40 Favourites for the Golden Season

Autumn is the perfect season to explore culinary delights, picturesque nature experiences, and cultural treasures. Take a look at our list of 40 recommendations for ideas catering to every taste – from surprising restaurants to inspiring museums.
byCarmen Baumann

Carmen Baumann is the Content Manager for St. Moritz. She can't decide whether autumn, summer, or winter is her favourite season, because all of them are special.

For the culture enthusiasts

1. Friedrich Nietzsche spent seven summers in Sils. For the philosopher, the Chasté peninsula was “the most beautiful place in the Engadin”. The memorial stone at the southern tip commemorates his favourite place. In the village centre of Sils, you can visit the Nietzsche House, where Nietzsche stayed and wrote.

2. Giovanni Segantini’s legacy is omnipresent in the Engadin. The Segantini Museum in St. Moritz features the artist’s largest and most important collection. Most of his works were created in the wild. The most prominent example, his Alpine triptych, depicts the three basic themes of human existence: life, nature, and death. When painting the middle panel of the three-part artwork, Segantini went to the Schafberg above Pontresina in September 1899. The Segantini hut is also located there.

3. Since 2019, there has been a museum for contemporary art in the Lower Engadin pass village of Susch. The Muzeum Susch consists of four buildings located in a rural monastery that also features a brewery. Alongside the alternating exhibitions, there is a permanent exhibition with works by Not Vital, Joanna Rajkowska, Mirko Baselgia, and Helen Chadwick.

4. A hike that follows the history of the Giacometti family of artists in Bergell. The hike takes walkers to the places where the artists Giovanni, Augusto, and Alberto Giacometti lived and worked. It connects a number of important venues, such as the homes of the artists’ families and their studios. The hike can be booked here.

5. Tarasp Castle towers majestically over the Lower Engadin. The history of the castle dates back to 1040. Over the centuries, ownership changed several times until it was sold to the Engadin artist Not Vital in 2016. His art is exhibited throughout the historical rooms, always with careful consideration for the historical spaces and furnishings, such as the largest private organ in Europe, which has 2,700 pipes and extends over three storeys.

6. While the castle is majestic, Parkin Vital at the entrance to the village of Sent is inconspicuous. Easily visible from the street, behind a gate and a sculpture (a gift from Not Vital to his artist friend Ai Weiwei) lies a 23,000 m2 park. Sculptures are scattered throughout the park, and you can cross the valley by stepping atop the unique “donkey head” sculptures or via an invisible bridge. You will even find a house made of Murano glass, complete with stairs. And the most spectacular attraction: at the push of a button, a house appears – or disappears – in the grass. The park is open to the public every Friday from June to mid-October.

7. A museum dedicated to the history of the Engadin. Built in 1906, the Engadiner Museum is one of the oldest museums in the Grisons. Its 21 rooms are home to a collection of historic staterooms and parlours as well as various objects and building elements from the Engadin. The pieces collected by museum founder Riet Campell date back up to 500 years.

8. An art walk in St. Moritz. With the third-highest density of galleries in Switzerland, the Engadin is by no means inferior to the big cities when it comes to art offerings. Renowned galleries like Hauser & Wirth and Vito Schnabel have opened their doors in the valley. All of the galleries can be found here.

For Nature Lovers

9. Val Fex is wild, romantic, and idyllic – a perfect combination for anyone seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Almost at the end of the eight-kilometre-long valley lies Hotel Fex, a mountain hotel built in the middle of the 19th century. The history of Chesa Pool dates back even further. It was built in the Sils side valley in 1585 and is the first vegetarian hotel in the Engadin.

10. Forest bathing is not just walking, hiking, or doing sports in nature. And it must be pointed out that there is no actual bathing involved either. It is immersion in nature and the forest with all your senses. Click here to book the experience.

11. Boat trip on Lake Sils. The highest-altitude shipping line in Europe operates here. Franco Giani has been captain of the cruise ship for fifty years. The approximately 40-minute trip from Sils Maria to Maloja promises picture-perfect panoramic views – including the Piz da la Margna in the background, which, at 3,168 metres, is known as the guardian of the Engadin.

12. Inspiration with a view: Be inspired by the quotes of witty personalities such as Meta von Salis, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, and Erich Kästner along the two-kilometres-long Muottas Muragl Philosopher’s Trail.

13. From an autumnal Alpine paradise to summery palm trees. The Bernina Express makes this possible. On the UNESCO World Heritage route from St. Moritz to Tirano, you pass glaciers, the region’s highest mountains, and numerous lakes. And at the final stop in Tirano, true Italianità awaits. By the way, The Bernina Express is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

14. Hike through the entire valley – on the Via Engiadina. The Weitwanderweg (long-distance hiking trail) leads in twelve legs from Maloja in the Upper Engadin to Vinadi in the Lower Engadin on the border to Tyrol. One of the numerous breathtaking views along the high route can be enjoyed at Plaz above Sils. The panorama is even more enchanting in autumn because of the beautiful colourful larches.

15. Reach new heights in comfort – aboard a cable car. Corviglia and Muottas Muragl are open until 22 October 2023, Corvatsch and Diavolezza until 20 October 2023. Diavolezza then goes straight into the winter season.

16. Enjoy a cosy autumn walk to Lake Staz. On a beautiful bright autumn day, Lake Staz (Lej da Staz), surrounded by larch forests, is one of the most stunning spots in the Engadin. The walk can be extended as desired, for example, with a loop up to Alp da Staz or with a detour to Celerina and Pontresina.

17. Chestnuts are autumn essentials – and a trip to Bergell is a must for chestnut lovers. Between Soglio and Castasegna lies the largest cultured chestnut grove in Europe! If you want to know more about the “fruit of the valley”, follow the chestnut nature trail and/or visit the chestnut festival, which takes place from 30 September to 22 October.

For Sports Fans

18. Rowing and sailing on the Engadin lakes. For those looking for a more active version of suggestion 11, rowboat rental and sailing courses are available at Lake St. Moritz, among other places.

19. Autumn skiing on the Diavolezza. If you want to put your carving skills to the test, you don’t have to wait until December. The winter season on the Diavolezza begins on 21 October 2023. The slopes are open to the general public on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays – ski racers train there on all other days.

20. Skiing in the morning – mountain biking in the afternoon. For example, from the Bernina Pass to Poschiavo via La Rösa. Since the route leads mostly downhill, there are occasional lay-bys to enable you to rest your legs. The same applies to the route from Maloja to Bergell and on to Chiavenna in Italy. There is no need for a pick-up service; the post bus regularly makes the return trip to the Engadin – don’t forget to make a reservation!

21. On horseback: Enjoy nature on a horseback ride. From guided rides to horseback tours for experienced riders, various equestrian companies offer a wide range of experiences.

22. Running for mountain lovers: From shorter trails around St. Moritz to longer trail-running routes on the Via Grischuna – the Engadin offers countless possibilities for trail runners.

For the Lifestyle Connoisseurs

23. A 19th-century coffee house. If you stroll through the pedestrian zone of St. Moritz, you will soon come across a building featuring the typical Engadin sgraffiti, the artisanal patterning that adorns the houses in the region. This is Konditorei Hanselmann, famous for its Engadin nut cake and hot chocolate, among other things. Many famous guests have stopped by here, including Thomas Mann and members of royal families.

24. Where tradition and the modern age come together. Restored and modernised, the historic Hotel La Margna above St. Moritz train station shines in new splendour under the new name Grace La Margna. In the “Living Room”, you can admire the heritage-protected art nouveau architecture, and in the “N/5 – THE BAR”, bar manager Mirco Giumelli mixes classic cocktails or signature drinks. By the way, you can go on an architectural treasure hunt in this Five-Star boutique hotel.

25. A fairy-tale castle in the Alps. Grand Hotel Suvretta House lies on the outskirts of St. Moritz, surrounded by larch forests. Suvretta House has been pampering its guests for over a century – amongst other treats, with its famous afternoon tea that can be enjoyed in the hotel lobby. The arched windows provide a stunning view of the lake plateau and the surrounding mountains.

26. Cosy, family-friendly and personable – this is how Hotel Waldhaus in Sils describes itself. Personable because the five-star hotel is still family-owned – currently by the 5th generation! A visit to the spa is worth it: architecturally, it bears the signature of Miller & Maranta, and the 1,500m2 offers plenty of space to relax. External guests are also welcome.

27. 175th anniversary: Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina is celebrating its anniversary this year. To commemorate the occasion, the Kronenhof Bar is serving the anniversary cocktail “1848”. It is made with Hennessy Cognac and Ruinart Champagne – and a few more ingredients that shall not be revealed.

28. A haven for artists. In the small Engadin village of S-chanf, Villa Flor clearly stands out. It is not a typical regional farmhouse but a representative, stately villa built in 1904. In 2009, the patrician house was converted into Villa Flor, featuring seven guestrooms. Each of the seven rooms is individually decorated with family heirlooms and flea-market finds, vintage lamps, and design classics. The library invites you to linger, and in the evenings, art-loving guests meet in the red salon.

29. Enjoy a movie in the new Scala Cinema. The Scala has moved people for more than nine decades – with the first sound films, the first films in technicolour, and finally, the first digital cinema in the Grisons. The cinema has been back since the summer – where it all began: at Via Maistra 29 in St. Moritz. Click here for the film guide.

30. Indulgence on the mountain. Treat yourself, relish and relax at Paradiso. And once you have enjoyed the stunning view and pampered yourself with culinary delights, you can also try your hand at pétanque – the mountain restaurant has its own court. Rosé or pastis can also be savoured. The mountain restaurant will remain open until 22 October 2023.

31. Middle-Eastern bathing culture in the Alps. Hotel Castell in Zuoz was the first hotel in the Alps that boasted a hammam. The hammam space plays with a combination of light and steam. After visiting the hammam, the hotel’s art collection is well worth viewing.

32. Sunset at 2455 m above sea level. Nothing beats the view of the Upper Engadin from Muottas Muragl. And at sunset, it is even more spectacular – you can also experience it over dinner in the fine-dining restaurant.

33. A bistro and a butcher’s shop may not seem like the most obvious combination at first glance. But Hatecke proves that it is a perfect mix. In the heart of St. Moritz’s pedestrian zone, you can enjoy a beef tartare or Bündnerfleisch panini on the terrace. The meat is processed in Scuol, at Hatecke’s headquarters.

34. A St. Moritz institution. Glattfelder has been synonymous with exquisite delicacies for over 90 years. The small shop in the village centre may appear unassuming, but it offers a wide range of delicacies. The focus is still on caviar, tea, and high-quality coffee, the delicious aroma of which wafts through the space.

35. Grisons specialities. Since 1946, the Heuberger family has been drying and producing traditional Grison delicacies, sausages, and meat products of the highest quality in the heart of St. Moritz.

36. The small Belmont Bar in the village centre of St. Moritz offers coffee, sandwiches – and geniality. There is also a premium selection of champagne and wine here, which is why the day bar can also be turned into a night bar.

37. Another address for delicatessen fare is “Top of the Food – Culture Space”. The range includes specialities such as truffles, caviar, olive oil, and wine and local products such as cheese, meat, and bread.

38. The fish shop “La Boutique du Poisson” is located right next to Restaurant Murtaröl in Plaun da Lej. In the shop, you can sneak a peek into the kitchen or look at the aquariums – and, of course, you can buy fresh, top-quality fish every day.

39. A picnic surrounded by an autumnal mountain landscape. This is made possible by the team at “The Outdoors St. Moritz”. They offer a wide variety of activities and experiences, from canyoning and pizzoccheri to climbing and BBQs, to sunrise SUP and breakfast.

40. Relaxing after an active day. At the Ovaverva indoor pool, spa, and sports centre, you can relax in the sauna and treat your muscles in the Rosatsch bath. Treatments such as massages, peelings, and facials can also be booked.

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