The Engadin has been a popular sailing destination for almost a century, thanks to the famously consistent Maloja wind, so it is no coincidence that the region’s lakes have hosted high-profile sailing events. Simone Mercuri, an instructor at the Segelclub St. Moritz (SCStM), the highest sailing club in the world, says the Engadin is a perfect wind spot where coloured sails and kites regularly turn the lakes into moving rainbows, particularly during the summer season, from the beginning of June until the end of September.
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has its own sailing boat for hire, complete with skipper ̶ ideal if you would like to sit back, relax and admire the wonderful Alpine views from the waters of Lake St. Moritz. Why not make a day of it by asking the Palace’s concierge to organise a sumptuous picnic? A day’s sailing is famous for whetting your appetite!
If you catch the sailing bug and would like to learn more, sailing courses are readily available, including at Lake St. Moritz, Lake Sils and Lake Silvaplana.
So perfect are the sailing conditions here that the experts say that with some practice, a week-long visit is long enough to become a competent novice sailor. And whether you’re sailing for fun or want to take it more seriously, sailing is a wonderful way to enjoy some stunning scenery, as Simone explains: “The Engadin is one of the most beautiful Swiss valleys, well known around the world for being a perfect wind spot ̶ the Maloja wind blows almost every afternoon till late in the evening.
“A long snake of lakes and river begins 20 kilometres south of St. Moritz. The first is Silser, the biggest, where people can enjoy sailing and get a view of the Fex glacier. It’s kind of wild, with few tourists and quiet areas for taking breaks and relaxing.
“The second lake, moving towards north east, is Silvaplana, the Swiss paradise for windsurfers and kiters. The famous Maloja wind is at its best here, stable in intensity and direction, so windsurfers and kiters can enjoy their favourite sports with the benefit of a strong wind that has an average speed of 25 knots (46 kilometres per hour) every day. On many afternoons this lake looks like a rainbow, due to the many fast moving colourful sails and kites everywhere.”
“Continuing north, we reach Champfer, which takes its name from the village beside the lake,” adds Simone. “This lake is very small and sailing is not allowed, though you can always spot rowing boats or people fishing. Finally, after three kilometres of river we reach the last lake, St. Moritz, home of our sailing club, which was founded in 1941. Every summer on Lake St. Moritz you’ll see many different boats racing in regattas from clubs from all over Europe.
“The club offers adult, children and teenagers the chance to enjoy the experience of being on a sailing boat as passengers or taking part in one of the courses.
“Children and teenagers can learn to sail in dinghies, small sporty boats, in private or group lessons. Adult normally approach sailing on yachts, which are a bit bigger and cannot capsize, thanks to the heavy keel. If our guests are already able to sail, they can even rent our boats and we also rent rowing boats, canoes or stand-up paddleboards.”
On Sils Lake: Engadinwind Sailing School, Felix Bürghi
On Silvaplana Lake: Windsurfing Silvaplana, Sarah Missiaen
On Lake St. Moritz: Segelclub St. Moritz, Simone Mercuri
For more information, contact our concierge or visit engadin.ch