Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

June long weekend in Switzerland - where to go?

June long weekend in Switzerland - where to go?

Apr 30th, 2004, 10:54 AM
Posts: n/a
Woo hooo!! I think that's all the questions I have for now. Thanks so much!
May 1st, 2004, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,393
I've enjoyed your exchange so much, I think I'll read it again. Sounds like a dream weekend. Hi S & I. J.
jmw44 is offline  
May 2nd, 2004, 02:17 AM
Posts: n/a
Cool! Then I'll ask another question. I'm thinking about a daytrip for hiking, taking the train towards/to Poschiavo and hiking somewhere around there then catching the train back. Any suggestions for spectacular scenery and whatever else would be really cool to see and do?

Or other good ideas for daytrips and hiking with less than an hour or so spent getting there? So far I'm thinking:
- something towards Poschiavo
- Muottas Muragl to Alp Languard - How long does that take and how difficult is it?
- walk from Maloja to Silvaplana
- Zuoz?

May 2nd, 2004, 04:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,945
Pontresina sounds fabulous!!
flygirl is offline  
May 2nd, 2004, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,681
Hi Peep!

Have you thought about renting a bike? You can rent one at the St Moritz train station and run around on it. The area is pretty flat -- especially if you stay around the lakes.

You may want to try cycling on the trail from Bever up to Zernez, passing Zuoz.

Don't forget about Soglio -- have lunch there, then hike part of the Chestnut trail!

When we took the train over to Poschiavo, there were folks hiking the trail -- didn't look like you had to be a climber. Maybe get off at Alp Grum, eat at the station restaurant, & hike down? Or take the train all the way to Le Prese at Lago di Poschiavo and walk back into Poschiavo?

Too many choices!!

I hope you write us a trip report! This sounds like such fun!

swandav2000 is offline  
May 2nd, 2004, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,581

Muottas Muragl - Alp Languard is THE panoramic hike in the Engadine! Very easy almost no elevation difference. (At least as long as you don't go via Segantini hut It doesn't take more than 2 hours - plus minimum one hour time for ah and oh plus photo stops.

The train trip to Poschiavo is highly recommended. It is the most spectacular part of the Bernina Express route. I am not sure about the conditions for hiking in early June (I always went later). Right now they still have 7 ft. snow on the pass. still a month to go ... maybe you are lucky and all the snow is melted away then. In this case I would recommend to get off at Ospizio Bernina (pass), hike along the lake and further to (closed until July) restaurant Sassal Masone, offering gorgeous views of Poschiavo valley and Palü glacier. Continue further to Alp Grüm, stop of the regional trains. 2.30 h, easy.

If there is still too much snow I would probably get off the train at Cavaglia (one stop behind Alp Grüm), hike towards Motta da Varuna and Braita and then down to Poschiavo. Should take not more than 3 hours. Quite easy, but the descent to Poschiavo is 800 m elevation difference.

I personally like Poschiavo very much and would not mind to go by train all the way there, stroll a bit through the beautiful Italian style town and maybe do the walk via convent St. Maria (nice fresco to Le Prese and the lake. Back from there by train.

Not to miss is Sils and the Fex Valley. Even for a short stay highly recommended. You can take a horse-drawn carriage into the valley, starting at the small square in Sils-Maria (70 Sfr. last year to Fex-Crasta for one carriage, max. 7 people). Hike far into the valley to Hotel Fex, where you can have lunch (they open 12 June www.hotelfex.ch - reminds me of delicious chestnut pasta and their red housewine from Sicily). Should take 1.5 hours from Sils to Hotel Fex, w/ carriage 30 minutes less.

Don't miss to go inside the chapel in Fex-Cresta (frescos).

S is right about Soglio. If you are an experienced hiker you can do the panoramic trail (5 hours) from Casaccia to Soglio. Back by bus. Or you go by bus to Soglio and hike down to Bondo - Promontogno through the chestnut woods (the largest in Europe).

Or biking around the lakes ...

I would not walk Maloja - Silvaplana. It is the wrong direction! The views Silvaplana - Maloja are definitely better! Two options: along the lakes (southern side, very easy) or the Via Engiadina trail - 100 m above the valley floor on the northern side of the valley - better views, but a bit more exhausting (up and down). 3.30 h, maybe 4 hours.

Too many options ...

Ingo is offline  
May 3rd, 2004, 10:56 AM
Posts: n/a
Woo hoo!! I'll print this off, ponder the options and no doubt have more questions later. Thanks!
May 4th, 2004, 04:05 AM
Posts: n/a
Hi again! Are you familiar with the Hotel Post in Pontresina? The Albis looks great but they have a very inflexible cancellation policy (28 days notice or they can charge the full amount!). Of course we don't plan to cancel but it sure would suck if we got sick or something and had to pay close to 600 euros! Anyway, now I'm looking at other options. Hotel Mueller also has availability.
May 4th, 2004, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,581
I spent an hour with cake and cappuccino on the terrace of the Hotel Müller - at least the cake was not half as good (Albris "invented" the nut cake) as at the Albris and the cappuccino was with whipped cream instead of milk - urggghhh.

Cannot judge on the hotels, because I have not stayed there myself. Locations are good, I think you cannot go wrong with a three star hotel in Pontresina.

But why don't you book "last minute"? Mid June is definitely low season and almost all the hotels will have rooms available. You could even show up and see the room/hotel before you decide!

Ingo is offline  
Jun 6th, 2004, 02:23 AM
Posts: n/a
It's almost time for our trip! So another question. If the weather is terrible and hiking anywhere is out of the question, what are the most interesting little towns within about an hour by train or bus that we could easily go to for a day? I'm still a bit overwhelmed with all the cool hiking possibilities. One day it will be just me and hub and we'd like to go for a really good one, maybe 6 hours or so, up and down is fine. Two days we'll have a friend with us and she may not be up for major hikes but we still want to see some beautiful scenery. Any last minute suggestions? It's funny to think Pontresina is at 1800m or so because last weekend we hiked up a little mountain in Austria that was 1500m!
Jun 6th, 2004, 02:27 AM
Posts: n/a
Another question! Does anyone know about local bus and train passes? Would it be a good deal for 4 days of traveling around that area or should we just buy individual tickets everywhere we go? The only lifts that will be open are Muottas Muragl and Alp Languard so a lift pass probably wouldn't be worthy.
Jun 6th, 2004, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,581
Just curious: have you booked already?

re long hike: you will be somewhat limited because there is surprisingly much snow this year in the Alps. No chance above 2500 m for hikes. So my first recommendation is the panoramic hike in the Bregaglia valley from Casaccia to Soglio (5 hours at least) - but if you are usually quicker than the average folks you can start in Maloja, an hour more and very enjoyable.

Another option is a hike in the Poschiavo valley, only about 4 hours, but since the transport to/back takes quite a time this is enough (and the descent is steep and exhausting): train to Brusio (Bernina Express route) and small postal bus to Viano, hike from there via Alpe San Romerio to Poschiavo. It is on the Northern (sunny) side of the valley, so snow will not be a problem. If you are interested I can give you the detailed schedules and directions.

For bad weather - well, the previously mentioned Poschiavo is very nice, Italian style, good for strolling through the narrow cobbled streets, a museum, a small convent, a church and bone chapel, good food, but in rain ... ?

My favourite activities for bad weather are e.g the spa (Bogn Engiadina) in the charming small town Scuol, with an Irish-Roman bath (reservation required), the Alpine Museum in Pontresina, the Engadin Museum in St. Moritz, the Segantini Museum in St. Moritz, the Nietzsche Museum in Sils.

About 2.5 hours away is the next bigger town, Chur. About 2 hours away is the convent Müstair, an UNESCO world heritage site (Frescos 1200 years old e.g.).

It absolutely depends on your planned day trips if a rail pass or regional pass is a good deal. If you are planning to visit Switzerland a couple of more times in the next year a Swiss Half Fare Card could be an option. Otherwise - there are passes for regional transportation with or without cable cars. Please give me an idea what is planned.

Ingo is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 04:59 AM
Posts: n/a
Hi Ingo! I was hoping you'd respond.

We booked the Hotel Post in Pontresina a while back. It looks ok, the price is reasonable and best of all they didn't have a horrid cancellation policy. But if we have cake, we'll go to the Albris.

I don't know if we'll be going back to Switz in the next year so I don't think a 50% card would be worth it. We plan to go up Muottas Muragl and Alp Languard, maybe up one and down the other. I found some info about a 3 day regional Engadine bus/train pass but I'm not sure what all it includes. I think it's 38F per person for 3 days. Do you know if that would be valid on any train to Poschiavo, Le Prese and that area? http://www.engadinbus.ch/engadinbus.html

Tha panoramic hike sounds good! I've found the bus schedules through to Maloja but nothing beyond. Which bus goes to and from Soglio? If you have time to give me detailed info about any hikes, I'd really appreciate it.

So do you think starting at the Bernina Pass and hiking down to Alp Grum won't be feasible because of snow? Maybe starting at Alp Grum and heading down to Poschiavo? Or Poschiavo to the lake? We love hiking around the beautiful alpine lakes. But I hate hiking in the snow! Do they time the buses from Brusio to Viano to meet the trains? As long as it's not pouring, I imagine we'll still go hiking. Thanks!!
Jun 7th, 2004, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,581
Who else would reply on THAT thread ;-) ?

How will you get to Pontresina? Train? If you are going via Lindau - St. Margrethen the Swiss Half Fare Card would save you a lot of money - regular fare is 108 Sfr. for the return trip (from St. Margrethen) and the Swiss Half Fare Card gives you a reduction of 50% - and costs 99 Sfr. for one month.

I also checked the timetables and fares for Pontresina - Viano back from Poschiavo to Pontresina.

Pontresina 9.52 train to Brusio 11.40
Brusio mini bus 11.55 to Viano 12.15 (only possible this Friday or Monday - not running 10,12,13 June) Fare is 22.80 Sfr. undiscounted one way.

Poschiavo 5.35 pm train to Pontresina 6.56 pm
Fare is 17.20 undiscounted

So a Half Fare Card would save you 20 Sfr. on this trip.

For Pontresina - Casaccia I found following (for Saturday):
Pontresina Post 8.45 or 9.45 bus to Silvaplana Post, change there and bus to Casaccia 9.56 or 10.56 (direction Chiavenna/Castasegna)

Back from Soglio 5.22 pm bus with changes in Promontogno and Silvaplana Post.

I could not get a fare for this trip, but I estimate from previous experiences it must be at least 30 Sfr. - a Half Fare Card would save you another 15 SFr.

Given that you are also doing the funicular Muottas Muragl and the chair lift Languard that costs you additional 26 Sfr. (reduction with SHFC 13 Sfr.)

Calculating all these fares I think a one month Half Fare Card would pay for itself. You can purchase it at St. Margrethen railway station I think, the time to get it in Munich will be too short (but it would save you another 25% on the German Rail Fares).

If you do not purchase the Half Fare Card you should go with the regional Abo for 3 days - although it covers only the trains/buses to Alp Grüm and Maloja. You will have to pay a surcharge for the longer rides. And it does not offer any reduction for the cable cars.

I believe the hiking path from Bernina Pass via Sassal Masone to Alp Grüm will be slippery, if not snow covered - maybe this changes this week with the very warm temperatures. You might ask the tourist info in Pontresina in any case.

Feel free to ask more questions


PS: I am envious!
Ingo is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 03:14 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks, Ingo! I'll let you know how it all goes.
Jun 13th, 2004, 11:13 AM
Posts: n/a
Hey! Just back and had a great time! The Hotel Post in Pontresina was very nice, very comfy, in the middle of town and everyone working there was very friendly. Thumbs up! Our favorite restaurtant in Pontresina was Nostra Pizzeria at the Engadinerhof Hotel. Fantastic pizza! Many restaurants/hotels weren't yet open for summer. It was sunny and very warm everyday until yesterday when the clouds rolled in, but it was still nice. Today was MUCH cooler and it was just as well that we were leaving. Brrrr... We took the cable car up Alp Languard THREE times. ar ar We really like cable cars. The walk to Muragl was impassable due to continuous snow piles sliding down to the trail. Pooo... But at least we could walk most of the way then turn around and go back. One day we took buses to Casaccio and walked the panoramic trail to Soglio. Loved it!!! Absolutely beautiful!! Another day we walked from Sils Maria over to Maloja then later wandered around St. Moritz. Many of the shops were closed and we didn't find it too appealing. Another day we took the train to Zuoz, poked around there then walked to Bever. Nice scenery!! We had hoped to do some major hiking but there was still a lot of snow high up and our friend who met us there wasn't much into hiking, so we did more moderate walks. We had a really nice time there. It's such a beautiful area! Maybe we'll go back in August some time and get to really really hike! Thanks, Ingo for all your advice and info, it was really helpful.
Jun 14th, 2004, 11:35 AM
Posts: n/a
I forgot to say that on the way down we spent the night at the Hotel ABC in Chur, just because it was right by the train station. They upgraded us to a studio apartment for the same price (210CF) so we were pleased! I don't know about the regular double rooms but the studio we had was great!

In Pontresina we bought a 3 day regional bus/train pass for 38CF each. That was handy, but it didn't get us discounts on Languard or Muragl and from Maloja to Casaccia was about 8CF for 2, one way, and from Soglio to Maloja was about 25CF for 2, one way. Our friend had a Swiss pass and she still had to buy tickets for Muragl and Languard.
Jun 15th, 2004, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,581
Thanks, Peep, for the feedback. Very nice. I am glad you liked it.

Almost all Swiss folks have a Half Fare Card (and some Germans like me ). So the fares are reasonable for us. Usually they Swiss Pass doesn't pay for itself IMO.

Thanks for the info on the pizzeria in the hotel Engadinerhof. I considered to stay there this summer - what do you think about the hotel? Looked charming or in need of renovation or so?

Which route did you take from Sils to Maloja? By the lake or the Segantini trail higher above on the northern side of the valley? If you hiked by the lake, was the restaurant and cheese-making in operation in the hamlet Isola?

oops, many questions

August is good to go back - much cooler than in the cities and perfect for hiking. But I prefer Oct when the larches turn the color to golden. That's magical.

Ingo is offline  
Jun 16th, 2004, 04:09 AM
Posts: n/a
Hey Ingo! I really didn't notice the Engadinerhof Hotel and I probably wouldn't have known it was associated with the pizzeria if it hadn't said so on the menu. We walked along the lake and didn't see any signs of a cheese making place, but maybe it hadn't yet opened for the summer? Many places were still closed. I wanna go back!!
Jun 16th, 2004, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,581
Hm, thanks anyway, I will check out this pizzeria next time. Along the lake ... this is one of my favourite cross-country tracks in winter. Cannot wait to go back ;-)

Ingo is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:41 PM.