Quick Access to
Recommended Day trips
to Lucerne, Interlaken, Lugano
and more (click
here for details
and then choose) !





Chalet Nov'Arcadia Logo
Click to return to Home Page

Welcome !




How to get there



A Story



About us

Chalet Nov'Arcadia
in Morissen, Canton Grisons, Switzerland

gives you the flexibility you need to plan your winter, spring, summer or autumn holiday efficiently and economically. Make it your home after an exciting day of hiking or on the ski slopes or use it as a tactical centre for day trips exploring the most pristine and least crowded of all Swiss cantons. See MAPS of recommended day trips, ski runs, itineraries of hiking trails.

Interested in day trips info only ? Click on these premium destinations (see more below):


St Moritz



The 4 Sisters







Most tourists come to the heart of Val Lumnezia to ski, hike the parcours trails, bicycle or just rest.  Click on these links if you just want to ski or hike. But some come for more.  They want to kayak or raft, others want to hang-glide, even balloon.  Some are botanists, historians and even archaeologists, and don't consider themselves mere tourists but want to inject a little vacation fun in their serious or semi-serious pursuits. No matter what your "thing" is, the valley is an ideal travel destination for those among our guests who love nature, seek sun and relaxation, know how to appreciate a historical region or wish to indulge in their favourite science or sports in a genuine country atmosphere. Several hiking trails start right next to the Chalet's front door !

 Back to top 

What is Val Lumnezia ? What is Piz Mundaun ?

Some people, believe it or not, do not know what or where Val Lumnezia or Piz Mundaun is..., and that suits most of our guests just fine, they like it that way! It may be a bit selfish of them but they know a hidden gem when they see one. Still, we wish to return the favour of your visit to the Chalet's website and this page will tell you just a little about these mysterious names of places pretty deep into the interior of Switzerland.

Val Lumnezia is a valley in the mountainous "Surselva" area of the Canton Grisons (most of the Canton is mountainous actually) upstream - the Rhine being the stream - from the Canton's Capital city, Chur. At this point, the Rhine is not the mighty river better known for its wondrous falls at Schaffhausen and its wide banks all through Germany and Holland. It is narrow and often wild, carving in its fury the area that has been affectionately called the Little Swiss Grand Canyon not far from the Chalet at Reichenau, a village west of Chur. There, the Upper Rhine and the Back Rhine actually meet and start the river on its 2000 kms long journey to the North Sea. Up river and west from Reichenau, tributaries to the Upper Rhine swell its flow with clear, fresh water melted from the many glaciers around. About 20 kms west and upriver, one of these tributaries is the Glenner, fed in large part from the dammed waters of the Zerfreila lake another 20 kms south of the confluence.

Now you have learnt perhaps more than you wanted to know but be patient, with your mind's eye, you can now imagine the Val Lumnezia, running south towards Italy on a pair of roads on either side of the Glenner. Wide in some parts, narrow and cleft in two higher up, it faces the sun during most of its travel and gained its name from that exposure: Val Lumnezia, Romansch for the Valley of Light, also called Val Lugnez.

It is a rugged valley but unspeakably beautiful, with sweeping vistas of the peaks above, wide green swards of fields and forests. Even in Switzerland, there aren't many like it.

Piz Mundaun is one of those peaks, some 3000 metres high but by no means matching its brothers to the east and south. Its advantage is that it shelters the valley from northerly and westerly winds, and provides a wonderful excuse for locating skilifts on either side of its moderate slopes.

The rest of the story is for you to find out and tell your friends. There are quite a few side roads which suddenly turn into goat paths, leading to mysterious places we haven't yet explored.

Treat yourself to an unforgettable stay in the Grisons,
   the heart of the Eastern Swiss Alps !
Click on highlit towns and places below for details Back to top

Map of Eastern Switzerland to Nov'Arcadia Home Page to Chur Page to Arosa Home Page St. Moritz Home Page Lucerne Home Page Locarno Home Page Lugano Home Page The 4 Sisters Davos Home Page

 Back to top 

Recommended Day Trips Detail

  • Italian Swiss Lakes
  • The 4 Sisters
  • The Rhine Gorge
  • Swiss Grand Canyon
  • Klosters, Davos
  • Chur, Arosa
  • Thusis, Tiefencastel
  • The Albula and St. Moritz
  • The Lukmanier
  • Pontresina
  • Walensee
  • Lucerne and its lakes
  • Interlaken
  • Lichtenstein, Austria


Additional notes on destinations and items of historical and other interest

Buses: Remember, you do not have to drive yourself to a state of fatigue. You are dealing with mountain roads frequented by tourists as well as locals who take them everyday and know every turn, whereas you don't. Let them pass you or, better yet, take the bus. You can do day trips with the bus starting a mere 200 metres from the Chalet. There's a picnic basket in the kitchen above the frig.

Skiing:The Chalet is situated in the Vella-Obersaxen-Meierhof Ski Arena. Ski out to the skilifts (about 1,5 km downhill through village) and ski back to the front door (downhill about 2 kms from mid mountain restaurant). Store your skis and other equipment safely in heated garage or rent from store at skilift base or in Ilanz Migros Mall.

Thermal Baths: about 10 kms from Chalet in Vals. Relax in hot baths. Moderate prices, family fun.

Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting: on Upper Rhine at Ilanz, 10 kms from Chalet, through rapids of Swiss Little Grand Canyon (not so little !), Sagogn, Valendas, Trin to confluence with Back Rhine at Reichenau, 12 river kms of white water). Equipment rental in Ilanz. 

Sports Arena: in Flims 20 kms from Chalet. Skating, Tennis, World Class competitions)

Restaurants: Traditional Swiss, eclectic French and Italian cuisines in restaurants in Morissen (Piz Mundaun), Vella (Trutg, Pellas), Ilanz (Eden, Casutt), Flims (Waldeck), Fidaz (Fidazerhof), Sagogn and many others.  Prices vary but usually count on at least 40 Francs per person (sometimes a lot more).

Shopping Malls: Migros and Coop in Ilanz 10 kms from Chalet. Modern, well equipped and provisioned, credit cards accepted. Bring your own bags. You're expected to pack them yourself.

Churches:  The Catholic Parish Church of St. Vincenz at Pleiv, accessible a short distance from the Post Office, was originally the mother church of the Lugnez valley, with a choir from about 1500 and a nave of 1661. A very large painting of a battle scene adorns the north wall. The high altar (1724) is by Johann. Ritz. The Renaissance altar (1630) is by Hans Jakob Greutter. The chapels of St. Sebastian and Rochus was built in 1587 and is a single-aisled church with a triptych by Hans Ardüser of 1601.  The Catholic church of St. Stephan in Cumbels (2 kms) has interesting interior walls paintings dating back to the 16th century. In Ilanz, Reformed parish church of St. Margrethen, s late Gothic building with net vaulting was rebuilt after the fire of 1483, presumably school of Stefan Klain. Vault painting in the nave, 1518. See also the St. Martin Church with trapezoid hall and adjacent tower and antechoir and sanctuary. Built around 1000 but much altered till 1662. In Silgin is the St. Sebastian chapel, altered in 1643 with a façade paintings dating from the 18th C. 

 Back to top 

Historical Markers and Towns: Frauentor: Half-way from Ilanz to the Chalet stands a marker dedicating to the memory of the valley's women who, legend has it, saved the rest of the valley from destruction at the hands of the Burgundian forces, by offering them fruits and other delicacies, thereby delaying them while their poorly armed men and their children took refuge in the upper reaches of the valley's mountains. In Vella (1,5 km), the main square is ringed by substantial houses, including the Schloss Demont of 1666.Ilanz is a town on the Upper Rhine developed from the former estate of the Viktoriden family, Only the Rotes Tor (1715-17) with curved gable and the Obertor, rebuilt after a fire in 1513 have survived, upper storey with roof added in 1717.  On the town side, the arms of the founder, Schmid von Grüneck, and of the Cantons of Zurich and Bern, which assisted in the extension of the town's walls in 1715-17.  On the outside, the arms of the city of Ilanz and the 3 Bünde.  Monastery of St. Joseph, rebuilt by W. Moser in 1969. Casa Gronda, built 1677, with staircase tower.  14th Century wall paintings on tower and interior. Remains of a former keep and defensive tower, which has served as a bell tower since 1438. In Lumbrein, St. Maria Magdalena chapel, built in 1844, containing a late Gothic winged altar by Bernh. Strigel, 1480. Below the street is the residential tower of the Lords of Lumbrein, c. 1200. The upper storey, Blockbau with a shed roof, was probably added in the late 18 C. 

 Back to top 

Bizarre Monuments and pre-medieval ruins: The Catholic parish church of St. Maria Geburt and St. Johann in Vrin (17 kms) is a single aisled baroque church dating from 1689-94 with a polygonal choir that is narrower than the nave and side chapels which form a transept. A free standing bell tower, designed by Antonio Broggio, an artist from the Val Mesolcina has a frieze ossuary of skulls and bones visible from the outside of the church. The high altar (1710) is attributed also to J. Ritz. In Lumbrein (5 kms), see the Catholic Church of St. Martin, rebuilt1646, as a baroque single room with narrower polygonal choir, beneath which is an ossuary. Paintings on the choir wall and stations of the rosary by Joh. Rud Sturm, 1661. On the west wall is a painting of the Last Judgment by Nicolas Giuliani, 1664. In Crestaulta, near Surin (6 kms), is a Bronze Age settlement with adjacent burial grounds, 1400-800BC. In Sagogn (12 kms), Bregi da Haida foundation of a 5thC. single-aisle church with annex and Carolingian apse, perhaps the Columban church mentioned in the will of Bishop Tello in 765.

Museums: In Ilanz (10 kms), the Folk museum (ethnography) in the Casa Carniec.  In the hamlet of Sontg Andriu is the baroque St. Andreas chapel, built c. 1660, painted throughout by Joh. Christoph Güserer of Bavaria, 1695.; on the north chancel wall, St. Placifus and St. Sigisburg, and picture of the monastery of Disentis before it was rebuilt. In Laax (16 kms), Heimatsmuseum in the old dairy has an interesting folklore collection.

Hotels: In Ilanz, Eden, Casutt, Oberalp. In Morissen, Piz Mundaun.

Service/Petrol Stations: in Vella, Ilanz, Schluein, Flims.

Local Lakes and Rivers: CaumaSee in Flims (20 kms from Chalet - restaurant, swimming), Zerfreila Dam (15 kms). The Glenner river drains the Lumnezia Valley and offers many places for hiking,  a picnic or a cool dip. Kayaking and canoeing on the Upper Rhine is a favored holiday activity for all ages. .

Italian-Swiss Lakes: The lakes at Lugano and Locarno are two of the world's wonders of nature. They are both within 90 minutes' drive of the Chalet over the San Bernardino Pass and Tunnel, a thrilling voyage in itself. Located in the heart of the Ticino Canton, the lakes benefit from a Mediterranean climate occasionally tempered with an Alpine breath of fresh air. For a slightly longer drive, visit Como, Italy, and its lakeside villages, take the ferry back to Switzerland. 

The 4 Sisters: Oberalp, Furka, Grimsel, Susten !  From the Chalet to Ilanz, then west over the Oberalp Pass for a taste of what's to come. These "sisters" don't joke: for the intrepid, the drive west from Andermatt, on the western side of the Oberalp, will take you over passes which, but a few years ago, were deemed some of the most perilous for travellers. Today, good mountain roads make the trip relatively safe but still require prudence and skill as they pile switchback on switchback first over the 2431 metres high Furka, then the 2166 m. Grimsel and finally through the 2258 m. often foggy and treacherous Susten. Be sure your auto is in good condition and take warn clothes, blankets, with you.


 Back to top 
 Back to Chalet Nov'Arcadia's Home Page