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Alpine Traditions

Guarda, a timeless Swiss village
 
Located in an idyllic village of cobbled streets and frescoed houses, the centuries-old Hotel Meisser makes a charming base for this self-guidedsingle-centre walking break. The hospitality at the hotel is wonderful, and there is a choice of walks, including one in Switzerland’s only national park.
Alpine Traditions. 3 nights
Alpine Traditions. 3 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the Engadine

It’s a rare village that can boast of being the setting of an iconic children’s book, but Guarda, in eastern Switzerland’s Engadine Valley, can. With its cobbled streets and ancient stone houses decorated with dainty pastel murals (sgraffito), it’s easy to understand why – you certainly feel as though you are walking through the pages of a fairy tale as you explore the timeless streets.
Indeed, the passage of time has had little impact on the Engadine Valley, and even less so on Guarda, whose inhabitants raised livestock and provided a staging post for traders of salt and cheese. Change has always been slow to arrive here – eastern Switzerland was the last part of the country to allow motor vehicles, and the Romansch language survives to this day. Fittingly, Switzerland’s only national park is just along the valley, sheltering chamois, ibex and marmots, as well as golden eagles, bearded vultures, wolves and lynx, while Guarda has become something of a haven for artists and craftspeople. At the heart of the village, the Hotel Meisser, your base, is completely in harmony with its surroundings, and serves as the perfect get-away. There’s great walking (both moderate and challenging) to be had from the hotel door, but the refined and relaxed atmosphere invites you to slow down and simply appreciate this most traditional of Alpine villages.
 
Gallery
 

Walking & more

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    The best time for flowers is from late May to early July.
     
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C -2 1 3 6 11 15 19 19 16 11 3 -2
    mm 113 96 111 122 132 150 155 162 126 108 124 112
  • An introduction
    Guarda is a great base for walking; in addition to the four walks for which we provide notes, Benno and Maya, your hosts, will be happy to recommend other routes. There’s no fixed itinerary, so you can take your pick of the options as the mood takes you.
  • 8km to 16.5km

    Tuoi valley option: 12km, 4hrs
    Head up the Tuoi Valley, ascending some 500 metres so as to gain superb views towards one of the most famous peaks in the area, Piz Buin. You follow the scenic Clozza River then head back through forest and fields to Guarda.

    High option: 16.5km, 6hrs; 1000m ascent/descent
    This longer option features even more ascent and descent, but rewards with flower-filled meadows, old larch and spruce woods, a panoramic ridge and magnificent views southwards and into Austria.

    Lavin option: 8km, 2.5hrs
    For a less demanding walk, cross the lower slopes of the Inn Valley to the attractive village of Lavin with its remarkable covered wooden bridge, from where you walk alongside the River Inn and then ascend some 180 metres back up the valley slopes to Guarda.

    Trupchen valley: 13km, 3.5hrs; ascent 500m/descent 550m
    While the first three routes all start and finish in Guarda, this walk is reached by train. You can then head into the only National Park in Switzerland, walking up one side of a valley and back along the other. The landscape feels very wild, and you may spot wildlife such as red deer, chamois, ibex and golden eagles.
    Trupchun Valley and the Swiss National Park
  • Stroll through the ancient streets
    As good as the walking is, it is well worth devoting at least half a day to exploring Guarda. Unlike many Swiss villages, the houses here are made of stone, not wood, with large, arched doorways, deep-set windows, and façades decorated with sgraffito (designs scratched into a layer of slaked lime). In much the same way that you can get audio tours of places of interest that let you explore at your own pace, there is an app that you can download onto your phone (or borrow a tablet from your hosts) which guides you around the village’s cobbled streets, pausing at points along the way to give insights in English into Guarda’s history. The hotel can also lend you a book (again in English) which interprets each house’s sgraffito designs.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly given the tranquil, idyllic setting, a variety of artists and craftspeople have chosen to settle in Guarda, including a blacksmith, a potter, a lady who paints on silk scarves, and a woodcarver. You can see examples of their work as you walk around the village, and you may be able to watch some of them at work. (Only the blacksmith, who specialises in making knives, speaks English, although most of the others speak some French.)

    Further afield
    To ring the changes, you might like to take advantage of the railway that runs along the valley to explore further afield (pay locally). Zuoz is another village typical of the Engadine which will seduce you with its old-world charm, while Scuol’s main draw is its spa complex, complete with steam baths, saunas, swimming pools and a variety of treatments.
 

Accommodation

You stay in a high-quality hotel of great character located in one of Switzerland's most beautiful villages. Near the hotel you will find a small handful of shops and cafés.
Hotel Meisser
  • 3-star superior

Bedrooms

 

Extend your stay

 

Prices for 2020

We are in the process of updating our prices for 2020. If you’d like to book now, please contact us – we’ll be happy to provide a quotation.
Get in touch >
 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 3 nights: 01 June - 13 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 June - 10 October £650 £75
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: return rail/bus from any Swiss airport, a Swiss Half-Fare Card is also included, providing you with half price tickets for trains, bus and boat journeys and up to 50% reduction on private railways and cable cars.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Meisser, Guarda
    Balcony: 01 Jun - 13 Oct 2019 £20

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Meisser, Guarda (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Jun - 13 Oct 2019 £142 £162
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Zürich

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Zürich. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Zurich easyJet,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Zurich easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Zurich Swiss 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Zürich. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Zürich

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Zürich Airport to Guarda station (2h45), postbus Guarda station to village (0h15) included 1530
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    hotel transfer or postbus to Guarda station (0h15), rail Guarda to Zürich Airport (2h45) included 1300
What is included
  • 3 nights
  • 3 dinners
    3 breakfasts
  • route notes and maps
  • rail to/from any Swiss airport
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Switzerland, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official languages are German, spoken in the majority of the country; French, spoken in the south-west; Italian, spoken in the south-east; and Romansch, mostly limited to the Engadine valley. The currency is the Franc. Swiss time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 9/18/2019 12:20:13 PM