There are three draws to summer in Samnaun—hiking, biking and tax-free shopping. Once a hot-bed for cross-border contraband, former smugglers used to pack their rucksacks with goods from neighboring Austria and sell to the Swiss. So lucrative was the act, rumor has it that one villager bought a consignment of cigarettes, sold them for five times their worth and returned with a live ox!
Oxen aside, nowadays, people come to Samnaun to fill their shopping bags with goods. Home to the only tax-free resort in Switzerland, visitors can shop from collections of perfumes, jewelry, cosmetics and sporting goods. There are over 50 exclusive shops to explore.
Located in the Swiss, Austrian and Italian triangle, the very same tracks which smugglers used to make their surreptitious journeys have now turned into a happy hunting ground for all things sport and outdoorsy. Boasting a network of over 250 kilometers (155 mi) of marked and groomed trails, the region surrounding Samnaun covers a broad spectrum of options ranging from sophisticated tours for experienced mountaineers to relaxed walks along leisurely paths.
Families love Samnaun’s themed trails, including the Mountain Forest Trail, Plant Trail and the Animal Trail, where two marmot mates, Murmina and Murmin, join in on the fun.