Majestic mountains with 1,000 peaks, 615 lakes, and 150 valleys for hiking, biking and exploring, Graubunden, the largest canton in Switzerland, welcomes visitors to discover the natural beauty and abundance of this epic alpine destination this summer.
This season, Graubunden launches bookable online Alpine Circle Tours, exciting new hotel renovations, a jazz fest in glam St. Moritz, and of course, a range of soft adventure activities highlighting the region’s plethora of natural wonders from glacier pools and lake life to witnessing the grandeur of the Rhine Gorge and so much more. Graubunden invites couples, families, and groups of friends to discover why this European summer destination will soon be on every traveler’s hit list.
ALPINE CIRCLE TOURS
Effortlessly explore the most beautiful areas of Graubunden all in one trip with Alpine Circle tours, bookable online with just a click of a button. These itinerary suggestions, loaded with flexibility, offer the best of the region with access by bus, train, or car to visit the Rhine Gorge, Swiss national parks, archetypal Swiss villages, spectacular views from a canoe trip, the architectural wonders of the Landwasser Viaduct, indigenous animal species, and more. With no registration required, the online platform helps generate an itinerary and map out the logistics to help visitors navigate the destination with ease.
HOTEL RENOVATIONS UNVEILED
Tucked away in the foothills of Graubunden, Valbella Resort in Lenzerheide—a testament to sustainability comprised in three separate buildings—is getting an exciting revamp to multiple facets of the property. The acclaimed main restaurant, Capricorn will see the addition of Premula, a new cozy, wood lounge centered around a crackling fireplace which is the perfect spot for events or a romantic evening. Next, the Tgiasa Principala building will see major renovations to all the rooms and corridors and the addition of new "junior suites", providing ample living and sleeping space. The hotel’s manicured gardens are receiving an upgrade with a new lounge area, sunbathing lawn and an organic swimming pond, joining existing outdoor amenities including a mini golf course, a children's playground, tennis court, table tennis, and a trampoline. The entrance exterior will also be updated with a fresh redesign and wheelchair accessibility. Finally, the property is optimizing their ecological footprint throughout with photovoltaic systems implemented on the roof and facade, upgrades to the air-heat pump, energy insulation and heating and freshwater systems. The resort’s Tgiasa Fastatsch building is open starting June 3, while the rest of the property will open on August 26.
The 100-room Hotel Cresta Palace, a historic Art Nouveau landmark nestled in Celerina, debuts 40 modern rooms from July 8 in time for the summer season. The completely made over rooms come with a new layout maximizing space, and updated interiors in warm burgundy and deep green color motifs accented with chic furnishings, bedding and décor that reflects a new era for the hotel blending tradition and modernity. In addition, the newly built Staziun da Basa center offers expert instruction on the outdoor sports of the Engadin region.
The historic and sustainable Schweizerhof Lenzerheide continues to evolve, and following a brief closure this year, reopens on May 25 with a redesign of their BergSpa, a 16,000-square foot oasis of wellness. The updated, natural-light filled spa comes with new treatment rooms and a design scheme that features plenty of ashen wood, cloud-like light shades, forest-inspired wall coverings, and a clean, soothing aesthetic crafted to relax the body and mind. The new spa will pair with the hotel’s existing and outstanding culinary concepts that are inspired by the agricultural offerings of the region.
Centrally located and a short walk from Lake St. Moritz, The Art Boutique Monopol St. Moritz, part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is currently renovating 18 of its rooms. Guests of the new accommodations will encounter a calming space with natural wood floors, a textured back wall panel lit from above, and dark floor-to-ceiling curtains that supply the digs with a sophisticated, urban sensibility. What remains unchanged are the avant-garde and modern art dotted throughout the property, the rooftop spa with a panoramic terrace, and the stunning mountain views offered in the heart of Graubunden’s most sought after destination.
Nature, Sports and Soft Adventure
The region’s incredibly diverse nature allows visitors to enjoy a huge variety of outdoor activities. From mountain biking down slopes to bathing in crystal-clear alpine waters, Graubunden promises something for everyone.
Available in several locations throughout the region, Foxtrails are scavenger hunts named for the ephemeral trail of a figurative fox that needs to be tracked down. During these thrilling explorations and investigations, participants will have to crack codes, decipher messages and navigate nature’s terrain through creative thinking and team spirit, making them a great, fun-filled adventure for friends and families of all ages (ideally for children aged eight and up). Open all year round in the Arosa/Lenzerheide region, the Heidsee lake trail involves navigating natural waterfalls and takes about two hours. A longer option, the Muntanella mountain trail runs from Churwalden via Heidbüel, and operates during the summer season — this fantastical undertaking requires participants to control the weather and raid the alpine dairyman’s cheese stash.
Choices are endless among the 2,500 km of marked mountain-bike trails in Graubunden. Public transportation is designed to carry bicycles throughout the region, with cable cars, the Rhaetian Railway and the Graubunden Post bus all equipped to transport bikers and their precious cargo from the valley to the summit, where bikers can ride down mountain trails. The region even has dedicated bike hotels with staff that are avid bikers (and can happily share their tips on trails), lockable bike rooms, and workshop facilities. Among the highlights are the 330 kilometers of undulating trails between the Vorab glacier and the Rhine Gorge in Laax, and the Alps Epic Trail Davos, the longest single trail in Switzerland.
Playfully known as Switzerland’s Grand Canyon, the Rhine Gorge is between Reichenau and Ilanz, an area of beautiful, craggy gorges, with opportunities for scenic drives, river rafting, kayaking, biking and train exploration on carriages with open observation areas. It’s also easily visited on two feet, with guaranteed spectacular hiking across the area. The train from Reichenau up to Llanz via Versam and Valendas brings into view steep limestone cliffs and oversized boulders. Those that prefer to walk will be able to enjoy the long suspension bridge at Trin, the 90-minute walk along the banks of the Rhine from Versam station to Valendas, and a stop for lunch in Valendas before boarding the train on to Llanz.
While the mountains are a huge draw in this part of Switzerland, life on the lakes Is equally mesmerizing, laden with the allure of hypnotic crystal-clear bodies of sparkling turquoise and shimmering green water. These beautiful Grison waterways are great options for hikes or spots to swim, with a number of many other highlights. At Lake Davos, options include swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, and there is even an 18-hole golf course a short walk away. In Flims Laax, Lake Cauma is known as one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland, with its almost iridescent turquoise-water fed by warm springs — supplying ample chances to swim—and forests that flank the shores populated with hiking trails.
Running from July 7- 31, Festival da Jazz in St. Moritz returns for its 15th iteration, back after a two-year, Covid-enforced break. Festival goers can expect music of the highest quality, anchored by the inimitable Dracula Club, home to the main stage. About 60 concerts pack the schedule, highlighting a world-class program complemented by free concerts in the Upper Engadin and the open-air shows at the Lej da Staz are a summer classic. In addition to global performers at the Dracula Club, young talents get a chance to shine at New Generation #JazzLab