Autumn walk in Graubünden, from Falera to Laax

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Autumn walk in Graubünden, from Falera to Laax

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Graubünden is a very popular hiking destination in Switzerland because of the huge variety of landscapes and the wide range of tourist attractions covering all seasons of the year. Together with the Engadine, the area of Flims, Laax and Falera is probably one of the most visited areas during the whole year. However, many visitors come here to experience the wonderful colors of the Caumasee and the Crestasee in Flims, or to admire the Rhine Gorge from above, forgetting about Laax and Falera, that deserve a visit for the ease of access and the authentic experience they can offer to the visitors.

Falera

We love... Falera!

Graubünden is a very popular hiking destination in Switzerland because of the huge variety of landscapes and the wide range of tourist attractions covering the whole year round. Together with Engadin and St. Moritz, the area of Flims, Laax and Falera is probably one of the most visited. However, many visitors are attracted here by the amazing colors of the Caumasee and Crestasee in Flims, or by the magnificence of the Rhine Gorge, and often overlook Laax and Falera, which are worth a visit for their easy access and the authentic experience they can offer to the visitors. We chose to explore these area in Autumn, during a weekend in Flims. If the first day of our stay was entirely dedicated to the discovery of the two popular city lakes of Cauma and Cresta, the second day we didn’t miss an easy walk through the woods from the small town of Falera to Laax. An excursion that surprised us for the beauty of the landscape and for the quietness that accompanied us during the whole path.

How to get there

Arriving by public transport

Falera, Center bus stop

arriving-train

The tourist area Flims, Laax and Falera is easily accessible by public transport and, as always, we recommend it. By train, many national and international connections pass through Chur. From here, the Post 81 in about 50 minutes will take you to the bus stop “Falera, Centro”, where the hike begins. However, depending on your departure place and given the long travel time to the destination, we recommend that you stay overnight and spend here a full weekend. Tickets for public transport can be purchased through the SBB website or through the SBB app. As always, we suggest you use the same website or app to check timetables and different travel options in advance.

Arriving by car

Falera Parking area

arriving-car

The small town of Falera is located about 30 minutes from Chur and about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Zurich. It is therefore easily accessible by car. From Zurich or Basel, you need to follow the A3/A13 highway to Chur and take exit 18 to Reichenau. From here, simply take road 19 and drive along it for about 15 km and then turn right onto “Via Principala”, which you should follow for about 3 km to Falera. However the small town is not accessible to visitors’ cars. Just before entering the town, you will find a large parking area. Parking is subject to a fee: CHF 1.00/hour or CHF 6.00/between 6 and 12 hours, CHF 10/24 hours. Payment can be made in cash up to a maximum amount of CHF 37.00, after which you will have to pay by card. All informations are available at this link.

Hike overview & map

The route we propose starts from the bus stop “Falera, Centro” and arrives to Laax, passing through woods and easy panoramic roads. In Laax you can take the bus back to your hotel (bus stop “Laax, Posta”). This is therefore an easy, linear route of about 8 km, which develops entirely on paved roads that can be covered in just less than two hours. The path is well marked all along the itinerary and it is perfect for a relaxing Sunday walk, maybe before going back home, as we did. The hike partly follows the route of the more famous “Senda dil Dragun”, a wooden walkway through the trees that crosses the forest and allows the view from above. However we preferred a quiet path to a crowded wooden walkway and therefore chose to keep our feet firmly on the ground 😉

Autumn walk in Graubünden, from Falera to Laax-elevation

Our Hike

To enjoy the beauty of the fall colors, this year we decided to treat ourselves to a weekend in Graubünden. Our main destination was the Flims area, to explore the Caumasee and the Crestasee. Here we had a pleasant hike of about 15 km, to which we dedicated the whole day on Saturday. However, on Sunday, still a little tired from the long walk of the day before and considering the short time available before getting home, we planned a short excursion to discover the area of Falera and Laax. So we opted for a short hike in the woods between Falera and Laax, arriving in Falera with a comfortable bus and returning to Flims with a bus from Laax. For this hike our base was the Hotel Des Alpes*, a 3-star hotel with friendly staff, clean rooms and fair prices. In addiction, it is just a few steps away from the bus stop and there we slept very well and ate excellent food in the restaurant-pizzeria “il forno”, which offers Italian and also Swiss dishes.

Arrival in Falera

We arrive in Falera with the shuttle bus (free for guests of the hotels in the area) that takes us from Flims Waldhaus to the stop “Falera, Centro”. The air is cold, but the sun is already unusually warm for this season, even if it is still early in the morning. So we soon put away our jackets. Upon our arrival, the bells of the big church in the main square greet us festively. Of course it is a funny coincidence, but it amuses us a lot…
Our excursion today begins here. But as we look around we see a picturesque little church perched on a hill just behind the town. It is the church of St. Remigius. It is so charming, in its solitude, that we decide to start our hike… with a detour from the route! Getting there will take you just 5 minutes of walking, but you will not regret it: from the hill on which stands the church you will have access to a wonderful view over the surrounding valley. And the inside of the small church is also worth a visit! Here you will also find some benches and a barbecue area. Let’s take some pictures and go back to the city center and the big church in the square. Here, in addition to the bus stop “Falera, Centro” you will also find the visitor’s and tourist information center. From the square, we follow the “Via Principala” for about 200 meters, then we leave it and continue straight on an paved road that leads to the beginning of the Jakobsweg Panoramic Road. This first part of the hike, which runs first on a paved road and then on a gravel path, is surrounded by pastures and meadows. In the morning, it is exposed to the sun and it is very pleasant to walk along. At the edge of the path we noticed some pink colored sticks, typical markers of winter hiking trails. In fact, the trail is passable even in winter, covered with snow. An idea to keep in mind for the future 😉 The first kilometer and a half of the trail runs smoothly. From here, we plunge into the woods that cover the area, where a rich autumn foliage makes it all the more fascinating. About 800 meters ahead we find a fork. Our route continues along the path on the right. From here, the path meets several times the “Senda dil Dragun”, the wooden footbridge that crosses the forest and that sometimes passes over our heads. However we are definitely better here, with our feet firmly on the ground! A few more roads and we are out of the wood, ready to go back along meadows and green valleys.

Toward to Laax

We are almost in Laax. From this point start the ski lifts to the surrounding high mountains. Pay attention to the signs here, because some of the downhill paths to the city have been closed and others during the summer season are dedicated to freeriding and are therefore closed to pedestrians for safety reasons. We catch our breath for a few minutes at a relaxing area at the edge of the trail and let ourselves be fascinated by the slow descent of the cable car that passes over our heads. From this point, a short path in the middle of the meadows leads us between the houses and then along a busy road. We are back in civilization. The road first passes by a large public transport stop (Laax GR, Bergbahnen) and, a little further on, a small artificial lake, after which the path moves away from the road to allow us to climb over a hill on our right. This part of the path is slightly uphill and on beaten earth. The highest point, however, is reached after just 200 meters and, from here, begins the short descent to the town center that can be seen from above. The view is fascinating: the town of Laax is elegant and well kept but the absolute protagonist is certainly the small lake in the center, with the high water jet at its end which gives us a wonderful small rainbow visible from afar.
We continue our descent heading towards the lake. A path along the coast surrounds the lake, but we decide to go to the other side of the lake following a wooden walkway that runs along the north side and that allows you to reach a small bar-restaurant and a relaxation area. Here we have a cup of hot coffee and an excellent piece of cake. This is our lunch, just before leaving for our hotel in Flims from where a bus and then a train will take us back home.

Tips

1

All hotel guests receive a special paper Guest Card that allows them to take advantage of discounts and special offers for attractions, museums and transportation. Among other things, the card allows free use of the shuttle bus that connects Flims, Laax and Falera. It’s a good way to save money on transfers while maintaining a wide flexibility in the choice of destinations. But beware: the normal PostAuto lines are not included in the offer! So if you decide to opt for a regular bus (of course more frequent), you will have to buy a ticket for the ride! Here you can find all informations about the (digital) Guest Card.

2

This itinerary partly follows the route of the “Senda dil Dragun”, a wooden walkway path that climbs over the trees and allows you to cross the forest and enjoy the view from above. The path is probably a best choice for families with children and in some places along the walkway there are recreational activities available. You can find all the information about them at this link. However we preferred to keep our feet on the ground. What about you? Have you already walked the “Senda dil Dragun”? If you like, please let us know by leaving a comment below!

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