Without exaggerating: The Val Müstair in Switzerland gave us our most impressive mountain experience to date this summer. And in general you just have to say: Dear Val Müstair, you are really underestimated!
The Münstertal – as the Val Müstair is called in German – is not on most people’s classic Switzerland bucket list. Incomprehensible for us. Because here you really still find that untouched nature that you miss so badly in other places in the Alps.
What you like about a holiday expected in Val Müstair (Canton Graubünden)? You can find our experience report on our travel blog. We’ll tell you which hikes, excursion destinations and sights you shouldn’t miss and of course provide you with our best tips for the Münstertal.
1. Val Müstair (Münstertal): The region at a glance – Info & FAQs Where is the Val Müstair? The Val Müstair is located on the south-eastern tip of Switzerland in the border triangle between Austria and Italy in the canton of Graubünden. It is surrounded by high mountains and steep mountain passes. Pretty secluded. It is thanks to this special location that the Münstertal has retained its originality to this day.
Part of the Val Müstair is part of the Swiss National Park, the oldest wilderness area in the Alps and the only national park in Switzerland. A very special natural jewel awaits you in the immediate vicinity.
By the way, the Münstertal is comparatively small: It only extends over a length of about 20 kilometers. “Small, but mighty”, how we would describe it.
What makes Val Müstair so unique? We don’t think we’re exaggerating when we claim that Val Müstair is still insider tip in Switzerland can be. The valley is secluded, original, authentic.
This also means: There are no 5-star hotels, no Michelin restaurants, hardly any mountain railways. Or in other words: The tourist infrastructure can be expanded. But what initially appears to be a disadvantage is in our eyes the biggest advantage of Val Müstair.
What specifically awaits you in Val Müstair?
Wild, untouched nature: Lift supports? No way! In Val Müstair you mostly cover the altitude difference on foot or by bike. (There is a tiny ski area, but that’s it). It’s exhausting, sure. But nothing beats a natural mountain panorama. For example, there are no high-voltage lines in the entire valley. You wouldn’t believe it, would you?A holiday destination far away from mass tourism: Of course you are not alone in the Münstertal. But compared to other places in Switzerland, things are so tranquil here. Very pleasant!Rest & Relaxation: Last but not least the Val Müstair is – if you move away from the main road – a place where you can switch down a gear or two. What can I experience in Val Müstair? You probably already know what’s coming. In the Val Müstair it’s all about one thing: the nature experience. In the summer, the focus is clearly on the following two activities.
Hiking: From a leisurely walk along the river to demanding, high-alpine routes, everything is possible. Our favourite? Definitely the Lai da Rims – more on that in a moment. Cycling/mountain biking: Whether on a racing bike via one of the Mountain passes or off-road by mountain bike – the Val Müstair is an Eldorado for all those who like to be out and about on two wheels. We will tell you our recommendations for great bike tours in the next chapter. 2. Sights & activities in Val Müstair: Our tips & experiences Sunrise Hike to Lai da Rims When the first rays of sun slowly peek out from behind the mountain massif, the marmots run squeaking back and forth and you think of nothing but pure natural beauty are surrounded, then you know you did something right. (In our case it was the fact that we set the alarm for 4.30 set the clock.)
We present: Den Lai da Rims, a natural jewel on 2.396 meters above sea level. We decided to visit the sparkling blue mountain lake at sunrise. And what can we say: Best decision!
Our tip: We have the first round 251 Altitude meters covered with the e-mountain bike. This saves time and energy. The route leads quite comfortably in serpentines over a gravel road. After about 45 minutes you reach the fork in the road (“Tschuccai”). We parked our bikes here and continued on foot from there.
For the ascent on foot you need a good hour from the fork in the path (we were a bit faster than the signposted 1.5 hours). From here the landscape becomes really impressive: It goes past waterfalls and then bend by bend, meter by meter uphill. The closer you get to the Lai da Rims, the more alpine and rough the landscape becomes.
Even if the ascent is a bit difficult and costs a few drops of sweat – believe us: It’s so worth it! Because when the Lai da Rims is in front of you in all its glory, you know it was more than worth the effort.
Information about the tour at a glance
Altitude: approx. 1.251 Claim: Moderate (condition required, technically not too demanding, i.e. mostly narrow, stony, quite steep path with a few exposed places)Duration: If you like us in combination e-bike & on foot are on the way, then you have about two hours for the ascent (45 minutes by e-bike + 45 minutes on foot) and about 1.5 Plan hours for the descent. If you walk the entire route, it will take longer. Then you should plan about 3 hours for the ascent. Alternatively, the bus line will take you a good bit closer (station “Pra da Vau”), but this only runs very irregularly (and certainly not at sunrise).
Good to know: Many ambitious mountain bikerscome from the Piz Umbrail downhill in the direction of Lai da Rims and then ride the (sometimes very narrow) route described above ) hiking route down into the valley. Signs on site ask mountain bikers to cover the route between 10 and 15 clock not to drive, but it hold apparently not all of them. For this reason alone, we would recommend starting the hike as early as possible – it doesn’t have to be sunrise like it is here.
Hike along the “Rome” Through the Val Müstair meanders a river with the sounding Name “Rome”, also called Rombach. It is in many sections natural and generally the only main valley river in Switzerland that is not used to generate electricity.
The hiking trail “A la riva dal Rom” leads you directly along the Rombach through the Val Müstair. The hike extends over a total of 07 Kilometers from Tschierv to Müstair.
In fact, you can get on at any point and only hike a section – eg from Fuldera to Santa Maria. Of course, it is also possible to walk in the opposite direction (in the direction of Tschierv). Then the meters in altitude – there are not many – but uphill (and not downhill) to be mastered.
A picturesque river landscape awaits you here, which is always varied: Sometimes the path leads past flower meadows, sometimes through forests, sometimes it shows itself the Rom as a brook, sometimes as a wild river.
The hike is perfect for all those who are looking for a large portion of landscape experience without much effort. This excursion destination is also ideal for families with children.
Information about the tour at a glance
Altitude gain: entire tour from Tschierv to Müstair meters downhill (on the opposite route from Müstair to Tschierv 480 Meters uphill)Claim: Simply
Duration: Variable – depending on the selected route section. If you hike the entire route (from Tschierv to Müstair), then you should plan about 3 to 4 hours. Depending on the section, it takes correspondingly less time.
Good to know: You can easily get to and from the starting point of your hike to go by bus. It usually runs once an hour, so keeping an eye on the schedule is a good idea. You can check the connections here: PostBus.
E -Mountain bike tour around the Swiss National Park Wow! The Swiss National Park is a natural oasis. We can only warmly recommend that you visit the national park during your holiday in Val Müstair.
We chose a tour with the e-mountain bike. To be more precise, we tackled the route from Scuol (Lower Engadine) to Val Müstair to Santa Maria. Instead of traveling from the Lower Engadine to Val Müstair by public transport, we rode through the mountains on an e-bike and had our luggage transported.
Our conclusion? Very clear recommendation! You will pass some of the most beautiful spots on the edge of the National Park including:
S-Charl: A picturesque mountain village on 1.800 meters above sea level.God da Tamangur: The highest continuous stone pine forest in Europe.Pass da Costainas: The highest point of the tour (2.251 meters above sea level). We will give you a detailed description of the route with our personal tips for the tour in this blog article: Lower Engadine.
Information about the tour at a glance
Altitude: approx. 1.251
Claim: Moderate – physical condition required, the section between Alp Astras and the Pass da Constainas is a bit more demanding (narrow paths, roots and stones) , but overall good to drive on Duration: approx. 5 hours (one way)
Further tips for excursion destinations & activities in Val Müstair Val Mora: This natural jewel is probably the most beautiful place in Val Müstair next to the Lai da Rims. Many compare this pristine mountain valley to the Canadian wilderness. It is particularly popular with mountain bikers. Since the Val Mora is so isolated, you can get there faster with a mountain bike. Alternatively, a 6-hour hike from the Ofen Pass to Santa Maria leads through the Val Mora.
Alp Terza: A nice e-mountain bike tour (or of course a mountain bike tour – depending on fitness) leads uphill from Santa Maria Alp Terza via Müstair back to Santa Maria. For this tour (approx. 800 Altitude meters) you have to plan about 3 hours. You can look forward to wonderful panoramic views down towards the Münstertal.
Müstair: The easternmost place in Switzerland and the village of Müstair, which gives it its name, is also worth a visit. The landmark of the region, the Benedictine monastery of St. Johann, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is enthroned here.
3. Accommodation tips for Val Müstair Let’s start with the most important information in advance: Those who expect luxury hotels are in the wrong place in Val Müstair. Cosy and traditional instead of modern and hip is the motto. (But as already mentioned, we see this as an advantage.)
In addition, the choice of accommodation is really very limited and manageable is. (Booking in good time is therefore not wrong.) We have summarized a few suggestions and recommendations for you.
Hotel Munsterhof (Müstair) Probably one of the best hotels in Val Müstair is the Hotel Münsterhof, which is centrally located in Müstair. The house has been beautifully renovated (lots of wood, pleasant ambience) and the rooms are comfortably furnished. Hotel Central La Fainera (Valchava) This very nicely designed 3-star hotel is housed in a historic building with a striking facade. The rooms are furnished with stone pine. Breakfast and dinner are also said to be excellent. Hotel Schweizerhof (Santa Maria)This traditional 3-star hotel is centrally located in Santa Maria. The rooms are functional but comfortably furnished. 31383Transparency: Advertising & Affiliate Links31383 This blog article and the trip to it were created in cooperation with Graubünden Ferien. Thank you very much for this great cooperation. We had a wonderful time in Val Müstair!
This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Perhaps you have also landed in Val Müstair before? How did you like this corner of Switzerland? Perhaps you would like to share your experiences and additional tips with us? We look forward to your comment!