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June long weekend in Switzerland - where to go?

June long weekend in Switzerland - where to go?

Apr 28th, 2004, 12:49 AM
  #1  
Peep
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June long weekend in Switzerland - where to go?

We live in Munich and have a long weekend in June and want to go hiking in Switz.

We've been to:
Lucerne
Bern
Appenzell
Jungfrau region
around Montreux

We're looking for:
quaint village in eastern Switz
good hiking
at least a little shopping
a few restaurants
that we can get to by train

We loved Appenzell and would be happy with someplace similar. Any ideas?

How is Arosa? Celerina (or is another village in that area better)? Or...? Thanks!
 
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:47 AM
  #2  
Peep
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I think Arosa is out. I checked a bunch of hotels and they don't open until late June, after our trip.

So what about St. Moritz, Celerina and Silvaplana? I know St. Moritz isn't a quaint village, but is it a nice town with pretty scenery? Or would it be better to stay in one of the smaller towns nearby? It would take almost 7 hours to get there so we'd arrive one day at 3pm, have 2 full days and leave the next. Where to go, where to go!
 
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:49 AM
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Have a look at http://www.engadina.ch/.
baldrick is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:57 AM
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Hi Peep,

I bet you'll hear from Ingo soon!

But in the meantime, I think your choice of Silvaplana is a good one -- it's large enough to have some shopping and restaurants, but with the lake, it'll have spectacular quiet time as well. You may also want to look at Scuol and Pontresina.

Have you already done a search here? Ingo has written great trip reports with detailed descriptions of all of these towns. You'll be salivating (Ingo eats well and his descriptions are too good) and packing your bags in no time!!

Have a great time!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Apr 28th, 2004, 04:53 AM
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Thanks! Yep, I think I've read every old thread about Switzerland! I had about decided on Arosa thanks to an old recommendation by Ursula, but it looks that's not meant to be. Poo.

How does Silvaplana compare to Celerina and why choose one over the other? If their hotels are still closed mid-June, what do you think of St. Moritz? I've read that it's not all that nice, but I figure it's big enough to have hotels open mid-June and we can always daytrip and hike. Any idea if it's overrun with rich folks in June? We're not interested in snooty resorts.
 
Apr 28th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Hi Peep and S,

(s - you won your bet )

St. Moritz and the upper Engadine in general open up the summer season in mid June, no crowds there at that time. Some hotels/restaurants are open all year round for folks who travel by Glacier/Bernina Express etc., but most hotels and tourist attraction like cable cars e.g. open mid/late June. No rich folks in summer there

Silvaplana is frequented mostly by the younger and sports folks, Celerina is more a family place. But honestly, there is not much difference to notice. Celerina has a slightly larger and better preserved old village centre while Silvaplana experienced a sort of "apartment" boom recently (but the apartment houses were built in local style, not bad).

The huge difference to me is that Silvaplana is located right by the lakes with views of Piz Corvatsch and Piz della Margna, both with glaciers - absolutely fantastic.

The views from Celerina are IMO not as spectacular.

My favourite, however, is and will always be Sils - somehow it made "click".

All these village don't offer much shopping, though. For this go to St.Moritz.

Finally I don't think it is important in which village you stay - public transportation is very sufficient. And more important is which hotel/apartment you pick!

To confuse you a little more, a really quaint village is Zuoz (although the scenery is by far not as spectacular as in Silvaplana). Ask S and Grasshopper e.g. ...

Let me know if I can help further.

Ingo
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Apr 28th, 2004, 10:51 AM
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Thanks! I'll start looking for hotels and see what I can find for June 10-13. Do you know if the lifts around St. Moritz are running then?
 
Apr 28th, 2004, 10:56 AM
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What about Klosters?
 
Apr 28th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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Hi again! I searched for info on Klosters and found that these cable cars will be open early June:

Madrisa 5th June - 17th October
26th June - 17th October 1.+2. Sect.
Rinerhorn 29th May - 10th October
Schatzalp/Strela 15th May - 24th October

But I can't figure out where these are! Would they be good for hiking?
 
Apr 28th, 2004, 12:21 PM
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Hi again,

Klosters ... not bad, but not comparable to the Engadine. Scenery by far not as spectacular.

Which cable car is the second you referred to? After Madrisa? Maybe Gotschna?

Hiking is mostly within skiing areas (esp. Parsenn/Schatzalp/Gotschna) - not very appealing. From Klosters you could hike to the Silvretta massif with glaciers and huts - but probably not mid June, too early. And snow covered paths. And no cable car in this area.

Engadine:
Muottas Muragl (funicular) and Alp Languard (chair-lift) 05.06.04 - 24.10.04 ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC for hikes and panoramic views

www.bergbahnenengadin.ch

The other cable cars open later. But honestly, no need to take the cable cars for only a weekend trip. The Rhaetian Railways and the bus will take you to starting points for great hikes.

Have you considered Hotel Waldhaus am See in St. Moritz? Three star, located right by the lake and railway station, quiet with fantastic views. Excellent food, wine, whiskey etc.
www.waldhaus-am-see.ch (German only I am afraid)

Ingo
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Apr 29th, 2004, 01:14 AM
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Cool! Thanks! I just sent them an e-mail. The prices on their website are only for a week at half board, so hopefully they'll accommodate us for a few days with just breakfast. Do you have any other recommendations if that doesn't work?

So I think I have a plan now. Train from Munich to Chur after work on June 9 and spend the night there. Any hotel recommendations? We'll arrive late and leave early, so it's just a place to sleep. June 10 (Thursday, a holiday) train 2 hours to St. Moritz. That way we can get there earlier and not waste that whole day on the train. Oh boy!
 
Apr 29th, 2004, 03:53 AM
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Sounds like a plan to me! I am sure it works with the hotel (and it is an excellent choice), so let's talk about other options later ... June is low season. (one other recommendation from personal experience is Kochendörfer's Hotel Albris in Pontresina. Especially the food ... to die for www.albris.ch)

Let me have a look at my notes at home re hotels in Chur. But as far as I remember there must be a thread on Fodors on that topic. Maybe do a search for "Chur".

Ingo
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Apr 30th, 2004, 02:08 AM
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I haven't heard back from the Waldhaus yet so I've been searching online and so far, I have to say I can't get too excited about the hotels I've found. They just don't look alpine to me (ok, ugly). Is that a correct impression of St. Moritz? Does it have an old town center and nice areas with shops and restaurants?
 
Apr 30th, 2004, 02:34 AM
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More questions! I'm pondering Pontresina and Silvaplana or ?? We won't have a car so will it be a pain staying in either of these towns and going to the other and St. Moritz? Would it be feasible to stay there and go to St. Moritz for dinner (or would we even want to)? Thanks!
 
Apr 30th, 2004, 02:35 AM
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Just heard from the Waldhaus in St. Moritz. pooooo

Unfortunately, we have to inform you that we sell our rooms in the main season (5.6. ? 16.10.2004) only on a weekly basis from Saturday to Saturday. Therefore we are not able to offer you any accommodation. Shorter stays are bookable two weeks before the arrival date.

 
Apr 30th, 2004, 04:35 AM
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Hey Ingo! The Hotel Albris in Pontresina has rooms. I don't have a clue about the size of that town. Is the hotel close to the train station? Is it a traditional, quaint village with mountains all around close? Maybe it's what I had in mind in the first place?
 
Apr 30th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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Hi Peep,

Pontresina is a delightful town overlooking the Val Bernina, just about at the crossroads of the Bernina & Engadin Valleys. Perfectly situated for excursions to St Moritz, Guarda, and Poschiave in my view! While the center of town has some modern glass buildings, the rest of the town has typical Graubuenden stone decorated buildings lining small, windy roads. The town sits above the train station, maybe a 10-15 minute walk. Uphill.

There's great shopping there too. Its population is around 1,604, but there are some upscale hotels that draw in the heavy shoppers.

The thing that captured my attention during my few hours there was the nest of walking trails that seemed to converge at the town, nearby the train station. Well, that and the lush green valley views from all around.

Maybe spend some time at www.webshots.com to see any recent photos of the town?


Hope this helps some --

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Apr 30th, 2004, 06:44 AM
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I think S said it all. Pontresina has much more charm and is almost unspoilt. As far as I remember there is only one glass building in the centre, the "RONDO" for smaller conferences/congresses. Pontresina has a nice, almost car-free main street with some shopping and a couple of nice quarters with typical old stone houses.

The Albris is located on the upper end (southeast) of the village, right next to the main bus stop and surrounded by very beautiful mountain scenery. The main railway station Pontresina is connected by bus service with the village. The train stop "Surovas" (stop on demand) on the Bernina railway route (Bernina Express trains do not stop there, only regional trains) is only 5 minutes walk away from the hotel.

You will not want to go to St. Moritz for dining, I am sure. There are so many excellent restaurants in Pontresina ... even such Guide Michelin or Gault Millau decorated. Let me know if I can help you with restaurant choices - but the Albris itself has an excellent restaurant.

You will love Pontresina.
Here is a link to my St. Moritz page on Virtualtourist, which covers the entire upper Engadine (not finished yet, though):
http://www.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/a88f9/

Click on the "Must see Activities" for some suggestions.

Ingo
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Apr 30th, 2004, 09:49 AM
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Thanks, y'all! Pontresina sounds great!

So if you're not tired of helping me yet... I have a new question. This all sounds so good we're thinking about adding another day (we'd add more but we're short of vacation this year!). So, if we have 4 nights, 3 full days, should we spend it all in Pontresina or would it be better to do 2 nights somewhere else? My first thought is just to stay put so we don't have to change hotels. What do you think?
 
Apr 30th, 2004, 10:21 AM
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Never tired of your questions!

Definitely stay in Pontresina the additional day. There is so much to do ... depending on your interests you might consider a day trip to Soglio or the Bernina Express train, or a ride in a horse-drawn carriage into Roseg Valley, all these in combination with a hike.

Too much hassle to pack/unpack and check in/out.

Ingo
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