The picturesque Engadine village of Zernez is the main gateway to Swiss National Park and it is one of the biggest natural reserves. However, Zernez is an ideal location for journeys through discoveries of the valley and escarpments. Zernez is a perfect point for starting excursions in the Lower Engadine region, the upper Engadine through the Flüela Pass to Davos or via Ofen Pass to Munster valley. The guests can find accommodation in camps, apartments, hotels and private hotels in case you are looking for a place to crash.
Zernez is situated pretty high so it is a great location to get an easy access to high up hiking trails.
Let’s have a look how to get to Zernez, some interesting facts about the village and what can you do there.
How to get to Zernez
You can reach Zernez both by your car or train.
It would take you around 3 hours to reach Zernez from Zürich, but you will get to see a lot of Swiss Alps beauty on the road, especially the Flüela Pass is a great spectacle. For me personally it was the first mountain pass I have visited in Switzerland and now I am a great fan of different Swiss mountain passes.
With the train the trip would take you around 2h 30 minutes and you will have to change the train at least once in Landquart. As Swiss trains go pretty often, it should not be any problem to get a train to Zernez, you can have a look at all the latest schedules and train ticket prices right here: Swiss trains.
Zernez is situated already pretty high, at 1474 meters, so it is a great gateway to hike higher than 2000 meters and maybe reach some 3000 meter peaks in a good weather.
The village is not that big, over 1500 people living, but definitely bigger than other great village not that far from Zernez called Guarda. Which I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.
Interesting fact is that most of the population in Zernez speaks Romansh, the 4th national Swiss language. So it is a unique place to hear that language spoken by locals. You will recognize as well some writings on the shop or streets, that the language is not the one you really saw anythere else: not italian, not french and definitely not german.
During the winter period, Zernez offers an opportunity for cross country skiers to access the expansive track network on the upper and lower Engadine which includes 15 kilometres and wild romantic forest and track between Zernez and S-change. You can enjoy the peacefulness of the snow-covered Engadine countryside well-groomed trails. Snowboarders and skiers can access the big ski regions in the Lower Engadine valley within a short period of time. The toboggan run is an artificial ice rink and the natural ice completes your winter escapades in the region.
During the summertime, the alpine region offers an exquisite time to enjoy your stay in the region. You will have an opportunity to see many kinds of animals and plants. Just outside the city, there is a fantastic network of hiking trails and you can take your time to take pictures in the beautiful scenery.
The National Park measuring 170.3 square kilometres the biggest nature preserves in Switzerland offers a unique wealth of Alpine animals and plants in untouched, wild mountain countryside. A hiking network provides the perfect opportunity to explore the park. Just outside the city precincts, there is not only a network of hiking trails but also a fantastic biking trail network. Besides, you will get a family and wellness spa and playground that will give you and your family a chance to enjoy their vacation. Here are the fun things that you can do while in Zernez.
Visit the swiss national park
3 Nordic walking trails offer fun activities that you can enjoy in the forest and there is a well-connected infrastructure that helps in enhancing the visitor experience. The swiss national park is situated in Graubünden canton and it is between Fuorn pass, S-chanf, and Zernez in the Engadine valley. The park is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and in the year 2009, it was the only park in Switzerland. The park was founded in the year 1914 and during the initial period cars were not allowed because it would disturb the animals. Besides, there are clear instructions on how you should operate while in the park. You should not take home anything that you found in the park. Dogs even on a leash are not allowed and it imperative that you take your time to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations before you can visit the park.
For people who love nature and conservation, you can learn a lot from the park because people are not allowed to leave the hiking paths so that they cannot interfere with the animals. However, this does not mean that you will not see all the animals present in the location. Some of the animals that you can see include bearded vultures, marmots, chamois, ibexes and golden eagles.
The visitor’s centre in Zernez serves as the best interactive display about the national park and this is the most integral aspect is that you will learn more about the park with ease. You can immerse yourself in the wilderness by going into the national park or by going through multiple excursions that they offer in the region. The excursions are normally aimed at children and it allows the children to embrace nature and discover the world in a whole new perspective. There are different aspects that you should always consider when it comes to visiting the park because there are many things that you will learn in due course. It sets a remarkable example of how nature should be protected.
You can find all the information about visiting times and ticket prices about Swiss national park visit center right here: Parc Naziunal Svizzer.
Zernez nature trail
The nature trail between Münstertal valley and Zernez provides people of all age groups with a chance to go hiking and walking in the beautiful trail. In addition, it has all the necessary information that will help you know more about Switzerland as a country and more about the history of the trail. The region inspires visitors to compare, observe and discuss about the pristine natural beauty of the environment. With a combination of both junior and senior hiking trails, the hikers have a chance to answer questions about the environment directly and independently.
The national park visitor’s centre is situated in Zernez and it is next to the school.
Zernez family baths
Small and lovely is the best way to describe the Zernez family baths, with family-friendly facilities and outdoor whirlpool. The outdoor pool is fitted with undercurrent steam, a whirlpool to stand, reclining massage beds, waterfall shower and underwater massage jets all set at an ambient temperature of 34 degree Celsius. You can enjoy your bath during the cold winter. In addition, there is a 25-meter pool where you can swim or enjoy a perfect exercise during the day. There is a paddling pool with a slide and waterfall for the kids to enjoy. The area is equipped with all the essential facilities that will make your stay fun and exciting. Besides it is a good place to take your family.
All the information about the baths are here: Zernez baths.
Reformed church of Zernez and gonad village
The abandoned village of Gondad and the redeemed church of Zernez are some of the places that you can visit and enjoy the exceptional structure and ancient architecture. These areas are listed as Swiss national heritage sites. therefore, you have a lot of history to learn. The church was built in 1367 and in 1609 it was replaced with a new baroque building although most of the ancient roman aspects were retained. You will get to understand the ancient swiss culture and art when you visit the village.
Zernez is a perfect destination for nature lovers and it is your gate to the Swiss national park, the biggest one in Switzerland. It the gate to the pristine nature of Switzerland. Perfect for hikers and perfect for people who love to observe birds and animals. If you are lucky, you may see some wild life in their own territory.
Zernez is definitely family friendly and it is a perfect place to take your kids and just enjoy the mountains, trails, baths, good weather, beautiful peaks.
If you have any questions to me regarding Zernez village in Switzerland, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
Maybe you want to visit another very famous Swiss location close to Zernez? St. Moritz? Let’s have a look at my article about St. Moritz and where to hike over there: Summer hike in St. Moritz. You can really have a lot of fun in Engadin Valley.
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