We’ve written a lot about St. Moritz this winter. To us, it’s a near perfect winter destination: rich in Winter Olympic history, surrounded by world-class pistes…a town with a penchant for throwing lavish parties, and being impeccably well dressed at all times.
Not that there’s ever really a casual season in St. Moritz, but the town is well worth a visit during the summer months, where you can spend a bit more time outside and take in all the spectacular scenery the Engadine has to offer. Though the real thrill seekers may have to look beyond the slopes or the Cresta Run to get their fix, most of the hotels, restaurants, shops and cocktail bars are open to make sure your summer visit is just as luxurious as the magical St. Moritz wintertime.
Below is a quick guide to making the most of your visit to St. Moritz this summer.
TAKE IT TO THE LAKES
The frozen lake is the focal point of St. Moritz in the winter months: it’s a gathering place for people, cars and horses for some of the most spectacular events anywhere in the world. Come summer though, there’s nothing better for the soul than spending some time in the refreshing mountain lake.
There are few better places in the world for a swim than Lake Staz, just off from the main lake in Celerina. Isolated a bit from the center of town, the stunning surroundings make for a tranquil escape into the refreshing waters of the Engadine, often best experienced in the very early morning when the fog has barely lifted from the lake. Once you’re sufficiently relaxed, towel off and head over for an afternoon drink or two at “Piccolo” El Paradiso, the new pop-up from the famous mountainside club and restaurant opening this summer at the Lej da Staz Hotel.
While you’ll benefit from the relatively warmer temperatures of the smaller lake, the larger lakes are perhaps best explored by boat. There is a rich history of sailing in the Engadine thanks to the Maloja wind that sweeps through the valley, and numerous regattas bringing together sailors of all levels that take place on the lakes throughout the summer season. To try your hand, head down to the St. Moritz Sailing Club to rent a boat and take a lesson.
Indulge in your love of classic cars
St. Moritz is easily one of the world’s prime destinations for the car lover. Walk down Via Serlas and you’re sure to spot the Kessel Racing’s Ferrari 488 GT3 with the famous St. Moritz script logo, in addition to other supercars, both classic and modern alike (including the famous Rolls Royce owned by Queen Elizabeth that can shuttle you to and from Badrutt’s Palace).
The town has become sort of a destination for various groups of classic car aficionados, in both the winter and summer months. This past winter’s inaugural I.C.E. (International Concourse of Elegance) event brought an unparalleled collection of the world’s best cars to the frozen lake.
As the summer month approach, there are two dates for the car lover to circle. First up, the Rolls Royces and Aston Martins will descend on St. Moritz for the 26th annual British Classic Car Meeting from the 5th to the 7th of July, complete with a Saturday rally and a Sunday Concours d’Elégance. In September, the breathtaking Bernina Pass hosts the Bernina Gran Turismo, which pays homage to the car races that were run in St. Moritz in the 1920s and 1930s.
Want to drive it yourself? We recommend picking up the car of your choice in Milan, then driving the technically challenging Bernina Pass to St. Moritz, the warm mountain sun and air hitting your face.
WALKING ARCHITECTURE TOUR
Amidst the stunning scenery surrounding you, make some time to explore the fascinating architecture of the town (with the benefit of being outside in the warm summer weather), most notably two famous works by Lord Norman Foster.
Kulm Country Club is a must visit on any trip, it’s a great place for dinner or drinks any time of the year. Whereas in the winter months you’ll spend most of your time inside looking out over the skating rink imagining the Olympic heroes of the past plying their trade on that ice, the summer months make for a great time to appreciate how spectacular the building itself is. In a state of disrepair following its construction in 1905, the space has been wonderfully reimagined into a mini-stadium of sorts that pays homage to the Engadin woodworking tradition.
Next, head to Chesa Futura back towards the center of town. The novel apartment building project completed in 2004 is a forged performance building if there ever was one: the futuristic design is built from timber and covered in larch shingles, creating a sustainable wonder that is both simultaneously futuristic and traditional.
Go for a Hike, but don’t forget to après
One of our favorite things about St. Moritz is how it strikes such a perfect balance between rigorous outdoor activity and lively après scenes. Being in St. Moritz in summer gives you access to some of the best hiking anywhere on the planet. Should you prefer to venture a bit out of town, head to Muottas Muragl (between Celerina and Pontresina) where you can take a funicular up to the slopes for incredible views of the valley and St. Moritz itself. For easiest access to the trails, head to Corviglia via the Chanterella funicular. Once there you’re free to explore the network of trails and lifts, having removed the most treacherous piece from the equation (though the intrepid souls can hike to/from Corviglia and the center of town. From there, you can hop the cable car and head off to explore Piz Nair. If you prefer to stay a bit closer to home, you’re in luck. Three of the best slopeside terraces are all accessible by foot around Corviglia: Alpina Hütte, El Paradiso and Trutz. Go ahead, you’ve earned that spritz.
Plan your exit wisely
Sadly, it will be time to leave at some point but there’s one last piece of advice: don’t rush home. Consider jumping aboard the Glacier Express and flying home from Geneva or points beyond. The “slowest fast train in the world” is not to be missed, especially with the introduction of the new Excellence Class. There’s no better way to see Switzerland in all its summer glory - the deep greens and blues of meadows and streams out your window, with snowcapped grey peaks towering in the background. It’ll almost make leaving St. Moritz worth it.