a children’s pool, an open-air pool, and more at this elegant hotel. Also nearby, the hotel has its own 9-hole golf course with pitching, chipping, and putting areas. During the winter months, guests can skate and curl at the hotel.
- Suvretta House (5-star) – Skiers will love this exclusive ski-in/ski-out hotel in Suvretta-Corviglia. There’s a regular shuttle service that takes you to other ski resorts and St. Moritz. They have a huge indoor pool, a fully-equipped gym, a sauna, gourmet specialties, and a kids’ restaurant.
- Grand Hotel Kronenhof (5-star): This five-star hotel in Pontresina offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. With its elegant decor and top-notch amenities, it’s no wonder the Kronenhof is a favorite among luxury travelers.
For travelers who want a comfortable and convenient place to stay yet do not want to break the bank, there are plenty of mid-range hotels in Engadine. Here are a few options to consider:
- Hotel Steffani (4-star) – This well-priced hotel has 3 restaurants, 3 bars, a nightclub, and a spa area with an indoor pool. Just 300 meters from Corviglia ski area, it’s in the heart of St. Moritz.
- Schlosshotel Chastè (4-star) – Offering an enchanting ambiance, Schlosshotel Chastè combines historic charm with top-notch comfort, boasting a gourmet restaurant, and a serene spa sanctuary complete with sauna parlors, fragrance steam baths, bio saunas, infrared warmth cabins, and Kneipp footbaths. Take advantage of the myriad of leisure opportunities available in Tarasp, an ideal quiet gateway to the Swiss National Park.
- Hotel Walther – Relais & Châteaux (4-star) – With a rich heritage spanning three generations, Hotel Walther Pontresina is a charming Belle-Époque establishment that boasts the Aqua Viva spa area, featuring an indoor pool, hot tub, saunas, foot bath with a waterfall, showers, a rest area, and soothing massages. Guests can savor delectable meals at the on-site restaurant and enjoy complimentary WiFi.
- Hotelino Petit Chalet (4-star) – Discover a skier’s paradise at this magnificent hotel perched right on the slopes, providing guests with modern furnishings and the luxury of a private balcony or terrace. Adjacent to the building, a ski school, children’s fun park, and tennis courts cater to active pursuits, while the vibrant St. Moritz nearby promises an unforgettable experience.
For those on a tight budget, there are still plenty of options for affordable accommodations in Engadine. Here are a few to consider:
- Hotel Waldhaus am See (3-star) – The Waldhaus am See is one of the leading 3-star hotels in Switzerland. A few steps from the train station, it features a breathtaking view of the Engadin Valley and is situated on the banks of St. Moritz Lake. With over 2500 different kinds of whiskey, the hotel has the largest whiskey bar in the world.
- St. Moritz Youth Hostel (Hostel) – An affordable option is to stay at a hostel in St. Moritz where you’ll get everything you need – free breakfast, linen, security lockers, hot showers, microwave, a play area, and free wifi.
- Hotel Roseg-Gletscher – Tucked away in a peaceful car-free nature reserve, this secluded hotel provides an affordable sanctuary for those in search of tranquility, situated a mere 3 kilometers from the Roseg Glacier. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the proximity to cross-country skiing tracks, while the towns of Pontresina, St. Moritz, and the Diavolezza Glacier are close by. For added convenience, complimentary shuttle services, including a delightful horse carriage option, can be arranged from the Pontresina train station.
No matter what your budget or travel style is, there are plenty of great options for accommodations in Engadine.
10 Best Things to Do in Engadine, Switzerland
Engadine is a popular tourist destination located in Graubünden, Switzerland. This region is known not only for its breathtaking scenery, but also for its outdoor activities, and cultural attractions. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Engadine:
- Take in the Stunning Views at Fuorcla Surlej – One of the most impressive viewpoints in Switzerland, Fuorcla Surlej has views of Piz Boval, Bernina Massif, Piz Roseg, Dschimels, and more. It is one of the most beautiful sights that I have ever seen in the country. From Fuorcla Surlej, you can opt to go down Val Roseg.
- Embark on a Horse Carriage Ride to Val Fex – Val Fex is a quiet valley between 1,800 and 2,000 meters above sea level with only a few residents and two small guest houses. It is said to be Engadine’s most beautiful valley.
- Admire the stunning landscapes aboard the Bernina Express train – Traversing one of the most scenic train routes in the country, the Bernina Express train was built to provide its passengers with the best views of the canton Graubünden’s mountains, gorges, and natural landscape.
- Enjoy the Views from Muottas Muragl – From Muottas Muragl, you can see the Upper Engadine Valley and its five lakes. The Piz Muragl and Piz Languard are visible, along with the Piz Vadret and the Roseg Valley.
- Hit the slopes all day – Engadine is a world-renowned skiing and snowboarding destination. With over 350 kilometers of ski runs, there is something for everyone, from beginners to advanced skiers. Some of the most popular ski resorts in Engadine include Corvatsch, Corviglia, and Diavolezza. Cross-country enthusiasts will discover a wealth of terrain perfect for their skiing adventures.
- Discover Pontresina’s Ibex Paradise – In the Swiss Alps, one of the biggest alpine ibex colonies lives just outside Pontresina. On the slopes of Piz Albris (3,166 meters above sea level), a mountain southeast of Pontresina, you can find one of the largest populations of ibex in the Alps. There are 1,800 Alpine ibex in the mountains around Pontresina. You can see these majestic creatures in spring, typically in April and May.
- Explore Chastè Peninsula – With mountains, nature, and a lake surrounding it, Chastè is a magical wooded peninsula. A 300-meter stretch of the peninsula extends into Lake Sils at its northeast end.
- Wander through the picturesque village of Guarda – Guarda is a small picturesque village perched on top of a sunny terrace, surrounded by forests. Stunning views of Lower Engadine, pretty houses, flowers, cobbled-stone streets, and a peaceful atmosphere make Guarda a true fairytale village in Switzerland.
- Challenge yourself with a heart-pounding Bob Run and Cresta Run – St. Moritz is home to the oldest (and only) natural ice Bob Run in the world. And there is only one Cresta Run. Cresta Run is a 3/4-mile natural ice run built every year from scratch with 10 corners and a drop of 514 feet (157 meters). The rider of the Cresta Run goes down head-first as an individual on a toboggan, using rakes on the end of special boots to steer and brake. In Bob Runs, riders are enclosed in metal capsules on runners, either in pairs or in fours.
- Visit the Morteratsch Glacier – Immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of the Morteratsch Glacier, the largest glacier in terms of volume in the Eastern Alps and the Bernina Range. You can hike the popular Morteratsch Glacier Trail, a family-friendly 3 km hike near Pontresina.
Hiking in Engadine, Switzerland
Engadine is also a great destination for hiking and biking enthusiasts. The region offers a vast network of trails that cater to all levels of fitness and experience. Some of the most popular hiking and biking trails in Engadine include:
|Hike||Estimated Time||Hike Description|
|Muottas Muragl – Alp Languard||2 hours|
|A wide panoramic hike to Alp Languard from Muottas Muragl. Along the way, you will come across Munt da la Bês-cha, a restaurant with a terrace with fantastic views of Pontresina and the valley. From Alp Languard, you can take the chair lift going down to Pontresina or hike all the way down (an additional 1 hour).|
|Fuorcla Surlej Circular Trail||2 hours||The trail takes you from Murtèl middle station to Fuorcla Surlej through a simple circular route. Once you have reached Fuorcla Surlej, simply head back in the same direction.|
|Celerina – Lake Staz||1 hour||From Kantonsstrasse in Celerina and the train tracks, take the forest trail until you reach Lake Staz. The hike takes about an hour.|
|Celerina – St. Moritz||45 minutes||Another lovely and easy walk. The Marguns Valley Station is a good place to start. The trail near the train tracks and skeleton track can be followed from there.|
|Marguns – Munt da la Bês-cha – Alp Muntatsch – Samedan||3 hours||Hiking starts after you exit the Marguns Gondola. You will enjoy a gorgeous vantage point after ascending 150 meters on the hike. There are sweeping views of the spectacular Engadin Valley and the Bernina Massif from here. A portion of this route also goes through a protected area of geological and botanical interest|
|Water Trail (Sils), Furtschellas||2 hours 30 minutes||A tour in Furtschellas that takes you to six small alpine lakes Lejin Cristal, Lejin Magnetit, Lejin Malachit, Lejin Rhodonit, Lejin S-chaglia, and Lejin Epidot.|
|Morteratsch Glacier Trail||2 hours (round trip)||Immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of the Morteratsch Glacier, the largest glacier in terms of volume in the Eastern Alps and the Bernina Range. In this trail, you will be able to learn about the glacier and its retreat in 16 information stops.|
Cultural Attractions in Engadine, Switzerland
Engadine is rich in history and culture. The region is home to several museums, art galleries, and historic landmarks. Some of the most popular cultural attractions in Engadine include:
- The Engadine Museum (Via dal Bagn 39, 7500 St. Moritz) – The Engadine Museum explores the history, culture, and lifestyle of the Alpine region.
- Nietzsche House (Via da Marias 67, 7514 Sils im Engadin/Segl) – Friedrich Nietzsche spent seven summers (1881 and 1883-1888) in the nearly 200-year-old house owned by the Durisch family in Sils Maria. The house remained privately owned for many years following Nietzsche’s visit. Featuring guest rooms, a museum, and a library, it is now devoted to his memory.
- The Segantini Museum (Via Somplaz 30, 7500 St. Moritz) – The Segantini Museum is an art museum devoted to the works of Giovanni Segantini, a painter from the region who also painted beautiful landscapes.
- The Chesa Planta Museum (Mulins 2, 7503 Samedan) – Among the collections at the Chesa Planta Museum are photographs, books, plans, and art from the Upper Engadine region, along with a Romansh library.
- Schloss Tarasp (Sparsels 145, 7553 Tarasp) – Antiques and modern art are displayed at the Tarasp Castle. You can only visit the castle by guided tour on specific dates and times. For more information, please visit the website.
Overall, Engadine is a must-visit destination for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities, stunning scenery, and cultural attractions.
Engadine Guided Tours
Food and Drink in Engadine, Switzerland
Engadine offers a variety of local cuisine that is worth trying out. The region is known for its traditional dishes, which include Pizzoccheri, a type of flat ribbon pasta made with buckwheat flour and wheat flour, and my favorite Capuns, a dish made with chard leaves stuffed with Spätzle dough, dried meat, and served with a creamy sauce. Another popular dish is the Engadine nut cake, which is a caramelized nut-filled pastry.
For those looking for a fine dining experience, Engadine has several options to choose from. Indulge in a culinary delight at two of the region’s finest dining establishments. Da Vittorio, nestled within the luxurious Carlton Hotel, invites you to savor their exquisite selection of light Italian cuisine. Alternatively, Ecco St. Moritz, situated at Via Maistra 3, beckons with its innovative and imaginative modern dishes. Another great option is Restaurant Kronenstübli in Pontresina, which serves classic French cuisine in an elegant setting.
Cafes and Bars
Engadine has a vibrant cafe and bar scene, with several options for those looking to relax and enjoy a drink or a snack. One of the most popular cafes in the region is Cafe Hanselmann, which has been serving coffee and pastries since 1894. Another great option is Cafe Badilatti, which offers a range of specialty coffees and teas. For those looking for a bar, Bar Incontro da Lele is a popular spot in Celerina that offers excellent drinks in a cozy setting.
In general, Engadine offers a great selection of food and drink options. There’s something for everyone in this beautiful region, whether you’re looking for traditional local food or fine dining.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. She is based in the Lake Zurich region in Switzerland and has a second home in Grisons. 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.