Engadin Ski Marathon

8 days
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$2,635 USD
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5 / 5 from 12 reviews >
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Trip code: 
CME
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Ski Racing
Min age:
18
Group size:
6–18

Enter the famous 42km ski marathon

Each year the southeast corner of Switzerland is home to one of the largest ski races in Europe. With over 13,000 participants competing in both classic and skate style skiing it is an event not to be missed! Participants can choose to complete either the half or full marathon picking up a well deserved medal at the finish line. The holiday will be led by Eric Woolley, English Ski Council Coach and offers an excellent challenge for those wishing to take their cross-country skiing to the next level. 2018 will be Eric last winter as a leader, don't miss the opportunity to enjoy his expert tuition and good humour!

 

This trip can be combined with the Bieg Piastow Marathon (trip code CPL). Please contact us for more information. 

Highlights

  • Enter the famous 42km ski marathon
  • Stay in a comfortable hotel in great location
  • Ski in either classic or skate style
  • Cross-country skis, poles and boot hire included

Key information

  • 7 nights 3-star traditional hotel
  • 5 days guided cross-country skiing
  • Group normally 5 to 24, with 2 leaders
  • Choose your style - skate or classic
  • Cross-country skis, boots and poles included

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Cross-country skis, boots and poles

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation - single rooms or double for single use available on request
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Zernez.

    Start at the Hotel in Zernez.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Warm up day

    We prefer not to specify in advance where we will ski each day. This is to enhance the flexibility and adapt to weather and snow conditions and to some extent the ability of each group. When choosing routes, the leader's priority will be to take in a variety of scenery and to ensure that participants become better and more confident skiers as the week progresses.

    Initially we will ski close to home exploring the picturesque loipes that surround Zernez.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Skiing part of the marathon course

    By today we should have got our ski legs back and will hopefully ski part of the marathon course, venturing into St Moritz and Pontresina

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Taking to the higher routes.

    Today will be more challenging, possibilty linking some of the more difficult routes in the area. Up here the scenery is outstanding, with snow-capped mountains providing an inspiring backdrop.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Final day of training

    Final day of training, exploring more of the race course.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Pre-race preperation

    Today will be spent collecting our race entry numbers, visiting the stalls selling ski equipment and memorabilia and enjoying the exciting pre-race atmosphere around the town.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Race day

    Race day is finally here and we will join over 13,000 other excited competitors at the starting line of one of the Alps most famous ski marathons. The 42km route is challenging but the sense of achievement as you cross the finishing line makes up for all the hard work.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Zernez

    Our trip ends in Zernez.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Switzerland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Switzerland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

7 breakfasts and 6 evening meals included.

Each morning a delicious continental buffet is served in the hotel dining room. With traditional bircher museli, local breads, hams, cheeses, fruits, eggs and bacon on offer there is plenty to suit most dietary requirements. Teas, coffee, hot chocolate and fruit juices are included. Every evening a delicious three-course menu is served in either the hotel dining room or the adjoining pizzeria. Serving local delicacies you will be able to select from 2 or 3 choices on the set menu. Tea, coffee and alcoholic drinks are available to buy from the bar or ordered at the table.

Weather

The Engadin Valley is situated at between 1000m and 1815m and at this height snow can lie from December to mid-March, with fresh snowfalls at any time. Average daytime temperatures in winter are around -5ºC, though they can fall as low as -15ºC with approximately 8 to 10 hours of daylight. At all times of the winter you can hope for periods of clear bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun - according to statistics the valley enjoys no fewer than 322 sunny days every year! Equally, at all times you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day.

Is this trip for you?

The Engadin ski marathon is one of the largest cross-country skiing events in the world. It is an exciting race, perfect for first time racers: an undulating course with a few challenges along the way and a great atmosphere with participants in fancy dress costumes and locals cheering along the way. Taking part in a cross-country skiing race is an exhilarating experience: the pre-race atmosphere, the excitement of the challenge ahead and the feeling of achievement when crossing the finish line are some of the reasons why our participants come back year after year! You do not need to be an elite athlete to take part: a good level of fitness and experience of classic or skate cross-country skiing are the only requirements.

The itinerary is designed to give you enough pre-training days and instruction to prepare for the racing event. With a course covering 42km, it is not for the faint hearted, but Eric will be on hand to ensure that you are fully prepared! The Engadin itself is a long, picturesque valley found in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. Based from the small village of Zernez, a delightful hamlet made up of traditional alpine settlements and well maintained cross-country tracks, our itinerary includes a mixture of days skiing direct from the door or using efficient, local trains and buses to reach the starting point.

Race day is on the 11th March 2018 - entry prices are included for those who book before the 30th November 2017*. After this date a supplement will be applicable. If you would rather not race, or would prefer entry to the half marathon please let our sales team know at the time of booking.
*Race entry place subject to availability.

Grading
Exodus offers cross-country skiing holidays to suit a wide range of technical and physical levels. Our cross-country skiing grades reflect both the level of physical fitness required and the level of skiing experience required. They are comparable to the activity levels we use on our snowshoeing, cycling, activity and trekking holidays, however we believe a slightly different system is required, due to the tuition we provide on our holidays. This sets our cross-country skiing holidays apart, as we tend not to need to teach people how to ride a bike or walk.
The aim remains to create groups of similar ability and fitness. Our descriptions are below, however feel free to call and speak to an expert if you are unsure which grade or type of holiday will suit you best.

Classic Grade 3 Intermediates
Equivalent Activity Level- Moderate, Level 3
A grade 3 week is ideal for those looking to push on, tackle some slightly steeper terrain and cover more ground each day. Typical groups will have a few weeks skiing behind them, be very comfortable with the basics and happy on longer day tours. There will still be tuition on these weeks, at the required level.

Skating Level 2 Intermediates
Equivalent Activity Level 3, Moderate
Covering more challenging terrain, this level is for those who have already mastered the basics of the skating style and wish to improve their skating technique. Terrain covered will be slightly more challenging and you should expect to cover 15-20km per day. You will be taught techniques to help you increase your speed, perfect for those wishing to take on the challenge of a ski race.

 

This trip can be combined with the Bieg Piastow Marathon (CPL). Please contact us for more information. 

Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel Crusch Alba Swiss Lodge - 3 Star

Ideally located near to the train station but also more importantly near to the end of the race course, the hotel offers a comfortable base for the week. All rooms have en suite facilities with a TV and telephone with Wi-Fi access available in most communal areas. Food served is of a very high standard with an exceptional continental buffet offered each morning, and delicious 3-course meals served every night. Single accommodation - single rooms and double rooms for single use available on request for a supplement

Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Mary Wilson

    Amazingly Rewarding Skiing Adventure

    The trip to Switzerland to do the Engadin Ski Marathon was one of the best trips I have taken. The trip itself was fun great fun, the skiing was hard work but a real adventure and a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the week! Incredibly well organised and great value for money.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment was crossing the line of the Engadin Ski Marathon having only learnt to skate ski that week. It was brilliant to achieve something I didn't think would be possible at the start of the week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric the trip leader was great in organising all the travel and equipment, providing really great coaching during our lessons and did a great job of giving us tips for the actual course of the marathon. Eric also did a really great job of bringing the group together and creating a friendly atmosphere.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although fun and rewarding the days can be quite long with all travel, skiing and waxing skis in the evening, so don't expect lots of free time during the day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys keeping fit, being outside and completing a challenge. Although experience definitely helps, it is not an impossible task to anyone who has done limited cross country or roller skiing. Many of the people on the trip had been on this trip before, which I believe is testament to how great the trip is. I would definitely go on it again.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Valerie Dawson

    A wonderful week

    This was my third Engadin Marathon with Exodus. Why do I keep coming back? The skiing is fantastic, the scenery is wonderful and the hotel and food is out of this world. Add in to the mix skiing with a great group of like minded people and the leadership skills of Eric Woolley (who makes everything fun) and there you have it - my ideal holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finishing the marathon for the third time, beating my previous times.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric is unique - I've learned so much from him and my skiing continues to get better. He works hard to encourage everybody, to make sure they have the best chance of skiing the marathon.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take time to train to ensure you are reasonably fit - you need stamina and strength to complete the marathon.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Jennifer Hill

    Fantastic Time

    We skied, we ate, we laughed, we raced.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finishing the flipping marathon!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric is fab as always, and Lynn is the best right hand woman. They make you feel totally part of the group and give you self belief to finish the race.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it! Don't worry about the logistics of the race, Eric will talk you through the whole thing, and give you a hug at the end of it all.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Val Dawson

    Engadin Ski Marathon

    If you like fresh air, beautiful scenery, great company, delicious food AND the challenge of skiing 42 Km in one of Switzerland's most beautiful valleys with 13,000 other people, then this is the holiday for you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing our leaders Eric and Lynne waiting to give me a big hug as I crossed the finish line! Completing the marathon gave me such a sense of achievement and I'm definitely going to do it again in 2017.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric and Lynne are just great. They both worked really hard to make sure everyone had a great time and that we all had the best possible chance of finishing the race.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    While it's definitely easier than running a marathon, it's a serious undertaking to ski 42 Km at quite a high altitude. You don't need to train obsessively, but you do need to be relatively fit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel Crusch Alba is superb. It's comfortable, warm and the food is out of this world. When you're training for a marathon you need to eat well and sleep well. The hotel ticks all the boxes for me!
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Hilary Lodge

    Engadine Ski Marathon

    Great holiday - good cross country ski-ing, good company, the sense of achievement in completing the race. The hotel provided very good buffet breakfasts and three course dinners with regional dishes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the finishing line at the end of 42km in a good time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders, Eric and Lynne were excellent - lots of very helpful tuition and good organisation. They made sure that everyone doing this ski race for the first time was aware of what to expect.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Karen Reed

    Engadin Ski Marathon

    Picture the London marathon with blue sky, in snow and beautiful countryside and you're on your way to imaging the Engadin Ski Marathon. The scenery is amazing and the spectators supportive, but it's still a marathon and so not for the faint hearted.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was my second time doing the marathon but I still found the start quite emotional, skiing with about 13000 people through the valley with mountains all around was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric and Lynn are a great double act! The whole week is run very efficiently, starting with getting used to hire equipment and playing games through to the serious stuff of improving technique and becoming familiar with the route prior to race day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I chose to wear fancy dress to distract from my poor ski technique and the spectators loved it. I was dressed as a butterfly and people shouted out to me and waved their arms suggesting I should fly up the hills. Others skiers encouraged me and I was even interviewed twice! However, it's a marathon so fitness and ski ability must come first and a then lot of thought about costume choice is crucial - nothing too big, too restrictive, too hot or too heavy etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a challenging trip requiring reasonable fitness and a very positive mental attitude, but I loved it so much I hope to do it again next year.
  • Reviewed March 2013
    Anonymous

    ENGADIN SKI MARATHON

    What an amazing even to take part in! It was a great week of excellent tuition culminating in an awesome day at the ski marathon.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The excited masses at the start line, in the sunshine, in a lovely valley, set to dramatic music, about to do something that most people back in the UK think is a bit mental. And they didn't even see the skiers with trailers of beer.... Being cheered on by spectators calling out your name (it's on your race number).The warm congratulations from Eric at the finish line!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant - as usual. Eric is really patient and relaxed with the group and has a good knack of getting the technique through to people. I've seen a real improvement in my skiing with his assistance.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it - it is so much fun! But don't forget your suncream...

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't be put off by the fact that it is a marathon - there are all sorts of shapes, sizes, skiing abilities and fancy dress outfits taking part. It's worth it.
  • Reviewed March 2013
    Anonymous

    ENGADIN SKI MARATHON

    A fantastic experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Waiting on the starting line surrounded by 13,000 competitors and bright blue skies - awesome!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric Woolley was fantastic - excellent instruction meant that all the group completed the race in really good times. He made sure the week ran smoothly and everyone had a great holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are looking for a challenge with a difference then this is the trip for you!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel in Zernez is great. The food served is more like you would find in a four or five star hotel and the bircher museli served and breakfast was amazing!
  • Reviewed March 2013
    Anonymous

    ENGADIN SKI MARATHON

    First timer - but possibly not the last...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'd never entered a marathon distance of any sport, let alone cross-country skiing (I'd previously done an intro week wth Exodus at Seefeld, Austria) - so the elation of finishing AND well under my expected time was a bit overwhelming and many thousands of people saw me cry like a baby (with joy!) at the finish line.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric is a one-off - his leaderships skills, knowledge of the sport and keeness to help others reach their best is inspiring - and the fact it's all rolled up in a package of good fun is a bonus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be put off by the daunting word 'marathon' - I know it sounds scary BUT the lead-up days of prep and the group camaraderie takes the stress out of it, and, with the festival atmosphere of the day coupled with the adrenaline, you'll get through it. I'm not saying it's not a challenge - you will need to be fit and you will need grit determination but without the rest of the group I wouldn't have enjoyed it half as much.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take travel wash with you - because this is a week of sweat (but no tears!)
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    ENGADIN SKI MARATHON

    Fantastic holiday, leaving me with a real sense of achivement on completing the Engadin ski marathon. The race itself was the pinnacle of a very enjoyable week - good hotel, good crowd of people, and a nice mix of tuition and preparation in skiing the race course over two days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finishing the Engadin ski marathon after not having been on cross-country skis in 20 years! And getting down Mattress Alley in one piece...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric and Heather Woolley were superb instructors and looked after us brilliantly, whether it be organising transport, ski preparation, or simply the menu for that night's dinner. They planned the week to perfection to give us all the skills and confidence required to complete the race, and made the trip a lot of fun - the 'biathalon' with toy guns and foam pellets certainly brought out the competitive side of our team, with two of us falling in our haste to get around the course as quickly as we could.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you're reasonably fit beforehand - in particular, I found double poling for 13 or so miles to put quite a strain on my back, & was glad that I do a lot of back strengthening exercises in the gym. If I went again I'd seriously consider taking some skate skiing lessons on roller skis with the view to being able to skate, rather than classic ski - skating takes more skill, but is far more efficient.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Switzerland is an expensive country, but very pleasant - the trains were a lovely way to travel along the valley to access different parts of the course. However, if you're looking for a lively nightlife, you've probably picked the wrong holiday... Lastly, if you're thinking of booking this trip, have done some skiing, and have reasonable fitness then go for it. All our group completed the course & went home happy! And if you want a taste of what you're letting yourself in for, check out the videos on YouTube.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on +82-(0)02-6320-4111