|The Upper Engadine|
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The Upper Engadine (Engiadin’Ota in Romansh, Oberengadin in German), is justly celebrated as one of the most scenic valleys in Switzerland, a heart-stoppingly beautiful array of forests, snowy mountains and silvery lakes, raised high at 1800m and looking southwest directly into the crispest and clearest sunshine in the Alps. The long, straight 55km run southwest from Zernez takes in a handful of attractive little resorts, all of them entirely overshadowed by St Moritz, which holds court in mid-valley. In point of fact, many of the smaller fry – such as Pontresina and Celerina – that tug on St Moritz’s skirts have more to offer than their mentor, but for a century past and probably for a century to come, the Moritz name is the one that sells.
Crossing the two major mountain passes that lead on from St Moritz delivers you into small fingers of territory entirely unlike the rest of Graubünden. To the southwest, the Maloja Pass feeds into the deep and lush Val Bregaglia, while to the southeast, a road and rail line crosses the Bernina Pass into the equally idyllic Val Poschiavo. Both are thoroughly Italian, in language, culture and flora, and both offer a taste of Mediterranean-style living that’s like a revelation after the high mountain valleys.
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