Scuol, in the Lower Engadine, lies in a beautiful setting below the peaks of the Silvretta and Dolomites mountain ranges. Although Austria and Italy lie only a few miles away, the most likely route you will take to get here in winter is on a train of the Rhaetian Railways from Klosters through the 19km Vereina Tunnel. It’s a fairly easy journey by train from Basel or Zurich, with only one change required at Landquart; for drivers there is a car transporter shuttle running every 30 minutes from just outside Klosters.
Scuol is a spa town and developed as a winter sports destination after the first ski lift was installed in 1956. The railway arrived in 1913 and terminates at Scuol Tarasp station. Conveniently the station is right next to the gondola bottom station with the centre of Scuol and the main Bogn Engiadina spa about 10 minutes walk away or two stops on the bus. Most of the hotels are in the main part of the town, but Scuol Youth Hostel is right next to the station and the gondola, so it was a no-brainer to choose it to stay for a family break.
The hostel is modern and friendly, not quite as well appointed as the one in St Moritz but pretty good nonetheless. For apres ski there are a couple of bars near the bottom station, but they didn’t seem very lively and there was more activity up on the slopes at the Palma below Schlivera. There didn’t seem to be a lot of nightlife going on in Scuol either, but there are some pleasant restaurants, a couple of glitzy hotels with bars, and the spa, which is open late so ideal for a post-ski soak. This is a resort suited to quiet weekend breaks, family holidays or for groups who are happy to entertain themselves.
The beginners area is at the top of the gondola stop at Motta Naluns, although the Ski School offices are at the bottom station. Ski classes run from Monday to Friday so you need to book private lessons at weekends. The ski school staff seemed friendly and relaxed.
The run back down to Scuol from Motta Naluns is a pleasant and very varied red run below the tree line, although there were signs posted when we were there describing it as for experts only. Threading across the run are lots of bits of off-piste. Above Motta Naluns there are lots of lovely scenic runs for intermediates, and in the bowl below Mot da Ri a couple of black runs and varied off-piste. There are valley runs down to the villages of Sent and Ftan as well as Scuol, but there are no lifts back up from Sent so you need to take a bus back to Scuol, and the lifts back from Ftan requires you to take a surface lift part of the way (albeit not a difficult one). However they are both good runs, the one to Sent in particular.
There is a snow park just above Motta Naluns with a good range of boxes and kickers spread around four lines. All the lifts are modern and efficient and you can get around most of the resort without having to use surface lifts. The mountain restaurants all seemed fine without being exceptional. All in all, Scuol has a number of very pleasant, varied slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all standards – certainly enough for a day or two – and gets into my list of favourite medium-sized resorts.