Flims – Laax, a Swiss Paradise for outdoor loving families!
Flims – Laax, a paradise for outdoor lovers! Flims and Laax are two villages located in the eastern part of Switzerland, in the Canton Graubünden. What struck us was the diversity of the scenery and activities, this region has something for everyone! Kilometers of hiking paths and biking trails suitable for all levels, and turquoise mountain lakes which make you feel you are in the tropics! Flims – Laax is a very family friendly destination. There are nice mountain restaurants with playgrounds, and there is a hotel resort with a skatepark in front of it!
Family Hikes in Flims – Laax
Conn-Bächli, an easy hike along the historic irrigation channel
There are many irrigation channels in Switzerland. In the Valais they are called Bisses, in Graubünden they are called Bächli. We hiked the Conn-Bächli trail in Flims, which is a cute trail of about 1h30, suitable for the whole family (but too narrow for strollers). Fun for children is to try to float a boat in the small stream. You can either pick up a boat kit at the tourism office or try to make a boat yourself with wat you find in nature.
Starting point of the hike: At the Caumasee Parking. You hike for about 5 minutes in direction of Caumasee and then you will quickly see the sign for the start of the Conn-Bächli hike.
At several crossings, you will be able to leave the hike to get back on the normal footpath towards Conn, where the viewing platform Il Spir on the Rhine Gorge is located. Just before you arrive at this platform, there is a nice restaurant: Restaurant Conn.
Il Spir, the view over the Rhine Gorge and the Swiss Horseshoe Bend
One of the must-sees in Switzerland is the beautiful Rhine Gorge, and particularly this viewpoint where the river makes this beautiful curve. The gorge is often called the Little Swiss Grand Canyon, and the curve reminds most people of the Horseshoe Bend in Arizona. The platform Il Spir is a modern installation, but very impressive should you be afraid of heights. The color of the water depends on the weather. Our photo is on a cloudy day.
Trutg dil Flem Hike, along the river Flem
This was one of the most beautiful hikes we have done in Switzerland, and we are not surprised to hear this is actually an award-winning hike! The Trutg dil Flem hike takes you along the river Flem, with beautiful waterfalls and bridges perfectly designed to fit into the landscape. Bridges, footpaths, stairs, the hike really is beautifully maintained. If you would do the entire hike, it would be a long one, but the good thing about this trail is that you can choose where you start and get off of the chairlift corresponding your chosen starting point. The same goes for the way down. You can either walk all the way down to Flims or decide to go down by chairlift for the last part from Foppa. On the brochure of the Tourism Office in Flims, you will find approximate hiking times, and restaurants for ease of planning this hike which is really helpful. For the hike, please bear in mind that children should stay with their parents. Make sure you wear good hiking shoes and preferably do the hike with good weather.
What we did at Trutg dil Flem:
We took 2 chairlifts up from Flims, to Naraus. From Naraus we hiked towards the Trutg dil Flem hiking trail in about 25 minutes. Then, we hiked along the water for about 1 hour until we got to the mountain restaurant in Startgels for lunch. Then we hiked all the way down to Flims. This took us about 2,5 hours of hiking time. Not counting our time for the delicious lunch at the restaurant.
Caumasee, all you need to know for a visit to this tropical paradise lake!
Caumasee Lake makes you think you have just arrived in the Caribbean! Its amazing turquoise color as seen from above is amazing. Caumasee can have a good temperature in summer and so swimming here really is divine! You can rent stand up paddles, pedal boats, or swim to the island for that adventure feeling. There is an on-site restaurant, a playground and a self-service snack. From the parking lot it is about a 10 minutes walk down to the lake. There is also an elevator going up and down.
A visit to Caumasee has become popular in the past few years, and therefore, here are some tips for your visit:
- Best is to come early as parking is limited. If the parking is full, you may find yourself a bit far away.
- You pay an entrance fee to the lake, and you can get your tickets in advance on the Inside LAAX app. (We will talk about this app later). By purchasing your tickets in advance, you can skip the line and enter through the fast-track line.
- People start to leave the lake by the end of the afternoon, so if you would like to enjoy this beautiful lake without too many people, then make sure you bring your snacks and stay at the lake until the beginning of the evening.
Crestasee, another paradise for swimming
We loved Crestasee! Crestasee has this same amazing color as Caumasee, but is a much smaller lake. We never found it really busy and swimming here was really superb! You will find picnic tables in the shade at Crestasee, you can rent a glass bottom canoe which really is a good thing to do as the water is so clear you will see the rocks and fallen trees on the bottom of the lake. You can also rent a stand up paddle board. Crestasee lake has a nice restaurant on-site.
You pay an entrance fee to Crestasee lake when you arrive.
Family Biking adventures in Flims – Laax
Flims – Laax is a dream for all lovers of mountainbiking, and the perfect area for a family biking adventure! Since we didn’t have much biking experience in the mountains yet, we had the opportunity to enjoy a biking lesson by LAAX School. This lesson helped us to learn about the right techniques, about braking, and when to stand up or sit down. Even though we may have had different skills levels within our family, we really enjoyed to do this activity together as a family! More information on biking lessons with LAAX School: https://laaxschool.com/
Next day, next biking trail
After our lesson, we were ready to go on a trail on our own! We took trail 246 from Flims and cycled towards Crestasee first. For families it is great and good motivation for the kids to have several stops! After a refreshing dip in the lake we continued our biking route towards Trin Mulin. Some parts were steep up, but we had electric bikes for the adults, and at some point our kids grabbed our arm to benefit from the assistance a bit as well. The views along the road are beautiful, and we made several snacks and drinks stops. The trail is a round loop, and gets you back to Flims along Caumasee, where you can of course go for a second dip in the lake! In total this day we cycled for 20 km’s and we really had a blast! If you are only with adults, then you will do this trail easily because the electric bikes really make it effortless. Our kids are 10 and 13, and with them it was really do-able as well!
Flims – Laax has many many more biking trails, and even the most experienced mountain biker will find everything they need here! On a next occasion, I think we may try the Runca trail, which really looked great and adventurous with all its bumps and turns.
What if it rains during my stay in Flims – Laax?
Your kids will be happy when it rains in Laax! Huh? Yes! Because Laax has one of the biggest Indoor Skills Parks of Switzerland, the Freestyle Academy! Trampolines, skatepark, jumps, all is there and our kids absolutely loved going there. Check the weather forecast and make sure you reserve by e-mail in advance! Their website: http://www.freestyleacademy.com/laax/en/welcome/
Inside LAAX app
This app is an absolute must to download before your trip and it really makes your stay in Flims – Laax a lot easier! Once you have arrived, you can upload your guest card in the app, which will give you discounts, for instance at Lake Caumasee! In high season, make sure you use this app to book your restaurant table in advance to avoid all is fully booked, and you can also order take-away food, which is very convenient for restaurants close to where you are staying.
What to eat in the Canton Graubünden?
Switzerland has many great dishes which often differ per Canton. As we love trying out food, and definitely local food, I would like to recommend everyone to try the local dish from Graubünden called Capuns! Capuns have Spätzle dough inside, often with pieces of dried meat and are wrapped in chard leaf. They are boiled in a creamy sauce and are often served with grated cheese on top. Another thing to try is the dessert Bündner Nusstorte, also very delicious, and there even is a special one from Laax! More local is not possible.
Where to eat in Flims – Laax?
There are quite a lot of restaurants in Flims and in Laax, but since we love local dishes, here are a few restaurant recommendations:
- Restaurant Tegia Larnags: this restaurant is located just above the Rocks Resort in Laax. It is a short steep walk going there, and so down on the way back. Very delicious local food, nice decoration and terrace, a playground for the kids, and even an enormous sand pit they can play with. The views from the terrace are peaceful and the Capuns are delicious! Their website: http://www.larnags.ch/en/home.html
- Restaurant Startgels: this is where we ate during our Trutg dil Flem hike. The food was very good, the staff very friendly and the view from the terrace priceless! Their website: https://grandislaax.ch/en/Ustria-Startgels
- Restaurant Stalla Alp Nagens. We had our eye set on this restaurant as we had seen and read good things about this place. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go this time, but it sure is on our list for next time! Their website: https://www.stalla-alpnagens.ch/en/
Where to stay in Laax?
We stayed in the rocksresort in Laax which is a beautifully designed resort with very modern, fully equipped, and comfortable apartments. Everything you need is on-site: the cable car, a super market, bike rental, shops, a nice coffee place, a cool playground for kids, and most of all….. it has an enormous skatepark and curvy bike track right in front of the resort…. Our kids were super excited when they saw this skate- and bike park! The rocksresort is often in high demand, so make sure to reserve in advance.
Their website: https://www.rocksresort.com/en/
Flims – Laax is a very good choice for a family vacation in Switzerland!
Part of our trip was hosted, our reviews and opinions are our own.