Home WinterResorts St. Moritz the legendary ski resort of Switzerland

St. Moritz the legendary ski resort of Switzerland

Guide 2022-23

by Adam Attew

ST. MORITZ FACTS

SEASON START & END: October until April

SKI ALTITUDE IN METRES: 1716 – 3303 metres above sea level  / Vertical descent 1587 metres

PISTES: 88 pistes (20% easy  / 70% medium  / 10% difficult )

Night slopes : 4.2 km Corvatsch / 0.5 km Ski lift Survih, Samedan   / 0.5 km Languard,  Pontresina

Longest descent : 10 km glacier descent (Diavolezza-Morteratsch)

Full moon descent: 5 km slope Diavolezza Berg/Diavolezza Tal

LIFTS: 55 lifts across all ski resorts. See online.

LIFT TICKET:  Ski passes for the Upper Engadin for the winter season 2022/23 are available, with attractive savings on offer thanks to the Snow-Deal dynamic pricing model. Buy your lift pass now and enjoy an early-booking discount – plus additional family reductions. See online.

NOTE: Book the Sleep+Ski offer at one of 40 participating hotels and benefit from a hotel ski pass at a fixed price of CHF 45.00 per day. Only bookable for the entire duration of your stay. See online.

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Up to 220 km of prepared cross-country ski runs (skating and classic), 3.5 km night trails in St. Moritz (skating) and Pontresina (skating).

LANGUAGE: Rhaeto-Romanic and German are the two official languages / In the Upper Engadin (Sils to S-chanf) the Rhaeto-Romanic dialect Puter is spoken. / In Maloja, Italian is spoken in addition to German.

AIRPORT: Arrival by car from airport:  Samedan 7 km / Zurich 215 km / Basel 290 km  / Lugano 180 km  / Geneva 480 km  / Munich  280 km  / Frankfurt 590 km  / Friedrichshafen 210 km  / Innsbruck 190 km  / Milan 175 km  / Bergamo 195 km

TRAIN: Zurich HB to St. Moritz – 3 hours 21 minutes. / Rhaetian Railway (RhB) from Chur  / Tirano to St. Moritz on the Bernina Express – 2 hours 22 minutes .

SKI FACTS: St. Moritz is the birthplace of winter tourism and Alpine sport, which came about over 150 years ago as the result of a bet. With a total of 87 World Cup standard slopes and pistes, St. Moritz is amongst the largest and most varied winter sports regions in the Alps.

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TOWN

St. Moritz in the Engadin valley is written into the pages of alpine history. The Legend goes that Swiss hotelier Johannes Badrutt made a wager with four of his British summer guests in the year 1864. He claimed that an Engadine winter was full of sunshine and far more pleasant than an English winter. He invited his guests to stay and if they were not satisfied their travel costs would be reimbursed. Needless to say, they arrived in time for Christmas and stayed on until Easter! As they say the rest is history and we have Johannes and the English guests to thank for Alpine Winter holidays.

St. Moritz went on to become the largest winter sports region in Switzerland with its breathtaking landscapes, glamorous lifestyle and the first palace hotels of Europe. The town is famous for it chic fashion labels and elegant boutiques especially along the street Via Serlas, Europe’s highest shopping avenue. Apparently it has the highest density of premium luxury brands such as Bulgari who opened one of their first shops here in 1906.

The Engadin boasts some of the best culinary talents with 300 restaurants in the region, of which 30 have been awarded a total of 11 Michelin stars between them. Top chef Rolf Fliegauf earned himself 2 of these Michelin stars in 2012 and 18 Gault Millau for the fabulous Ecco on Snow. The most excellent fresh fish and seafood restaurant can be found at Murtaröl. For the most delicious Peruvian cuisine head to the iconic Sunny’s Bar. For an unforgettable experience of delectable food, drink and partying head to Kings Social House.

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It also has the most glamorous calendar of events with the legendary White Turf horse races, Cricket on Ice and the highly popular Gourmet Festival amongst others. It also became famous for the death defying ‘Cresta Run’ the natural ice skeleton toboggan track. Another spectacle worth experiencing is the Snow Polo World Cup. What a great, if not crazy idea… let the St.Mortizersee Lake freeze over and then collect up enough horses and play Polo on the ice. Polo came to the area thanks to English soldiers back in 1899, then in 1985 some local came up with the idea of Polo on snow.

The Snow Polo World Cup runs for three days and is certainly a fantastic day or two or three out. One can enter without tickets, hang out and watch the Snow Polo and wander through the various tents and vendors, alternatively ticket holders can watch the Snow Polo from stalls and visit the VIP tent for lunch and endless champagne  and caviar. This is extravagant fun at its best, all under the most beautiful scenery of the surrounding mountains, and all on 30cm or more of ice!
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SKIING

In the Engadin valley there are 11 areas to ski with 4 of them being of some considerable size. My three favourite largest areas are Corviglia, Corvatsch/Furtschellas and Diovalezza/Lagalb. Initially I thought St. Moritz might all be Champagne and luxury with skiing as an afterthought, but how wrong was I? It has so much to offer with its huge FIS-quality slopes in the Corviglia area where we watched the men’s and women’s Audi FIS ski World Cup to the quieter and snow sure Corvatsch or Diovalezza areas with their breathtaking peaks, glaciers and endless free-ride opportunities. All very different areas with very different characteristics.

Wherever you stand the views are spectacular in the Engadine region. The Hahnensee Express shuttle bus goes direct from St. Moritz Bad (Signal bus station) to Silvaplana Surlej (Corvatsch cable car station) every half an hour in both directions, so travelling between the Corvatsch and Corviglia ski areas is easy. Note that the lifts in the region open at 7:45am so one can make first tracks before the rest of St. Moritz awakens.

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BEGINNERS

About 18% of St. Moritz are Blue runs. Corviglia has a good connection of Blue pistes, but complete beginners may want to look to some of the smaller Engadine villages like Zuoz, Pontresina or Celerina.

INTERMEDIATE

The Corviglia area is an intermediate’s paradise, with blues and very skiable reds covering the area. Most of the pistes are long and tend to be very wide, so there is plenty of room to manoeuvre. For those wanting to experience their first black piste, it is worth checking out the Gluna Piste.

ADVANCED

There are not a vast array of black pistes around the St. Moritz region but the ones that exist are fun and the Corvatsch area will tend to please the expert skiers the most.

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CORVIGLIA

With 155 kms of very wide and open blue, red and black pistes Corviglia is really enjoyable ski area, with 24 lifts and access from either from St. Moritz village on the Chantarella funicular, from Celerina with the Marguns chairlift or from St. Moritz Bad via the Signal cable car.

CORVATSCH / FURTSHELLAS

120 kms of north facing pistes and one of the highest ski areas in the Grisons means beautiful snow conditions until the end of April.  Famed for its off piste and snow park too.

DIAVOLEZZA / LAGALB

OK, there may only be one main piste on Diavolezza but could this be the best piste in the world?  Open from Mid October through the beginning of May and the its the longest glacier run in Switzerland too. Lagalb offers steep and undulating pistes with spectacular views back to Diavolezza.

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STAYING IN ST. MORITZ

We recommend the 5* Grand Hotel Des Bains Kempinski, 5* The Suvretta House , 5* The Kulm Hotel, 5* The Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina and the 4* Superior Nira Alpina.

SKI SCHOOL IN ST. MORITZ

We recommend Ski Cool of St. Moritz.

SNOW POLO WORLD CUP

For more information visit online.

ST. MORITZ

For more information on St. Moritz visit online.

Corviglia Piste Map
Corviglia
Corvatsch Piste Map
Corvatsch

Diavolezza Piste Map
Diavolezza / Lagalb

Author

  • Adam Attew

    Ski is life and life is ski, but when Adam is not skiing he is an accomplished Alpine Landscape artist specialising in winter scenes and has exhibited in London, Austria and beyond. With over 40 years of skiing experience from ski touring to Giant Slalom, Adam is a BASI-qualified Ski and Telemark instructor and is also a member of the prestigious Kandahar Ski Club. Despite his love of G&Ts; health and nutrition are a way of life for Adam who has lived Paleo or 'eating like a caveman' for over 20 years.

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