Hiking the Emerald Trail, St. Moritz to Lake Sils Hiking the Emerald Trail, St. Moritz to Lake Sils © SwissImage.ch/Davos Klosters

Hiking in St. Moritz

St. Moritz may be one of the Swiss Alps' most exclusive ski resorts but it is also wonderful for hiking when the sun shines.

Hiking is synonymous with Switzerland, whether you’re climbing through larch forests, conquering mountain ranges or battling your way over glaciers and sheer-sided plateaus, no visit is complete without a lengthy trek and long sauna at the day’s end. But with over 1500km of trails in the Engadine alone, picking a hike for your interests, level and needs takes some planning. We’ve selected some of our favourites...

PANORAMIC HIKES

For families: Corviglia

View-from-the-Corvatsch-down-to-the-lakes-of-Sils-and-Silvaplana.-Christof-SondereggerView from the Corvatsch down to the lakes of Sils and Silvaplana © Swiss-Images.ch/Christof Sonderegger

Perfect for youngsters who need to expend some energy, this two hour hike offers a wonderful ‘view-from-the-top’ over St. Mortiz, Celerina and Samedan. Any children who need extra motivation towards the end, can look out for the Fairy-Tale Trail starting at Marguns and telling the story of three magic flowers and the rock pinnacles known as the "Trais Fluors". The tale, lovingly recounted by the Swiss author Sina Semadeni-Bezzola, is depicted in a series of 11 illustrated panels in German, Romansh and Italian the perfect reward for tired young hikers. www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/family

Related: Mountain biking in St. Moritz

For strong hikers: Muottas Muragl Panorama Trail

Muottas-Muragl-2453-m-easily-reached-by-funicular-from-Punt-MuraglMuottas Muragl, 2453 metres by hike or easily reached by funicular from Punt Muragl, offers classic view of St. Moritz and the Upper Engadin lakes, Graubuenden. © Swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger

Designed to combine the all the pleasures of hiking, this picturesque hike sees you climb through the pine forests and lake-strewn pastures. Leave yourself around two hours to complete it, stopping halfway at the Unterer Schafberg restaurant to take in the views from the jutting terrace bar. The views at the top of Alp Languard look over the magnificent Bernina mountain range, from here you can take the chairlift back down to Pontresina. www.engadin.stmoritz.chmuottas-muragl

Related: Great Swiss train journeys: The Bernina Line

For cooling off: Glacier Hike Diavolezza-Morteratsch

Glacier hike on the Morteratsch Glacier with Piz Prievlus in the background © Swiss Image/Andrea-BadruttGlacier hike on the Morteratsch Glacier with Piz Prievlus in the background © Swiss-Image.ch/Andrea-Badrutt

The only thing you need in order to tackle the spectacular tour from the Diavolezza summit station across the Pers and Bernina Glaciers and back down to Morteratsch railway station are surefootedness and sufficient stamina to cope with the 1,100m altitude difference.

This guided hike is for stronger trekkers, and although you won’t be exposed to the variation of colours and views offered by the pastoral hikes, you will get the thrill of immersion into a variety of natural phenomena: jump over crevasses, skate over sheets of summer ice to glacial mills and see the formation of the mountains close-up. This is an excellent hike for those missing the ski season in St. Moritz or who need a physical challenge. www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/glacier

Related: Best restaurants in St. Moritz

LAKE  HIKES

For experienced hikers: St. Moritz – Champfèr

Cableway from Furtschellas/Corvatsch in autumn© Swiss Images/Gian GiovanoliCableway from Furtschellas/Corvatsch in autumn © Swiss-Images.ch/Gian Giovanoli

The perfect ‘difficult’ hike to take with lunch as your halfway point, the St. Moritz-Champfèr hike is around two hours each way. On this trail you’ll encounter just about everything that makes the Engadin region so unique: a wilderness of rippling streams, fragrant meadows as well as wander through the larch forests and bathing lakes. Stop for hearty meal in the little hamlet of Champfèr, before making you’re way to St. Moritz for the well deserved sauna. www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/champfer

Related: Summer sports in St. Moritz

For a glittering view: The Emerald Trails

 View from the Corvatsch down to the lakes of Sils and Silvaplana © Swiss Images/Christof SondereggerView from the Corvatsch down to the lakes of Sils and Silvaplana © Swiss-Images.ch/Christof Sonderegger

Anything labelled as 'emerald' in the Engadin region is recognised as an area of natural beauty or worthy of protection. The label also implies that an array of beauty spots will be in vicinity as well as plenty of open space. The trail leaves from the railway station in St. Moritz to Lake Sils (around 17km) and takes walkers along the lakeside and into the open meadows that surround them, the trek takes in Medieval churches and towns, as well as conifer forests for bird and butterfly watching. Descend to Surlej and take in the views over Lake Silverplana before heading on to Sils for dinner and catching the Bernina line back to St. Moritz. www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/smaragdweg

Related: 10 of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland

SWISS NATIONAL PARK

When Fritz and Paul Sarasin, concerned by the level of industrialisation and development of the Engadine, founded the Swiss Society for the Protection of Nature, their vision was to create pockets of open country where nature could develop without human disturbance. The mountains, meadows, lush forests and fresh streams they encountered on this search are preserved in the Swiss National Park, located in St. Moritz.

swiss-national-parkThe Swiss National Park © Swiss-images.ch/Roland Gerth

The park opened in 1914 and has been obtaining land ever since. Today, 170sq. km of trails climb and descend the Stabelchod valley, the natural landscape untouched for over 100 years. The park is perfect for a whole day’s hiking, the trails are easy to manage and you’ll get to see some of Switzerland’s most rugged landscape and wildlife. Note: veering off trails is forbidden: when you visit here you’re trekking into a sacred land, the ethos is ‘You can't camp here or leave the trails, you can't pick anything or make a fire, you can't bring your dog – not even in a rucksack, nothing is left after a hike but our footprints.' www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/swissnationalpark