While I’m not usually a fan of funiculars, preferring to hike up instead, I make an exception for the ones in Switzerland. There are so many awe-inspiring day hikes, that your time is better spent taking in the expansive views over the Engadin Valley, instead of hiking in trees.
The Muottas Muragl funicular saves you a steep hike to get to the real views! Plus, it’s a fun ride up!
You may panic when you see how many people are at the top – your visions of solitude shattered, but don’t be. Many people go no further than the panoramic restaurant at the top. There’s also a hotel on top too. While you may not have complete solitude unless you go early enough, the crowds thin out considerably, so continue on!
Related Reading: Tour du Mont Blanc: How to Plan for this Epic Trip.
Even if you’re not a hiker, the views from here are spectacular! But lets assume that you’re here to hike. The map near the restaurant shows you that you have a lot of choice. The one that I did was to the Lej Muragl, on trail #5 (see map below). You can either walk back the same way, or do a loop as I did. It takes just under 3 hours and is 7km roundtrip with ~several hundred meters of elevation. It’s a relatively easy hike, with most of the elevation gained at the beginning of the hike on a steady, but never to steep incline.
I’ve also heard that the Panorama Trail is beautiful, which I can believe, but I haven’t done it. If you choose to do it, it’s 6.4 km long and takes approximately 2 hours.
Related Reading: The Best Things to Do in Geneva When You Only Have a Day.
Just past the sign, you’ll see Il Guot (The Drop). It’s a piece by Timo Linder to mark the centenary of the Muottas Muragl funicular. It symbolizes water in all it’s various forms from rain to ice to snow. I got that it was a drop at first glance, but admit to not getting the deeper meaning until I read the sign.
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After Il Guot, you’ll take the trail that forks right. It’s well signed and will indicate Lej Muragl, your lake which is the destination for this hike. It’s not uncommon to see cows when hiking in the Alps, but this is the first time I’ve seen horses this high up. Maybe they took the funicular? At any rate, they had no interest in hikers!
Across the valley, you’ll see the scree – what’s left of the areas recent glaciers. We all know about global warming and retreating glaciers, but there’s nothing quite like seeing it with your own eyes, so please do your part – end of lecture 🙂
You know you’ve reached Lej Muragl when this glacier-fed, crystal clear lake greets you! It makes for a great lunch spot. I was there on a weekend in August at 2:00, and there were ~10 other people there. Not bad, considering I was there at peak season. It was easy enough to find a quiet space and relax in solitude.
When you’re ready to hit the trail again, walk along the lakeshore and you’ll see a sign leading through the valley. This was my favourite part of the trail – incredible views over the Engadin Valley!
Where to Stay in St. Moritz
I stayed at the incredibly luxurious Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains in St. Moritz. This was the closest I’ve ever felt to feeling like a princess. I highly recommend the Deluxe Junior Suite, which comes complete with a large sitting room and a walk-in closet! I enjoyed my stay so much that I included it on my list of 10 of the Most Romantic Hotels in the World!
Where to Eat in St. Moritz
I had both of my 2 dinners in St. Moritz (I grabbed a quick lunch at a restaurant on top of another funicular) at the Kempinski. Trust me, once you’re here, you’re not going to want to leave! And given their 4 restaurants and bar, there are plenty of options for a weekend getaway!
For a cosy and romantic evening, I can’t recommend the Restaurant Enoteca in the Kempinski St. Moritz enough. It serves regional Engadin and Mediterranean cuisine. It’s one of the best meals I’ve ever had, in an elegant low-lit setting.
Be sure to check out these other great places to visit in Switzerland!
Note: Thank you to Kempinski Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains for making my stay possible. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.