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The sunny Engadine Valley in eastern Switzerland is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. It is a place where winter is truly magical and is characterised by frozen lakes, quintessentially Alpine scenery and picture-book villages.

Price:

From £1250pp (including rail) based on two people sharing.

Duration: 6 days, 7 nights
Departures: Various departures from December 2016 March
Start point: Guarda
End point: Guarda
 

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Winter Walking & Snowshoeing Holiday in Guarda

High on the mountain slopes perches the most idyllic village of them all, Guarda, silently watching over the valley from its panoramic location. It is one of those special places that you will never want to leave. So idyllic is it that it provided the setting for a Swiss fairy tale, and it quickly seduces you with its old-world charm. At the heart of the village lies the 3-star Hotel Meisser, a fittingly romantic hotel that makes a delightful base from which to appreciate the magic of winter.

The emphasis here is on the fantastic snow-shoeing and winter walking – these are ideal ways to enjoy the winter enchantment of exquisite Guarda and its surroundings. From the village, you can set out directly across the slopes and snowy meadows, marvelling at the sweeping views down towards the river below and hopefully spotting lots of wildlife. Benno and Maya, your hosts, are keen walkers themselves and lead weekly snowshoe excursions.

Another relaxed way to appreciate your surroundings is by horse-drawn sleigh, and we include a ride in a neighbouring village during your stay. You can even try your hand at curling – there is a rink near the hotel. If you do fancy some skiing, head to Scuol, a 25-minute bus and train ride away, which offers 77 kilometres of cross-country trails and 80 kilometres of downhill pistes, the latter of which are mostly for beginners and intermediates. Scuol is a spa town, and you could treat yourselves to a few hours in the Bogn Engadine Spa with its steam room, sauna and heated outdoor pool.

Hotel Meisser (3*), Guarda

You are warmly welcomed by English-speaking Benno and Maya Meisser, the fifth generation of the family to run the hotel. There is a real sense of history here – the hotel was converted from a 17th-century farmhouse – and the family has created a wonderfully intimate and relaxed atmosphere over the years. The use of light wood throughout the hotel is both stylish and cosy.

Rooms: There are just 18 bedrooms, a fact which serves to increase the hotel’s sense of intimacy. No two rooms are the same – all are individually decorated and have different outlooks, though most rooms face eastwards. Some enjoy superb views of the valley and a small handful (available as an upgrade) boast a balcony. Your room may have either a shower or a bath, but all are equipped with a minibar, hairdryer and telephone.

Facilities: Relax in either the library-cum-lounge or the atmospheric bar (complete with billiards, darts and a wide selection of wines) in an annexe across the road.

Restaurant: The magnificent restaurant was once the farm’s hay barn, but nowadays provides the setting for both breakfast and the four-course dinner of delicate and well-crafted cuisine that features plenty of local game throughout the winter. A fondue is also included during your stay.

What our customers say:

Mr Owen of London
Guarda is a beautiful, historic place in the most wonderful setting and the Hotel Meisser has been part of its history for so long adding to one's sense of calm and belonging. A magical place.

Mrs Thomas of Surrey
Guarda was a wonderful place for a winter holiday. It is like a village from a story book. It manages to be both removed from the busy world and to offer good connections to other attractive villages and towns in the Engadine valley via its post bus service to the railway station and its cleared walking paths. If you read 'Heidi' as a child, it comes to life here.

Mr Saggers of Worcestershire
A very special hotel. We were made to feel very welcome and part of the family. They spoke excellent English. Everything was very well organised. The food was the best we have had and the service friendly. The snow-shoe excursion was particularly enjoyable. The location is wonderful and the silence is amazing. We will certainly return.

For more reviews of this trip, see: Reviews of Switzerland: Winter walking & snowshoeing, Guarda

What price includes

 
  • 7 nights 3-star hotel
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • Horse-drawn sleigh ride
  • Guided snowshoe excursion
  • 5-day local travel pass (except NY's week), hire fees
  • Rail travel from London
 

Location

 

Plan your journey by train

Meeting point:
Hotel Meisser

Nearest train station to meeting point:
Guarda Railway Station

Transfer to meeting point:
Operator collects guests from station

How to get there:
Guarda via Paris and Zurich (or Basel)

 
Plan your journey by train to Zurich
 

Plan your journey by train

Finish point:
Hotel Meisser, Guarda

Nearest train station to finish point:
Guarda Railway Station

Transfer to finish point:
Operator drops guests off at station

How to get back:
Train from Guarda to London via Zurich (or Basel) and Paris

 
Plan your return train journey from Zurich