At the entrance to the cemetery, right by the main road, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is not to miss. The chapel was built right with the Carolingian convent, thus is more than 1200 years old. Very interesting is the cloverleaf ground plan, also that two chapels are placed one on top of another. The upper chapel has frescos from the 9th and 10th...more
As I mentioned in the intro I was able to see different rooms on my two visits of the museum. Picture 5 was taken on my first visit; it is not to see anymore as far as I know. The woodpanelled room, one of the Bishop's apartment's rooms, is very beautiful. It is the one with the oriel to the courtyard where you can wander around (see first tip).The...more
The main attraction of the convent is the church, and in the church *the* sight are the famous frescos from about the year 800 but also these from the Romanesque period, created 1150 - 70. Some of the Carolingian frescos were covered by the Gothic vaulted ceiling that was built 1492, restorers re-discovered them when going up to the attic in the...more
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed the "Bündner Gerstlsuppe" (Barley Soup), a very popular soup in the Grischun. But we enjoyed of course also an other barley product, the beer from the Calanda brewery.
The Postal buses are *the* mode of transportation in the Müstair valley. The buses run hourly from Zernez (where you connect to the Rhatian Railway) over the Pass dal Fuorn to Mals in Italy (where you connect to the train to Merano) and serve every village on the valley floor.
In Fuldera you can change to a smaller Postal bus that runs up to the hamlet Lü, a great starting point for hikes.
In Sta. Maria you can connect to a Postal bus to Umbrail Pass and one to Val da Vau, both only running once or twice a week and meant for hikers.
The schedules of the buses are co-ordinated with the railways, changes are going smoothly.
Photo Equipment: As you will certainly pay a visit to the church and want to take photos of the frescos I highly recommend to bring a very good camera and definitely a tripod. I was totally amazed that taking photos is allowed and even free, but of course NO FLASH! Inside the church it is quite dark so the tripod is a must.
Lü is a small village high above the Val Müstair valley surrounded of wonderful larch trees forests. From Lü a short and pleasant walk high above the valley leads to Alp Champatsch.
The Müstair valley offers hiking trails in abundance: You can choose anything from easy walks to challenging tours to mountain summits.
A nice option for beginners are the walking paths between the villages, they are easy and pretty short with the bus providing transportation if you have enough. You'll want to start at the uppermost village, Tschierv, and finish in Müstair (leaving Lü out, which nestles on a sunny terrace high up).
Another option for easy hikes is the trail along the northern (sunny) side of the valley that leads from Pass dal Fuorn (2149 m) with a little up and down high up through loose forests, over Alpine pastures with cows and huts, via the hamlet Lü and more pastures down to Müstair or Sta. Maria - calculate about 5-6 hours.
More challenging, but still easy, are the hikes over passes from Müstair valley to S-charl where you catch a bus to Scuol, return by train to Zernez and bus to Müstair valley. Options are the hike from Pass dal Fuorn via Fuorcla Funtana da S-charl (did that and loved it) or from Lü via Pass da Costainas (plan to do that hike). Both hikes take about 4:30 h.
Finally, the more challening hikes to summits - Piz Daint (2968 m) is a relatively moderate hike, start is at Pass dal Fuorn. 3 hours to the summit, 2:30 back. Piz Umbrail (3033 m) and Punta Rosa (3026 m) are still summits for hikers if you use the bus that runs twice per week in summer from St. Maria to Pass Umbrail - otherwise it is a really long tour.
Equipment: Hiking boots are a must. Poles recommended but not a must. Definitely have a map (Kümmerly & Frey recommended).
Bring enough food and water. Sunscreen is a must, too.
Each of the villages has its charm. All of them are quite authentic, real villages where economy is based on agriculture and craftwork. When taking the bus to the Müstair valley you will pass through all these villages (except Lü which nestles on a sunny terrace high up): Tschierv, Valchava, Fuldera, Sta. Maria and Müstair.
Sta. Maria and Müstair are the largest of them with the latter having a few more hotels and restaurants but in proper size and with local style and charm, catering to the visitors of the convent. Sta. Maria is the traffic hub of the valley where the pass road to the Umbrail pass starts, thus relatively busy. As it was affected by fires in the past it is probably the village with the least charm - which doesn't mean much.
The new main road bypasses the other three villages, thus these were able to fully preserve their charm and quaintness. Highly recommended for a walk!
The style of the houses is similar to that in the neighbouring Engadine. However, in the Müstair valley you'll see less sgraffiti and more painted facades, influence of nearby Tyrol.