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hiking from Guarda

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New Jersey
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hiking from Guarda

We are planning on hiking in the area in mid-October. Here is my question: The Hotel Meisser which has great reviews, has a good deal for four nights. Is there enough hiking in the area to warrant a four night stay there or is it better to only be there for a day or two?

thanks!

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Germany
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1. Re: hiking from Guarda

There are so many hiking trails in the area that you could spend two weeks and not get bored. Do not only explore starting from Guarda but also from the other picturesque villages in the Lower Engadine - Sent, Ftan, S-charl and so on. Or from Pass dal Fuorn.

Santa Barbara
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2. Re: hiking from Guarda

Agreed! We stay for two weeks each year and never hike the same trail twice however we use the train and postal bus to range up and down the valley to explore many different villages. Then you return to Guarda in the afternoon when most people have left and enjoy a quiet village.

You can walk different hikes each day from there but using the public transport allows for one way hikes between villages and across valleys.

New Jersey
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3. Re: hiking from Guarda

thanks very much for your replies.

I am now hearing that many hotels, restaurants, TRAINS, might be closed when we are in the area--October 16-23.

Is this too late to come? Would places be open? and how might the weather be for hiking then?

thanks.

Santa Barbara
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4. Re: hiking from Guarda

My birthday is October 14 and we have had a couple of birthday parties then however your information is correct. This would be considered the tail end of the fall season and so the large resorts will be shutting down.

An example: The Castell Zuoz, a five star hotel in Zuoz in the Engadin, They call the period between July 8 - October 22 as the medium season. After October 22 they close until December 3. So you would be on the tail end of the season. So what does this mean? For me it is mostly good news.

Specifically, You will have a more relaxed time. Most hotels will still be open but you are there for the hiking. Guarda there is only three places to eat. Hotel Meisser , your hotel, where I would suggest you get the halp pension, the included dinner which is a good value. There is only one restaurant in town, Crusch Alba which I believe will close sometime while you are there.

Now we have to consider the weather and the trails. The weather, well it's the mountains so... but we have had more sun in the fall than the spring or summer so for what that is worth. It will be cool in the evening so the implication there is the grass will no longer be green. This is the greatest drawback for me personally since I love the green alps to look at.

The trails should be in good condition however some of the SAC huts and small restaurants might be closed. I looked at the Chamonna Tuoi Swiss Alpine Club hut closest to Guarda and it is open but will not serve food after September. These are the disappointments you will have.

Of course you may take some good mountain cheese and sausage along in your pack and have a nice picnic there or along the way so a little planning can overcome each situation. Guarda is a year round village with just three small hotels so it will be much as normal.

As mixed as mountain weather is the summer can get lots of thunder storms, the sping is muddy from the melting snow, the winter is snow (if you are lucky) and the fall , well you must just take a chance.

My sister lives in Telluride, Colorado and I see the weather in Guarda as similar so if you have any experience in the Rockies then that may give you a guide (which is to say there is no certainty at all with weather anywhere). I am going to London in two weeks and just threw a umbrella in my bag after reading a post this morning.

Faith is always a big part of travel I suppose. By the way these hotel closings are true through out Switzerland this time of year and are driven as much by the school year and vacation schedule as much as anything else.

The trains and postal bus will run a full schedule since they are used by the locals so there is no issue there. Your movement between villages or the National Park for example will be in no way effected.

So if you are looking to meet people in a wine bar then this will be a problem but of course if that is your aim them Guarda will be a poor choice anyway. If you look for fresh mountain air, long, healthy hikes along with the cows and a cool evening to sit by the fire in the Hotel Meisser and enjoy a local beer and cheese platter than you will be just fine. The hotel will have fewer guests so you will have a better choice of rooms and not so long to wait for your dinner. It's all in how you view things I suppose.

Edited: 12:26 pm, August 30, 2011
New Jersey
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5. Re: hiking from Guarda

this is an awesome reply; thank you so much. You make it sound as wonderful as we are hoping it will be. So we are going to go ahead with the trip.

I am wondering however, if staying at the Messier for 7 nights is too much. We are used to moving around a lot.

I am not sure where we would move to. Is it worth it going over to Wengen for a few days --what would that entail?--or do you suggest staying put and exploring from the Messier?

Hope you don't mind many questions!

Andrea

Edited: 4:42 pm, August 30, 2011
Santa Barbara
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6. Re: hiking from Guarda

Well we stay for a minimum of two weeks at a time so you are asking the wrong person, ha ha. It's a days travel anywhere you want to move to and changing hotels is a hassle.

I think of my hotel as a place to sleep and enjoy the evening and make each day an adventure. You can range as far as Poschiavo which would take you over the Bernina Pass for a day trip. We do that when our legs get tired. The secret is to use the trains and postal buses to range up the valley and over the passes. Each valley is a little different. Which ones are our favorite, well they all have their own attractions.

Wengen is completely different and offers 22 hotels, one that has 175 beds. Guarda is a farm village with three small hotels and maybe 40 beds in total.

With size comes infrastructure so it's a purpose built resort in a beautiful location. Most people like it and I will not say anything against it.

My interest is to become immersed in the food, culture, architecture and life of the alps. You will see the cows, hears the sheep, see the cheese made in the village or surrounding villages. Cheese is the reason the village is there to begin with (at least the milk part of it) and tourism is a small sideline but getting bigger each year. Guarda has easy connections to the main rail line and the 8:40 bus to the trains station connects you directly to all villages in the Engadin and beyond. I must say that this interests few people and most would appreciate the distractions a larger place would offer. No distractions here, just you, the mountains, the cowbells and the church bell ringing in the hours. The cows will probably have been brought down from the Alps by the time you get there, the hay will be in the barns for the winter and the trees will be changing. I'm ready to go right now.

Germany
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7. Re: hiking from Guarda

I personally wouldn't want to stay in Guarda for a full week in late October - very quiet, and for you definitely too quiet. Scuol, also beautiful and only a few miles away is larger and offers much more in regards to activities - also a wonderful spa. It is also more convenient for doing day trips (a hub for bus and train).

New Jersey
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8. Re: hiking from Guarda

HI Bruce:

We are getting ready for our trip to Guarda. I am trying to figure out the train connections there from Zurich and it isn't coming up on the rail site as possible.

I am putting in the request from Zurich to Guarda. what am I doing wrong?

thanks!

Andrea

Santa Barbara
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9. Re: hiking from Guarda

First be sure to use the SBB official site:

http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

Then input: Zurich HB ( HB = main zurich station)

then input: Guarda cümin (cumin insures your train is met by a postal bus)

then date

then time

Search connection will bring up a list of connections. You will always connect in Landquart to go from the intercity main line to the small, local train. They depart at 9:37 &11:37.

Be sure not to take the 8:37 or 10:37 departure or you will be waiting at the Guarda station almost an hour for the next bus!

Your other option would be to arrange for Hotel Meisser to meet you at the station and then you could take the other trains but coordination is additional uncertainty. Tell me if this works for you!

Edited: 10:12 pm, October 02, 2011
St. Moritz...
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10. Re: hiking from Guarda

Just to add to the always accurate ansers by Hammersb: on the sbb-timetable site, enger GUARDA cumün (means village in Romantch, not cümin, you will not get results with this one) - or after entering Guarda go to the drop-down menu that appears and check cumün.

At the moment the Engadin valley is in splendor with the turning colors and bright clear skyies. During the day it is exceptionally warm in the sun, the night might go below zero however and in the shadows it is cool. But colors are so bright now - each day like this is a gift from haevens and forecast is a continuation of this for still some time.

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