On the road with Miriam
Via Engiadina – long-distance hike in winter
The Engadine has enchanted not only me, but also my mother. She is therefore a regular guest in Scuol. On her last visit, I took her on a winter hike along the Via Engiadina. We started each of the four day hikes from Scuol.
My tip: The Via Engiadina can be booked as a package, including an overnight stay at the respective stage location and organised luggage transport.
Stage 1: Zernez – Susch – Lavin – Guarda
The view out of the window shows that we are in for a perfect winter day. So we quickly set off and take the Rhaetian Railway to Zernez, the starting point of the Via Engiadina Winter. We leave the Engadine village and walk comfortably and flat along the icy Inn River. A small highlight awaits us right at the beginning: next to the cute Angus calves at the Pauraria Chasuot organic farm, we spot some chamois on the rocks that have dared to descend. We follow the river to the pass village of Susch. Then we climb a little through the forest for the first time and later descend again to Lavin. We stroll through the village and treat ourselves to a snack on a bench before the ascent begins. The path climbs steadily through the special terraced landscape and across fields to the Schellen-Ursli village of Guarda. After about four and a half hours we arrive at today's stage destination and enjoy the sun for a while.
Stage 2: Guarda – Bos-cha – Ardez
I am particularly looking forward to today's stage. Many people have already told me about the great sled run from Alp Murtera Dadaint. Since the «normal» route via the hamlet of Bos-cha only takes about one and a half hours, we can well afford the detour via the Munt d'Ardez to the alp. The path always climbs gently through the snow-covered landscape. We are almost alone, but from a distance we can see some snowshoe hikers and ski tourers. After just under two hours we arrive at the top and are looking forward to the sledge run. First, however, we treat ourselves to a picnic break and enjoy the peace and quiet as well as the magnificent view.
The sledges are ready in the barn and off we go. We arrive in the village of Ardez much too quickly. The sledges can be paid for and returned in a container in the village or at Hotel Schorta's Alvetern. The «detour» was definitely worth it, which we can only recommend. Comfortably and in the warmth, we take the RhB back to Scuol.
Stage 3: Ardez – Scuol
Again with a steel-blue sky and sunshine, we set off on the third stage of the Via Engiadina. The RhB takes us back to Ardez, where we continue on foot through the alleys to the edge of the village. Now the path leads a little uphill and soon we have a magnificent view of the Steinsberg castle ruins. Steadily uphill, we walk to the ruins of the Sust/Säumerstation Chanoua. The perfect place to take a short break. The path continues more or less level. After crossing Ftan with its typical village squares, the path leads ever so slightly downhill to Scuol. Tarasp Castle towers majestically on the opposite side of the valley. This day's stage takes about four hours.
If you prefer high-altitude trails, you can walk from Ftan or take the chairlift up to Prui and hike along the panorama trail to the Motta Naluns mountain station. The cable car takes you comfortably down to Scuol.
Stage 4: Scuol – Motta Naluns – Sent
One last look at the winter sports report and the heart beats faster for today's high-altitude hike. With the cable car almost at the door, we quickly head up to the Motta Naluns winter sports area. We walk past the valley station of the Naluns chairlift and the Kinderland and up on the winter hiking trail next to the piste. The first descent to Jonvrai soon follows. After crossing the ski slope, there are now a few metres of altitude to contend with, whereby we are now in open mountain terrain. We enjoy the peace and quiet, for far and wide there is no one to be seen. Despite the overcast sky today, we are offered spectacular black and white views. After a flat stretch, we descend again, with some steeper descents. Right next to the hiking trail and the «dream slope» (valley descent to Sent) is the cosy Sömmi bar. We treat ourselves to a little take-away fortification here before tackling the last stretch to Sent. Shortly before Sent we decide to walk back to Scuol after all. After a good five hours of hiking, we arrive home exhausted but satisfied.
Unfortunately, this trail is often closed due to avalanche danger. The circular route Scuol – Pazos – Vastur – Chauennas offers a nice alternative and the toboggan can also be used here again.
I recommend the Via Engiadina to all those who not only enjoy excursions into nature, but also enjoy the culture of the Lower Engadine at the same time. The length of the various stages makes it possible to make a stop during the hike and visit an experience from the region. For example, you can attend the ceramic painting course in Sent or make a stop at the Muzeum Susch. Unforgettable and eventful days during the long-distance hike are guaranteed!
Miriam Werren moved to Scuol in February 2019 and works for the Engadin Samnaun Val Müstair holiday region as a product and online marketing manager. She loves discovering the Lower Engadine during a hike.