Year-round, the wide-open spaces of the Engadine valley provide the perfect backdrop for visitors to enjoy the great outdoors, whether it’s to eat, be entertained or get active. In the Autumn, now that Switzerland is back on the green travel list, there’s the added attraction of witnessing the region turn golden, as the larches start to prepare for the winter season and their leaves turn a vibrant yellowy-orange hue.
Go walking with goats under a full moon on 21 September. Hiking with a herd of six, you will learn more about these loving, funny and unique animals while enjoying an enchanted moonlit walk. A great way to get away from everyday worries and de-stress!
Up until 25 September, enjoy a free concert between 11an and 12 noon at the Pontresina Camerata (or at an indoor venue including the Reformed Church if the weather turns); these free concerts have been held every year since 1910, providing residents and visitors with a chance to enjoy classical music amid the fresh air of the Tais forest.
Bernina Gran Turismo, a hill climb event on the Bernina Pass that re-enacts the historic St. Moritz Automobile Weeks of 1929 and 1930, takes place from 16 to 19 September; enthusiasts love it for the chance to see classic and sporting cars dating from the 1930s to the early 1980s.
The 16th Grison Hiking Day takes place in Pontresina on 26 September; six free guided walks take place including an educational family option and an Alpine-mountain hike. All ages and abilities are welcome!
Nothing sums up Autumn quite like chestnuts and they are plentiful in the Engadine. The annual Castagnata, Festa da Maruns takes place on Friday 1 October offering an “all you can eat” buffet laden with vitamin-rich chestnut delights, as well as music, singing and dancing.
Inspired by the addition of climbing to the roster at the Tokyo Olympics 2020? Every day until the end of October, the Mountaineering School in Pontresina offers beginners classes for all ages – where better to learn than a destination where climbing holidays have been popular since the mid-19th century?
The Glacier Experience Trail is a circular walk at Diavolezza taking 1.5-2 hours that passes five points, where the fascinating features of glaciers can be studied at close quarters and the effects of climate change witnessed at first hand. A leaflet detailing the route and packed with glacial information can be picked up from the Diavolezza valley station.
REASONS TO STAY AT GRAND HOTEL KRONENHOF
Over the last couple of years, internationally-renowned interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has renovated many of the guest rooms at Grand Hotel Kronenhof; this year, he has completely transformed the bel étage (the reception, lobby lounge, bar and reading room) bringing the neo-Baroque Grande Dame built in 1848 into the modern day while maintaining striking historic elements, such as Otto Haberer’s early 20th century frescoes in the lounge.
Thomas Theurillat and Stephanie Müller, two successful psychologists and mind trainers, will be at the Kronenhof this Autumn (18 & 19 September, 1-3 October) to guide guests through custom-curated coaching programmes that will help them set realistic and balanced goals for a successful year ahead. With all that’s been happening around the world in the last two years, there is no better time to push the reset button.
Yogis of all skill levels can seek enlightenment under the careful instruction of acclaimed trainer Ben Rakidzija at Grand Hotel Kronenhof’s Yoga Summit, which will introduce participants to the calm world of Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga and Meditation. The Summit takes place from 8 to 10 October, with classes on the hotel’s socially distanced outdoor yoga platforms – weather permitting. As we like to say: “Come up to the mountains to slow down”.
Golfers will love Grand Hotel Kronenhof’s three-night “Golf Summit in One” package, as it includes unlimited use of the 9-hole course at Kulm Golf St. Moritz, as well as the 18-hole courses at Samedan and Zuoz. These three courses comprise the golf offering in the Engadine, which has been regarded as a golfer’s paradise for over 125 years thanks to the majestic undulating landscapes and panoramic views.
The “September Mountain Escape” package provides guests with an opportunity to simply get away from it all: to enjoy hiking in mild temperatures, relax in the extensive Kronenhof Spa (and enjoy a 10% discount on spa treatments) and enjoy one or more of the special events and activities taking place in the Engadine this month (see above). Rates start from CHF450 (approx. £360) per night for two people sharing a double room on a half-board basis (minimum three-night stay required); limited availability, valid till the end of September.