Arosa is one area of Switzerland that is considered to be trendy and yet traditional, and one that has been a popular Alpine health resort village since 1883, after Dr. Otto Herwig-Hold decided to set up a tuberculosis sanitarium there.
Located at the end of the Upper Schanfigg Basin, it is sheltered by the wind and is one of the sunniest places in Switzerland, with the sun shining an average of eight to 12 hours daily.
Here you’ll find over 25 miles (40 km) of winter and summer hiking trails and six varying sled runs, as well as 15 ski lifts. You can even sled-ride at night, under a full moon, if you like.
So that hikers and skiers don’t interfere with one another, the village has placed the ski slopes on one side of the valley and the hiking trails on the other.
Arosa itself consists of the long main street of Poststrasse, which is lined with shops and hotels. The village is basically car-free, but the village bus offers free services daily from all major points, including ski lifts, cable cars and the train station.
Hiking in Arosa is some of the best to be found in Switzerland. The Arosa Tourist Office can arrange a guide for you from June through October for only 12Sfr for a seven-nine-hour hike at various levels of experience.
One easy and popular hike is called the “squirrel path” or Eichhörnliweg; it takes you from Arosa to the nearby quiet suburb of Maran via a gently sloping path through the connecting pastures between the two villages.
If you want a fun trip made for the average hiker, then the Alteinbach Trail is for you. Be sure to bring a backpack with water, rain gear and lots of munchies, or better yet, have your significant other carry a well-stocked picnic basket. This trip is about five miles long (eight km) and can take several hours (or longer, with a picnic), and is just a good healthy hike for anyone.
At the entrance to the town of Arosa, follow the signs to the water treatment plant or simply ask how to find it. You’ll follow the service road and it will eventually expand into a fairly wide walking path. Soon you’ll find yourself walking parallel and south to the Wälschtobelbach River (on your left-hand side). Follow the path and you’ll then come to a spot where you can either go left or right.
You want to walk to the left over the Altein River via a wooden bridge and then minutes later you’ll cross the river again on the same trail. Stay on this path and the AlteinWaterfall will soon be in sight, and it is a spectacular one indeed. From here you’ll continue your jaunt upward, eventually arriving at an open field.
Continue on and you’ll cross the Altein River once more until you reach the Alteinsee, a small lake, which is the perfect spot for your picnic. Here, you’ll get some great views of the Valbellahorn at 7,654 feet (2,764 m). At this point it’s another 1½ miles (2.4 km) to the Alteiner Furggli Pass at 7,400 feet (2,500 m).
If You Go
The Arosa Tourist Office is at Poststrasse, CH-7050 Arosa. Phone 81-378-7020, fax 81-378-7021. They can provide you with greatfree hiking maps for both winter and summer months, and also have sleds available for rent; they can help to arrange ski lessons.
The Arosa train station has a currency exchange (open Monday-Saturday, 6 am-9 pm, Sunday 6:30 am-9 pm), lockers for just 2Sfr, and bike rental for 21-27Sfr per day.
For a nice day-trip (if you’re not a skier), visit Arosa via train from Chur. The train – which provides spectacular scenery along the way – leaves every hour and costs 12Sfr.
Arosa’s post office is in the village center, just to the right of the train station, and, besides mail services, also offers Internet access. Arosa’s postal code is CH-7050, and the area code is 81.