ST. MORITZ (1) The beginning of history - St. Moritz
St. Moritz is advertised as one of the most famous holiday resorts in the world. Is it fairly? Undeniably, and it will turn out why just in a moment. To begin with, it is located in the Swiss canton of Grisons, at an altitude of 1856 masl,on the lake of the same name, and the history of skiing and winter sports started right here. You can often hear the phrase "first in Switzerland" or "first ever" with regard to this resort: the first ice rink in the world, the first alpine town with an electric tram, the first Swiss Ski School... Shortly, the history owes much to St. Moritz, and cultural and sport events attract rich and famous people from the so-called “big world” (sportsmen, showbiz celebrities, politicians).
St. Moritz extends along the picturesque lakes of the Upper Engadine. It consists of the three interconnected sectors: Corvatsch, Diavolezza and Corviglia, and you can easily travel by train or ski buses between them. The skiers have at their disposal three snow parks, 57 lifts and up to 350 km of pistes (18 blue, 61 red and 9 black), out of which the longest one is 10 kilometers long freeride piste beginning at the top of Diavolezza leading through the glacier Morteratsch. 180 km of cross-country ski trails extend along the whole valley - including the most beautiful among all marathons trails - Engadin Ski Marathon. What is more, Engadin is located on the southern side of the Alps, thanks to what it has a big number of sunny days per year (322), constituting a record of Switzerland.
To the most popular pistes are those on the southern slopes, at the foot of the glacier Piz Nair. There's Olympic downhill piste, from which you can enjoy the views of the lake Moritzer. In turn, on the slopes of Corviglia there are several luxury restaurants, including the Mathis Food Affairs, whose speciality is pizza with truffles. The highest located restaurant of the region with an observation deck is located on the top of Corvatsch. However Diavolezza is one of the few places where the lifts are open when the moon is full. You can ride the unlit pistes with the dark sky overhead - surely a lot of skiers will benefit from this opportunity. Moreover, every Friday throughout the winter season, on the longest slope in Europe (6 km) Snow Night Party is organized. It lasts until 2 am.
Since the resort is very prestigious and considered by many as expensive (too expensive), hotel owners decided to meet the expectations of ordinary tourists. More than 100 hotels joined the promotional campaign, in which guests have unlimited access to the ski runs - the only requirement is buy an accommodation for at least two nights. However, if you prefer to choose the kind of ski pass by your own, you have a pretty wide selection. For example, for one day of skiing on slopes of Corvatsch or Corviglia you have to pay 73 CHF (because the euro exchange rate changes every day, the ski pass prices are given in Swiss francs), nonetheless, you need to remember that the daily, morning and afternoon ski passes are valid only within one area. On the other hand, buying the Engadin Pass enables the access to all ski area and costs 1045 CHF for adult, 697 CHF for youths (aged 13-17 years) and 348 CHF for a child.
If you want to spend your holiday a bit more economically, there is another way of doing it- instead of spending money on expensive hotels, you can come to St. Moritz with your own motorhome. A good idea would be choosing Camping Madulain (7523 Madulain GR). Here for a place for a car during winter season you have to pay 6-7 CHF per day, for adults – 10,50 CHF, youth (12-16 years) - 8 CHF, children - 4.50 CHF and for a dog – 3 CHF. You can go by a walk to the hypermarkets in La Punt and Zuoz (about 1.7 km away), and the bus stop is right next to the campsite.
Those, who choose Camping Gravatscha (7503 Samedan) won’t be disappointed either. Per night adults will pay 12.5 CHF, youth - 8.5 CHF and the accommodation for kids costs 5 CHF. It’s about 5 km away from St. Moritz to the campsite, there is a restaurant and shop in the area, owners offer 24 places for campers, there are also nine wooden bungalows. Everything is surrounded by a little wood.
The whole region is besieged by tourists, so it’s obvious that the offer must be very attractive. And it’s exactly like that, especially in the Upper Engadine: The Celerina can boasts of the only natural bobsleigh track in the world, Scoul and Pontresina have spas located on the geothermal hot springs, and in St. Moritz can take the Bernina-Express and go to Tirano in Italy, passing through breathtaking alpine scenery. Every year during winter, on the frozen lake St. Moritz hosts horse races ("White Turf"), the resort also offers dog sled competitions, cricket, curling, and polo tournaments. And although the prices are the highest in the whole country, knowing all this, we begin to understand the St. Moritz’s slogan "Top of the World".
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