Over the summer, we were lucky to spend some time exploring some of Switzerland and the area around Saint Moritz in the Engadin region of the Swiss Alps. Now I don’t know about you but to me Switzerland brings back pictures of snow covered mountains and I won’t lie I did see snow as there are some spectacular glaciers that you can see in the region and the kids were so excited to see snow even whilst they were wearing shorts and a t-shirts. However, although we love a walk, we’re not ready for some serious hiking yet so the glaciers were off limits however there were plenty for us to do a family in the area as well so here’s our top 5 family activities in Switzerland to do during the summer.
Visiting the Lakes
There are so many lakes around Saint Moritz and some of them have specific activities that take place on them – others are large and you can take a water taxi between different areas of the lake or even a walk around the lake to see the natural history of the area.
We took a water taxi on Lake Sils a couple of miles from Saint Moritz and it was amazing – the lake is near the Swiss-Italian border and settled in the bowl of a valley. Surrounding it are beautiful mountains with small alpine villages some of which I was told were only accessible by foot. Using a water taxi you can hop on and hop off (there are timetables at the different stops) and explore parts of the lake. Or if you are feeling energetic you can walk around as the lake is surrounded by a nature reserve.
Now I was really surprised but the water was really quite warm and we had a fabulous time canoeing on Lake Saint Moritz with the Saint Moritz sailing club. The kids got to have a go at paddling and first thing in the morning the lake was crystal clear and millpond flat.
The sailing club had kids club with multi-lingual staff where the kids were canoeing, sailing dinghy’s as well as planning racers and what amounted to a huge lot of fun. My kids were a little jealous and really wanted to join in I think.
As well as the canoes we also got to have a go on a paddle board – I’ve never paddle boarded before but with all the equipment there I couldn’t not have a go and the kids loved it having a ride on the front of the boat.
Exploring the Mountains
Yes there are a lot of mountains and my biggest surprise is that some of the ski lifts still work – with the funicular railway taking up from Saint Mortiz you can head up the mountain to Corviglia and from there the cable cars to the top of Piz Nair which even when in almost total cloud cover and getting occasional breaks to see in the valley below was an amazing site.
Once at the top you can walk around or for those families a little more adventurous than ours you can hire mountain bikes locally and head down – yes we will be waiting a few years before trying that one out. But on foot you can go as far away or as near as you want and believe me heading down is much easier than trying to hike up – but proper hiking footwear is needed as it’s unstable under foot and you don’t want any injuries.
Golf, Tennis and more…
At the Kulm Hotel, there is a 9-hole golf course with a golf academy including lessons for kids, as well as tennis courts, swimming pools and a spa. The hotel is a sister hotel to The Grand Hotel Kronenhof where we stayed and lessons at the academy can be arranged for yourself and for your children.
You can also book lessons for the tennis courts to improve your game or even just to start with lessons for guests and visitors as well as junior’s available.
Take the train
Ok – so here’s the truth Switzerland in the summer can be glorious sunshine but equally it can rain and be coldish but with amazing train routes throughout the country. In fact don’t both getting to Saint Moritz and the Engadin region anyway but by train the route and the timings are fantastic (but that’s a whole other post!) with that in mind you can easily use a Swiss Travel Pass and take the train to explore a bit more around the area. With some amazing scenery as well as famous resorts and destinations, plus easy passage into Italy you can’t go wrong and even with kids the train was a fantastic experience they weren’t bored and screen free we played cards, did sticker books, read and admired the view outside of the window.
Swiss Travel System
By road, rail and waterway throughout Switzerland: The Swiss Travel System provides a dedicated range of travel passes and tickets exclusively for visitors from abroad. The Swiss Transfer Ticket covers a round-trip between the airport/Swiss border and your destination. Prices are £104 in second class and £167 in first class.
For the ultimate, Swiss Rail specialist call Switzerland Travel Centre on 00800 100 200 30 or visit the Switzerland Travel Centre Website.
We visited the Engadin region and stayed at The Grand Hotel Kronenhof as part of a press trip all of the ideas for activities as well as words expressed her are our true views of the experience please see our disclosure page for more information.