Switzerland: Europe’s answer to New England leaf peeping

7 September 2015

New England may be famous for the brilliance of its autumn foliage, but it’s not essential to cross the Atlantic to enjoy this annual phenomenon. Head instead to Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina, which is located in the heavily wooded Upper Engadine Valley in south-east Switzerland, where the autumn colour is something to behold.
The Engadine, protected by high Alpine mountains on all sides, is famous for its sunny climate and beautiful landscapes. Engadine in the local Romantsch dialect means 'the Garden of the Inn River', as the valley is a veritable treasure trove of greenery, making it the perfect European destination to witness the rich reds and gorgeous golden hues of autumnal trees, set against clear blue skies.

Visits to the Engadine at this time of year are particularly popular among hikers and artists. There are various walks – some of them barefoot, should the urge take you – that start from the hotel or very close to it that will keep you outdoors all day long. The 'Colourful Engadine Autumn' package also includes a visit to Switzerland’s only National Park, with its extensive animal life, as well as autumnal colour. If you prefer to paint, the light in the valley is so magical it led the 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to believe that he had found 'the cradle of all silver tones.'

Of course, this time of year is also popular with foodies, who will want to make an excursion to the Bergell Chestnut Festival, which takes place from 3 to 18 October, to see, smell and taste this autumnal delicacy in all its forms.

Grand Hotel Kronenhof’s 'Colourful Engadine Autumn' package, offered from 14 to 17 September, 24 to 27 September, 29 September to 2 October and 8 to 11 October, includes 3 nights’ half-board accommodation (2 dinners in the Grand Restaurant, one in Kronenstübli), a wine tasting at the winery Mamete Prevostini and lunch at their restaurant Crotasc, a guided tour of Switzerland’s only National Park in all its autumn glory and a cooking class with the Grand Hotel Kronenhof’s Chef de Cuisine Fabrizio Piantanida. In addition, all guests have complimentary use of the hotel’s stunning spa facilities and unlimited use of all the mountain railways in the Engadine/St Moritz area.