3Days 2Nights Bernina Express Tour (St. Moritz – Tirano, Italy – Lugano)
The most spectacular of all Alpine Crossings. This panoramic train connects the north of Europe to its south – right through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Rhaetian Railway, passing by glaciers on its way down to palm trees. Fresh mountain air and stunning views from the Albula and Bernina rail lines: In the Summer, open panorama coaches are available on the Bernina Express between Davos Platz and Tirano. The glass-free Cabrio coaches bring you closer to nature. And let you take perfect photos of the breathtaking scenery!
- Domleschg Region.
The Domleschg is a region renowned for its countless castles, due mainly to its strategic position on the route to three main Alpine passes – the Splügen, San Bernadino and Julier. Fortresses were built to control this ancient route, making the Domleschg one of the regions in Europe richest in castles. The largest is Schloss Ortenstein, which is located on a 120-metre rock overhang high above Tomils.
- Solis Viaduct
In ancient Roman times, according to legend, Saint George escaped his pursuers by making a mighty leap over the Albula River on horseback. The modern form of gorge-crossing is also mighty in its own way. The Solis Viaduct, built in 1902, rises to 89 metres and spans 42 metres – making it not only the highest bridge of the Rhaetian Railway but also the widest span of any along the Albula line.
- Landwasser Viaduct
The Landwasser Viaduct is the most spectacular construction on the 63-kilometre Albula stretch between Thusis and St. Moritz – and the most photographed feature of the entire Rhaetian
Railway. It comes into view on the right shortly before the village of Filisur, is 142 metres long and rises impressively to a height of 65 metres. The natural stone viaduct extends in a curve over the rugged Landwasser Valley directly into a tunnel entrance on a vertical rock wall.
- Davos Platz
From this highest situated city of Europe, the train rolls over the tallest bridge of the Rhaetian Railway. With a height of 89 metres, the Wiesner Viaduct is also Switzerland’s second highest railway bridge! The railway route runs along the Landwasser, one of the main water sources of the Alpine Rhine. On its way through the rugged Zügenschlucht (Zügen Canyon), the Bernina Express passes bold and imposing rock faces.
- Bergün and Preda
The direct distance between Bergün and Preda is only six kilometres. But the Rhaetian Railway has to travel more than twice that distance to make the maximum gradient climb of 3.5 percent between the two. To cover the 418-metre difference in altitude, trains have to pass through five loop tunnels, cross four valleys and negotiate many smaller tunnels, viaducts and dams.
- Engadine houses
Between Bever and Celerina in the Engadine, the traditional farmhouses of the region never fail to fascinate travellers. These mainly three-floor dwellings are characterised by strong stone walls
and deep funnel-shaped windows – but most of all their stylish Sgraffiti (special facade decoration). The word is derived from the Italian «sgraffiare» (to scratch) and refers to the technique of this traditional craft.
- Montebello Curve and Morteratsch Glacier
After Morteratsch, the Bernina Express first passes the Montebello Curve. Then on the right in the direction of travel, the Bernina massif and Morteratsch Glacier come into view. This third-largest
glacier in the Eastern Alps lies in the upper section of the Morteratsch Valley. The highest peak in the Eastern Alps – the 4.049-metre Piz Bernina – sets the scene to perfection.
- Bernina Hospice
The Bernina Pass is just one of the many highlights of a trip on the Bernina Express – and at 2.253 metres it is the highest-altitude station on the Rhaetian Railway network. Before reaching
the Ospizio Bernina the train passes the three small lakes Lej Pitschen, Lej Nair and Lago Bianco marking the watershed between the Black Sea and the Adriatic.
- Alp Grüm
On Alp Grüm you’ll find probably the only restaurant along the route accessible solely by train. Its sun terrace offers fine views of the rugged Bernina massif, the eternal ice of the Palü Glacier and the sunny Val Poschiavo extending into Italy. Just after the train departs, Lake Poschiavo and the distant Bergamo Alps come into view.
- Lake Poschiavo
In Val Poschiavo – one of the most remote regions of Switzerland – the Bernina Express runs in close proximity to the waters of Lake Poschiavo. This natural lake was formed by a prehistoric landslide, but a man-made water catchment at the southern serves to regulate the outflow. Today, the two small communities of Le Prese and Miralago are popular vacation destinations.
- Brusio Circular Viaduct
No other landmark along the Bernina line is as striking as the Brusio Circular Viaduct. From below Brusio, the Rhaetian Railway overcomes an entire altitude level by means of two loops each of 100 metres’ diameter. The open stretch across the viaduct allows passengers to appreciate fully this remarkable feat of railway engineering.
Tirano lies in the upper Valtellina at the entrance to the Val Poschiavo. The tiny town in the Italian province of Sondrio is renowned for its impressive 16th century Church of the Madonna. This is
where the train line terminates, and where in summer passengers change to the Bernina Express Bus to continue their journey to Lugano back in Switzerland.
- Bernina Express Bus
During the summer season, passengers can prolong their travel experience by changing (across the border in Italy) to the red Bernina Express Bus in Tirano. The route passes through the Valtellina with its Mediterranean-style climate via Sondrio and Morbegno to palm-lined Lake Como. After a short stop in Sorico, the journey proceeds to Lake Lugano, re-enters Switzerland and reaches its destination at Lugano – cultural “capital” of Canton Ticino.
- Lake Como
Idyllic Lake Como is where many celebrities (among them Brad Pitt) own a vacation residence. In summer Bernina Express Bus passengers too can discover the delights of picturesque promenades, spacious parks and tranquil fishing villages, extending along the western shore as far as Menaggio with its Piazza Garibaldi. From here the bus heads back to Switzerland.
- Lake Lugano
Lake Lugano lies at Ticino’s southernmost point and extends into Italy. The lake is surrounded by several mountains, including Monte Generoso, Monte Brè and Lugano’s “home” mountain, Monte San Salvatore. A leisurely lake cruise is the perfect way to explore this diverse region.
Day 1: ARRIVAL SWITZERLAND - ST MORITZ (-/-/-)
Individual transfer to the Alpine metropolis of St. Moritz, where numerous luxury hotels, spas and upscale shops can be found.
Day 2: BERNINA EXPRESS (ST MORITZ - LUGANO) (-/-/-)
Board the narrow-gauge Bernina Express at St. Moritz station and enjoy one of the most impressive scenic rail journeys Switzerland has to offer. Climbing over the spectacular Bernina pass to more than 2253 m, you pass snow-covered mountain peaks and glaciers then descend towards Poschiavo and Brusio and finally reach Tirano in Italy, which is the end of the Bernina line. Change to the Bernina Express Bus, which will take you onwards to Lugano.
Day 3: DEPARTURE (-/-/-)
Check out from the hotel and continue on to your onward journey by public transport.
Price from CHF 385 per person*
- 1 x Rail ticket 2nd class: border/airport - St. Moritz - Tirano (IT) - Lugano - border/airport, including up to 50% reductions on selected transport services (mountain railways, trains, buses and boats)
- Add on: Upgrade to 1st class rail CHF 77
- 1 x Night stay with breakfast and city tax in St. Moritz (double-occupancy)
- 1 x Night stay with breakfast and city tax in Lugano (double-occupancy)
- 1 x Seat reservation on the Bernina Express Train from St. Moritz to Tirano
- 1 x Seat Reservation on the Bernina Express Bus from Tirano to Lugano
- 1 x Swiss Coupon Pass (value CHF49)