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Jan Jun 20th, 2002 04:46 AM

Hotels in the Engadine
We are planning a short cycling trip through parts of the Engadine. I am looking for recommendations of budget accomodations (under 160CHF/room) in and around the following areas: Silvaplana, Zernez and Scuol. Bed and Breakfasts are welcome as is any other hotel/inn with some charm. Ingo? Are you out there?!<BR>Thanks to all in advance,<BR>Jan

Ingo Jun 20th, 2002 10:45 AM

Hello Jan,<BR><BR>Yeah, I am still here (but I will be in the Engadine in early July). Cycling in the Engadine is a great idea. It is just as perfect for cycling as for cross-country in winter (and of course for many other activities). I did some fantastic cycling trips there myself.<BR><BR>How long will you stay there? Here are some ideas for accommodations in your price range:<BR><BR>Silvaplana: <BR>Hotel La Staila, old charming house in Engadine style, quiet in the centre of the village, good food. Have a look at and do a little research.<BR><BR>Zernez: (I am not really familiar with Zernez, only had lunch and changed trains/buses there)<BR>Hotel Filli, quiet, central, good food + caf&eacute;,<BR>Chasa Veglia seems to be a nice B&B:<BR><BR>Scuol:<BR>Hotel Traube is probably too expensive for you, a pity.<BR>Hotel Engiadina, in the lower village, charming, typical Engadine house, very good food<BR><BR>Hotel Crusch Alba (Inn), in the upper village on the main street, some rooms might be a little noisy. Typical Engadine house, good food<BR><BR>Guarda:<BR>Hotel Piz Buin, at the eastern end of the village, very quiet, good food, different types of rooms, some with balcony and fantastic view of the mountains<BR>Pension Val Tuoi, one of my favourites, simple, reasonable prices, cosy, typical Engadine house in the centre of the village, nice rooms <BR><BR>Sent:<BR>Hotel Rezia: right in the centre of the village, charming old house, small double in the low season 70 Sfr. per Person. <BR><BR>I am afraid the most of the websites are available only in German.<BR><BR>Let me know if you need more help. <BR><BR>Ooops, we have a thunderstorm here in Dresden.<BR><BR>Ingo<BR>

Jan Jun 20th, 2002 11:08 AM

Ingo,<BR>Brilliant! Thanks for the advice and recommendations. I can usually slog my way through the German so that isn't too much of an issue. As you have cycled the Engadine, here is our itinerary. <BR>Day 1:Tiefencastle to Silvaplana <BR>Explore area, including Soglio<BR>Day 2: Silvaplana to Zernez (or similar village within 35-55 kms of Silvaplana...any suggestions?)<BR>Day3:Zernez to Scuol <BR>Day4: Scuol back toward Davos until tired, then, hop into car and head back to Luzern.<BR><BR>We are doing this July 9-12 and have a novice, though fit biker with us. I will be driving the SAG wagon with kinder and get the pleasure of exploring the cities with my sister.<BR><BR>If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!<BR>Thanks and send that thunder here--we need a storm to cool down. Still low 30's!<BR>Cheers,<BR>Jan

Ingo Jun 20th, 2002 01:17 PM

Jan, I still do not understand what kind of bikes you have. Do you have racing bikes for the roads or mountain bikes? <BR><BR>I guess racing bikes, so I am assuming you want to cycle the pass road from Tiefencastel via Julier pass to Silvaplana. I recommend against that – heavy traffic!! You should rather take the Albula pass road (Tiefencastel -) Filisur – Berg&uuml;n – La Punt. In my opinion more beautiful and definitely less traffic. Do you think you will have enough time to explore the area around Silvaplana that day, including Soglio? I have doubts.<BR><BR>Day 2: I guess you should be able to make it to Guarda that day. It is circa 55 - 60 km away from Silvaplana. (The only problem is that you might spend too much time sightseeing in the beautiful villages of Celerina, Samedan, Madulain, Zuoz(!), S-chanf.) <BR><BR>This would make it possible to explore the area around Scuol on Day 3. I have several suggestions for that, depending on mountain bike/racing bike.<BR><BR>Day 4: I believe it is not too difficult or exhausting to cycle all the way from Guarda/Scuol to Davos. The Fluela pass road is not too steep.<BR><BR>BTW, my computer did not operate anymore during the thunderstorm … <BR>Last night I could not sleep due to the heat – this night the thunderstorm is the problem. The next one is on its way …<BR><BR>Bye<BR><BR>Ingo<BR>

Jan Jun 21st, 2002 02:34 AM

Ingo,<BR>I am forwarding this info on to my husband. He rides a mountain bike and the other will be riding a hybrid. Good info on the Julian Pass. We are looking for a starting point. I am driving with my sister, so will not have the 4-5 hours on the road! We are doing the sightseeing and they are doing the riding! It is debatable who has the best deal!<BR><BR>Do you know a better starting point than Tiefencastle? WE are driving from Luzern that morning and then, choosing a place to have the guys start cycling.<BR><BR>Thanks for all of your input!<BR>Jan

Ingo Jun 21st, 2002 10:28 AM

Jan,<BR><BR>In case you choose the route via Albula pass I think Filisur is a good starting point. The road to Berg&uuml;n is not steep – good for the beginning.<BR><BR>With a hybrid and a mountain bike they can take the bike tracks away from the main road. There is a track which follows almost the same route as the Engadine cross-country marathon in winter (Maloja – S-chanf). They can follow this track on the right side of the river En from Zuoz further via Zernez to Giarsun, where the ascent to Guarda (road) starts. Of course they will miss the many beautiful villages – but sightseeing is your part of the trip!<BR><BR>Feel free to "bother" me.<BR>Ingo<BR>

jw Jun 23rd, 2002 05:24 AM

Hi. Ingo, I've just copied and filed your hotel recommendations for the Engadine. Now that I've had my long-yearned-for dose of Lago Maggiore, I'm setting my sights on your favorite canton. Encouraged, I might add, by the fact that it seems to have had the only cool temps in Switzerland last week!<BR><BR>Anyone following the Tour de Suisse? Obviously I'm asking this because I love to watch the television coverage when I can get it (of the Giro, the T de F, and the T/Suisse) just to enjoy the beautiful photography from the helicopters. J.

Jan Jun 24th, 2002 07:52 AM

Hi Ingo,<BR>We got out of the heat this weekend by driving the route you recommended! I agree with your assessment about the Albula Pass. Much better for cycling. We also drove the Julier Pass but the cars were much faster. It was amazing, the temps were 20 degrees as opposed to Luzern at 38!<BR><BR>WE haven't finalized our trip. I want to see Soglio but to fit it on a bike trip is tough. It is too far to bike the pass and then, go down to Vicosoprano. The head wind was something else. Is Soglio worth going out of the way for? Also, how is the Val Poschiavo? Is it worthwhile? Last question...I promise!<BR>Thanks!<BR>Jan

Jan Jun 24th, 2002 07:53 AM

One more thing, Ingo! If you are in the Engadine around July 8-13, we would love to buy you a beer!<BR>Cheers,<BR>Jan

Ingo Jun 24th, 2002 12:29 PM

Hi Jan, <BR><BR>I would love to meet you in the Engadine! I am planning to be there from July 3 to 10, but it depends on the weather and I have not made reservations yet. Let’s see what happens …<BR><BR>I am glad to hear you could escape the heat. Now after surviving the thunderstorm we have much cooler temps here in Dresden (22 Celsius).<BR><BR>Hm, Soglio is indeed quite a distance from Silvaplana or wherever you will stay in the Engadine. Anyway, it is a must, but I would avoid it on a weekend in July: you have to expect crowds and heat (due to its southeast orientation and steep slopes). If possible you should go there in September, better October.<BR><BR>Valposchiavo is also very beautiful. Some highlights: the view of the Morteratsch glacier and Piz Bernina, Piz Morteratsch … from “Montebello”, the beautiful village Poschiavo, the Lake Poschiavo … I guess you know that after passing Lake Bianco the train route is different from the road? (In my opinion the train route is more spectacular.) A few km after passing the Bernina Pass you will get to the restaurant Sfazu, where a small street (no traffic, only public mini bus) goes to the Val da Camp/Valle di Campo – a remote place, a jewel with fantastic lakes (Lake Saoseo). If you do not want to bike all the way down to Poschiavo you can do a side trip to this valley and then bike back to the Engadine. However, if you choose to go down to the valley floor of Valposchiavo, you should make it to Miralago at the southern end of the Lake. The view back with the lake and Piz Varuna above is fantastic. Why don’t you take the train back to the Engadine or let the bikers hop on the car in Poschiavo?<BR><BR>The choice is yours! I am sure you will have a great time.<BR><BR>Ingo<BR>

mbln74a Jun 25th, 2002 06:27 AM

Hi Jan, we stayed at Hotel Bellaval in is across from bahnhof. It was nice, we enjoyed the food & the views.<BR>In Zernez, we stayed at Bettini which we didn't think much of, tho it sufficed. We did not find good food in Zernez.<BR>We loved Soglio, were there in May, 1993 & it was delightful. If you are going south on Maloja, it should be a breeze.<BR>Enjoy. Linda

Jan Jun 25th, 2002 01:07 PM

OK, I finally have the itinerary set!<BR>Bike over the Albula Pass and spend the night in Pontresine --hopefully, Roseggletscher.<BR>Drive and bike over the Bernina Pass and spend the night in Poschiavo. Any advice on the Hotel Albrici vs. Hotel Croce Bianca? Take the train back, and have the cyclers drive the car back!<BR>Then, cycle to Scuol and spend two nights, again, hopefully at the Traube Hotel.<BR><BR>Ingo, we will be in Pontresina on July 8 so if it works for a beer (or wine!)...let us know!<BR><BR>Thanks to Ingo and Linda for all of your help!<BR>cheers and happy traveling,<BR>Jan <BR>

ingo Jun 26th, 2002 10:45 AM

Hi Jan!<BR><BR>your itinerary sounds so great! Please let us know how you liked it!<BR><BR>The location of Hotel Roseggletscher is unique. I did not dare to suggest to stay there because it is car-free. You have to go there by bike, horse-drawn carriage or just walk.<BR><BR>I have no experience with Hotel Albrici or Croce Bianca, sorry. As far as I know Albrici is a traditional, charming and old style hotel, but the rooms have no private bathroom. From what I have heard I would say Croce Bianca has more comfortable rooms, but not that charm.<BR><BR>I will post here if I should be in Pontresina on July 8. Would be fantastic! BTW, a glass of wine would be my favourite.<BR><BR>Have a great trip!<BR><BR>Ingo

Jan Jul 13th, 2002 03:34 AM

We are back! Our short trip to the Engadine absolutely whetted our apetite for more. It is a beautiful corner of Switzerland and very different.<BR><BR>The first day, we drove to St. Moritz and explored this over estimated city. We saw it and feel no need to return...but, we would have been curious if we hadn't gone! The husbands biked the Albula Pass which was challenging but very do-able. That night, we spent in a Berghotel up on Muottas Muragl. it was very basic, but had the incredible views (2500 mtrs) of the entire upper Engadine. The restaurant is wonderful and was the deciding factor on our stay.<BR><BR>2nd day, we explored Pontresina. Much nicer than St. Moritz, more approachable. I would consider renting an apartment here. After exploring, we drove over the Bernina Pass into Val Poschiavo. The valley is beautiful with more fir covered mountains and 'softer' peaks. "Easy" bike ride! We stayed the night in Hotel Suisse. It was a three star and adequate with a good restaurant. I think we were the only Americans in Poschiavo. It was very Italian with no sight of Engadine Sgraffiti houses. Charming little city. We also explored La Prese and saw the view from Mirolago. <BR><BR>3rd day, we drove/cycled to Tirana, Italy. Then, hopped the Bernina Express back to Pontresina. The train ride was impressive and inexpensive. We then drove to Scuol. I must say that the lower Engadine is very beautiful in a different way than the upper Engadine. A bit more wild, perhaps. We stayed in Hotel Traube which looked freshly redone. It was spotless, and the service was wonderful. Food was good also. The husbands were cycling from Pontresina to Scuol on Velo route 6. Apparently, it was difficult to follow, b/c around Zernez, they took a turn and started heading over the Ofenpass! They arrived at 8:00 that night (Scuol) after cycling a tough 90 kms. My husband got his off road fix, after dashing across the train bridges. He had good timing, as a train came along about 2 minutes later!<BR><BR>Guarda and Tarasp with the castle were explored the next day. Guarda was amazing and the Hotel Meisser looked excellent. We ate there only, but the service was wonderful. They were recently featured in Bon Appetit. Guarda is a definite must see.<BR><BR>Then, back over the Fluela Pass (very dramatic) and return to Luzern.<BR><BR>We missed Soglio this trip, but the taste of the Engadine we did get, left us wanting more. Ingo, I can see why you love this area. Thank you so much for all of your help in our planning. We plan on returning in October, and perhaps, this winter for skiing!<BR>Cheers,<BR>Jan

jw Jul 13th, 2002 05:29 AM

Jan! Thanks for the post-trip report! I've enjoyed it immensely. Did you say your husband biked across railroad bridges? No comment.<BR><BR>It is great to have yet another impression of the towns I'm so looking forward to seeing for myself. Especially interesting is the way you've contrasted the different areas. If you'd like to elaborate as memories surface, we'd love to read more. J.

Ingo Jul 13th, 2002 01:42 PM

Thanks Jan for posting this report. You explored a lot in this short time! And I would like to read more.<BR><BR>I am glad to hear you enjoyed the Engadine. So I am not the only one. You will see, in winter it is still more magical!<BR><BR>jw, looks like you should plan a trip to the Engadine soon, eh?<BR><BR>Ingo

jw Jul 13th, 2002 02:21 PM

Right. But just before I left for my extravagant five-night Maggiore visit, I told myself that if I could pull this spontaneous trip off w/o major disaster on the homefront, I wouldn't whine about not being able to return for two years. Yes, believe it or not, that's what I was vowing. Woe is me. J.

Jan Jul 13th, 2002 11:02 PM

Hi all,<BR>I am terrible with trip reports and generally, forgo writing them, but as I had so much help here...I didn't think it would be fair!<BR><BR>JW, the train bridge dash was a complete accident! Don't worry, he got a lecture on that.<BR><BR>The trip was so fast and I don't feel like I got an in-depth feel for the area. The lasting impression was "I must return!". I would like to base myself in one city,preferably in a house or apartment, and explore, hike, etc. Next time we go back we are going only with the immediate family and the dog, taking it much slower, we really pushed the kids this trip. I also did the classic; leaving all the information on the dining table! So, those frescoes will have to wait.<BR><BR>We had fantastic weather with temps ranging from 15 degrees to 25 degrees. The rain held off!<BR><BR>So, my next installment will be "The Lower Engadine and Val Bregaglia in October'! Gosh, I LOVE living in Switzerland!<BR>Cheers!<BR>Jan

jw Jul 14th, 2002 04:49 AM

Did you say LIVING in Switzerland, Jan? I missed the clue in your web address, and I'm overwhelmed with envy and curiosity. Anything you can tell us about the experience would be appreciated. J.

Jan Jul 14th, 2002 11:54 PM

JW, <BR>We came over with a corporation but are now on our own. If you are a teacher, there are a lot of opportunities to come over with the International Schools. They teach in the language is not an issue.<BR><BR>We love living here. It gives us a unique perspective and we can see the positives and the negatives of the "European" (such as it is)lifestyle and American way of life. Very different and both have benefits.<BR><BR>If you are really interested, do a websearch for International Schools and teaching positions. One source is but it is international, not just Europe.<BR>Cheers,<BR>Jan

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