The town of Laax is a rural municipality of 1,900 people (2018) composed of several villages in the Surselva valley of Graubunden in Switzerland. Its principal attractions are skiing in the winter, and hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Outside of the villages, the land is split between forest and farms.
Laax is somewhat of a sprawling place. Villages are dotted about in meadows and roads wind, hidden by pine trees, snow dumped prettily all over the place. Warm chalets give off wood smoke from their chimneys. The majestic Swiss Alps frown down upon the place. Laax is a different place altogether in the summer, the villages dotted about in white meadows change to green and the lakes fill with glacier melt. Lag da Cauma is the largest natural lake in the area. As always it is approached by a long winding track lined with pines, but at a wooden fence a spectacular view awaits. At the bottom of the bowl lies a lake, which is every shade of blue from aquamarine to navy. Glacial flour gives the lake it’s brilliant blue. A scruffy island floats in the middle whilst pedalos and rowing boats whiz around it stopping at pontoons to deposit swimmers. A little ‘rack and pinion’ railway drops hoards of bathers at lunch and hauls them back at tea. Making a stop at the café on the terrace before plunging in. It is best not to come here on a hot day, as it is busy and it does not make a difference to water temperature. It is a glacial lake for a reason.
Laax is a distinct village, which speaks mainly Romansch and German. Laax is made up of several different villages, including Laax Cons,Salums, Murschetg, Staderas, Uletsch and Vitg. Murschetg is where ski lifts run up the mountain, the main station being Crap Sogn Gion (meaning St. John's Rock, although rather comic in English). It is linked via these lifts to Flims and Falera, the three together form 'Die Alpenarena' or 'Weiße Arena', this refers to the ski resort, yet all the villages retain separate identities. Flims is more of a family place with more gentle runs fore beginners, it is more skiing orientated. Laax however is somewhat of a snowboarding mecca in Switzerland. The world's largest half-pipe is situated at the Crap Sogn Gion. Laax is much trendier than Flims or Falera, with the Riders Palace holding regular concerts. Laax Vitg is much more traditional, here is the Laax museum, and the older buildings.
- Via Principala 91, ☏ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 08:30-12:00, 13:30-17:00, Sa 09:00-12:00, closed mid-October until mid-December. , ✉
By public transport
Laax can most conveniently be accessed by postal bus from Chur. The trip takes between 40 minutes and 1 hour, depending on whether it is a direct bus or not. There are 1-3 trips an hour depending on the season and the time of the day. The bus goes via Flims. There is also an hourly bus from Illanz which takes around 20 minutes.
The main road through the Surselva goes leads through Laax, so either from Illanz or Chur just follow the main road to Flims. If coming from the A13 express way take the exit Reichenau and follow the signs in direction of Disentis. Coming from the south of the Alps you can approach over the San Bernadino pass (A13) in winter and Oberalp, Lukmanier and Albula passes in summer.
There is a shuttle bus that runs from Falera all the way to Fidaz (an outer 'suburb' of Flims). This runs only in the winter and is free. Other buses run different routes, mainly connecting districts of Laax or Flims. The Post Bus also runs long some of the route, yet does not connect to Fidaz or Falera.
- Laax Museum.
- Laax Church. With fine views across the valley
- Lag da Laax (Laaxersee). Laax Lake is also a great place to swim in the summer.
- 1 Alpenarena (235 km in winter, 28 lifts). Skiing is the major winter activity here. The Alpenarena ski area is shared with Flims and Falera and has its highest point on the glacier at 3018 metres altitude. Skiers are mostly Swiss, but more English is being heard as the place is being discovered more and more by foreigners. From Laax two cable cars, located next to each other, give access to the ski domain. Day pass Fr. 77/26.
- Swimming the indoor pool in Laax
- Ice-skating on the frozen Laaxersee.Bring your own skates.
- Mountain biking
- Swimming - There are several gorgeous if cold lakes, Laaxersee and Lag la Cauma.
- Outdoor gear: being such a sporting place it is only reasonable that there are lots of outdoors sport shops, selling everything from anoraks to skiis. Here is a list of some of the shops:
- On the Mountain.
- Capalari, Crap Sogn Gion (Underneath terrace), ☏ . Same as lift opening times, open 15 December-13 April. Offers delicate, tasty Swiss ski food with Italian influences. Limited/good views. Service can be slow when the restaurant is busy.
- Tipi LaVacca, Plaun (Inside the Tipi (teepee)), ☏ . Same as lift opening hours open 15 December-13 April. Steak restaurant situated inside a teepee in the Plaun valley
- Tegia Larnags, Larnags. A cosy wooden interior with well lit rafters which serves gourmet ski food. Limited views
- Das Elephant, Crap Masegn, ☏ . same as lift hours open 15 December-13 April. Spectacular views and modern Swiss cuisine again with Italian influence . .
- Restaurant Alpenrose, Startgels, ☏ . same as lift hours, open 15 December-13 April. Solid meat-based restaurant with a traditional menu. Sunny terrace and good views .
- In the Village.
- Restaurant Romana, 7031 Via Principala, ☏ .
- Restaurant Zieglers Riva, 7031.
- Pizzeria Saporia del Sud.
- Restaurant Waldheim, Via Runs 6, ☏ , fax: .
- Pizzeria Cristallina, Via Uletsch, ☏ .
- Restaurant Seehof, ☏ , fax: .
- Restaurant Straussennest, Via Salums 516, ☏ , fax: .
- Mulania (in Hotel Signina), Laax Muschetg
- Crap Bar, Laax-Murschetg, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Riders Palace, Base Station Laax Murschetg, ☏ .
- Hotel Capricorn. A real Backpacking place with a genuinely helpful host.
- RocksResort, Laax Base Station. Stylish apartments available to rent.
- Signinahotel, ☏ . Linked to the rocks resort, yet in a more traditional hotel format.
- There is the rest of the Surselva to explore as well as Graubunden. South of the Alps can be reached by the Lukmanier pass, or the nearby San Bernadino.