Despite being a destination that is renowned for its skiing and winter luxuries, St. Moritz is continuously expanding its summer season. Well into the fall guests can look forward to the tried-and-true St. Moritz classics as well as to new highlights in the events calendar.
From outdoor activities with epicurean embellishments to an exciting architectural experience and the ever-popular St. Moritz Running Festival, there is something for every taste. Here’s what you need to know to have the best St. Moritz summer vacation!
Why St Moritz?
St. Moritz is a resort where glamour, lifestyle, sports, and untamed nature blend to form an exclusive cocktail. International events and culinary delights are the norm, and the town has an unrivaled concentration of premium-class restaurants.
As the cradle of winter tourism, St. Moritz has demonstrated its pioneering spirit through the ages. The alpine town is a stage for artists and trendsetters and home to an impressive number of international galleries.
St. Moritz boasts Europe’s highest luxury shopping street – a paradise for shoppers and in a class of its own. And there is no shortage of culture to enjoy as St. Moritz has numerous museums, libraries, and places of interest to visit. The cosmopolitan Alpine village can be reached by road, rail, or air.
Luxury St. Moritz Hotels
St. Moritz also sets the standard for accommodation, with no fewer than seven luxury hotels.
- Badrutt’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz
- Kulm Hotel St. Moritz
- Carlton Hotel St Moritz
- Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski
- Giardino Mountain
- Grace La Margna St Moritz
Pontresina is a nearby town that also offers a tranquil haven for skiers and non-skiers alike. Whether traveling to the region in summer or winter, we highly recommend Grand Hotel Kronenhof.
Summer Temperatures in St Moritz
Despite being known for its perfect ski conditions, St. Moritz also offers visitors perfect summer weather – mild enough to wear shorts and t-shirts, yet not so hot that time outside cannot be enjoyed. Daytime temperates over the summer months of June to August tend to fall between 57°F to 68°F (14°C to 20°C), however, have been known to fall to 41°F (5°C) on cooler evenings.
PACKING FOR A SUMMER IN ST. MORITZ
The warmer days and cooler nights mean packing both lighter daytime wear, as well as warmer clothing for the evening such as cozy sweaters and light jackets. Swimwear should be included as there is plenty of opportunities to swim, whether that’s enjoying a dip in the lake or an evening in an outdoor hot tub.
Although the weather remains mild, packing sunscreen is an absolute must. Remember that St. Moritz sits at a higher altitude, meaning it is much easier to get burnt.
Why Have a St Moritz Summer?
There are plenty of reasons to visit St. Moritz during the summer season other than the optimal weather conditions. For starters, it’s the perfect time to experience the city for the first time without having to spend as much on luxury hotels.
The peak time for visiting St. Moritz is the winter months due to the excellent skiing conditions, however, there are plenty of things to do in St. Moritz for non-skiers too, and summer is a great time to discover them.
Remember that the luxury boutiques, the high-end spas, and fine dining restaurants are still available for visiting in the summer. Overall, it may very well be a more pleasant experience if you’re not a skier, nor one for crowds.
Summer in St. Moritz – 15+ Things to Do
The St. Moritz summer season goes into overtime. A rich and varied catalog of events and experiences ensures unforgettable moments in the heart of the Engadin mountain environment.
As the winter months draw to a close, snow-peaked mountains are transformed into luscious green meadows full of wildflowers and clear skies that provide the perfect summer backdrop.
Below are some of the top things to do each season, followed by specific events taking place in summer 2023:
1. TAKE A RIDE ON THE BERNINA EXPRESS
Trains in Switzerland are not only known for their extraordinary punctuality, but for the breathtaking landscapes they cross. The Rheatian Railway connects Chur in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy, crossing the Alps by way of St Moritz, Pontresina, and the Bernina Pass, giving the Bernina Express its name.
So spectacular are the panoramic vistas from the wraparound windows (which curve upwards with the roofline of the train to afford even better views) that parts of the railway, namely the Albula and Bernina sections, were jointly awarded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
The views will be just as stunning in summer as in winter. Rivers, mountains and lakes, and the engineering is also something to behold, with steep climbs, and an array of tunnels and bridges, snaking their way through the Bernina valley before reaching Diavolezza and Ospizio Bernina and gently descending the Italian side of the Alps. An absolute must-see.
2. MOUNTAIN BIKE PIZ NAIR
The opportunity for mountain biking in St. Moritz is ripe, with multiple signposted routes available.
A particular route that is often recommended for mountain biking is the path leading to the 3057-high Piz Nair. Piz Nair is a tall mountain peak located in the southeast of the country and ideal for anyone looking for spectacular views of the Engadine region. Visitors can opt to stop for food and enjoy the views at a local restaurant or have the option to cycle down the steep dirt trails to the picturesque, bright blue Lej Alv.
The good news is that Piz Nair can also be reached by cable car from Corviglia, which has ample room for bikes. This makes the route an easy option for those who prefer a more leisurely cycle.
3. GO KITESURFING ON LAKE SILVAPLANA
As the official Engadine website says ‘the famous Maloja wind blows for all‘, and it is this steady wind that makes Lake Silvaplana the perfect location for a spot of kitesurfing. In fact, it was one of the first few locations in the world where the art of kitesurfing was practiced on a regular basis.
It is not just the excellent wind conditions that make Lake Silvaplana the perfect location for kitesurfing, but the surreal alpine mountain backdrop and world-class facilities. Head over to Lake Silvaplana to give kitesurfing a go – kitesurfers can obtain a pass for either CHF 10.00 per day, CHF 30.00 per week, or CHF 100.00 per year at the time of publishing. For added convenience, the equipment can be rented on-site, and changing rooms with showers are available.
If being an observer of the activities is of more interest than actually kitesurfing, head over to ‘Kite Meadow‘ to view the colorful kites lying on the grass waiting to take off. Alternatively, check out Mulets Restaurant on the upper floor of the sports facility and enjoy drinks or a bite to eat while taking in the stunning scenery.
4. HIKE IN THE ALPS
Whether you are a fair-weather walker or an extreme runner, Engadin’s undulating hills that make for such excellent slopes in the winter give way to 580km of hiking trails through meadows, mountains, and forests, and over 400km of marked bike trails once the snow melts.
It must be said – few experiences beat looking down across an alpine valley, when it is almost like the surrounding mountain peaks are holding up the dome of the sky. You get a surprising amount of sunshine that high up, so make sure to pack your sunscreen!
Not to worry if the hiking becomes too much though. As is typically Swiss, the infrastructure is superb, with a network of cable cars and funiculars connecting the picturesque towns and surreal mountain train stops with the summits above, the most noteworthy of which are Corviglia, Corvatsch, and Diavolezza.
Corviglia: located at 2,489 meters above sea level on the eastern slopes of Piz Nair, during the ski season this is the largest skiing area for St. Moritz and neighboring towns such as Celerina and Pontresina. The views over the lakes and the glaciers are second to none, and possibly the best in all of the Alps.
Corvatsch: Piz Corvatsch is the highest peak in the Bernina mountain range, and at 3,300 meters above sea level, the summit is accessible by cable cars. As expected, with vistas out over glaciers on the east side of the peak and out to the Sils and Silvaplana lakes and the towns in the valley, the views are truly breathtaking.
Diavolezza: at 2,958 meters above sea level, Diavolezza is accessible by cable car – handily, the station is also on the Rheatian Line, so is accessible on flying visits as well as for people staying put. With direct views of Piz Bernina, the lakes, and a smattering of interesting footpaths and bridges, it is easy to see why people might hang around for a few days.
5. SWIM IN LAKE ST. MORITZ
The Engadine region is known for its four main lakes: Lake Sils, Silvaplana, Champfèr, and of course, St. Moritz.
Lake St. Moritz is a particularly popular spot for travelers. Aside from taking a casual dip in the water or a stroll around its banks, there are plenty of other activities to get involved in including sailing, rowing, and windsurfing.
For the entire summer of 2023, Lake St. Moritz is also the setting for several other activities that can be booked at the St. Moritz Experience Shop, including:
– Lakeside Yoga and Stand-Up Paddleboarding plus breakfast, which is now joined by an exclusive Pedalo and Gourmet Aperitif experience.
– Available for the first time in late summer and autumn is the Golden Shooting, which combines a bike tour with a professional photoshoot.
– Accompanied by the former Italian professional cyclist Fabio Aru, the Biking Experience Days once again explore the region’s spectacular routes and trails for gravel, mountain, and road bikes. Alternatively, a sunrise e-bike ride through the breathtaking natural setting is a perfect and energetic way to start the day.
– Enjoy close encounters of the wild kind with the local flora and fauna in a Forest Bathing experience in the Stazerwald. The gourmet picnic experience takes participants on a relaxing walk immersed in the Engadin alpine scenery.
6. VISIT THE SUMMER MARKET IN ZUOZ
Located about 20 minutes outside of St. Moritz by car and home to around 1,200 residents, the quaint town of Zuoz is the location of a beautiful summer market.
The Zuoz Village Market is a one-day-only event on June 24th from 4 pm to 9 pm, and it’s the perfect place to interact with some of the locals, pick up some artisanal souvenirs and local produce, all in a lively, cheerful, and relaxed atmosphere.
7. VISIT THE KULM HOTEL AND KULM COUNTRY CLUB
The Kulm is a historic hotel that has been attracting the likes of royalty, celebrities and the well-heeled members of society for decades. And it’s no surprise – the hotel was after all, the birthplace of winter vacations.
Reserving a room at the Kulm Hotel does not come cheap, but the low season over the summer months may make this an option for even the most cost-conscious tourist.
Take our word for it, this is definitely a hotel to add to any bucket list. The Kulm exudes old-school luxury at every turn, and the staff work hard to cater to every whim of the hotel’s guests.
If reserving a room at the hotel over the summer season, there is a very strong chance that you might not leave it all that often. It is home to a number of excellent restaurants, as well as an exquisite spa – complete with heater outdoor infinity pool, infrared saunas, and hot tubs. The view from most of the 164 rooms is also something to behold.
Last but not least, the Kulm Country Club is also a part of the hotel’s offering. It’s a lovely spot to meet for dinner or for a beverage on the sun lounger. The club also exhibits the history of winter sports in St. Moritz which is worth exploring.
It’s important to note that the hotel is seasonal, and opens for the summer period only – 16 June 2023 to 10 September 2023.
8. RIDE THE GLACIER EXPRESS
While it may be known as the ‘slowest express train in the world‘, this should not discourage anyone from using the Glacier Express. After all, the Glacier Express is not about getting to a specific location within a specific time, but rather it is all about enjoying the journey.
The train itself was made for tourists and travelers, and was built with panoramic cards that offer floor-to-ceiling views and jaw-dropping views of the Swiss country side. The train directly connects the luxury town of St. Moritz with the equally popular town of Zermatt, in a one-of-a-kind journey that lasts around eight hours.
Prices start at EUR152 for a one-way second class ticket from St. Moritz to Zermatt. Reserving a ticket well in advance is recommended!
9. ENJOY A WILDFLOWER WALK
Summer in St. Moritz is when the usual snow-covered meadows are transformed into a colorful and vibrant array of wildflowers on the green pastures. With over 200 types of flowers growing in the region, a walk amidst the kaleidoscope of colors is something that nature lovers simply cannot miss.
One of the most popular wildflower trails is Heidi’s Flower Trail, a kilometer-long trail from Chantarella to the Heidi hut.
10. DO SOME LUXURY SHOPPING AT LA VIA SERLAS
Of course, a destination like St. Moritz would not be complete with a luxury shopping destination, and the city provides this via La Via Serlas. Here, luxury shoppers can expect all the fashion, watch, and jewelry designer boutiques including Dolce & Gabbana, Cartier, Hermès, and Dior, to name a few.
Shoppers in search of something a little more traditional might want to visit Cashmere House Lamm, a family-run boutique that sells one the largest selection of cashmere knitwear worldwide.
11. TAKE A CRUISE ON SILS LAKE
Located around 13 minutes outside of St. Moritz is Sils Lake and it’s one that should not be missed! It is at Sils Lake that travelers will be able to take a cruise on the highest scheduled cruise service in Europe.
A one-way journey lasts approximately 40 minutes, beginning at Sils Maria Bootshaus and ending at Maloja Capolago, stopping at ports Chastè, Plaun da Lej, and Isola along the way. Guests on the cruise can choose to stop at one of the ports or continue with a round-trip journey.
The views that can be seen whilst on the cruise are spectacular, to say the least – so spectacular in fact, that the cruise service has been in operation for over 100 years.
12. EXPLORE THE ST. MORITZ FOOD SCENE
The St. Moritz food scene may not be as renowned as say, the Lyonnais or Tuscan food scene, but this does not make the food any less inferior. Foodies are guaranteed to satisfy their cravings for high-quality culinary delights while in St. Moritz, whether at Michellin-starred restaurants, bistros, or hotels.
Expect a delectable blend of local Engadine classics mixed with a worldly sophisticated flair! Truffle pizza, anyone?
13. VISIT THE MORTERATSCH ALPINE CHEESE DAIRY
Whilst on the subject of food, it’s worth stopping by the Morteratsch Alpine Cheese Dairy in nearby Pontresina. Learn how traditional alpine cheese and curd are made by hand in traditional fashion over an open fire, and take advantage of the opportunity to taste some of their samples at the cheese buffet.
Visit their stunning alpine outdoor dining venue to enjoy a typical cheese fondue or delicious brunch. Expect to find a variety of smoked Alpine sausage and butter, jams, and fruits, and of course, a selection of cheese and smoked curd cheese.
At the time of publication, cheese making can be viewed from the beginning of July to mid-August, daily from 9 to 11 am and 1 to 3 pm, and from mid-August to the end of September, 9.30 am to noon. Brunch is served daily from 9:30 to 11:30 am from the beginning of July to the end of September. Be sure to book to avoid disappointment.
14. EAT SOME TYPICAL ENGADINE NUT TART
If there is something that’s worth trying whilst in St. Moritz – or simply the Engadine region for that matter – it’s the traditional Engadine Nut Tart (Engadine nusstorte). Made from a delightful mix of shortcrust pastry, a filling of chopped walnuts, honey, and cream, this is a local delicacy that should not be missed! Perfect to grab after a long hike in the mountains or to pack for a picnic by a lake.
15. WATCH THE SUNSET OR SUNRISE AT MUOTTAS MURAGL
‘Anyone who wants to see the Engadin heads for Muottas Muragl‘.
It’s clear that hiking in a St. Moritz summer is an absolute must for any traveler. Following a hiking trail that leads to the Muottas Muragl mountain is truly an unforgettable experience and one that ends in the most stunning view of the Engadin and Bernina Glaciers. In fact, Italian painter Giovanni Segantini even had a hut at this location where the used the sensational landscape as the subject of many of his paintings.
Without a doubt, the most exquisite time to make the visit is during the peak hours of sunrise or sunset.
16. VISIT SEGANTINI MUSEUM
Italian painter Giovanni Segantini is to St. Moritz what Michelangelo is to Florence. As one of the most famous European artists of the 19th century, Segantini was renowned for his pastoral landscapes of the Alps and his use of light. The domed Segantini museum is not only the location where he took his last breath, but also home to a complete collection of his artwork.
After spending some time perusing the artwork in the museum, be sure to head to Segantini Hut, to enjoy a quick snack while admiring the views of the Upper Engadine Valley and the Alps – the very landscapes that Segantini loved to paint.
A Look at the 2023 Summer Agenda
New and reconceived events bring a constant breath of fresh air to the St. Moritz calendar. Here are some events to look forward to in 2023:
- The Open Doors Engadin Architecture Tour: on 24 and 25 June, the second edition of the Open Doors Engadin architecture tour invites visitors behind the otherwise-closed doors of 80 historic and contemporary Engadin dwellings and buildings.
- “Enjoy, Taste, Discover, and Live St. Moritz”: the city’s pedestrian zone will transform into a colorful summer market from 11 am to 5 pm on 7 and 21 July, 4 August, and 13 October 2023 (hunting and forestry market) with new partners and articles.
- The Summer Tavolata: the picturesque city center will be prominently featured again from starting 28 to 30 July, when the tenth edition of the Tavolata will invite visitors to savor local dishes and specialties at food stalls or at the longest table in the Alps.
- The Scala cinema and the boutique lifestyle hotel Grace La Margna reopen this summer after extensive renovation work. The latter is also the first five-star hotel in the region to stay open 365 days a year, marking another important step for St. Moritz on its way to becoming a year-round destination.
Other classic events attract visitors throughout the summer months, including:
- the 8th Engadin Bike Giro (June 29 to July 2), a spectacularly scenic three-day stage bike race
- the Jazz Festival (Festival da Jazz )(6–31 July),
- the British Classic Car Meeting (7–9 July),
- St. Moritz Summer Polo Cup (21–23 July) at the San Gian equestrian meadow,
- The Engadin Festival (27 July – 11 August) for two summer weeks full of exceptional classical concerts,
- Summer Concours Hippique (3–6 August), a family event for equestrian lovers
- St. Moritz Running Festival (11–13 August),
- Passione Engadina (25–27 August), this 12th edition will be dedicated to Lancia
- St. Moritz Art Film Festival (31 August – 3 September),
- International St. Moritz Automobile Week (8–17 September).
Exclusive experiences and packages can be booked throughout the year via the Experience Shop under booking.stmoritz.com.
This article was produced by Dukes Avenue.