Davos vs. St Moritz for summer family trip?

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Jooxi
Jooxi
2 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2019 - 4:56 PM

Hi,

We are interested in taking a family trip to one of these two towns this Summer with our toddler. We'd like to do some hiking, general walking around town, boats on the lake, etc.

Does anyone have any opinions on the family friendliness of the two towns, and specifically their walking and hiking trails? I am not talking about taking our toddler on difficult trails; rather how accessible the easier trails are, and their suitability for strollers.

I know Davos is listed as family friendly online, however I m trying to figure out why exactly.

Also, does anyone know if the trail around the St. Moritzersee has any paths through the forest, or does it skirt the lake the whole way?

We really appreciate your time and help!

1960man
1960man
1771 posts
top member
Mar 16, 2019 - 1:29 AM

Most places in Switzerland have walking paths suitable for push chairs etc. There aren't really any big lake boats in that area only very small as the lakes are not the same size as the big Swiss lakes.

Last modified on Mar 16, 2019 - 1:31 AM by 1960man
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6229 posts
expert
Mar 16, 2019 - 9:07 AM in reply to Jooxi

Hi Jooxi-

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

I would answer your questions about the topography and vegetation by using two maps.

The first, highly detailed one from SwissTopo, is a topographic map

sectionhiker.com/how-to-read-a-topographic-map/

www.compassdude.com/to pographic-maps.php

which gives altitudes, so that you can judge the steepness of the hills and mountains, as well as village streets, for both locations:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&zoom=8&E=27 84246.69&N=1152468.08

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&zoom=8&E=27 83515.07&N=1187394.82

Zoom in and out, and switching to the aerial imagery background allows you to see the vegetation, such as that around the lake in St. Moritz. You can also see how the streets parallel the hills ides or go up and down the hills. The valley floor extending the southwest from St. Moritz to Silvaplana is quite level, but the center of St. Moritz is on a hillside about 45-50 meters above the train station.

The trails are color coded, and this explains the code:

www.alpenwild.com/stat icpage/trail-signs-in-the-swiss-alps/

In general, red trails are not easy to navigate with a stroller or push chair. The surfaces may be rocky or uneven. Yellow trails are not perfectly smooth, but are mostly good enough for strollers and push chairs. They still may have steep sections, however, and a few rough spots or gravel. Some may be rather narrow in spots.

I once saw that a trail in the Swiss National Park was marked as "suitable for the handicapped." Well, sort of. The trail was wide enough and generally smooth, but quite steep and had quite an altitude change. ;-(

I use a different and simpler map, which has no elevations, if I wish to see public transport stops:

map.search.ch/?pos=784528,152464&z=25 6&poi=bergbahn,haltest elle,zug

I turned on the icons for transport stops by using the menu item with a star ( Points of Interest) and selecting Traffic.

Mousing over an icon gives the exact name, helpful for using the timetable, especially in cities:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Clicking on an icon gives a near term schedule of services.

Be prepared for the Swiss view of walking. Here are a couple of phrases that I use as jokes with fellow Americans who are notorious for driving a car rather than walking::

1.- Walking is a legitimate form of public transportation in Switzerland.

2.- A "level" road in Switzerland may go up or down at significant angles.

Slowpoke

Maria
Maria
818 posts
top member
Mar 16, 2019 - 4:32 PM

Hi Jooxi and welcome to MySwissAlps!

This is a good question and I think you have some very comprehensive and detailed answers from our previous experts.

Just to add, I have stayed in both areas, and can confirm both are very family friendly. In fact I went walking around Davos a few weeks ago and I have never seen so many people with strollers, specially on trails around the lake. Davos markets itself as a family friendly destination, and the whole valley caters to that: www.myswissalps.com/da vos

I stayed in St Moritz last year in the summer, and same, you're spoiled for choice for family-friendly trails specially given the valley around is so vast (Engadine): www.myswissalps.com/up perengadine

However, it does depend on how tough you'd like the trails to be and the equipment you have. I know that on the harder trails, I see a lot of couples with baby carriers for hiking with hoods and everything to shelter the little ones from the sun :)

We have a hiking guide on our site if you want to search hikes by area and difficulty level: www.myswissalps.com/hi king

I hope this helps!

Maria.

Jooxi
Jooxi
2 posts
new member
Mar 17, 2019 - 1:59 AM

Hi,

Thank you all incredibly detailed and helpful replies!

1960man, a small lake is what I expect and works for us with our toddler!

Slowpoke, thanks for the amazing and useful maps. Are you saying the hiking trails in red on the map.geo sites are listed as more difficult/not stroller friendly? Is this sometimes because the full trail gets harder say, going up the mountain? According to the site, the trail around the St. Moritz lake is red.

Maria, would you say Davos and St. Moritz are similar in family friendly trails right near the center of town (not traveling very far?) Even if we only had a few, like around the lake or through a small forest, it would be a good start.

And yes, I am aware that the Swiss have a different definition of walking; I always say they are born with a ski on each foot and a trekking pole in the hand :)

1960man
1960man
1771 posts
top member
Mar 17, 2019 - 2:58 AM

Here's a couple of examples of level walking routes in the Davos area last summer:

Please login to see the attached documents
Steph
Steph
1405 posts
top member &
moderator
Mar 17, 2019 - 8:44 AM in reply to Jooxi

Hello Jooxi,

I hope you are finding an answer to your initial question about St. Moritz or Davos for your family visit.

I would like to add some more practical links to help you find out about available hikes in those areas.

St. Moritz
The following link provides a fantastic overview of hikes on a map. Select "interactive hiking map".
Choose the area St. Moritz, the kind of hike etc on the legend and if you then click on one of the trail available you can generate a really helpful pdf file providing lots of information.

www.engadin.stmoritz.c h/sommer/en/activities /mountain-adventure/hiking

Davos
The same is possible for Davos using the below link, whereas this one is only available in German, strange. You will need to change the settings to 2D and Summer to find the available hikes and can also create pdf file when selecting a hike.

www.davos.ch/fileadmin /davos/ext-services/interaktiveka rte/

Hope you find this helpful for your planning.

Best,
Steph

Last modified on Mar 17, 2019 - 8:47 AM by Steph
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6229 posts
expert
Mar 17, 2019 - 11:03 AM in reply to Jooxi

Hi Jooxi-

<<"Are you saying the hiking trails in red on the map.geo sites are listed as more difficult/not stroller friendly? Is this sometimes because the full trail gets harder say, going up the mountain? According to the site, the trail around the St. Moritz lake is red.">>

I has been many years since I walked around the lake in St. Moritz. We stayed at the Landgasthof Meirei one time, visible on the map to the right of the lake.

I did not yet follow the links that Steph provided, but the aerial image, the red trail marking , the contour lines, and the dim memories all suggest to me that the trail, particularly where it goes along the edge of the lake in the woods, is likely to be rough and uneven. Tree roots maybe......perhaps a bit narrow if there is a slope downwards to the waters edge below the trail. The contour lines which denote a 10 meter change in elevation show a fairly steep slope down to the water in this view:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&zoom=10&E=2 785056.52&N=1151822.89

I would not try any red trail in a stroller unless I had walked it first without a stroller. The trail; surfaces are frequently rough and uneven.

Now, let's see what Steph's link says.

Hnmmmn -

I could not get the map to give me a clear answer. It does have a lot of useful information. For example, in the St. Moritz area, as well as in Silvaplana and Sils, I can turn on "childrens playgrounds." But, if I turn on "Family hikes" I get some that are obviously climbing steep hills. And, the hike along the edge of the lake through the woods does not light up.

So, I'll stick with my belief that the hike through the edge of the woods will be too rough for a stroller. Seems as though Davos might be a better bet. Maybe the lakes further along the valley at Sils or Silvaplana would be easier, if there are trails that are not blocked by private dwellings and property. That is unlikely.

If I were on my own, looking for easy walks and variety, I think I'd pick the St. Moritz/Pontresina area instead of Davos. But, I don't have young child to consider.

Slowpoke

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