Switzerland’s best skiing resort has the distinction of hosting the Winter Olympics twice, in 1928 and 1948. St. Moritz is a holiday destination extraordinaire. Along with some of the best skiing in the Alpine region, you also get some amazing winter sports like kite skiing, bobsledding, Nordic skiing, tobogganing and curling. There are a number of natural and artificial skating rinks where you can show off your form. Catch an exciting winter polo match and watch horses thunder across the frozen lake in an adrenaline-pumping race.
The St. Moritz region has around 25 lakes. In summer, Lake St. Moritz welcomes visitors with glamorous restaurants and cafes that line its shores. Well-maintained walking paths skirt the lake and make for leisurely evening walks by the lakeside. The lake also has the perfect conditions for sailing and other water sports. Lake Silvaplana adds an element of adventure with stand-up paddle-boarding, kitesurfing and windsurfing. Every year, Lake St. Moritz and Lake Silvaplana host the Swiss, European and World Sailing Championships.
The Corviglia Funicular makes a picturesque 2.1-km journey to Corviglia which offers sweeping panoramas from the top. The restaurant there serves flavourful food accompanied by spectacular views. From there you can proceed even higher to the top of Piz Nair for more stunning vistas. It is a 10-minute journey by cable car. The Celerina Bobsled Run is the only natural and oldest bobsled run in the world. It is 75 seconds of pure adrenaline rush as you hurtle down the 1722-metre course at up to 135 km per hour!
Back in town the Engadine Museum is a chronicle of local life between the 13th and 19th centuries. It is set up in a replica of an early-18th-century Engadine house. It holds more than 4,000 objects that were a part of everyday life back in the days such as clothing, farm implements, household utensils and even embroidery. It also houses the ancient artefacts from the Neolithic and Bronze ages excavated in Engadine in addition to Roman finds from this region.
The St. Moritz Design Gallery is sandwiched in a passage between Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and the Serletta Garage. This rather odd art gallery showcases collections of rare posters in 31 large glass cases. The exhibit changes every year and follows a new theme with each change. Some of the older exhibits here have been the vintage posters for Winter Olympic Games, Engantine Rail Journeys and old hotels. For a different Alpine experience visit the Heidi Hutte where the movie based on the book ‘Heidi’ was filmed.
St. Moritz has different moods in different seasons and each one of them is worth exploring for a memorable holiday. Here’s a seasonal look at the weather of St. Moritz that will help you plan your holiday.
Peak Season : Summer (June to Mid-October) is the peak season in St. Moritz when the temperatures climb into double digits to bring some relief from the biting cold. Though it is still cold, it does not rain as heavily. Hiking and mountain biking are two of the most popular activities. Sailing rowing, horse riding, kitesurfing, windsurfing, tennis and mini golf are also some summer activities that you can enjoy in St. Moritz. The ice-skating rink at Ludains Ice Arena is open throughout the year and adventure seekers have plenty of choices between 17 climbing gardens of various difficulty levels.
Shoulder Season : The in-between seasons of spring (April to May) and autumn (Mid-October to November) are the quietest ones in St. Moritz. Both these seasons are colder than the summer and see almost no visitors during these months. If you decide to travel during the shoulder months, you can explore the town at an unhurried pace and have it almost all to yourself. On top of that you enjoy lower hotel and travel rates which makes St. Moritz a tremendous value-for-money holiday destination during the shoulder season. And you can always enjoy skiing and ice-skating in and around St. Moritz all around the year.
Low Season : Winter (December to March) is the coldest season in St. Moritz. It may be the low season for families and regular holiday goers. But for thrill seekers and adventurers, winter is the season to be in St. Moritz. The region has 350 kilometres of well-maintained pistes with state-of-the-art infrastructure that offers some of the best skiing in all of Europe. The Corviglia boasts the steepest start slope while the Piz Nair’s Walls promise thrill with 100% sheer drops. There’s a track of about 200 km of cross-country skiing and 150-km-long winter walking trails.
|Spring||1 to 6°C||Cold, with rainfall|
|Summer||14 to 26°C||Pleasant, with rainfall|
|Autumn||-1 to 5°C||Cold, with rainfall|
|Winter||-6 to 1 °C||Cold, with heavy snowfall|
Temperature - Spring in St. Moritz experiences temperatures between 1 to 6°C. The nights get even colder as temperatures sometimes cross sub-zero levels.
Weather - Though the weather improves after a cold winter, it doesn’t warm up much. But the days are sunny and the mornings are especially crisp. The snow starts melting in and around the town though the mountains remain virtually unchanged.
Significance - St. Moritz is primarily a winter resort, hence spring sees a lull in visitors’ influx. Greenery begins to peek out from underneath the snow and beautifully contrasts the white, snow-capped mountains in the distance. The hiking trails start opening and the lakes begin to thaw. Spring is a beautiful time to visit St. Moritz if you don’t mind limited sightseeing options and the cold weather.
Why you should visit now - Spring is the season of choices in St. Moritz. With no other visitors to compete for the best hotels and around tourist attractions, you can pick and choose your accommodation and work out a sightseeing schedule as per your convenience. The upper reaches of mountains such as Piz Corvatsch and Piz Nair offer wonderful skiing slopes that are mostly free of crowds, especially if you venture out early in the day.
The Segantini Museum is known for its quirky architecture as well as the treasures it holds. The rotunda and the dome of the structure afford it a distinctly Byzantine-church look. It houses more than 50 works of art by the famous 19th-century landscape painter Giovanni Segantini. Take a ride in the Bernina Express which connects Chur to Tirano and passes through St. Moritz. Choose the panoramic carriages which offer some fantastic views of the Bernina Range. The journey will take you through the Bernina Pass and will also give you a glorious view of Piz Bernina, which is the highest peak in the Eastern Alps.
Though Lake St. Moritz may be too cold for swimming, you can hire a canoe or a sailboat and spend some peaceful time admiring the views around.
Things to know before the visit - You can avail discounts on your hotel and travel during this low season. While most discounts will be fixed and non-negotiable, a few places will be amenable to bargaining and may get you more discounts. Bicycles are a great way to get around. There are many places in St. Moritz where you can hire one for yourself.
Tips - Carry a heavy jacket and your woollens in spring. Comfortable shoes or boots will be helpful when you’re out and about on sightseeing tours. Dress in layers and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes against the glare of the snow. The days can be sunny, so carry a hat and a water bottle around on your explorations.
Temperature - Summer temperatures in St. Moritz average between 5 to 14°C making it the warmest season of the year which sees the most days with double-digit temperatures.
Weather - Despite the relative warm weather, the nights and early mornings still retain the Alpine chill. You can get away with a light jacket throughout the day, but evenings may warrant heavier protection.
Significance - Summer is the season which sees an equal surge of visitors in the town as well as in the mountains. Though the crowds drive up the prices, the warm weather makes this a popular summer hangout. In fact, St. Moritz was initially a summer holiday destination before it gained fame as a skiing paradise.
Why you should visit now - This is the best time to visit St. Moritz for a full-fledged, unrestricted holiday experience. In this season, no hotels are closed and no trails are inaccessible. After the spring thaw, the town takes on new colours and nature wears a green cloak. The rolling green hills make for quaint little picnic spots powered by the perfect picnic weather. The weather is also perfect for a rejuvenating hike through the mountains and the network of hiking trails around St. Moritz.
The azure of the lakes around the region is interspersed with splashes of colours from the canoes and sailboats that dot the lakes. Lake St. Moritz and Lake Silvaplana are perfect for water sports and sailing, while the smaller Lake Staz is ideal for swimming. It even has a restaurant on the shore where you can order a lake-side barbecue for a peaceful meal in the company of nature in full bloom. This is one of the most unmissable experiences in St. Moritz.
The Mouttas Muragl is a natural balcony located on the southern side of Blais da Muottas which is reached by a 20-minute funicular ride. Enjoy the views from the top or splurge on a meal at the panoramic restaurant which sits at the top.
Things to know before the visit - Summer is a pricey season. You’re likely to get some discounts if you pre-book your stay and travel well in advance. St. Moritz is a year-round skiing destination and you can enjoy skiing in summer as well.
Tips - Light clothes will be perfect for the warm summer. If you’re planning on going skiing, pack a warm and waterproof jacket and a good pair of sunglasses. Always keep a water bottle handy and wear a cap on outdoor excursions.
Temperature - The average autumn temperatures in St. Moritz range between -1 to 5°C.
Weather - As autumn progresses, the temperatures drop drastically from the summer highs. The sunny days are highly deceiving as the temperature doesn’t even make it into double digits. As the cold increases, the rain condenses into snow by the end of November.
Significance - Autumn again sees a fall in visitor’s numbers as the warmth recedes and the cold advances. This is the time for restful holidays and leisurely exploration. If you’re looking for a thrill, skiing is still an option. But the best way to enjoy autumn in St. Moritz is to kick back and relax.
Why you should visit now - Autumn in St. Moritz is full of possibilities and choices. With a limited number of outdoor activities open, you can choose to walk a different kind of trail, that of culture and history.
Fun fact: St. Moritz and the Engadin region have the highest density of art galleries in the world. The town is home to some of the renowned names in the art world which include the likes of Hauser & Wirth, Karsten Greve and Andrea Caratsch.
The Berry Museum located in the heart of the town is dedicated to the artworks of Peter Robert Berry II who was a painter and a doctor. The museum itself is housed in the century-old Villa Arona. The Museum Engiadinais lovingly preserves the Engadin region’s history and culture. Each room in the museum is dedicated to different periods and hold artefacts such as coffers, caskets and chests. You can conduct your own tour with an e-guide on a smartphone or a tablet.
For a taste of St. Moritz’s cosmopolitan culture, sit down to high tea in the lobby of the luxurious Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. You are treated to fantastic views from the hotel’s lobby as you enjoy a leisurely cup of tea.
Things to know before the visit - Accommodation is easy to come by at this time of the year. The hotel rates are down and you can go even lower with face-to-face negotiations. Book your museum tickets online for better discounts.
Tips - The first snow appears in the mountains by the end of November. You can enjoy skiing without the winter crowds. Dress warm and layer up for better insulation.
Temperature - Winter can get really cold in St. Moritz as temperatures range between -6 to 1°C.
Weather - The winter weather can get too cold for those not used to such weather. It starts snowing towards the end of December, but the lakes start freezing as soon as winter arrives.
Significance - St. Moritz is one of the best skiing destinations in all of Europe. Winter is the peak season for skiing as adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers flock to the slopes.
Why you should visit now - Skiing is the highlight of St. Moritz in winter. But the winter experience is not limited to just that. The frozen lakes of St. Moritz play host to a myriad of winter events such as ice cricket tournaments, ice hockey, horse racing, winter polo matches, ice-skating and curling tournaments. Experience the rush of downhill skiing and the thrill of cross-country skiing.
Try bobsledding and we guarantee it is nothing like you would have ever experienced. As you fly down the icy chute at speeds in excess of 100 km per hour, the only sounds are the wind whooshing by and your own heartbeat. The fully natural Celerina Olympic Run is the only one of its kind in the world. This is definitely a must-try!
Winter is also the time to experience St. Moritz’s social life which is a unique blend of glamour, lifestyle, sports and nature. The dense concentration of luxury boutiques, grand hotels, gourmet restaurants and art galleries lend an air of timeless elegance and cultural extravagance to St. Moritz. Revel in the sophistication and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Things to know before the visit - The hotels and ski resorts will be full of adventure seekers at this time of the year. Hit the slopes early for a couple of peaceful runs before the slopes start getting crowded.
Tips - Pack well for the weather that often stays below zero. Carry your heaviest woollens and the warmest thermals. If you’re going to do any outdoor activity, make sure that your clothes are comfortable enough to allow the full range of movements. It could mean the difference between a tumble and serious fall.
St. Moritz is a premier holiday destination that will spoil you with its hospitality and sunny disposition. It has a variety of experiences on offer, from the exuberance of the outdoors to the sophistication of artistic culture. The town has served as an inspiration and a muse to many artistic luminaries who made St. Moritz their home. To explore the delights of this gem, book your holiday online or visit your nearest Thomas Cook branch to build your dream holiday.