Anyone who loves the feel of fresh powder under their skis, the bite of frigid air on their cheeks, and the smell of pine in the air will adore St Moritz. This Alpine resort town is the perfect winter getaway to stretch your legs and pump up your adrenaline, all while enjoying some of the most enchanting snow-frosted scenery in Europe. If you’re not looking to burn calories in the snow, then make sure to check out the delicious local gourmet food scene and the intriguing museums and galleries.
St Moritz, Switzerland
The village of St Moritz is named after Saint Maurice, one of the earliest Christian saints who was martyred during his military post in Switzerland. The beginning of St Moritz’s, and consequently the entirety of the Alpine, winter tourist season came from a bet by hotel entrepreneur Caspar Badrutt in the 19th century who challenged some British holidaymakers to return to the region in the winter and see if they found it to their liking. Quickly this seasonal tourism blossomed into the city’s annual surge of winter sports tourists and winter resort visitors that flock to the Swiss mountains each year.
St Moritz has the ideal climate for winter fun and is classified as a subarctic region with cold winters filled with moderate snowfall and mild summers with plenty of rain. Between November and April the average temperatures can be as low as 18°F or as high as 45°F, and of course can dip even lower. From May until October the temperatures warm up to the mid-50s.
St Moritz, like much of Switzerland and other resorts around the Alps, has no shortage of winter sports and activities for those looking to get their blood pumping in the cold. For skiers and snowboarders, there are 4 main areas to choose from: Corviglia, Corvatsch, Diavolezza, and Zuoz. These four regions total 350 kilometers of slopes and runs, and beginners can take lessons in either sport to get started. Ice skaters and curlers will find plenty of open rinks to practice on, both open to the public and that can be rented for private events. During the warmer months, hiking is a popular activity, and 9 of the hiking trails are wheelchair accessible, making it a truly inclusive experience. If you would rather ride than walk, grab a mountain bike and zip through the trail in style.
One of the oldest farmhouses in the city, Chesa Veglia has been converted into three restaurants and two bars by Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. This luxurious culinary tent still carries with it the scent of pine and has built a reputation for quality creations. Visitors come for the ambience, but keep coming back for the mouth-watering delights from each of its three restaurants and its two bars.
A symbol of the quintessential Alpine style of painting, the Segantini Museum celebrates the works of Giovanni Segantini, an Italian painter who brought Symbolism to the forefront of the art world at the end of the 19th century. Nine years after his death in 1908, the museum was constructed in his honor and exhibits many of his greatest works to the world. The museum is open seasonally and closed on major holidays, such as Easter Sunday and Christmas,
If you’re wondering how you’re going to get to St Moritz, consider taking the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St Moritz. This 7 hour trip will take you on a scenic journey from southern Switzerland to the east into the mountains. Guests can ride in a panorama train car that allows 360-degree views of the scenery as you continue on your trek. Riders can also order gourmet Swiss meals while on board, including a local cheese platter, barley soup, and pork medallions.
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