Cross-Country skiing holidays
Crossing Over the Engadine Valley | 2019
The Week's Program
First Day: You arrive at Maloja in the Engadine Valley
You decide how to get to Maloja. If you come by car, you can leave it at the hotel free of charge for the entire week. If you arrive early enough, you can even take a short ski around Maloja, going to Islen and Cavloc Lake, which constitutes a round trip of between 5 and 6 km. This is one way to take a first look at the Bergell Valley, which is situated towards Italy. The border is only 30 minutes away!
Second Day: Maloja to Val Fex, (approximately 22 km)
The Val Fex is a non-motorized valley. It is reserved for classic cross-country skiers and horse carriages! Actually, some motorized traffic is allowed, but it is extremely regulated. There are only three hotels in this valley. Obviously the residents have legal access to their houses via their cars and the hotels can use motorized transportation for their clients. In any event, you are guaranteed one of the most tranquil days imaginable while you admire the shockingly beautiful panorama at the foot of the Piz Chapütschin. Your route will take you through Isola, which is a small village where only six families live during the year. You will be on your way to Sils, before the route takes you to the right. After that, you can no longer skate ski so if that is what you are doing, you have to take a detour through the town of Silvaplana and come back by a different route, which adds between 12 and 15 km to your skate skiing day, depending on which return you take. At Val Fex you will find a number of restaurants with outside terraces where you can have an enjoyable pause. You return in the afternoon to Maloja where, if you like painting, you can visit the workshop of the famous painter Giovanni Segantini. Then you will dine at your hotel.
Third Day: Maloja to Pontresina, (approximately 21 km)
The world-famous Engadine Cross Country Ski Marathon takes place the second Sunday in March and has been doing so since 1969. In 1991 it was cancelled because there was too much snow! So now you know how much the Engadine Valley is a little corner of snow always available for the kinds of activities we are offering in the winter. You will start your day only 500 meters from the hotel where the route will follow the first 21 km of the Engadine Nordic Ski Marathon. It is a sumptuous route that will make you seem small in comparison to the immensity of the surrounding mountains. You will continue your skiing through Sils, Silvaplana, and the world-famous St-Moritz, before reaching the Pontresina. All along this route, you will be able to take a break or shorten your total distance depending on your level of tiredness or even take the local bus back to the hotel. Both classic and skate skiers will take the same trails. When you reach Pontresina, you can shed your equipment and visit the village of Pontresina, which is only 5 minutes away by foot from your hotel. If you want, you can take a sauna (free) and later you will dine at your hotel.
Fourth Day: Pontresina to Val Roseg, (approximately 16 km)
You will leave from the Pontresina’s Nordic center, which is in front of your hotel. Today, you will discover the Val Roseg. If you are lucky, you will be able to observe some camels! You will face 8 km of not-too-difficult climbing until you reach a restaurant situated at the foot of the glacier. In that restaurant, you will have access to a beautiful buffet of desserts, reputed to be the best in the entire Engadine Valley. You can, if you so desire, ski to the beginning of the glacier from the restaurant. It is only a 5-km round trip and well worth it. Both classic and skate skiers start off the same, but eventually the skate skiers branch off to a route called Rennloipe. It is a fairly tough course, but only 7 to 8 km long. It doesn’t take you to the end of the valley, however. That is why you have to go toward Val Morteratsch. To access this valley is a 12 km round trip and is a way for those of you who wish to extend your day, even if you are classic skiing. You will return in the late afternoon and can visit Pontresina again. Then it is time for a sauna and dinner.
Fifth Day: Pontresina to Zuoz, (approximately 19 km)
On this day you will do the second half of the Engadine Nordic Ski Marathon, or about 19 km. The route follows the Enn River, which then joins the River Danube at Passau and eventually goes to Vienna, Budapest, and the Black Sea, but you won’t be going that far today. The last 3 km of today’s route is hilly as it takes you to our third hotel in Zuoz. You will find in that city typical Engadine houses of which some date back to 1600 and are found at the foot of the Grisons National Park. We plan a short walk through the village so that you can admire the architecture. Then dinner at your Hotel.
Sixth Day: Zuoz to Zernez, (approximately 25 km)
Perhaps this last day is the most beautiful of all. You will be going though what is commonly known as the Wild Valley or the White Valley. The 25 km separating Zuoz from Zernez, includes many bordering forests that are well-known in the area. You will be close to the railroad tracks of a famous train line that has been labeled by Unesco as part of the world’s heritage. You will end the day with three spectacular descents that will take you to the other entrance to Zernez National Park. You will go back to your hotel via train. There are two trains an hour at Zernez, so you can ski as slowly or quickly as you want. Count on having a great dessert before you take the train to celebrate completing your last day intact. At Zernez, there is an interesting museum you can visit that will take about 25 minutes and you can easily do this before you take the train. Today, all participants, whether doing classic or skating technique, will take the same routes. Dinner at your hotel, as usual.
Seventh Day: The Day of Departure
Breakfast at the hotel with everybody leaving, but, if you want to stay longer, you can. We can organize some great additional activities for you.