Lenzerheide, a village in Switzerland’s eastern canton of Grisons, is not as well known as some mountain resorts, but to winter skiers and summer hikers and bicyclists, it is paradise. Set in a valley high in the Swiss Alps, it has both a stunningly beautiful setting and a mind-boggling array of sports. It’s a fantastic family destination.
In the snow season, ski on dozens of powdery runs, reached by some 40 ski lifts, or schuss over miles of cross-country tracks. Or ride a toboggan on a 3100-meter run, go sledding and ice skating, and end the day over fondue and a crisp white wine in a cozy chalet.
Come summer (when I last visited), and the alpine flowers carpet the meadows, bicyclists ride 305 kilometers of trails (and 920 km of GPS trails) while hikers roam winding paths through the idyllic countryside. You can golf or play tennis, and swim, fish or windsurf in a sparkling lake, Heidsee. Dozens of structured activities are available, including gymnastics, archery, and table tennis.
Lodgings range from high-end luxury resorts complete with swimming pools, tennis courts, ice rinks, playgrounds, and spas, to hostels and simple rentals. Some popular hotels are:
– Hotel Lenzerhorn Spa & Wellness, noted for its spa treatments. It’s less expensive than many without such amenities.
– La Riva Hotel, on the lake, gets rave reviews.
– Hotel Waldhaus Am See has wide views of the lake and mountains, an ice rink and pool, and offers handicapped access.
– Hotel Touring is basic, clean and comfortable.
Restaurants that have been recommended (I haven’t tried them yet):
– Scalotti’s, for a great antipasti buffet.
– La Riva, said to have good food for the price.
– Da Elio, serving a wide variety of pizza and salads, as well as other dishes.
Switzerland is still on the Swiss franc, not the euro. The exchange rate is close to 1:1, better for the American dollar than the current dollar-euro rate, which hovers around 1:1.45. That is not to say Switzerland is a bargain; but those fabulous Alps, and the beauty of Lenzerheide, make it worth every franc.