Snowshoe and ski from village-to-village in eastern Switzerland.
"The Weavers got back Tuesday night and just want to thank you for planning such a memorable trip for us. The Engadine cross country ski trek rated in the top five of my lifetime trips and we are seasoned travelers/hikers! The accommodations and food were superior and the views from many of our rooms were spectacular. If this is how you treat your customers on the hiking treks you will surely hear from us. I am already thinking of combining a Croatia bike/boat with a northern Italy hike. You will certainly hear from us as we rate you #1 and we agree with national Geographic!"- Darlene and Phillip Weaver
"Thanks, Melanie, to you and your RW colleagues my recently-completed Winter Trek Engadine was terrific. I wrapped it up with a 1/2 Engadine SkiMarathon from Maloja to Pontresina."- Dave Kenny
Hiking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing from inn-to- inn on expertly maintained winter trails.
Sledding from village to village. Who knew? Historically, sledding offered viable transport between snowy alpine villages. It's not just for kids anymore.
A chance to visit the home of Ursli, a famous story-book character that ran away from home and captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world.
Practice three different languages, German, Italian and Romansh, as you explore this folded landscape of deep, isolated valleys, sheer rocky summits, multifaceted glaciers and thick pine forests.
Thermal hot springs and spas, well appointed and modern, yet dating back as far as the Roman Era.
Winter. This is the magical time when Switzerland wears her finest clothes. Snowflakes quietly descend upon tranquil storybook villages, the mountain air carries an aroma of hot-spiced wine, and jingle bells ring as horse drawn sleighs carry excited travelers to their cozy mountain homes. This is the season for roasted chestnuts, fireside dinners and bubbling fondue. Each alpine region celebrates winter in its own special way, and many of these regions offer extensive trail networks specifically designed with the winter alpine hiker in mind.
Our tour explores the upper and lower Engadine valleys of eastern Switzerland, a region offering a vast network of perfectly prepared winter trails for hiking, snowshoeing, sledding and cross-country skiing. You’ll use all of these modes of transportation, depending on your level of enthusiasm for the day, as you make your way through an exotic trilingual region offering some of the finest and most rewarding scenery in the Alps.
Arrive Zurich. Transfer by train to the historic spa village of Scuol. Cradled between the peaks of the Silvretta range and the “Engadine Dolomites,” Scuol labels itself as one of the sunniest villages in the Alps, a statement that isn’t far from the truth. Overnight in a lovingly restored 17th century patrician home.
Wake up to a delicious breakfast before embarking on an exciting winter adventure. We recommend exploring one of the level winter walking paths that radiate from this ancient town. The Romans first treated themselves to Scuol’s thermal baths more than a thousand years ago. The old spas are now gone, but the new modern baths offer a relaxing reward following a day spent exploring in the snow.
Hike, snowshoe, or ski from Scuol to the ancient hillside village of Guarda, the story book setting for the famous children’s tale, Schellenursli, by Alois Cariget. Guarda gets its name from its strategic vantage point offering magnificent views up and down the entire lower Engadine valley. Guarda is also renowned for its distinctive villagescape with impressive sgraffito-decorated Engadine houses. Literally meaning “to scratch” in Italian, sgraffito is a popular technique used in painting, pottery, and glass, which consists of putting down a preliminary surface, plaster in this case, covering it with another, and then scratching the superficial layer in such a way that the pattern or shape that emerges vividly displays the lower colour. This was a common technique during the middle ages and a hallmark of the Engadine region. Guarda offers a tantalizing feast of sgraffito and actually received an award from the Swiss Heritage Society for the the preservation of its architectural heritage. The award notes that Guarda is one of the best preserved and characteristic villages of the Unterengadin.
Hike, ski, or snowshoe to the quite village of Zuoz, with its cobblestoned streets, an elegant town center and numerous beautiful old buildings. Zuoz is another one of the Engadine’s most preserved villages and offers a taste what life would have looked like in the Engadine hundreds of years ago. Overnight in a cozy, family run hotel in the center of town.
Wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread and a warm fire crackling in the hearth. A short transfer by train carries you to one of the Upper Engadine’s greatest attractions, a funicular with arguably the finest vista in the Alps. From here you’ll have the option to sled to Pontresina, an adventure filled village lying in the heart of the upper Engadine Valley. Overnight in a traditional 17th century Engadin guesthouse with tastefully appointed rooms and careful attention given to every detail. The personal touches and comfortable atmosphere, combined with inspired local cuisine, guarantee a relaxing stay.
Today you’ll make your way to the lakeside village of Sils Maria. Sils lies amid an inspiring landscape of mountains and lakes and offers myriad possiblities for winter exploration. Overnight in a four star hotel steeped in local tradition. The cozy, pine-paneled dining room offers fresh cuisine made with regional products.
One of the most popular winter hikes in the Upper Engadine is that from Sils-Maria to the Chastè peninsula and from there to Maloja and back to Sils-Maria. The tour begins in Sils-Maria and continues in the direction of Maloja before detouring to the Chastè peninsula. You’ll enjoy sparkling mountain views in every direction. Maloja is the turning point, after which you return along more or less the same route across the frozen Lake Sils to Sils-Maria. Be sure to stop at one of the trailside “snow bars” on your return trip. The vendors will tempt you with roasted chestnuts, gluhwein (hot spiced wine), and tasty Engadine sweets. Return to your Sils Maria Hotel.
Transfer to the the Zurich airport or to other destinatinos in Europe. Note: Same day departures from Zurich airport usually cannot be met.