4 day Engadine itinerary based in Sils Maria

4 day Engadine itinerary based in Sils Maria

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Adelaidean
Adelaidean
106 posts
active member
May 6, 2017 - 12:28 PM

I have booked a hotel for 5 nights in Sils Maria, (following 8 nights Wengen, 2 nights Luzern) arriving 16 September, so 4 full days. Our hotel participates in the local guest pass.

My wishlist includes

1 day postbus to Soglio,

1 day Diavozella/ Sass Queder lookout / the short easy walk to Morteratsch glacier,

1 day cablecar Corvatsch/ Fuorclar Surlej/ then Sils / cablecar Furtschellas and walk to Fex Valley,

1 day lower Engadine ... I want to wander the villages here and had a couple of ideas, either 1. visit the 4 towns.. Guarda/ (maybe walk to) Ardez/ (train to) Scuol/ (bus to) Ftan, or 2. straight to Ftan by bus, and walk to either Ardez or Guarda, bypassing a visit to Scuol. The walk looks lovely, and would mean I don't have time for Scuol, even though we would pass through on the way to Ftan. Would the architecture and character of the other 3 towns (squares, houses, lanes, setting in valley) be similar enough that the walk option be the better one? I really like the look of Scuol from photos online, but it looks like it would take a chunk of the day to get down to the river and wander those squares in upper/ lower towns.

We will leave Switzerland on the BE route, but regional train, probably stopping en route for lunch in Poschiavo.

(We visited Italy last year and loved the short walks we did in the Dolomites and wandering the towns)

Much obliged for any opinions.

Arno
Arno
10756 posts
expert &
moderator
May 8, 2017 - 6:37 PM

Hi Adelaidean,

Sils-Maria is beautiful and September should be a very good time to visit the area. The walk from Murtèl to viewing point Fuorcla Surlej and down to Pontresina is one of the many great hiking options here. I think your plans look fine. I can't comment on the Lower Engadine towns. Perhaps someone else can.

Adelaidean
Adelaidean
106 posts
active member
May 9, 2017 - 11:03 AM in reply to Arno

Thank you Arno, I am sure whatever we choose will be wonderful 😊

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May 9, 2017 - 11:43 PM in reply to Adelaidean

Hi Adelaidean,

I haven't done the walk you are thinking about, so can't be a lot of help here! But perhaps I can make a few general observations.

>> 1 day lower Engadine ... I want to wander the villages here and had a couple of ideas, either

>> 1. visit the 4 towns.. Guarda/ (maybe walk to) Ardez/ (train to) Scuol/ (bus to) Ftan, or

It would be hard to do all that in one day. My personal view of the "priority" of towns would be Guarda, Scuol, Ardez, Ftan. But if you want to do a walk, that will determine the priorities for you. Just one thing: don't miss Guarda :-)

>> 2. straight to Ftan by bus, and walk to either Ardez or Guarda, bypassing a visit to Scuol.

Again, I'm not familiar with this walk, except to say that Ftan and Guarda are high on the mountain, and Ardez is down on the railway line. I don't know whether the walk descends to Ardez, or passes above it.

>> The walk looks lovely, and would mean I don't have time for Scuol, even though we would pass through on the way to Ftan.

Passing through Scuol on the way to Ftan you will not see anything of Scuol :) The railway station is on the edge of town, and you can't see anything interesting from there!

>> Would the architecture and character of the other 3 towns (squares, houses, lanes, setting in valley) be similar enough that the walk option be the better one?

Yes and no. The architecture of Guarda and Scuol is very similar, but Guarda is a tiny village, with no through traffic, and is high on the mountain at an altitude of 1653 metres above sea level. I think only residents' cars are allowed, so the streets (lanes really) belong to pedestrians. Views are down into the valley.

Scuol is a larger town and also has modern areas. There is occasional traffic through the lower old town, including buses, and the main street (Stradun) is a busy shopping street with buses and cars. It is built on a hillside, but is basically a valley town with mountain views, although it is a reasonably high altitude valley at 1290 metres above sea level.

Both have great views, but very different. I like Scuol very much, but it has a different character from Guarda due to its size, shops and services, and traffic.

I have only seen Ardez from the train, but would definitely like to wander its streets one day.

Ftan has mainly more modern-looking buildings except for a few pockets of the older Engadiner houses. The short bus trip up there, with views into the valley and across to Tarasp Castle and the Lower Engadin Dolomites is wonderful.

>> I really like the look of Scuol from photos online, but it looks like it would take a chunk of the day to get down to the river and wander those squares in upper/ lower towns.

Yes, I think Scuol would take at least half a day, perhaps even longer, as it is spread out. Guarda is very compact.

>> We will leave Switzerland on the BE route, but regional train, probably stopping en route for lunch in Poschiavo.

Have you considered the restaurant at Alp Grüm railway station as a lunch stop? The view there is superb (photos attached). However, when the weather is poor, the view can be obscured by clouds.

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 9, 2017 - 11:50 PM by Removed user
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Adelaidean
Adelaidean
106 posts
active member
May 10, 2017 - 10:53 AM

Hello Alpenrose, I was hoping you would chime in! 😊

Your TR led me to consider Ftan, and so I came across this walk

www.travelita.ch/engad iner-idylle-zwischen-ftan-und-guarda/

I can read German, but the wonderful pictures tell a thousand words... I think the trail, Way of St James, does bypass Ardez.

My priorities: to be honest, I guess I want:

  • a shot of the Tarasp castle, like that from bus stop Baraigla,
  • charming towns esp. Guarda
  • dramatic mountain scenery

so I guess I should focus on that and anything I add to the day, weather dependent too, is a bonus.

Regarding the BE route: I have considered an Alp Grum stop, again, depends on weather.

We really like the look of the town Poschiavo, and would be happy to stop there too.

I have to admit, I am loving the planning. 🙂

Your photos are great, as always.

Removed user
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May 11, 2017 - 12:57 AM in reply to Adelaidean

>> Hello Alpenrose, I was hoping you would chime in!

I would have "chimed in" earlier, but I didn't think I could be of much help, not knowing anything about the walk, and what impact that would have on what else you could do for the day!

>> Your TR led me to consider Ftan, and so I came across this walk

www.travelita.ch/engadiner-idylle-zwischen-ftan-und-guarda/

I can read German, but the wonderful pictures tell a thousand words... I think the trail, Way of St James, does bypass Ardez.

Yes, that is a great description of the walk with superb photos! I looked up the walk on "Wanderland" and found it here:

www.wanderland.ch/en/r outes/route/etappe-01516.html

Do you come from a German-speaking background? Or did you learn German at school, or learn it later as a hobby? (I've been learning German for some years myself!)

>> My priorities: to be honest, I guess I want: a shot of the Tarasp castle, like that from bus stop Baraigla,

In that case, I would recommend getting out at that bus stop, as I couldn't find anywhere in Ftan that provided such a good view of the castle, due to houses blocking the view. (But I was only there for an hour, and stayed around the Plaz area, without venturing further up the hill.)

If you decide not to do the walk from Ftan to Guarda, and given the amount of time you have available, I would not spend time in Ftan (apart from going up to the Baraigla bus stop), but concentrate on Guarda; and Scuol if you have time.

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 13, 2017 - 4:08 PM by Arno
Adelaidean
Adelaidean
106 posts
active member
May 11, 2017 - 9:32 AM in reply to Removed user

That does help a lot, I am inclined to just stop at Baraigla, enjoy the view and then return to Scuol on the next bus 40 minutes later. Scuol seems interesting in its' architecture and has plenty of opportunities for mountain views. Definitely stopping in Guarda.

My parents are German, my mother from Chemnitz, my father from Silesia (now Poland). My dad was only 8 when they evacuated his village in the war and he ended up settling near Leipzig. He escaped from East Germany and met my mother in Adelaide in a migrant camp, as she had left East Germany before the wall. My German is a not very good high German, but it served me well in Ortisei last year and Chemnitz previously. 😊

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May 12, 2017 - 2:11 AM in reply to Adelaidean

Interesting story about your parents and how you came to speak German - thanks :-)

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 12, 2017 - 2:11 AM by Removed user

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