The winter wonderland that House of Gucci showcased might have you thinking about booking your next trip to St. Mortiz. But you don't have to pack a parka to visit the Swiss Alps—St. Moritz is brimming with snow-free fun during spring and summer.
Although St. Mortiz is now nearly synonymous with skiing, the town was originally a summer holiday retreat. Winter tourism there only began in 1864; before that, it was a popular retreat for the British during summer. Now, although summer is considered off-season at the swanky chalets in the Swiss Alps, the warmer weather brings picturesque hiking, refreshing dips in the namesake lake, and fewer crowds, resulting in a tranquil summer escape.
Stay at the Majestic Badrutt’s Palace Hotel
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is the pinnacle of sophistication in St. Moritz, a lofty title for the Swiss Alps. While the vibe might read traditional (the staff uniforms are so posh that tourists take photos with them like they are Buckingham Palace guards), Badrutt’s Palace is actually one of the most progressive establishments in the Engadine Valley. With commanding views both inside (celebrity spotting) and outside (panoramic visits overlooking Lake Mortiz and the surrounding town), Badrutt’s Palace is the definitive spot to see and be seen.
Dine on the Mountaintop
In the winter, Paradiso Mountain Club and Restaurant is an exclusive members-only restaurant, but in summer the gorgeous mountaintop spot is open to the public. In addition to decadent dishes like the Summer Truffle Croque Fondue and an extensive wine list, Paradiso offers a gelato cart and a pétanque field on the upper terrace.
Hike Upper Engadin
After the snow melts, St. Moritz and the surrounding mountainsides become lush with wildflowers and green meadows. There are copious hiking trails to explore the area, some of which are easy enough to conquer in flip-flops and some more challenging hikes that reward with exquisite views.
Unwind at the Spa
When St. Moritz first became known as a summer tourism destination, it was for the healing waters that brought wellness seekers to the region. Now, elite spas like the Palace Wellness Spa offer therapeutic treatments like an Aroma Alipine massage and Second Skin facial along with amenities like a transportive sauna.
Eat Posh Pizza at Chesa Veglia
While Chesa Veglia, a converted farmhouse dating back to 1736, might look rustic, its pizzeria is one of the most sought-after dining spots in St. Mortiz. With the town’s proximity to Italy, the brick-oven pizza is exceptional—especially when topped with truffles and five types of cheese.
Watch Alpine Cheese Making
The name of nearby dairy, Alp-Schaukäserei Morteratsch, is a mouthful, but it is worth venturing to the village of Pontresina to see traditional alpine cheese making. After watching the small batch production, sample a plate of handmade cheeses in the idyllic countryside.
Appreciate the Journey
Not only can you set your clocks by the timely trains in Switzerland, the stunning scenery on the way to St. Moritz creates a journey just as spectacular as the destination. The three-hour train ride from Zurich to St. Moritz snakes through alpine towns, showing off the region's natural beauty with incredible vistas.
Michelle Stansbury is a San Diego-based freelance writer who writes about travel, food, cannabis, and relationships. Misuse of the word "literally" drives her figuratively insane.
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