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Lej da Gravatscha: Discover Samedan’s Serene Escape

Last Updated on June 3, 2024 by Darla

Lej da Gravatscha (or Lake Gravatscha in English) is an artificial lake in Samedan, Switzerland that sits at an elevation of 1,697 meters. It can be found next to the Inn River and near the Engadine Airport. Although it does not look as pretty as lakes such as Caumasee and Blausee, it is an ecologically valuable landscape with ponds and marshes.

Image of Lej da Gravatscha by TouringSwitzerland.com

Overview of Lej da Gravatscha

The Gravatscha Lake is called Lej da Gravatscha in the Romansh language, named after the nearby 2,755-meter-high Munt Gravatscha mountain. It is tucked away in Samedan and flows near the Inn River.

Rather than resembling the other typical glacial lakes found in the country, Lej da Gravatscha is more like a marshland where you can observe birds and newts. Its water, flowing from the streams of Ova da Val Champagna and Ova da Müsellas, is supposedly four degrees colder than that of the Inn River.1

Because of its proximity to the village of Samedan and the camping area, you can expect to find many people hiking and biking nearby. It’s open 24/7 for everyone to visit, and although it’s free, there are some facilities available here. Unlike Lej Marsch, it’s not suitable for swimming.

Facilities in Lej da Gravatscha

Image of Lej da Gravatscha by TouringSwitzerland.com

The artificial lake offers minimal facilities for those who want to hang out. Since it is not a bathing lake, it does not have showers, changing rooms and diving boards.

Among the facilities in Lej da Gravatscha are:

  • Grilling areas with firewood
  • Picnic areas
  • One Portable Toilet
  • Playground with swing, slide, and see-saw
  • Shaded areas

Lej da Gravatscha: What to Expect

Image of Lej da Gravatscha by TouringSwitzerland.com

The small lake, surrounded by forest, has a dark pine green color. This ecologically valuable landscape is a popular relaxation spot in Engadin, known for the rare birds and ducks that stay here. The area is kept clean and well-maintained.

A wide gravel path around the lake makes it ideal for walking, pushing a stroller, or biking. You can safely bike around the lake with no issues, even with younger children in primary school.

Near the lake, there are plenty of shaded areas thanks to the trees. There is also a spot ideal for a quick stop, with a grilling area and a small, simple playground for kids.

Image of Lej da Gravatscha by TouringSwitzerland.com

We encountered Lej da Gravatscha while walking from Samedan to Bever. After passing Engadine Airport and grabbing a quick snack at Restaurant Piste 21, we continued and found ourselves at Lej da Gravatscha.

I was expecting it to be a smaller version of Lake Sils or Lake St. Moritz, but it was quite different. Instead, it resembled a marshland with reeds and birds diving into the water and flying around. There was an area where you could rest and grill something, but almost everyone just passed by the lake.

With its dark pine-green color, it doesn’t make as pretty a picture as the turquoise and lighter-colored lakes, but the wildlife is very interesting. I think it will be a fantastic destination for bird spotters since this place is known for the rare bird species that breed here.

Aside from the small playground nearby, there are no other facilities beside the lake. If you have children and want to spend a full day at the lake, places like Caumasee, Lai Barnagn, and Heidsee might offer more options.

How to Get to Lej da Gravatscha

Lake Lej da Gravatscha is located in the Engadine region of Switzerland and is easily accessible to the public. There are several access points around the lake from various hiking trails from Bever and Samedan that visitors can use to reach the area.

Lej da Gravatscha is a short walk from Camping Gravatscha, Restaurant Piste 21, and the Engadine Airport.

Final Thoughts: Lej da Gravatscha

Unless you’re keen on bird- and animal-spotting, I think Lej da Gravatscha might not be the most breathtaking destination for you. However, it has a unique charm and offers a tranquil, relaxing environment. Personally, I found it relaxing to visit, but in terms of sheer beauty, I would place Lai da Palpuogna, Caumasee, Lagh da Saoseo, and Blausee higher. However, I recognize its importance as a natural sanctuary.

The fact that it’s open 24/7, free to access, and offers places to grill and hang out, along with the nearby wide gravel paths, makes it worth a trip for people of all ages staying in Engadine, from young children to older adults.

I’d suggest combining your visit with a hike or bike ride around the region, or perhaps some plane-spotting at Engadine Airport. Wishing you a relaxing visit to Lej da Gravatscha!

Resource

  • 1 Eggspühler, Roland. Gebirgsfluss umbauen. Hochparterre: Zeitschrift für Architektur und Design, März 2004.

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Darla 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.

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