Upper Engadine has a special place in my heart. The fact that I can visit it so often makes me incredibly lucky. Hiking around this gorgeous landscape is always breathtaking. One of my favorite places in this region is Chastè.
Chastè is a magical wooded peninsula surrounded by mountains, nature, and a lake. At its northeast end, the peninsula stretches for 300 meters into Sils lake. Many benches and paths can be found here. There are breathtaking views of the lake, Isola on the other side of the lake, as well as Maloja at its southwest edge.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, a German philosopher whose work had a profound influence on modern intellectual history, liked to spend time on the Chastè peninsula. Chastè’s westernmost point was his favorite place to relax, appreciate nature, and think things through. It was his summertime spot under the larches. A stone stands on this peninsula in memory of him.
Walking around Chastè Peninsula
There is a well-marked hiking trail that completely loops around the Chastè peninsula. It’s not too difficult and should take you 70 to 90 minutes to complete. On calm days, the mountain peaks and forests nearby look like a smooth surface reflected in the lake.
Sils Maria or Sils Baselgia are good spots to start. As the hiking trail is a circular one, it also ends there. In the beginning, you get perfect views of Isola, a hamlet in Maloja at the end of Val Fedoz.
Then, you will see the whole length of the lake to Piz Duan, towering over Maloja village. Space, light, and a lovely view of Lake Sils in the direction of Maloja are all inspiring. You’ll see the Albula Alps on your way back to Sils before you get to the village.
If you want a longer walk, you can start even further back from St. Moritz. You get to enjoy the majestic views, which extend from the lakes to the peaks of the Upper Engadine mountains while walking the paths from St. Moritz.
Boats on Lake Sils
When you’re done walking around Chastè, you can ride a passenger boat. There are passenger boats on Lake Sils every day from June until September/October. These boats ferry hikers and backpackers across Lake Sils, the highest scheduled boat service in Europe.
Three to four times a day, the passenger boat does the Sils Maria – Chastè – Plaun da Lej – Isola – Maloja tour.
How to get to Chastè Peninsula
If you are coming by car, there is a parking lot in Sils Maria village.
If you are coming by bus, take the bus from St. Moritz to Sils/Segl Baselgia, San Lurench. It’s about a 15-minute walk to Chastè from the bus stop.
Otherwise, you can start by walking from Sils Maria or Sils Baselgia and following the hiking path to Chastè.
Interesting Places Near Chastè Peninsula
Here are some places to visit near Chastè Peninsula that are also worth visiting:
One of Engadine’s most beautiful viewpoints is Fuorcla Surlej. It also provides a way to cross from Engadine Valley to Roseg Valley or the other way around.
You can reach it by foot from Murtèl after riding the cable car to Corvatsch. Or you can reach it from the Roseg Valley via Pontresina.
While in Fuorcla Surlej, you can see the Bernina Massif as well as many other mountain peaks. Piz Boval, Biz Morteratsch, Piz Scerscen, and Piz Roseg are just some of the many peaks that can be viewed from there.
If you would like to learn more about Fuorcla Surlej, you can check out our article Fuorcla Surlej: One of Engadin’s Most Beautiful Viewpoints.
Sils Maria and Val Fex
Sils Maria is a picturesque village that has attracted lots of artists, novelists, and musicians. It is surrounded by a huge expanse of flat land stretching between Lake Silvaplana and Lake Sils. The village is divided into Sils-Maria and Sils-Baselgia (Basilica). There are lots of typical Engadine houses in the village, as well as the Nietzsche House, the Engadiner Library, and the Church of San Lorenzo in Sils-Beseglia.
Val Fex – Val Fex is a quiet side valley that you can reach via Sils. This car-free valley is incredibly gorgeous and perfect for hiking, biking, and walking.
Silvaplana is a lively resort with its own lake – Lake Silvaplana. Due to the strong winds in this region, it is a popular destination for windsurfers and kiters.
For those who want mountain excursions, Corvatsch is nearby.
Maloja is a village in Engadine which lies on the border of Italian-speaking Switzerland. This village bordering Bergaglia region is family-friendly.
It has as well as a lake near Maloja Pass called Lägh da Cavloc. You can walk around this lake if you wish to and you can even proceed to the nearby like called Lägh da Bitabergh.
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