Savognin

Savognin

Overall Rating

Savognin

Savognin3.5/52
Savognin3.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Best Swiss resorts in Switzerland

Nearby Ski Resort

Bivio
Lenzerheide
St Moritz

Savognin Maps & Stats

    Savognin Ski Trail Map
  • Savognin Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,168m - 2,713m (1,545m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    8m 
  • Lifts (12)
    2 Gondolas
    1 Chair
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Mid December to mid-April
    8:30am to 4:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 80km
    Longest run - 11km
    Advanced - 5%
    Intermediate - 43%
    Beginner - 52%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Adult (20yr+): 52 - 73CHF
    Youth (16 to <20yr): 47 - 65.50CHF
    Child (10 to <16yr): 28.50 - 40CHF
    Flurin Child (with Adult) (6 to <10yr): 8 - 11CHF
    Young Child (<6yr): Free
    Note: If a ‘Flurin Child’ is not with an adult, the ‘Child’ rate applies
    Dynamically priced ticket system

Savognin - Reviews

Savognin - Reviews

Fantastic

24/04/2024

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    N/A
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Fantastic

24/04/2024

With Graubünden’s fancy behemoths of Arosa-Lenzerheide, Davos Klosters, St Moritz, to the north, east & south, one could be forgiven for not bothering with an unknown ski area like Savognin. But we are never satisfied with such notions. Having checked it out briefly a few years back, I knew this place had a lot to give. And whether you are a mixed-ability family group, a lover of perfectly groomed & super-long pistes, or a backcountry, ski-touring, freerider hunting powder; Savognin provides an affordable, authentic Swiss ski holiday destination that fulfills all those proclivities.

We adore the lesser-known ski areas of the world because they are simply out of the ordinary and usually deliver experiences impossible to find in other heavily touristed locations. And its not as though this is a tiny, bunny hill in a one-horse town. Savognin has over 1,500m of skiable vertical, a longest run of 11km, loads of interesting off-piste & sidecountry, plus incredible piste trails that will test the musculature of the hardest ski hombre.

At the far end of the resort, the long 800m+ vertical pistes off Piz Cartas (2,713m) are set with a spectacular backdrop that includes numerous 3,000m+ summits, plus the slopeside jagged peak of Crest’ Ota (not surprisingly next to the run of the same name!).

For easy access sidecountry that comes back into the resort with no skinning required, push straight ahead off the T-bar at the top of Piz Cartas, the traverse left around the knoll and a broad south-aspect bowl reveals itself. The descent essentially runs parallel to the #22 Crest ’Ota piste, but on the opposite side of the ridge. Traverse left near the bottom to come back onto #21 Heidipiste near the restaurants at Radons (1,890m).

Backcountry ski touring up Piz Mez (2,718m) will often reap powder rewards on about 800m of vertical. Other nearby peaks are more easily attained. From the resort’s highest lifted point on Piz Cartas (2,712m), the off-piste on the north-aspect backside provides a delicious powder run of 300m+ vertical, before skins can be engaged and climbs up to nearby Sur Carungas (2,829m) or other peaks completed. Skiing can be all the way back into the resort by rejoining the lower end of piste 21 near Radons.

Two relatively new 10-person gondolas ensure that waiting times are minimal to non-existent when getting up the mountain from the valley base (1,168m) up to Somtgant (2,112m) via Tigignas (1,590m). From Somtgant a modern 6-seater hooded chair head up to the peak of Piz Martegnas (2,670m). Naturally from here it is possible to undertake a rollicking 1,500m+ vertical decent back to the lift base. Phew! Note that the chairlift is the only place where you may have to actually line up, albeit for only a minute or two on the busiest of days. Its wide pistes are covered by snowmaking and are very popular with the locals.

The surface tow from Laritg is genuinely steep near the top but is largely superfluous. One can ski nearly the entire zone (bar 150m down the bottom) by accessing it from the chairlift via piste 8, and then exiting via the decidedly not blue run that is #10. And whilst on the subject…. It is worth mentioning here that by my professional estimations, some ‘easy’ rated blue pistes are seriously under-rated. For example piste #10b would be at a minimum an intermediate run anywhere else in the world. It’s a lot of fun but has several steep (but groomed) drops that will likely frighten the pants of unsuspecting beginner skiers & boarders. In fact it surprised the crapper out of me as I was expecting a doddle.

The other major lifts rise up to Piz Cartas. Two sets of double T-bars (Radons I & II, plus Piz Cartas I & II) efficiently move loads of people on the 3.1km uphill journey from 1,890m up to 2,712m. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t be replaced by a modern chairlift (just saying!)…. Hope your legs are feeling strong! You will get relief halfway up where they meet at around 2,250m altitude.

Part of the beauty of Savognin is that nearly the entire mountain’s sunny off-piste terrain will end in a return along the fabulous meandering #13 piste. Whether you are starting from Piz Martegnas or Piz Cartas, there is a variety of mostly treeless, rolling alpine terrain that is fun without being death defying. There is steeper terrain and loads of hits for those interested, but most is just perfectly pitched and decidedly enjoyable.

The novice/learn-to-ski area is disconnected from the main ski area and is sited a few hundred metres away on the other side of the lower village. This is not ideal, but it is connected by a ‘train’ for the ski school kids when they need to go between the two zones, so no big deal from a parent or child point of view.

Skiing the entire vertical is possible from Piz Cartas all the way down to the Savognin valley station, a distance of 11km and over 1,500m vertical. We loved it. Across the mid-mountain from Radons to just below Tigignas, the #13 trail (called Tigia apparently) is a snow-covered summer road that wanders seemingly endlessly between authentic Swiss timber buildings & sheds. This delightful sliding surface is a shared trail so expect to see walkers & sledders.

A note regarding trail 13 mentioned above. Whilst one would reasonably expect it to go via the major lift hub at Tigignas, it instead (and much to my surprise) drops just below it. On further inspection, there is a random signpost near its end that indicates a walking trail to Tigignas. Bugger that. If committed to skiing, you are heading all the way down to get the gondola back up. There are worse problems in the world, that’s for sure.

The valley trail and terrain below Tigignas starts to enter the more questionable altitudes and may be a strip of snow-making piste only. If good natural cover exists, the lower 400m+ of skiable vertical provides a fun finale to a day on the mountain. In good snow one can ride the off-piste all the way to the bottom. On a sunny day a mandatory stop on the valley trail is at James Beach Bar. A fab place to reflect on the day’s adventures. Higher up the mountain another après ski location of repute is the popular Roggi's Baizli. Good for lunch too allegedly.

On the subject of lunch, the most diverse location in around Radons, with several places serving tasty food & beverage. After much perusal, and on the advice of a ‘local’ skier, I ate inside at the Muntanela Hut. Delicious and well-priced. Further along the #13 trail the Tigia Hut was good for a cake and other housemade delights, but it appears the 23/24 season was its last, and it now stands permanently closed.

Unbeknownst to me I visited during the second week of Swiss school holidays, which in a very Swiss ski area is not a good thing. Seemed like much of Zurich & Basel were skiing the hill! I heard only one non-Germanic speaker (and she was married to a Swiss bloke for Zurich!) and noted zero non-Swiss car registration in the car parks (yes, I stalk the car-parks - it’s quite informative!). It did reinforce to me that: the lift system stands up pretty well to ‘peak’ season crowds; and there are very few non-Swiss people at the ski area, so mid-week periods out of ‘peak’ season will be joyously quiet.

Lift pass prices vary markedly (by up to 21CHF) on a day-to-day basis depending on the day. Any time mid-week, out of Christmas/New Year and Swiss school holidays (usually around the middle two weeks in February) ticket prices will usually be quite cheap.

The only group that misses out at Savognin are experts looking for serious steep chutes & tree skiing. Perhaps this is not your resort, but you already knew that and went to Davos, Lenzerheide or Verbier instead, didn’t you? Although, for experts, the easy access backcountry peaks and descents will provide more than enough thrills & spills for you.

Savognin town itself is quiet after hours. A two-tiered affair, there is the higher elevation portion along the main road with the majority of shops, services (including a hospital) & several hotels/restaurants; and below, a cluster of hotels & services more closely aligned with the ski resort facilities, but also a small but interesting historic precinct. The town has a few good bars, the best of which is Palaver Bar, with its high-end spirits & cocktails, that overlooks the lower village & ski area. Otherwise, the few hotels bars are the best options.

I stayed in the lower village, 150m walk from the gondola base, at the Hotel Tgesa Romana. Turns out to be one the best & liveliest bar/restaurants in town as well as providing an affordable, last-minute stay with a scrumptious breakfast thrown in.

I travelled to Savognin on public transport, and so should you! I arrived via a circuitous route from Davos Platz by train to Filiser, then a change of train to Tiefencastel and finally a seamless change to the Postbus to Savognin (direction was Bivio). Along the way are some sensational feats of Swiss engineering including the Landwasser Viaduct (amongst several others). A truly enjoyable journey that emphasises why travelling around Switzerland is so good. It is not just the destination, but the journey is usually a highlight as well, particularly if it involves the Rhätische Bahn trains. As an aside, but still relevant, after Savognin I headed to Scuol. Again it was the bus to Tiefencastel, where there are two options, one via Davos & Klosters (which I had done already) or a far more intriguing proposition via Bergün & Samedan (direction was St Moritz). Let’s just say that without doubt a doubt, in all my train journeys this rated as one of the best. In winter, part of the summer road is used for the Schlittelbahn Preda Bergün - a popular toboggan run between Preda & Bergün. The 6.5km route includes several sections where it crosses under the railway viaducts. How very Swiss to use a train to go tobogganing! We will check it out next season, along with the skiing on Darlux….

If you drive to Savognin, we noted that day car parking requires a payment if using the convenient spaces near the gondola station, but free parking is nearby (just a short walk away). Parking is also available just below Tigignas, but we are not sure why one would bother unless coming up from the villages of Parsonz or Riom. A free ski bus regularly prowls the village precinct providing adequate transport between the upper village and the lower ski area base, making a car redundant once in town.

I relished getting a proper ski in at Savognin as my previous visit was seriously limited (but that’s another story for another time!). It is the sort of place that we love and where international guests can appreciate a genuine Swiss ski resort, which is wonderful for families, and provides a world-class snow experience without the price tag. Combine with the incomparable Scuol for a top-quality, ‘never heard of it’, Graubünden ski resort double!

See our thoughts on the pros & cons of the ski resort via the Savognin overview page.


See our video here

Authentic Swiss Ski Experience

29/07/2018

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Authentic Swiss Ski Experience

29/07/2018

Savognin is one of those off the beaten track ski resorts that continue to surprise me.

A traditional Swiss ski resort, its older style lifts provide an authentic ski holiday experience that one simply cannot get in many other places.

With 80km of piste trails and a longest run of 11km over its 1500m of skiable vertical, Savognin's stats are not to be sneezed at. Whilst it lacks any truly steep terrain, the off piste is broad & includes tree skiing. Powder can lay unsullied for days after a snowfall due to the lack of freeriders. Snowboarders & the unfit may not like the surface lifts heading up to 2,713m Piz Cartas, but you can't please everyone, or can you?

In the same category as the excellent Brigels or St Luc Chandolin, Savognin might be a little harder to get too, but is worth the journey. Ski here when heading to St Moritz for a completely different Swiss Alps ski experience.

*Note that since this review was undertaken, a new gondola from the resort base has been installed, marking a massive improvement for access up the mountain. You can see our thoughts on the pros and cons on the Savognin overview page and also see our European ski resort ratings page regarding how we score it compared to other skiing areas.


See our video here