Graubünden (or Grisons) is Switzerland's largest and easternmost canton, located in the southeastern corner and bordering Austria and Liechtenstein in the north and east, and Italy in the east and south. It's Switzerland's biggest holiday region with world-famous resorts such as St. Moritz in the Engadin Valley, Davos and Klosters, but it also is home to small, historic Alpine villages and valleys. Graubünden means towering mountains and wild mountain goats, it's Heidi's home and the source of the Rhine river, and Graubünden offers a unique range of highlights and experiences for young and old – a paradise for winter and summer sports, wellness and spas, railway trips, art and culture.
From Graubünden, rivers flow to the Mediterranean, North and Black seas; it is the watershed of Europe with spectacular landscapes combining wild rugged scenery with charming villages, ancient mountain towns and a unique Romansch culture. The Graubünden tourism region offers some of the best outdoor sports in the world, stunning panoramas, and three official languages (German, Italian, Romansch). The capital is the ancient Chur which is Switzerland's oldest city and has existed since Roman times; it's a small city with a fully cobbled and painted shuttered old quarter. To this day, Chur is a commercial center and the gateway to the Grisons mountains: 26 holiday and spa resorts can be reached in less than an hour from Chur which also is the ideal starting point for making scenic train excursions such as the famous Glacier Express (to Davos and St. Moritz or to Zermatt), or the Bernina Express (to Lugano via St. Moritz and Tirano, Italy).
The Engadin (or Engadine) is the valley of the River Inn from its headwaters at the Maloja Pass running northeast until the Inn flows into Austria one hundred kilometers downstream. The Engadin is protected by high mountains on all sides such as the Bernina mountain range, and is famous for its sunny climate, beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities - hiking, biking, sailing, rafting, horseback riding, golf, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, curling, polo on snow, downhill skiing, snowboarding, ice skating - just to mention a few. The Engadin is home to the Swiss National Park measuring 172 square kilometres (66 sq miles) which is Switzerland's biggest nature reserve, a place where nature is allowed to take its course unrestricted. There are more than a dozen mountain villages in the Engadin that are welcoming visitors, and there's the one and only St. Moritz, the famous spa resort and winter sports destination. Originally well known for its healing mineral springs, St. Moritz gained world-wide recognition after hosting the 1928 and 1948 Olympic Winter Games, and ever since has been a premium vacation spot of the rich and famous. Therefore, St. Moritz is often called an Alpine metropolis offering numerous luxury hotels, spas and upscale shops, but also an appealing combination of an unspoiled natural environment, cultural activities, a wide variety of attractive events, sports possibilities, 322 sunshine days yearly and a relaxing atmosphere.
While the Engadin Valley with its resorts, villages and hamlets in the Upper and the Lower Engadin is a popular tourism region, there are further well known places in the other 149 valleys of the Grisons: the Rhine Valley with Disentis, Laax or Flims, the Schanfigg Valley with Arosa, the Prättigau with Klosters and the Landwasser Valley with Davos which located at 1,560 m (5,117 ft asl), is the highest town in the Alps. Davos is well known as a high-altitude health resort with a long tradition, and is renowned above all as a conference center hosting the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January, and a major winter and summer sports destination with an international flavor and a huge range of activities. The Davos mountain rides provide access to three hiking areas with a total of 700 km (435 miles) of marked footpaths, and during winter months, Davos is a winter sports metropolis offering 58 ski lifts, 320 km (200 miles) of slopes, 75 km (50 miles) of cross-country ski tracks, two artificial ice-skating rinks and Europe’s largest natural ice rink for people to skate or play curling on.
Switzerland often is called "the country of trains through the Alps". In Graubunden alone, the private "Rhätische Bahn" offers more than 380 km (230 miles) of rails consisting of many bridges, viaducts and tunnels - a truly unique masterpiece of the railway engineer’s art, the Albula and Bernina lines of the Rhaetian Railway have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Glacier Express, the Bernina Express and the Engadin-Express are winding through this labyrinth - each of these scenic trains has its own character and panoramic windows enable passengers to enjoy the passing-by landscapes: abruptly-sloping Alpine valleys, majestetic mountains covered with snow, innumerable gulches, waterfalls and blue lakes, flowering meadows with cows, small mountain villages with farm houses.... - no matter with which train you choose to discover Graubunden, you will be enthusiastic of your journey.
For more detailed descriptions of the resorts in the Graubunden, including a section with attractions and activities, and a list of recommended hotels, click on the respective destination:
St. Moritz / Davos