Saint Moritz is situated in the heart of the enchanting Engadin valley. Inspiration for many chocolate box designs, it was Saint Moritz where commercialised ski tourism was introduced to the world by the British 150 years ago and one and a half centuries on it is easy to see why.
The town of Saint Moritz is dominated by an awe-inspiring lake that is frozen during the winter months. The lake is host to a world famous annual Polo match and a horse racing event called White Turf. Europe’s finest attend these special events and are flown in from all over the world. The lake is surrounded by picturesque snow covered mountains but its beauty is slightly marred by ill-designed block buildings to the town side.
Apart from the beauty and seemingly endless amounts of the white stuff, St.Mortiz is popular because of the vast amounts of ski areas available which will suit skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. From cafe skiers who enjoy leisurely winding runs and stopping for a hot chocolate every few hours at one of the many piste restaurants, to plenty of off-piste terrain for superb freestyle skiing and snowboarding. Park rats will be kept busy with the many parks scattered around with different runs for the different skill levels. If you are brave enough, there is even a large airbag at Corvatch for a very reasonable 5 Swiss francs for the whole day.
The main ski area directly by Saint Moritz is Corviglia. Corviglia boasts great views with wide and long sweeping runs, ideal for intermediates and experts. Although being a busy week at the resort because of the Polo, we did not have to queue for any of the chair lifts.
Corviglia will certainly keep you occupied for a few days, but it is certainly worth exploring the other ski areas in the Engadin valley and we found a little gem called Zuoz. The area has a brand spanking new fast lift that takes you up to the top in no time. This is just as well as the other ski lift by the car park is possibly the slowest ski lift in the whole of Europe! Zuoz is small, quiet, un-commercial and occupied by mainly locals. With plenty of exciting off-piste terrain in deep powder and steep runs it is fantastic for the more advanced, and also superb areas for beginners. At times it felt like I was the only person on the mountain and Zuoz was my private playground.
Of course, it goes without saying, that Switzerland in expensive, but there is something magical and special about the Engadin valley and Saint Moritz in particular. With breath taking scenery and as much champagne powder that you can manage, it is easy to see why the Engadin valley is the home of skiing.
Mark is also the manager of Jamie Barrow (Britain’s fastest snowboarder)
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