Self-guided Best of the Engadine

Switzerland Inn-to-inn-combo

Combining dayhikes with a superb 2-day inn-to-inn trek, this tour explores the rustic, preserved beauty of Switzerland's Engadine region.

Self-Guided Tour

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  • Length
  • 7 days, 6 nights
  • Departure Dates
  • Jun 20 – Sep 30, 2021
  • Tour Cost
  • $3290/person
    $400 single
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Description

Switzerland’s Engadine region is known for St Moritz, but you need to know about the remote mountain valleys.  The charmingly preserved villages.  The quiet, pastoral rhythms of the lower Engadine, and the rugged mountain beauty of the Bernina Alps in the upper Engadine.  Start in tiny Guarda, with its beautifully etched floral sgraffito designs, hike through Switzerland’s one and only National Park (a great wildlife refuge), spend a night along the jewel-like Lake Sils and another high among the rocks and glaciers in the Coaz hut.  Finally, unwind in a luxurious hotel in down-to-earth Pontresina.

Yes, there is variety to this tour.  In general, the mountains in the Engadine are a bit smaller than in other regions we visit.  They have big mountain peaks, but this trip is about the Engadine’s other charms.  Life moves at a slower pace here, the tiny Romansh culture holding on, the residents happily stuck in the slow lane.  If you’d like to escape the crowds and slow down for a week, this is a great way to do it.

What makes this tour unique?

  • A couple of big hikes, a couple of easier ones, plenty of variety
  • A modified inn-to-inn combo trip with 4 stops in 6 nights
  • Hidden gems like Guarda, one of Switzerland’s prettiest villages
  • One adventurous night in a high, traditional alpine club hut
  • The Swiss National Park, wildlife, lakes, mountains and beautiful villages
  • A delightful mix of German and local Romansh cultures
Map of Self-guided Best of the Engadine

Itinerary

Day 1

Guarda – Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to Guarda. There is a train station in the Zurich airport, and transferring to Guarda will be your first scenic introduction to Switzerland.

Guarda is tiny – population 150 – and a great place to truly relax after a long trip.  After you arrive, take a short walk through town, enjoy the crisp mountain air, and settle in for dinner at your lovely hotel.

  • Hotel Meisser
  • D

Day 2

Guarda – There are a number of lovely hikes in the area, including a great intro hike up to the rugged mountain views of the upper Tuoi valley.  Here you can visit a small alpine hut, delight in the myriad wildflowers, and enjoy dramatic views of the local peak, Piz Buin.

If you want to take it easy today, the nearby village of Scuol is a noted spa resort, and makes a great rainy or relaxation day destination.  The spa is fantastic.

  • Hotel Meisser
  • B / D

Day 3

Sils Maria – In the morning, transfer by train to the small, lakeside village of Sils Maria. The hiking in this region is amazingly varied, and you might enjoy a mellow lakeside walk to the Maloja pass, followed by a short climb up to a pretty alpine lake.

Another option for today is to stop outside Zernez and enjoy a walk in Switzerland’s only National Park.  This a the best place in the Alps to spot wildlife, from abundant marmots to elusive bearded vultures, the largest bird in the Alps.  Stay in a very friendly 3-star hotel in Sils Maria.

  • 3-star Hotel Maria or similar
  • B / D

Day 4

Coaz Hut – Starting your inn-to-inn hike, a steep climb brings you to the high Fuorcla Surlej pass, ringed by breathtaking views of the glacier-draped Piz Bernina massif.  For an easier day, there is a cable car that can bring you close to the pass.

From the pass, continue on to the back of the valley to Coaz hut at 8500′ for a remote and memorable night high in the Alps.  This is a true and traditional alpine club hut, with one simple double room (it’s good to book early), a variety of small dorms, friendly hosts, abundant food, dazzling stars and endless views.

  • Coaz hut
  • B / D

Day 5

Pontresina – A gentle, forested descent through the Roseg valley leads to Pontresina, a very pretty and low-key village that will be your base for the final two nights.

In the evening, enjoy the luxurious pool and spa at our fantastic 3-star hotel. Dinner will be on your own tonight in Pontresina.

  • Hotel Steinbock
  • B

Day 6

Pontresina For your final hike, one of our favorite hikes anywhere is the panoramic Muragl traverse above Pontresina.  Boasting quiet wooded stretches, abundant wildlife, and surprising views of the giant Piz Bernina and the paternoster lakes of St. Moritz, this hike makes a fitting finale to a wonderful week.

There are plenty of options on your hike today.  We recommend a very short detour to the impeccably-named Paradis hut for great food and appropriate views.  Take your time and soak it in.   Afterwards, leave time for a soak in the spa and enjoy a delicious meal at your hotel.

  • Hotel Steinbock
  • B / D

Day 7

depart – Today you say good-bye to the Engadine, and depart for your post-tour destinations.  If you have extra time, the Glacier Express to Zermatt is a great extension to this trip.

  • B
Included 5 nights 3-star hotels
1 night hut
6 breakfasts, 5 dinners
2nd class 3 day Flex rail pass
luggage transfer Sils Maria to Pontresina

also included:
topo maps
detailed route descriptions
sightseeing suggestions
local contact for questions

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