A popular ski resort and spa town, St Moritz is home to art galleries, museums and luxury shopping. From glistening Lake St Moritz to the town’s iconic Leaning Tower, there is something for every type of traveller.
You’ve probably heard of St Moritz. A ski resort in Switzerland’s Engadin valley, the town was the birthplace of alpine winter tourism back in 1864. Since then, St Moritz has hosted the Winter Olympics twice in addition to countless other top winter sports events. With a shimmering lake, fairytale forests and excellent skiing facilities, the town remains a first-class resort blessed with uncanny natural beauty. That said, St Moritz is also a culturally rich town with plenty of museums, galleries and boutiques that cater to a well-heeled crowd.
Perhaps the most iconic symbol of this lovely town is the breathtaking Lake St Moritz itself. While quite small compared to some of Switzerland’s other lakes, with a surface area of less than 1sqkm, it is a site of a number of sport activities throughout the year, especially when it’s frozen. For example, during February, you can witness the famous White Turf horse races, which have been taking place on the frozen Lake St Moritz since 1907, as well as polo matches. It is also the site of the first ever ice cricket tournament, which occurred in 1988.
For a great ski in the winter and a great hike in the summer with stunning views, Piz Nair is a fantastic location. This is the mountain that hosted the alpine skiing during the Winter Olympics in 1948, and has also hosted a number of tournaments and championships since. Easy to reach by cable car from the town, this stunning peak offers fantastic ski runs, including a brilliant black that’s fast and challenging.
At 3,300m (10,827ft) up, Piz Corvatsch is one of the highest points in the area. It’s a haven for skiers, with a magnificent 8km (5mi) run to St. Moritz-Bad. That’s not to mention the stations with their great restaurants that provide especially good, warming traditional Swiss fondues. The enormous ice cave of this mountain is particularly worth seeing, as well as the gorgeous views of the Alpine glaciers – it’s also a great spot for hiking during the summer.
One of the most remarkable railways in the world, the Glacier Express is an activity in itself. Offering trips to Zermatt, the journey is almost more exciting than the destination. Famed for its spectacular views of the mountains, the Glacier Express travels over almost 300 bridges, across breathtaking valleys, intriguing forests, and babbling mountain streams. The restaurant carriage also provides carefully prepared meals to make this unique railway journey a truly luxurious experience.
Worthy of its name, which means “she-devil”, the difficult and varied red and black runs of this mountain are devilish indeed. They include the famous 10km (6.2mi) run down the Morteratsch Glacier, and represent one of the most popular ski destinations in St Moritz. The panoramic views of the glaciers are truly spectacular, which can be fully appreciated on the terrace of the restaurant at Diavolezza’s summit. For a truly unique and magical experience, this famous mountain is the sight of moonlight skiing once a month.
Judy Cogan contributed additional reporting to this article.