St. Moritz, Switzerland
St. Moritz Switzerland
Elevation: 1856 m/6089 ft
St. Moritz is an ultimate ski resort as the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism located in eastern Switzerland. It attracts its guests from all over the world who enjoy a modern Alpine lifestyle, top-class restaurants and hotels. The city lies in the Engadin Valley of canton Graubünden at a sunny lakeside location. St. Moritz’ fascinating cultural heritage is influenced by German, Romansch and nearby Italian speaking populations.
St. Moritz’s was originally famous for the discovery of mineral springs 3,000 years ago. It was known as a summer spa resort prior to the development of alpine tourism. Today the city is often referred to as the “festival hall of the Alps” due to harmonious lake scenery and frequent events. St. Moritz’s region offers visitors endless opportunities during the summer and winter months. An ideal way to arrive to this beautiful region is with the Glacier Express scenic train.
St. Moritz has been a top destination for winter sports hosting the Olympic winter games in 1928 and 1948, as well as the first alpine golf tournament of 1889. The region’s comfortable climate has provided skiers with long seasons of ideal snow conditions. Mt. Diavolezza’s glacier vantage point offers unforgettable experiences of staying overnight in a mountain guesthouse or embarking on glacial hikes. Muottas Muragl is another popular vantage point in addition to Mt. Diovelazza.
Attractions and Activities
Discover St. Moritz
St. Moritz receives more sun than anywhere else in Switzerland on an average of 322 days every year. Not only are many skiers, snowboarders and cross-country enthusiasts drawn to St. Moritz for the climate but its high quality infrastructure. St. Moritz’s culturally historic aspect includes places like the Segantini Museum or leaning tower of the Mauritius Church constructed around 1500.
Excursions from St. Moritz
Swiss National Park
Engadin’s Swiss National Park covers an area of 170 including 80 km/50 mi of hiking paths, nature trails and excursion destinations. While surrounded by nature, hikers are prone to seeing wild ibexes, chamois, marmots, northern hares, and even lizards. The Zernez visitor’s center has permanent exhibitions for explorers to learn more about the area’s natural history and conservancy organizations.
Not only is Bergell Valley the birthplace of artist Alberto Giacometti but also the place that inspired Giovanni Segantini. The Bergell Valley villages are easily accessible from St. Moritz by taking a Post Bus over the Maloja Pass. The region’s highlighted attractions include the Ciäsa Granda valley museum, Segantini museum, St. Lorenzo church and Castasegna chestnut forest. The most popular villages are Maloja, Soglio and Castasegna.
The Bernina Express departs directly from St. Moritz bringing passengers on an adventurous route over the Bernina Pass and to staggering heights of 2,256 m/7,403 ft. The Bernina’s outstanding technical, architectural and environmental standards were accredited as a UNESCO Heritage Site in July of 2008. The entire train route operates between Chur and Tirano, Italy.
Sils Maria and Sils Baselgia
Experience Graubünden as the world’s best hiking destination by visiting Sils Maria, Sils Baselgia, Maloja and Isola. An adventurous hiking experience awaits St. Moritz’ visitors. These picturesque villages are accessible from St. Moritz by car or bus. All four villages can be visited on the Lake Sils hiking tour. Hikers begin and end at the Sils Maria bus stop after circling Lake Sils in approximately 5 hours.
The Palm Express bus journey tours St. Moritz’s visitors around the impressive Engadin glaciers and to the palm trees of Lugano within a 4-hours. In just 4 hours passengers are given a diverse experience with exposure to Swiss and Italian culture. Travellers will first arrive in the charming Italian town of Chiavenna. The Palm Express tour then continues to Lugano, one of Ticino’s main urban areas with a Mediterranean flair.
Lower Engadin Villages
Visit the Lower Engadin villages of Zernez, Guarda and Scuol with the Rhaetian Railway or Post Bus. The Lower Engadin remains a peaceful valley whereas the Upper Engadin is a bit more exclusive as it is closer to large tourist destinations. Escape to the picturesque mountain villages of Scuol and Zernez for a relaxing nature getaway. Or explore typical Engadin houses in the ancient village of Guarda.
Biosfera Val Müstair
Biosfera ValMüstair is a high alpine biosphere reserve and includes the villages of Tschierv, Fuldera, Lü, Valchava, Santa Maria, and Müstair. The Italian, Austrian and Swiss boarders all meet in this region, making it a culturally unique desination. The UNESCO World Heritage Monastery of St. Johann is located in Müstair and according to legend was founded by Charlemagne.
Mountains Excursions in St. Moritz
After taking a train to Diavolezza Station visitors can board a cableway to the mountain’s summit at an elevation of 2973 m/9753 ft. The panorama includes views of various Glaciers incl. Morteratsch glacier, and iconic Piz Palü and Piz Bernina. Combine this mountain excursion with the summit’s glacial hikes or simply enjoy a typical Graubünden meal at the Restaurant Bellavista.
A funicular railway brings visitors to Muottas Muragl’s elevation of 2454 m/8051 ft in just ten minutes from St. Mortiz’s Punt Muragl station. The funicular’s sun collectors power the 700m/2296 ft climb to Muottas Muragl. This mountain descent exposes passengers to the most stunning views of the Upper Engadin’s lakelands, St. Moritz, Piz Palü, Piz Bernina and Biancograt.
Summer Sports in St. Moritz
The Engadin Valley’s network of trails is a hiker’s heaven as they cover 580 km/360 mi over high altitude elevations. Hikers can choose varying levels of difficulty among the panorama trails, lake hikes, theme trails, long-distance hikes and even interactive hiking routes. Explore the region’s sloping hills, lush alpine meadows, towering snow capped peaks and sparkling lakes all on foot. For suggested hikes and levels of difficulty visit St. Moritz hiking paradise.
The St. Moritz Lake’s steady flow of Maloja wind creates ideal conditions for windsurfing, kite surfing and sailing. St. Moritz offers many sailors the unique opportunity to sail their regattas while being 1800 m/5905 ft above sea level. Every year St. Moritz attracts the world’s top water sport athletes for the St. Moritz Match Race and Engadin Windsurfing Marathon.
The Engadin has hosted its Inline Skating Marathon on the first Saturday of July since 1996. St. Moritz visitors are invited to take part in this 41 km/25 mi stretch from Maloja to Schanf. However St. Moritz also has its own training trails and inline skating parks alongside beautiful scenic mountain lakes.
Other summer sports
The additional St. Moritz summer sports include golf, tennis, squash, and horseback riding. St. Moritz’s visitors can enjoy their very own alpine golf experience at the 18-hole golf course located in Samedan. St. Moritz also has 4 tennis courts and 2 squash courts as well as racket equipment for visitors to rent. Indoor horseback riding is available in St. Moritz-Bad.
Winter Sports in St. Moritz
Skiing and Snowboarding
St. Moritz’s four main ski areas are Corviglia/Piz Nair, Corvatsch, Diavolezza and Zuoz. The 350 km/217 mi of slopes have guaranteed snow cover and are a skiers paradise. These very same slopes were used in the World Cup and Championship downhill races that took place in 1934, 48’, 74’ and 2003. The St. Moritz’s ski area has up to 34 mountain restaurants offering a delicious and authentic cuisine.
Cresta Run and Bobsledding
St. Moritz hosts cresta runs during the Heaton Gold Cup, Curzon Cup, the Grand National and Gunter Sachs Challenge Cup. Bystanders witness speeds of up to 85 mph as racers delve down the ice canal head first on their sleds. St. Moritz’s famous Olympic Bob Run took place here in the years of 1928 and 1948.
St. Moritz offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to hang glide with a professional tandem pilot. The tandem flights often take place from the top of Mount Corviglia and land on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. This hang gliding experience is ideal for St. Moritz visitors seeking a thrilling winter adventure.
High Altitude Training Camp
As the official training center of Swiss Olympic athletes, St. Moritz attracts athletic visitors with its ideal training conditions. Training athletes benefit most from St. Moritz’s dry, invigorating alpine climate and pristine weather conditions. The training camps infrastructure is geared towards triathlon, running, rowing, canoeing, kite surfing and alpine skiing.
Entertainment in St. Moritz
St. Moritz Casino
The St. Moritz Casino is elevated 1850 m/6070 ft above sea level, making it the highest entertainment facility in all of Switzerland. The Casino features American Roulette, Blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker and over 80 slot machines. Visit the St. Moritz Casino for some nightly entertainment and old-fashioned bar keeping in its Ivory Ball Lounge Bar.
Shopping in St. Moritz
Visitors shopping in St. Moritz will quickly learn about the city’s devotion to style and quality. The Via Serlas area guarantees visitors with a great shopping experience within a relatively small space of the city. Stores range from exclusive designer boutiques to Swiss souvenir shops. Shopping near the Via Serlas may even tempt one to try the region’s famous local specialties such as the Engadine nut tart.
Museums in St. Moritz
St. Moritz’s Segantini Museum is the dome shaped building perched on the small hill at the city’s entrance. The museum displays works of Giovanni Segantini, an Italian artist who spent his last years of life in this region. The exhibition focuses mainly on Segantini’s famous alpine triptych titled “Nature – Life – Death”. Visit the Segantini Musuem to explore this artist’s interpretation of the high alpine landscape and special lighting conditions.
The hundred-year-old Arona Villa houses the Berry Museum and is located in the heart of St. Moritz. At this museum, St. Moritz visitors can observe the paintings of artist Peter Robert Berry. Similar to Giovanni Segantini and Giovanni Giacometti, Berry received much of his inspiration from the Upper Engadin as well as the local artists themselves.
The Engadin Museum exhibits the region’s domestic culture with a series of historical rooms and recounted stories. The twenty-one rooms feature five hundred year old interiors that include chests, caskets and coffers. The museum presents guests with an audiovisual presentation that can be personalized to suit particular interests or time constraints.
Location and Map
St. Moritz is located in the Engadin Valley and the southeastern part of the Swiss Alps. Lugano is the nearest city located 180 km/112 mi west of St. Moritz and can be reached in just over 2 hours via car or train. Zurich is 202 km/126 mi from St. Moritz, whereas Geneva is about 482 km/300 mi away. In spite of its secluded location from other Swiss cities, St Moritz has a little airport for domestic flights.