Switzerland – golden Autumn in Grisons
Round tour, 6 days, not including transportation to Switzerland. Code 0601
Chur – Beverin Landscape Park – Splügen Pass – Chiavenna (Lombardy) – Soglio – Maloja Pass – St. Moritz – S‑charl – Swiss National Park – Flüela Pass – Maienfeld
small, friendly groups (up to 7 people) – the oldest city in Switzerland – Swiss military bunkers – Chestnuts Festival – alpine natural cosmetics – culinary specialities of Lombardy – hiking in the oldest alpine nature reserve – winery industry of Grisons and wine degustation – ride along alpine serpentines
Day 1 – Chur
Arrival in Zurich. Around noon a tour leader will pick up the group at the airport. A transfer to Chur, the capital city of the canton of Grisons and the oldest city in Switzerland. On the way, a meal in self-service restaurant. We will visit the old town with its narrow streetlets, many shops with local artisan art and delicacies, a Roman cathedral that was built for over hundred years and St. Martin church with Giacometti’s stained glass. From Chur we will reach the heart of the Landscape Park of Beverin where a night stay and delicious trouts for a dinner await us in a family inn with a hundreds years of history.
Day 2 – Beverin Landscape Park, Chiavenna
After breakfast we will visit the Roffla gorge and the falls of Hinterrhein, a tourist attraction that was made accessible for tourists thanks to the efforts and determination of a Swiss family. Next, we will head towards Crestawald military museum, not so long ago located in top secret military bunkers, hidden in the mountain massif. A rare opportunity to familiarise yourself with an interesting history, structure and arming of the Swiss fortifications from the inside. A transfer for a meal. Along the picturesque Splügen Pass (2,113 m / 6,932 ft high) we will go from Grisons to Chiavenna, a lovely Italian town near the border with Switzerland. Beautiful, mountainous surrounding, warm microclimate, architecture of Lombardy, exquisite food and local hospitality makes it a place where you want to be. After check-in we will take a walk along the city where we will see the castle and botanic garden among others. The region is famous for so-called “Grotto”, traditional eateries with local products (wines, cheeses, salami), often linked to rocky caves that serve for food storage. After visiting the city, we will have a dinner in one of them.
Day 3 – Soglio
A breakfast, ride to Soglio in Switzerland and check-in. Soglio is a unique town surrounded by chestnut forests. Inhabited by merely more than one hundred people, a mountain village is a place where multiple cultural events are held. You can meet people who value the harmony of a man with nature there and the place is also a hometown for branded natural beauty products and cosmetics. An aristocratic family of von Salis made this village significant a couple of centuries ago. We can admire their palace, among others, there. We will arrive in Soglio during the annual Chestnut Festival. For centuries chestnuts have played an important role in the economy of the Val Bregaglia. They are used in cuisine, beauty products and in beer. We will spend some part of the day participating in festival activities (held in July 2015) and/or activities in the Val Bregaglia (for example a ride by railway to the top of Albigna Dam). For the rest of the day you will have free time, for example to take a walk in the beautiful area of Soglio, bathed in autumn colours.
Day 4 – Castasegna, Sankt Moritz, S‑charl
After a breakfast we will head towards the workshop of natural cosmetics in the near Castasegna, where we will be able to take a closer look at the production process. We leave the Val Bregaglia and we will go to the Upper Engandin valley along a steep mountain pass of Maloja (1,815 m / 5,954 ft high) . Fabulous Autumn colours of local flora, blue surfaces of crystal pure lakes and snow-capped summits of numerous three-thousanders are a real treat for photographers. In the vicinity of a high-end ski and leisure resort of St. Moritz we will take a funicular railway to the popular viewpoint of Muottas Muragl (2,454 m / 8,051 ft high) with a panoramic view of the Upper Engadin valley and the most precise sundial of the world. From there we will hike to Alp Languard (2 h) where a meal in a typical, mountain restaurant awaits us. The region is known for numerous alpine fauna, chamois, marmots and the biggest colony of alpine ibex in the country. On the way we will see the Bernina massif with the highest summit of the Eastern Alps, Piz Bernina (4,049 m / 13,284 ft high). A descent by cable car to Pontresina and a short bus ride to the first station of the funicular railway. A transfer to the town of S‑charl located in the direct vicinity of the Swiss National Park, the oldest nature reserve in the Alps. Check-in and dinner. Thanks to the lasting hunting season, it will be possible to taste local venison specialities.
Day 5 – Swiss National Park, Maienfeld
An early breakfast. A walk in the National Park (4.5 h). In the valley of Val Minger, where more than half a century ago the last Swiss bear died, we will climb to the height of 2,317 m (7,601 ft) with a view of the grand pyramidal mountain of Piz Plavna Dadaint (3,167 m / 10,390 ft high). We will also have an opportunity to observe deers along the way. After hiking, a transfer for a meal and further journey along the Flüela Pass (2,383 m / 7,818 ft high) to Maienfeld, a town in the winery area of Grisons. In this region the best wineries of the country are located. In Maienfeld the oldest, still operating winery of Europe is located and it is also the hometown for a novel hero, Heidi. Check-in. A walk in Maienfeld, past historical buildings and colourful surrounding of Autumn grape fields. A visit in a winery and wine degustation. A dinner and a night stay.
A breakfast and arrival in the Zurich Airport (ca. 2 h) Saying goodbye to tour participants. Depending on the flight departure time from Zurich there is an option to visit additional tourist attraction.