St Moritz isn’t just for skiing. There is so much to do when the snow isn’t around. Here are some ideas.
photo from ponteresina.ch
Lej da Staz
This lake, a picturesque 45 minute walk from St Moritz Bad, is one of the most beautiful lakes in the area. Each season has its own attractions. In autumn, the larch turns yellow and nutcrackers, the specialist bird of these forests, and red squirrels are especially active searching out pine kernels and hiding them for their winter food. In summer the lake is a perfect swimming hole with a small beach and rustic wooden changing rooms. The old pier is a perfect spot for sun bathing and throwing yourself off, there’s even a plank for diving.
In winter the footpaths are cleared so you can walk in the forests even after heavy snowfall and feeding stations for the birds and stocked with seed which you can take for a donation in the honesty box. The coal tits and marsh tits come and feed from your hand, sometimes two or three scuffling for access to the food. Created tits are never far away and even sometimes come to your hand too.
The restaurant/cafe at Lej da Statz is open all year round and has an ample terrace and sun seating where you can drink in the view (and a local beer)
It takes around 45 minutes to walk from St Moritz Bad to Lej da Staz. Take the path along the lake shore (either way around the lake) and it is well signposted.
You can either walk back to St Moritz bad by a circular route around Lej and then continuing around St Moritz lake the other side. Or you can walk on through the forests to Ponterisina. Either way will take around 50minutes.
Milli Weber House
Milli Weber was a children’s illustrator and artist and this house, built a century ago by her brother and father, was her life’s work. It is covered with murals she painted, with walls, ceilings, furniture and and even an organ intricately illustrated. The house has collections of her art, and an intricate dolls house. It’s an unusual and interesting place to visit. It is only open Wednesday – Sunday afternoons and it it is best to make an appointment.
It’s a 30 minute walk from St Moritz bad or 10 minutes from the station.
St Moritz has been developing its infrastructure for mountain biking over the past 10 years. On the mountainside above the town are plenty of trails including three downhill ‘flow trails’ of varying difficulty. Take the Corviglia mountain railway up or, for those who like a fitness challenge, cycle up the tracks via Salastrains and the top of the Signal gondola. More information about the Mountainbike highlights here
There are a huge number of trails through the woods in the valley for those who want a more relaxing bike ride and a stunt track in Pontresina for testing your skills.
You can hire bikes and get all the local information from Engadine bikes at the roundabout just at the end of via Salet and turn right.
These climbing trails with fixed gear, ladders and protection give more of a thrill to the experienced walker’s mountain experience. Bring your own gear or hire the requisite helmet, harness, via Ferrata slings and gloves at the Diavolezza Gondola.
At Diavolezza there are two via Ferrata of two levels of difficulty which take you to the top of a prominent rocky peak just above the top station and below the towering, glacier clad mountains of Piz Bernina and Piz Palu.
There is another via ferrata at Pontresina which takes you up cliffs to a point 15 minutes walk from the cafe Languard where you can take the chairlift down or walk down on paths.
You do these climbs at your own risk. Please follow local advice as to when they are open as they can close if there is an early snowfall.
Pontresina also has mountain guiding for those who are not familiar with the mountain environment
Amazing views of the Piz Benina and Palu and their glaciers. There is a gorgeous sun terrace at the mountain restaurant and lovely walks to two small peaks nearby – Munt Pers which is around an hour’s walk and Sass Queder which is only 30 minutes. You can also walk down the mountain past a couple of stunningly beautiful mountain lakes which takes around 2 hours.
A guided glacier tour will take you down onto the Morteratsch glacier and bring you out at the railway station to take you back to St Moritz.
Swimming lakes and walks in the woods.
There are two lovely lakes for swimming to the west of Lake St Moritz. They are shallower that Lake St Moritz and so get warmer. Lej Marsch is close tho the road and so gets busy but Lej Nair is around a 15 minute walk into the woods. The trails through the woods are great for walking or cycling and are well signposted.
Lake Silvaplana is ideal for watersports and the Maloja wind, which blows regularly in summer from around midday until sunset, ensures perfect conditions for kite surfing and wind surfing. You can rent windsurfers and get lessons at Windsurfing Silvaplana and learn to kitesurfing at the Swiss Kitesurf School
On St Moritz Lake a few minutes walk from the flat there is a yacht club where you can hire sailing boats.