ST MORITZ – The Glamourous Alpine Destination

STORY BY Emmanuelle Châtel 30th January 2017

Even though well renowned for its palaces and lifestyle, the luxury alpine resort of St Moritz – the world’s original winter sports destination – has still retained much of its original character and traditional charm, mixing authenticity and prestige.

Reached by the red trains of the Rhaetian Railway, which have been smoothly transporting visitors up to St. Moritz for the past century via one of the world’s most spectacular train rides (and now a UNESCO world heritage route), St Moritz is a dream destination for any fan of snow and ice sports, located 1800m up in a stunning and snowsure Alpine location.

Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism – By-Line: swiss-image.ch/Jan Geerk

Ski area

Situated on the southern side of the Swiss Alps, on the “Roof of Europe”. The ‘local’ region around St Moritz is composed of four separate ski areas so diversity in skiing is guaranteed. Each however offers wonderful scenery and excellent terrain. And these are just part of the full Engadin pass with 350km of runs in areas linked by ski bus and rail on an all inclusive pass.

In fact there are enough kilometres of piste to delight any skier, from beginners to intermediate or expert. Altogether there are 88 marked pistes so you can even ski or snowboard all day long without repeating a single run. Thanks to its high altitude Engadin St Moritz is famously snowsure, and the great things are queues are minimal to maximize the number of runs during your day n(Many cisitors to St Moritz don’t even bother to go skiing, especially in the morning, leaving more space for everyone else) . Early birds can enjoy a perfect “cour du roy” via the first ride up to the freshly groomed slopes at 7:45am.

Copyright by: ENGADIN St. Moritz By-line: swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger

Of the main ski areas, CORVIGLIA – The mountain on St Moritz’s doorstep – is accessible from the town by the St. Moritz–Corviglia funicular. This sector is home to World Cup Races but will also suit any level of skier or boarder with its varied and optimally groomed slopes ranging from easy nursery slopes up to challenging blacks.

One of the latest attractions here is situated on the FIS piste – the new Audi Ski Run – a slalom run which is designed to recreate a World Cup atmosphere. 400m long, the giant slalom course has fully automatic cameras along the piste to record your time from the start to the finish line. An original starting hut formerly used at Ski World Cup events Cup and the chrono recreate the overwhelming atmosphere of taking part to a genuine World Cup race.

Copyright by: ENGADIN St. Moritz By-line: swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger

The second biggest area in St. Moritz, CORVATSCH, is the sporty ski area where you can enjoy the thrilling downhill runs from the highest mountain station in the eastern Alps. The big cable car will take you up the mountain at an altitude of 3,303m – the highest lift-served point in the Engadin. Once at the top, just take in the view over the high mountains. The runs are nice and long and keep everyone happy. Depending on where you are staying you may be able to reach this area on skis, but for those staying in the main resort the area is easily accessible by a 10 min bus ride down the valley.

Head to PIZZET for a family friendly area with plenty of room to carve wide turns over uncrowded pistes.

Beside skiing

St Moritz Engadin is one of the most varied winter sport regions in Switzerland. For all those who enjoy being active in a spectacular natural setting the region offers lots of opportunities for winter activities beside downhill skiing, including cross country skiing, winter hiking, curling, tobogganing, snow kiting or ice skating.

Copyright by ENGADIN St. Moritz By-line:swiss-image.ch/Robert Boesch

Night Skiing

Corvatsch Snow Night on Fridays is one to add to your bucket list. When a full day on the slopes is not enough, ski Switzerland’s longest illuminated night run, every Friday until April from 7pm until 40 minutes past midnight for a first-class skiing experience. In the dark the big cable car takes you up 2702 metres, from where you can ski down the Corvatsch scenic descent through the trees, to silent and perfectly groomed slopes. Pure delight. Half way down stop by the Hossa Bar, where the après continues all evening.

Copyright by ENGADIN St. Moritz By-line:swiss-image.ch/Robert Boesch

Free Fall

The Engadin is an important venue for sporting competitions for the racing elite. St Moritz will held the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships for the fifth time in February. Athetes will compete in six disciplines: Downhill, Giant Slalom, Super G, Slalom, Super Combined and the Team Event.

Highlight of the event, the men’s downhill race – known as the “Free Fall” – is world famous for its starting gate, with a gradient of 45 degrees, it’s the steepest slope of any downhill course in the world. Approximately 3 km long, skiers can reach a speed up to 140 km/h.

Even the way up is an enterprise. To reach the top platform (at 2840m) you have to go up a staircase of 187steps. When you get to look down from the top you may feel dizzy! This breathtaking start has consequently been named ‘Free Fall’. Since the course was designed in 2003 for the the World Championships the start to the downhill competition has become a myth on the ski circuit.

Calendar

06 – 19 February 2017 – FIS Alpine World Ski Champioships 2017

23 – 25 February 2017 – Cricket on Ice – St Moritz

03 – 04 March 2017 – Freeski World Cup Corvatsch

Facts

  • 350km ( 217 miles) of pistes
  • 88 runs
  • Longest descent 10km – Glacier descent
  • 3 snowparks
  • 56 ski lifts
  • Highest point Piz Bernina 4089 m
  • Language – Romansh and German

 

More info / How to get there

Switzerland Tourism www.myswitzerland.com

Engadin St Moritz Tourism www.engadin.stmoritz.ch

Swiss International Airlines www.swiss.com

SWISS offers more than 180 weekly flights from London City, Heathrow, Gatwick (seasonal), Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh (seasonal) and Dublin to either Zurich or Geneva.

Swiss Railway https://www.swissrailways.com/

Switzerland Travel System www.swisstravelsystem.com

 

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