Photo by Ken Fuhrer
Feel the burn in your legs as our expert team of bergfuhrers takes you mountain hopping across the undiscovered peaks of eastern Switzerland. Beginning in the picturesque village of Zuoz, you’ll spend eight days summiting the many mid-height, un-glaciated mountain peaks that the Engadine region is famous for. Hike to the mountaintops by day, and bed down in the region’s quintessentially Swiss inns by night. You’ll spend at least two nights in each location, giving you ample time to enjoy an in-depth exploration of the region’s historic villages, quiet valleys and rugged peaks. If you like to climb or “bag” peaks, then this trip is for you!
Not a peak bagger, or never tried? That’s fine too. You’ll have two guides on this hiking tour for maximum flexibility. Relax on the shores of the Silvaplanersee, a sparkling lake in the Upper Engadine Valley. Climb to the top of the Piz Padella (9,370 feet), offering expansive views across the Rhaetian Alps. Have lunch at the Rifugio Segantini, a dramatically situated mountain hut, popular for its delicious homemade soups and hearty mountain fare.
Visit the towns of Zuoz, Pontresina and Sils Maria. Celebrate the finish of your hike in the tiny hamlet of Soglio, a perfectly preserved Roman village where Italian is the language of choice, and cobblestone roads carry you back in time.
Day 1 Transfer to Zuoz, Switzerland. Check into hotel. Meet guides and group.
Travel independently by rail to Zuoz. Zuoz is unique among the villages of the Lower Engadine. It is the first vantage point from which you can see the high glaciated peaks of the Upper Engadine. It is also a village, that while ancient and rich in the finest architecture of the region, sees virtually no tourist traffic. Tonight we are in a marvelous, old world, hotel centrally located on Zuoz's main street.
Day 2 Loop hike. Lunch at an alpine hut. Zuoz-Zuoz.
Enjoy a warm-up day to one of our favorite high mountain huts above Zuoz. The views of the Palu and Bernina massifs to the southeast are superb. Descend near the old Albula Pass road to La Punt or Chamues-ch for transport back to Zuoz. Return to Zuoz hotel.
Day 3 Point-to-point hike. Ride a scenic funicular. Climb one of the region's highest summits. Zuoz-Pontresina.
A short bit of train transport takes us to one of the Upper Engadine's greatest attractions, a funicular with arguably the finest vista in the Alps. From the top station we traverse to the east along a rocky bench to reach the summit the Piz Languard, (10,702 feet), one of one of the highest hikeable summits in the region. Coincidentally there is a refuge just three hundred feet from the top. Here they serve superb soups to complement the other worldly views. Descend to Pontresina and a warm and welcoming inn in a quiet section of the village.
Day 4 Loop hike. Hike into a remote valley. Climb to the summit of the Piz Padella. Pontresina-Pontresina.
Our itinerary for today's hike takes us out of the village of Schlarigna, made famous as the finish village of the renowned Cresta Run, perhaps the world's most famous bobsled course. We hike into remote and rarely traveled terrain behind the summits of Las Tres Fluors and beneath the rocky Piz Ot. Climb to the summit of the Piz Padella (9,370 feet) for views across the Rhaetian Alps. Descend to Samedan for bus or train transport back to Pontresina. Return to Pontresina hotel.
Day 5 Point-to-point hike. Climb to the base of the region's tallest peaks. Snap photos of the Piz Bernina and Piz Palü. Pontresina-Sils Maria.
The day begins with a gentle ascent up one of the Alps most pristine "U" shaped valleys. Carved out by glaciers over the millennia this valley cannot fail to delight. We hike all the way to the head of the valley where a charismatic hut has been fancifully placed right on the edge of the moraine adjacent to a quickly receding glacier. We'll also snap photos of the Piz Bernina (13,284 feet) and Piz Palü (12,799 feet), two of the highest peaks in the eastern Alps. Traverse back through a notch to return to the main Engadine valley for bus transport to idyllic Sils Maria and another superb old-world hotel.
Day 6 Loop hike. Choose from a handful of hikeable summits. Sils-Maria-Sils Maria.
Numerous hikable summits are available from Sils Maria and we will choose among them for today's itinerary. From these peaks we begin to see into the wild and spectacular Val Bregaglia to the south. The Bregaglia is characterized by massive granite walls emerging from lush green lower valleys on the Italian border. Return to Sils Maria hotel.
Day 7 Point-to-point hike. Explore the remote and dramatic Sciora mountain range. Sils Maria-Soglio.
We travel one of the regions most seldom seen but magnificent trails. High above the Val Bregaglia we ascend to a pass above our final destination, Soglio, one of the most charming villages ever seen. We descend into Soglio through numerous rustic but still active tiny farms and hamlets. Enjoy your last night in Soglio as you watch the alpenglow embrace the granite spires of the Bregaglia while dining on local specialties.
Day 8 Depart. Typically, same day flights can not be met in Zurich. The transfer to the Zurich airport takes around five and-a-half hours.