The stunning natural beauty of Switzerland's unique village of Scuol is a draw to outdoor enthusiasts from all around the world, and many make it their vacation destination every single year. There's nothing quite like the fresh mountain air that is found in the Swiss Alps, and Scuol is only made better by its perfect placement near the country's very first high alpine UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. When you're not busy skiing on the magnificent slopes, trekking along the many incredible hiking trails or enjoying one of the area's fabulous festivals or special events, you must make time to experience the extraordinary Biosfera Engiadina Val Mustair during your Scuol stay.
About the Biosfera Engiadina Val Mustair
Nestled just south of the Ofen Pass is this pristine mountain valley that sits between 4,000 and 10,000 feet above sea level. It's been officially designated as a regional nature reserve of national importance, and paired up with the connecting Swiss National Park, it forms the UNESCO Biosfera Engiadina Val Mustair. It also includes the village of Val Mustair, home to some 1,500 residents, and this lovely village was established in January 2009 with the merger of the villages of Mustair, Santa Maria Val Mustair, Valchava, Lu, Fuldera and Tschierv. A great mixture of nature and culture, the Biosfera Engiadina Val Mustair offers much to see and do.
The Benedictine Monastery of St. Johann
The greatest cultural highlight in the entire valley is this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in the village of Mustair. Built in the 8th century and considered a brilliant example of architecture from the Carolingian period, the monastery is home to an exhibit of early medieval picture cycles that is considered to be the largest and best-preserved collection in the entire world. The series of paintings cover the entire church, and you'll discover some 1,200 years of architectural and monastery-related history. The painting that depicts the beheading of John the Baptist is among the most popular.
Visitors also have access to the area's oldest castle tower, the Planta tower, which dates back to 960 and houses the convent museum. The Holy Cross Chapel, which boasts Europe's oldest wood-beam ceiling and more amazing paintings, is open to visitors as well. Depending upon when you arrive, you may also be able to catch a musical or theatrical performance that is dedicated to the original founder of the monastery. It is open all year long, and guided tours are available.
The Rom River
Take some time to enjoy the lovely Rom River that flows through the valley. It begins in the village of Tschierv and runs all the way to the Italian border, and there's a lovely trail that visitors may walk with little bridges across and plenty of beautiful meadows that are covered in Alpine flowers in season.
Minschuns Ski Area
This family friendly ski area offers an excellent 24-mile cross-country trail that takes Nordic skiers from Tschierv to Mustair. It's a beautiful run that boasts forests of larch and fir trees and provides lovely views of the mountains and quaint villages.
Ofen Pass Hike
Those visiting in summer are sure to enjoy the stunning view of the entire valley with a super easy hike that begins at the Ofen Pass and ends at the village of Lu. Expect to walk along flower-filled meadows, alpine huts and majestic Swiss pine forests.
This peaceful mountain village is home to a 15th century baroque church tower and the Chasa Jaura Museum, which is situated in one of the valley's most beautiful old houses. Each room has been carefully restored, and you'll learn about the way of life of the early people, known as the Jauer, from exhibits that showcase early farming equipment, original antique furnishings and other household items that were necessary for survival and comfort.
The Umbrail Pass Road
If you're looking for a bit of summer skiing, then you've found the right place. The Umbrail Pass road leads to a summer skiing area, and it's famous for its many S-curves and narrow pathways. The peak is at over 8,000 feet, and you'll experience some thrills as you ski along this adventurous path.
The Swiss National Park
The largest nature preserve in the entire country, the Swiss National Park offers an abundance of hiking trails for every skill level and special nature-related activities for the entire family. Expect to enjoy a wonderful variety of Alpine plants and wildlife in the midst of a stunning mountain landscape.
Guided Tours Available
There's a lot to take in when it comes to the Biosfera Engiadina Val Mustair, but you don't have to explore it on your own. Those lodging with us here at Exceptional Stays may count on us to reserve a professional guide to ensure that you don't miss a thing.