Switzerland - Engadine priorities?

Oct 7th, 2007, 08:57 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
Sadly, we never did a boat ride on the lake. In fact, we had to take the bus back to Lugano to make our train. So I'm no help with boats, although I imagine the ride from Morcote to Lugano would be of substantial length and very pleasant.

Re the Morcote hike: we were there in March, so the trees were pretty bare and we had some nice lake views. But even in the summer, with limited views, I think it will still be lovely. First of all, you come to an isolated church (closed when we passed by), a couple of villages, and the astoundingly picturesque hamlet of Torello as you walk. As you approach Morcote, you will pass some lovely luxury villas.

I did find the hike a bit confusing as there are many opportunities to take the wrong trail. Ask at the top of San Salvatore for a detailed trail map and suggestions for not getting lost. We managed to stay on the trail we wanted, but largely due to luck. (I also have a 6th sense for these kinds of things.) Make sure that, after the hamlet of Torello, you veer left rather than going straight down the steps.
Cimbrone is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 09:17 AM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,958
Tuck, I did not mean to switch the topic, it just happened I’m sure that as I start researching the Lugano/Locarno area, I’ll have more questions and a dedicated thread. What did you think about the boat ride from Marcote to Lugano?

Cimbrone, thanks for the details on the hike. I don’t think we have that 6th sense you do. I am good navigating roads, finding my way in towns, but hiking is a different animal. And I remember someone talking about the million steps down on this hike…I guess they missed the path on their left…
xyz99 is online now  
Oct 7th, 2007, 12:10 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
xyz, I've been thinking about it, and I remembered that it was less about a 6th sense and more about knowing that we had to pass through Torello to stay on the route we wanted. So follow the signs to Torello and not to Morcote, which will take you on a more direct, much less scenic route. (If I'm remembering correctly...)
Cimbrone is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 12:16 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
To clarify--the signs to Morcote will take you the less scenic, more direct route than the signs to Torello will.
Cimbrone is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 01:10 PM
  #25  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,958
Cimbrone, this really helps, thanks a lot.
xyz99 is online now  
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:48 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,580
Hi,

took me some time to sort things out - you listed almost all of the top things to do in the Engadine, but you have only 3 full days. Let's hope the weather co-operates so you can do at least a few of the things you mentioned.

Given that you stay in Sils I'd say start with an easy walk in the Fex Valley or take the horse-drawn carriage. Should be good for getting over jet-lag. In the afternoon you could drive to Silvaplana-Surlej and take the cable car up to Piz Corvatsch. If there is enough time left get out of the middle station on the way down and hike to Fuorcla Surlej (1.5 hours round trip plus photo stops) for the best views of the Bernina massif then continue down to Surlej by cable car.

Another option is to take the cable car from Sils to Furtschellas (free shuttle to the valley station outside the village) and hike via Marmoré into the Fex Valley (to Hotel Fex). The advantage is that you'll approach the Fex Valley from above and have the best views of the valley and the glaciers in the background. You can either take the horse-drawn carriage or walk back to Sils. This would probably be a full day then and leave no time for Piz Corvatsch.

Definitely see the Bernina Pass area and Poschiavo. The train ride is more scenic than the road (you won't see Alp Grüm by car). However, if you drive then stop after crossing the railroad (Montebello curve) on the Bernina Pass road (views of Morteratsch glacier and Piz Bernina). Park the car at Diavolezza cable car station and take the cable car up to the mountain. Spectacular views! Then drive over the pass to Poschiavo, have lunch there and walk around. Continue to the lake and drive as far as Miralago, from where you have the best views of the lake and Piz Varuna (view back to Bernina massif). The hotel/restaurant there is also a good place for a coffee break. After driving back you'll see if you're still up for riding the Muottas Muragl funicular up and down. It is in operation until 11 pm.

Spend the last day in the Lower Engadine. Park the car in Guarda (best in the valley at the train station and take the bus up to the village). Walk around in Guarda and have lunch there (Hotel Meisser's terrace recommended, but Hotel Piz Buin is also very good). Walk/hike to Ardez and see this picturesque village as well. You can continue the hike to Ftan and take bus/train back to your car. Or take the train back to your car and drive to Tarasp to see the castle there. Guided tours daily (but inquire about the times).

The Via Panoramica in the Bregaglia valley is an exhausting hike. It *does* take 5 hours. And it's all south-facing, due hot in summer sun. The Via Bregaglia is a walk through the villages on the valley floor, not particularly scenic. My recommendation is to see Soglio enroute to Ticino. Start early that day, park your car in Soglio (limited space) or Promontogno (in this case take the bus up to Soglio) and walk around in Soglio. Hotel Bregaglia has a beautiful garden, perfect for lunch. Or eat at Stüa Grande right at the entrance of the village with stunning views. Continue to Ticino after lunch.

Hope this helps for now.

Ingo
Ingo is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:13 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 43
Ingo, very helpful as always...can't wait to read your New England trip report! (hint, hint)
Sarsaparilla is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:57 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,707
Hi again...

I'd like to say that the enjoyment we got out of our visit to the Engadin was due in large part to Ingo's postings on this board some time ago. Thanks Ingo!

Our all-day hike to the Fex Hotel was the one he described here. Ditto the Guarda-Ardez-Ftan hike. We also had a wonderful lunch at the http://www.stua-granda.ch/restaurant.html
and I agree with Ingo's idea to visit Soglio en route to the Ticino.
TuckH is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:17 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,774
Loved, loved, LOVED the Engadine. At Ingo's suggestion we stayed in Samedan. It was perfect for us.

I had a lot of resistance to letting go of the car and depending on the train. I was very happy with the train and I felt that we never missed out on anything by not having a car. In fact, we WOULD have missed out a lot WITH a car since the trains go through very scenic high passes. On top of that parking can be a very serious and expensive inconvenience.

The views are gorgeous everywhere so you fant really go wrong with your choices.
marigross is online now  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:56 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,958
ttt
kenav is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:32 PM
  #31  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,958
Ingo,
This is fantastic, thanks a lot. I know I listed a lot of sights, and we will probably only do half of them – which is fine. We will enjoy the time there and we’re used to this: have many things in mind, but only do some based on weather and mood. And sometimes, one place just ‘speaks’ to us, and we end up spending the whole day there.

The stay in Sils is not 100% sure, but just an option for now. Either Sils or Celerina, or maybe Zuoz.
Marigros, where did you stay in Samedan?

Ok, via Panoramica is definitely not for us. We won’t have the time or the stamina for a 5 hrs exhausting hike in the sun. We will save Soglio for the day when we drive to Ticino, that sounds like a good plan. As of now, we have 5 full days in the BO – if we decide to only do 4 days there, I know I can use it in the Engadine
Thanks again.
xyz99 is online now  
Oct 19th, 2007, 01:22 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,580
Sarsaparilla - hint noted, but you need some more patience ;-)

TuckH - very glad you enjoyed the Engadine so much and I could help. Ditto marigross, hi to you too!

xyz, I don't think the place where marigross stayed in Samedan would meet your requirements. Definitely post after you decided on accommodation and we can advise properly.

I.
Ingo is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 08:21 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,774
Hi Ingo!!!!

We stayed in an apartment belonging to Hotel Central Samedan. It was very basic and simple but it fit our needs perfectly. The one problem is that their English is quite limited. After failing to make a reservation via email, DH - who speaks German -called and made it by phone.

I secretely (DH is Swiss German) prefer the Engadine to the BO.

Without wanting to overwhelm you with alternatives, I also absolutely loved our stay in the Lucern area, Weggis was a perfect base for us.
marigross is online now  
Oct 20th, 2007, 07:22 AM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,958
Ingo and all others,
I think our first choice would be the Chesa Rosatsch Hotel in Celerina. They do not have yet the 2008 summer rates, and do not take reservations for that period yet. I will definitely email them back in January.

Hotel Chesa Randolina in Sils has rooms available, so we will keep that in mind – they do not have a TV in the room, but that is definitely not a deal breaker for us.

Pensiun Privata requires a minimum of 7 nights in that period, so that is out.

While Celerina area seems more central for both the Engadines, viamichelin shows 14 km (16 min) drive between Celerina and Sils. Is that accurate?

Tuck,
The view from the Stua Granda restaurant in Soglio is fantastic – thank you so much for the link. We’ll try to have lunch there. So much to see, so little time…


xyz99 is online now  
Oct 20th, 2007, 10:41 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,580
xyz,

Chesa Rosatsch in Celerina is a very good choice. The rates will be much similar to this year I guess. Yes, the distance to Sils is correct.

I cannot believe the Chesa Randolina doesn't have TV in the rooms.

I.
Ingo is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 04:19 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
Ingo and others, if you had a choice between staying at the Stua Granda and the Palazzo Salis in Soglio, which would you choose?
Cimbrone is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 10:17 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,580
Cimbrone,

I have not stayed at Stüa Grande (yet), so I am a bit reluctant to reply to this question ... but here we go ;-) (cannot keep my mouth shut, lol)

I would definitely stay at Palazzo Salis. They *do* have some rooms with view over the roofs of the village and the gorgeous mountains vis-a-vis. Other rooms only have view of their garden (which is very beautiful). Stüa Grande has rooms with gorgeous views of the valley and the mountains - slightly better views IMO.

The point is that Palazzo Salis definitely has more charm. It *is* and old Palazzo (dates from the Renaissance I think) with a big, beautiful hall, the furniture is antique, everything breathes history and old world charm.

Ingo
Ingo is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 03:51 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
Then Palazzo Salis it is! I think their prices are identical. I'll make sure I get to that terrace at the Stua Granda for a bite to eat. Gorgeous!

Ingo, I hope you had a great trip to the U.S. Will you be doing a trip report? I want to know all of your impressions.
Cimbrone is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:59 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,580
Make sure you get a room with private bathroom at Palazzo Salis. When I stayed there they still had rooms with bathroom down the hall. I heard they did renovations since that then, but you never know ...

Had chestnut cake at the terrace of Stüa Granda and loved the food AND the view! Great place.

Enjoyed my trip to the US a lot and will do a report later. Plus will post some pictures ... but it will take some time.

Ingo
Ingo is offline  
Nov 4th, 2007, 10:57 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 41
To anyone who has opinions about the Engadine: I've never been to this area and have been searching for a lovely SMALL town to stay in for 5 days next end of June. From Soglio to Guarda, all these places look beautiful!! Anyone have a strong opinion about any of these towns? Any suggestions? The quieter the better!! Skip St. Moritz - too crowded and touristy. My main goal is hiking.

Thanks for ANY advice
Laurie Donnay
LDonnay is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:31 AM.