New England in the USA may be famous for the brilliance of its foliage, but Switzerland’s autumn colour is equally impressive, especially in the eastern canton of Graubunden, where the Swiss National Park, part of the worldwide UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is located.
Eighty kilometres of footpaths and nature trails criss-cross the 170 magnificent square kilometres of National Park wilderness, offering visitors of all ages and abilities the chance to witness nature at is glorious best. Not just the stunning autumn foliage, but also the wild animals: look for the ibex with their sweeping horns, chamois, playful marmots, majestic red deer and maybe a golden eagle (six pairs are resident in the park).
Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina has created a ‘Golden Autumn Days’ package to make the most of this very special time of year and it includes, among other things, unlimited use of all the mountain railways in the Engadine/St Moritz area, so that guests can jump on and let the train take the strain, while enjoying glorious views en route. Other excursions on this rail network lead to Chur, the capital of the canton with its car-free old town that is well worth exploring, and south over spectacular mountain passes and along scenic valley routes, with piercing blue Engadine skies overheard, to Valposchiavo, in the Italian-speaking part of the country.
Of course, there is plenty to do and see even closer to the hotel. Visits to the Engadine at this time of year are especially popular among walkers and artists. Hikers might feel the need to pull on their boots and trek up mountains, but they can also kick off their shoes and sample the benefits of barefoot walking trails in Celerina, a village close to Pontresina, before treating their feet to a little bit of pampering in the warmth of the Kronenhof Spa water-jet pool.
Offered from 15 September to 19 October, Grand Hotel Kronenhof’s Golden Autumn Days package includes dinner, bed and breakfast, complimentary use of the hotel’s stunning spa facilities, a 10 per cent discount on spa treatments, unlimited access to the Kulm Golf St. Moritz golf course and tennis courts, and, of course, unlimited use of all the mountain railways in the Engadine/St Moritz area.
Prices start from CHF 430 (approx £365) per night for two people sharing a beautiful double room, with the nightly rate reduced to from CHF 420 for those staying three to five nights and from CHF 395 for those staying six nights or more.
For more details and to book, visit the Grand Hotel Kronenhof website: www.kronenhof.com.