The almost-3000km-long Inn River (En in Romansch) springs up from the snowy Graubünden Alps around the Maloja Pass and gives its name to the Engadine. The valley is carved into two: the Oberengadin (Upper Engadine), from Maloja to Zernez; and the Unterengadin (Lower Engadine), stretching from Zernez to Martina, by the Austrian border.
The Alps rise like an amphitheatre around Chur, Switzerland's oldest city, inhabited since 3000 BC. Linger more than an hour or two and you'll soon warm to the capital of Graubünden. After a stint in the mountains, its gallery showcasing Alberto Giacometti originals, arty boutiques, authentic restaurants and relaxed bars are a refreshing cultural tonic.
Unlike its little sister Klosters, Davos is more cool than quaint. But what the resort lacks in Alpine prettiness, it makes up for with seductive skiing, including monster runs descending up to 2000m, and après-ski parties. It is also the annual meeting point for the crème de la crème of world capitalism, the World Economic Forum.
Framed by the peaks of Weisshorn, Hörnli and moraine-streaked Schiesshorn, Arosa is a great Alpine all-rounder: perfect for downhill and cross-country skiers in winter, hikers and downhill bikers in summer, and families year-round with heaps of activities to amuse kids. Although only 30km southeast of Chur, getting here is nothing short of spectacular.
Flims, Laax & Falera
They say that if the snow ain't falling elsewhere, you'll surely find some around Flims, Laax and Falera. This high-altitude trio forms the Weisse Arena (White Arena) ski area, with 220km of slopes catering for all levels. Host of the Burton European Open in January, Laax is a mecca for party-loving snowboarders seeking big air.
No matter whether you come in summer to hike in the flower-speckled mountains or in winter when the log chalets are veiled in snow and icicle-hung – Klosters is postcard stuff. Indeed, the village has attracted a host of slaloming celebrities and royals with its chocolate-box looks and paparazzi-free slopes.
The thickly wooded Unterengadin (Lower Engadine) in eastern Switzerland juts like a wolf's snout into neighbouring Austria and Italy. From Davos, the N28 highway climbs up to the barren Flüela Pass (2383m) in a series of loops before dropping over the other side, opening up majestic vistas of Alpine crags, valleys and silvery mountain streams.
The A13 freeway blasts northward from Chur, through the wine-growing region called Fünf Dörfer (Five Villages), of which bucolic Zizers is probably the prettiest. Follow the country lane out of industrial Landquart for Malans, which takes you into the Bündner Herrschaft.
Surrounded by rippling peaks and dense forests, Scuol is ideal for remote Alpine hikes in summer, crowd-free cruising in winter and relaxation in its thermal baths year-round. It's a joy to stroll the Old Town (Lower Scuol), an attractive jumble of frescoed chalets, cobbled squares and fountains that spout mineral water tapped from one of 20 springs in the region.
Bernina Pass Road
Bare, brooding mountains and glaciers that sweep down to farmland give the landscape around the Bernina Pass (2323m; Passo del Bernina in Italian) austere grandeur. The road twists spectacularly from Celerina southeast to Tirano in Italy, linking Val Bernina and Val Poschiavo.
Maienfeld & Heididorf
The wine village of Maienfeld is 2km through lush woods and vineyards from Jenins. Dominated by a colourfully frescoed Rathaus (town hall) and haughty church, it's worth hanging out for the local cuisine. For wine tasting, head to the convivial Vinothek von Salis. Maienfeld is on the train line between Chur (Sfr8, 15 minutes) and Bad Ragaz (Sfr3, three minutes).