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St Moritz

St. Moritz: Birthplace of the Bobsled
When St. Moritz hotelier Johannes Badrutt convinced some English summer guests to return for the winter in 1864, winter tourism in Switzerland was born. In 1904, as a direct result of the influx of winter visitors, the bobsled was born—when police forbade rowdy Brits from racing their sleds down the steep streets of St. Moritz, forcing them to build a track. These days, the town is home to two bobsled courses, the Cresta Run and the Olympic Run, both of them beautiful, non-refrigerated, hand-built marvels. Even if you can’t visit during the annual World Cup race, when professional bobsledders rocket around the 17 curves of the 1,789-meter long Olympic Run, you can still contemplate the infamous Horseshoe Curve, where racers pull 4.5 Gs right alongside the road.

For the best flight routes to St. Moritz and the Engadin Valley, visit swiss.com.

The Mineral Springs of St. Moritz
Though St. Moritz is best known today for luxury resorts and mountain sports, the first visitors here came for an entirely different attraction: the water. Some 3,500 years ago, the Celts discovered a spring that gurgled with a naturally sparkling water that left a mysterious red residue on rocks and seemed to cure ailments when ingested. Though the Celts are long gone, the spring remains today—and modern science tells us the residue comes from iron, as well as other naturally occurring minerals like magnesium, sodium, and calcium. If you’re after an unusual excursion, head to the Heilbad St. Moritz Medical Center, where you’ll find a fountain that flows with water from the spring; you can sample it for free.

To learn more about the natural wonders of the St. Moritz and the Engadin Valley, visit myswitzerland.com.

A Scrafitti Tour of St. Moritz
If you’re walking around St. Moritz, it won’t take long for you to notice gorgeous geometric patterns etched around doorways, windows and under rooftop cornices of most buildings here. Called "scrafitti," these lines, triangles and waves made their way into this region of Switzerland starting in the 16th century when Swiss chefs, merchants and mercenaries established trade routes and businesses east to Byzantium and brought the designs back with them. Take a stroll around the nearby town of Sils Maria to study the wave-like scrafitti, which some say represents the cyclical nature of life—and also helps departed souls reach heaven after death.

For the best flight routes to St. Moritz and the Engadin Valley, visit swiss.com.

St. Moritz’s Sausage Virtuoso
Octogenarian Renato "Pila" Giovanoli’s family has been in the business of making sausages and cured meats for at least 130 years. Sadly, though, he's the last of his line—so if you can, hurry to his tiny village, also called Pila (where he and his wife are the only residents), about a ten minute drive or bus ride from St. Moritz. Pila himself may show you his medieval stone-hut smoking room, and the basement where natural yeasts collect on the drying meats. His chamois sausage, heavily seasoned with garlic and other spices, is not to be missed.

To learn more about the culinary delicacies of St. Moritz and the Engadin Valley, visit myswitzerland.com.

Switzerland’s Rhaetian Railway
Swiss trains are famous for being quick, efficient, and immaculate—but many are also historically significant. The Rhaetian Railway's Albula/Bernina line, now more than a century old, forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its unique construction. Hop aboard in St. Moritz, and take the 90-minute ride to Thusis; you’ll wind through dramatic Alpine landscapes and several marvelous engineering structures, including a viaduct and a series of 360-degree curving tunnels. Alternatively, you can hike along the tracks and use the train to return. Start your walking in Filisur, a stop on the way to Thusis outside of St. Moritz, and drop down about 600 feet to the Landwasser Viaduct, a beautifully arched Roman-style bridge, before returning back to Filisur. Expect about 90 minutes to cover the three miles round trip.

To learn more about train travel in Switzerland—as well as special multi-destination packages like the Swiss Pass and Swiss Peak Pass—visit myswitzerland.com/rail.

Hiking Switzerland’s Engadin Valley
If you’re fit, and a scenery buff, the seven-mile trek from Muottas Muragl to Alp Languard passes through gorgeous basins and meadows and under impressive peaks to make the route an absolute must. You can easily make this hike in a day, with a stop for lunch at the Segantini Hut (named after a celebrated turn-of-the-century artist who painted here). Start off with a nostalgic funicular ride up to Muottas Muragl at 8,058 feet, where you'll find a newly renovated, solar-powered hotel and restaurant that could derail your hike with gourmet fare. Be sure to check out the world's most accurate sundial, which can also tell time to within a minute by moonlight as well. From here you'll wander high above treeline on a well-marked mountain path. Take the Alp Languard chairlift back down to Pontresina, where you can catch buses that run at regular intervals back to St. Moritz.

To learn more about outdoor activities in St. Moritz and the Engadin Valley, visit myswitzerland.com.

La Marmite: The Height of Swiss Cuisine
One of the highest-end restaurants in Switzerland is also Europe’s highest-altitude dining spot: La Marmite, a modernist-style lodge set at 8,000 feet in the chic St. Moritz mountain resort of Corviglia. Fashion-conscious skiers and foodies converge here to savor the decadent culinary creations of celebrity chef Reto Mathis—which include dishes like beef carpaccio with truffles Robespierre; tuna sashimi with black truffles and salmon caviar; and the signature “Mathis Pizza,” a truffle-covered tarte flambé. Almost equal to the flavors at La Marmite are the views: large windows here look down across glittering Lake Silvaplana, and up toward the cable car to 10,000-foot Piz Nair.

To learn more about the culinary delicacies of St. Mortiz and the Engadin Valley, visit myswitzerland.com.

St Moritz, Switzerland