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GraubuendenSwitzerland

A dream for lovers of nature and outdoor activity, this scenic part of Switzerland is packed with Alpine peaks, valleys, rivers, lush pastures and lakes.

Covered by mountain peaks and traversed by rivers, the picturesque canton of Graubünden offers rugged scenery, outdoor adventure and a unique insight into local culture. Try skiing in one of its 40 winter resorts, ride a scenic rail route and go hiking in the country’s only national park.

Graubünden is one of the most diverse cantons in the country in terms of ethnic makeup, with Swiss German, Italian and Romansh all spoken here. It is a fabulous spot for active travelers with abundant activities on offer.

Trek along the trails of the 66-square-mile (170-square-kilometer) Swiss National Park, the first and only national park in the country. Stop by the Swiss National Park Centre before you embark on a hike to find out more about the various routes as well as about park conservation and wildlife. As you walk, look for species including horned ibex and golden eagles. Other nature parks in the region include the Biosfera Engiadina Val Müstair, Parc Ela and Beverin Nature Park.

If you’d like to soak up the spectacular Alpine scenery in a less strenuous way, ride along the region’s UNESCO-listed Albula and Bernina train lines, part of the Rhaetian Railway network. Chug through valleys, over viaducts and along narrow mountain passes while admiring the vistas.

Visit the canton’s two other UNESCO-listed attractions. Inspect the detailing on the 9th- and 12th-century frescoes found inside the Benedictine Monastery of St. John in Müstair and marvel at the jagged, needle-sharp peaks of the UNESCO-listed Tectonic Arena Sardona.

During the snowy winter months, Graubünden is prime skiing territory. Head for Davos Klosters to try out lengthy runs and a legendary après-ski scene, or for a fix of glamor, venture to St. Moritz, a well-established winter resort with a big celebrity following. Many of Graubünden’s mountain villages, such as cobbled and quaint Guarda, are wonderfully picturesque.

Find the canton of Graubünden in east Switzerland, bordering Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. Travel between the major towns by train. Rent a car or take tours to reach smaller villages.