Road trip to Engadin Valley

7 October 2015 — If you’ve not figured out by now, we do enjoy our road trips. Living here, one of my (many) goals is to check-off all the passes in Switzerland. Note-to-self: 24 passes and only 8 done! 

The south east of Switzerland lies one of the prettiest long valleys called Engadin. Located in Canton Graubünden, this valley is protected by the Alps on all sides and is famous for its sunny climate, beautiful landscapes, and outdoor activities. As a point of reference, Engadin shares the same valley as St Moritz. There you go…*lightbulb moment*

We got on the Flüelapass (2383m, 7818ft) that connects from Davos to Susch in Lower Engadin. Since the opening of the Vereina Tunnel in late 1999, the Flüelapass is no longer maintained in the winter months. These days, you can travel on the car transporter between Prättigau (Selfranga) to Engadin (Sagliains) in 18 mins, and the train runs every 30 mins.  

On the Flüelapass, 2383m above sea level
The majestic 1000 year old Schloss Tarasp overlooking the town center
Beautiful Lake Tarasp in autumn
  
We had some friends visiting from the US and (naturally) we wanted to showcase the ‘untouched part of Switzerland. And Engadin it was!

We found a lovely hotel in Vulpera, the Villa Post Swiss Quality Hotel. Well, you can’t really go wrong here, can you? We also found out that it was the last weekend for the (summer) season for most hotels in the area until Christmas. Lucky us!

Lower Engadin , view from Vulpera
Looks like this area is a popular wedding destination

This part of the country did its job charming us. From the historic castle of Tarasp to the beautiful town of Scuol, or in Romansh Schuls, you’re with nature’s best in Engadin. It’s also rich in Swiss history. This region grew in the 13th century after farmers from Valais settled into the area. They traveled on the Flüelapass, using mules to transport the goods and produce, and traded along the Lower Engadin and as far as Tirol area. On their return trips, they brought back salt.   

Baseglia evangelica San Göri outside Scuol by River En
Piz Minschun with River Inn (Romansh En) is a 517km long right tributary of the Danube
View of the Baseglia evangelica San Göri/St Georg that was first built in 1178. It was rebuilt in 1258 after a fire and restyled in the 16th century

You can’t really discover Switzerland without first putting on your hiking boots. Yes, you read if correctly. Hiking. (For those that don’t know me well, me and hiking is like taking a kid to the dentist)  

I figured if an 8 month old could do it, I shouldn’t put up that MUCH of a fuss
And then you get rewarded with views like this
View of the town Scuol in the valley

When researching this area, we found that we were really close to the Swiss National Park, like 10km close, and about an hour away from Italy’s northern most town of Livigno.  

On the Ofenpass on the fringe of the Swiss National Park
Pitstop for lunch, enjoying the view and sunshine before crossing the border
Crossing a 20km single lane tunnel later, we crossed the border into Italy

And just as you think the landscape can’t get any better, it just does. Mind you, we were very, very lucky with the weather as first snow for the season was forecasted for the following weekend. 

Livigno town from Trepalle with the Alps in the background
Livigno is pretty much a ski town…with duty free shopping!

We had an overnight stay in Livigno and found a fabulously entertaining Pizzeria Bait dal Ghet for dinner. I think the collective agreement that clinched the deal was that liquor of all choices (about 5-8) were available as after dinner aperitifs…on your table…for free!  

Our drive home would’ve taken us around 3 hours, except that we kept stopping every 1km for that picture! 

Onto Berninapass
You see why there’s a stop every kilometre
This was definitely worth stopping for. In Pontresina’s Morteratsch Glacier, the picture that’s on many Swiss postcards
The beautiful Lake Silvaplana

Passes covered this trip:
Flüelapass
Ofenpass
Berninapass
Malojapass
Julierpass

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