Urquoise-hued lakes, fresh that fills your lungs and activities to keep even the most restless traveller busy elcome to Flims. Nestling among rs, mountains, waterfalls and ciers, the vibrant Swiss ski resort mprising Flims, Laax and Falera now making its mark as a go-to summer destination for families, hikers and adventure-lovers alike After swapping my usual summer holiday attire of flip-flops for hiking boots, my group and I make our way to Flims after a 90-minute train bus ride from Zurich. As the bus ves through the resort, the beautiful en-blue lakes peek through the es and the warm summer sunshine lights up the mountains, I have no regrets about shunning my annual beach holiday for something with a bit more pizazz. And my first taste of Flims action is definitely that.
EXPLORING BY BIKE
Becky Fletcher Discovers Summer Adventures And Unning Scenery in The Alpine Ski Resort of Flims Photo Gallery
We check in to our contemporary alpine apartments at the Rocks Resort design hotel and are greeted by our guide and an electric mountain bike. It’s time to take to the high ground on two wheels. If you haven’t been on an e-bike before, it harnesses your pedal power to make obstacles, such as hills and headwind, more manageable. We whizz up steep tracks with ease, making our way through the trees and stopping at valley viewpoints to gaze at the river winding through the Rhine gorge below.
You can just about make out river rafters shooting down the fresh waters. After an hour touring the mountain tracks, we arrive at Flims’ most famous (and highly-Instagrammable) location – Lake Cauma. Those familiar with Flims will talk about the colour of the lakes and rivers, but without doing its beauty justice. A stunning greenish-blue, almost tie-dye effect in places, I am told even scientists researching the lake can’t explain its unique shade. The large lake, popular with locals on summer afternoons, can be explored through swimming, rowing boats, pedalos or paddle-boarding. I pick the latter and spend the afternoon – albeit falling all over the place like Bambi – paddling across the water. No day at the lakes is complete without an evening meal on a terrace looking over its serene beauty, and we settle in to Cauma’s cosy restaurant for a well-deserved meal of pasta and wine.
I find that the mountain air is great for sleeping, and wake the next morning wit a skip-the-coffee energy – a good idea considering the day we’ve planned. Next on our mountain activity bucket list Hiking 1,900m to glacier whirlpools on the top of Alp Mora. First, we take a bus to Bargis to begin the trail. The hike takes us through Swiss meadows complete with cows with bells, across snow-laden paths (a weird sensation when it’s 24°C) and cliff edges, but the best is yet to come. At the top of trail, we’re greeted with a long row of glacier pools filled with crystal clear water – the perfect spot to dip your feet in and eat lunch. Created over thousands of years, the whirlpools are Flims’ hidden gem. Bring your swimsuit and take the plunge, if you dare.
UP IN THE CLOUDS
The following day, our hike will take us to slightly more dizzying heights at 2,672m through a UNESCO World Heritage Site to a small lodge where we’ll be staying the night. The first half of the trail is much like the day before – stunning mountain views, inquisitive cows and meadows peppered with Alpine flowers. In preparation for the more challenging second half, we make a pit stop at the Segneshütte, a traditional restaurant overlooking the valley below, for a plate of gooey, cheesy dumplings and vegetables. Replete and refreshed, we set off for the summit. The climbs become harder, but prettier, as we go past imposing waterfalls and across snowfields, until we reach the final part of the hike – 100m up a snowy peak. Our guide patiently makes steps in the snow and we follow precariously until we reach an iron ladder and pull ourselves, breathless, to the top. At 2,600m, we reach the hut.
Literally in the clouds, the ex-military refuge now offers hot meals, bunk-bed accommodation – and a friendly St Bernard – to adventurous hikers. What a welcome rest after hours hiking! We settle in for the evening playing cards and tucking into hearty Swiss food. Phew mountain What goes up, must come down, and the next morning at dawn, we descend via the water trail or Trutg dil Flem. The route leads down unique gorge landscapes and waterfalls, as close to the water as possible. If any cobwebs weren’t blown away before, they are now.
In summer, Flims offers a pick-and-mix of outdoor pursuits. As well as hiking, paddle boarding and e-bikes, there is mountain biking, river rafting, paragliding and rock climbing for all ages and abilities. For those who want to indulge, there are spas. Although the area is serene and calming, there is a buzz to Flims with its restaurants ranging from Asian to traditional Swiss, shops and bars for post-adventure fun. Parents and children can also take advantage of a family pass, making it easy for them to explore the Graubünden mountain landscape together. In fact, the destination has already been awarded seal several times by Swiss Tourism. There are lots of hotels and chalet accommodation to choose from. Scenic views, endless activities and good food – I’m tempted to swap a beach holiday for a mountain escape more often.
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