Celerina, Switzerland

Putting on the St Moritz

After seeing in New Year’s 2007 by Lake Zurich, I then spent a three-day weekend in Celerina, a village just up the road from ritzy St Moritz. It is a gorgeous place, postcard perfect.

A 3-4 hour drive from Zurich, we left at lunchtime on New Years Day, stopping at Heidiland (yes that is actually the name of the town) for a pit stop and a late lunch. We faced a snow storm as we crossed the Julier pass (2284m), which was a very nerve racking experience with snow falling and twisting and turning icy roads. I’m told it is awe-inspiring on a clear day.

Celerina is just 2km from St Moritz and a much cheaper alternative for accommodation and skiing. The town is located nearish to the Italian border and it is in this area where Romansch (one of the four official languages of Switzerland) is spoken. We stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Misani, centrally located and a short stroll to the iceskating rink and also ski lifts. You get spectacular views back across the valley as you ride the gondola to the top and good skiing. I had a great day on the slopes.

Celerina, Switzerland

Celerina, Switzerland

If you are looking for a break from skiing, then the town of Scuol is worth a daytrip. A one and a half hour drive from Celerina through the gorgeous Engadin Valley, Scuol is renowned for its mineral spa (Kurhaus Bad Tarasp). It was truly a surreal experience swimming in one of the outdoor pools in my bikini as snow fell around us and with ice-caped mountains in the distance.

Nearby St Moritz is home to the rich and famous and along its main street you’ll find all the famous fashion brands. Sadly I had to limit myself to window shopping (can’t afford to buy at Prada, Chanel, Louis Vitton etc – there was more bling and fur than Rodeo drive). An afternoon stroll across the frozen lake of St Moritz is a must, offering great views looking up the mountain. For nightlife, check out the live music action and great bar staff at the Stubli Bar. A very entertaining evening, which included dancing on the tables.

Standing on the frozen Lake St Moritz, with the town in the background.

Standing on frozen Lake St Moritz, with the town in the background.

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