Engadin’s most beautiful valley, Val Fex certainly lives up to its reputation. 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. Approximately a hundred people still live in the Val Fex today, some of whom make sure you enjoy not just the scenery, but the delicious food.
This vast, sun-drenched valley lies just south of Sils in Upper Engadine. Old photos show the valley the same way it is now. Their efforts to preserve its beauty make it a great place to visit.
You can find Val Fex in the municipality of Sils along with Sils Maria, Sils Baselgia, Plaun da Lej, Grevasalvas, Blaunca, and Buaira. This place got its name from the sheep that grazed there.
Val Fex Landscape
The car-free valley is totally worth discovering for its quiet beauty, alpine flora, pine and larch forests, and sun-drenched landscape. Val Fex is a hiking paradise in the summer, with its wide-open meadows and pastures, shady woodland, and varied trails. Snow is guaranteed in the eight-kilometer-long valley in winter. No matter what time of year you go, it’s always an excellent retreat.
The Fex Valley is one of the Engadin landscapes that’s under special protection. Between Sils and the Swiss Heritage Society, Pro Natura and Pro Helvetia, an agreement was made in 1954 that no parking, no ski lifts, no chair lifts, no power lines, and no new holiday homes would be built. As a result, there are untouched meadows, pretty villages, and sparkling mountain streams.FEX VALLEY – A HIKER’S PARADISE, Sils.ch
Visiting Val Fex will afford you spectacular views of Il Chapütschin (3,388 meters), Piz Tremoggia (3,441 meters), and Piz Fora (3,363 meters). The Fex Glacier can be seen at the end of the valley. Other mountains around the valley are Piz Corvatsch (3,451 meters), La Muongia (3,415 meters), Piz Güz (3,166 meters), and Piz Led (3,088 meters).
A 10.5-kilometer-long river called Fedacla (Fexbach) runs through the valley northwards until it empties into Lake Silvaplana (Lej da Silvaplauna). T here are three tributaries to Lake Silvaplana: the Fedacla, the Inn, and the Ova dal Valhun. Fedacla is formed by several spring streams from the glaciers Vadret da Fex, Vadret dal Güx, and Vadret dal Tremoggia.
Hamlets in Val Fex
Val Fex has several hamlets such as Fex Platta, Fex Crasta, Vaüglia, Muot, and Fex Curtins. At the end of the valley, you will find Alp Suot Selvas and the Fex Glacier.
Fex Crasta has a small chapel with frescoes from 1511 as well as a holy Madonna and Child with Saint Anne. The last hamlet in the valley is Fex Curtins.
How to Get to Val Fex
This car-free valley can be reached either by foot, by bike, or by horse-drawn carriages. The carriages begin in Sils Maria. Curtins is also the end station of the horse-drawn carriages.
- Biking – For those who want to bike to Val Fex yet did not bring their own bikes, La Fainera Sport & Mode in Sils Maria offers E-mountain bikes, mountain bikes, and helmets for rent. It’s an easy bike ride from Sils to Val Fex totaling 17.6 kilometers and 284 meters ascent.
- Horse-Drawn Carriages – The horse-drawn carriage trips are available both in winter and summer and will bring you from the village square of Sils to Val Fex (Platta, Crasta, or Curtins). For those who want to go by horse-drawn carriages, you can check out the carriage rides at either Gian Reto Clalüna or Gian Coretti.
- Hiking – You can also reach Val Fex by hiking from Furtschellas or walking from Sils Maria. I have included more detailed information below.
Hiking To Val Fex
With the Furtschellas cable car, you can get up to 2,311 meters above sea level and walk from Furtschallas to Val Fex. From there, you’ll have an easy 20-30 minute hike to Marmorè at 2,199 meters, then slowly go down the valley to Val Fex. I highly recommend this route because you get fantastic views of Engadin lakes at the beginning of the trail and Val Fex once you turn the bend and go down. Your path might be lined with alpine flowers.
You may also want to hike from Sils Maria to Val Fex and back.
Below are the estimated hiking times to Val Fex:
|Sils Maria to Fex Platta||30 – 40 minutes|
|Sils Maria to Fex Crasta||50 – 60 minutes|
|Sils Maria to Fex Curtins||1.5 – 2 hours|
|Sils Maria – Alp Muot Selvas||2.5 – 3 hours|
|Furtschellas – Marmorè – Val Fex – Sils Maria||2 – 2.5 hours|
Restaurants in Val Fex
Here are some restaurants in Val Fex if you want to eat:
- Alp Muot Selvas – Located at the end of the valley, Alp Muot Selvas (2,069 meters) is in the valley basin surrounded by 3,000-meter-high peaks.
- Alp da Segl – Alp da Segl (2,051 meters) serves hot and cold drinks, as well as cold dishes and homemade sweets.
- Hotel Fex’s Restaurant – This remote hotel will allow you to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the cities. They have a restaurant that serves cold and warm dishes, as well as local specialties.
- Pension & Restaurant Crasta – This hotel in Fex Crasta allows you to stay in one of their 25 beds for the night or dine at their restaurant that serves local specialties and daily menus.
- Hotel Sonne Fex – This beautiful hotel in Fex Crasta has a veranda with fantastic views. It is next to the little Fex Chapel.
- Pensiun Chesa Pool Val Fex’s Restaurant – This hotel, located right at the entrance to Val Fex, is the first and only vegetarian hotel and restaurant in Engadine.
Final Thoughts: Val Fex
Val Fex is one of those valleys where you can just enjoy nature, walk around, and take it all in. Almost no one was around on our hike from Furtschellas. It seems the horse-drawn carriages that bring guests from and to Sils Maria are more popular.
All in all, I recommend you go and see this amazing valley. It’s worth visiting and exploring. It would have been great if we had come earlier in the summer when the snow hadn’t melted. I’m hoping we’ll go earlier next time around so we can see the snowy backdrop amidst all the lush greenery. Seeing it again is on my bucket list.