Track the Bernina Express Walking Holiday
- 10 Days
- From £1,499
- Catch the train to Thusis in the the Graubünden region of Switzerland
- Walk along the route of the famous Bernina Express, with regular glimpses of this mountain rail line
- Your luggage is transferred between hotels for each stop so you only need to carry a day pack
- Enjoy the flexibility of a rail ticket along the whole line in case you want to shorten a day’s walk
- Break your journey home with a night in historic Zurich
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Upgrade hotels and rail journeys
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 8 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Detailed walking directions and travel itinerary
- Luggage transfers between hotels from Thusis to Tirano
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
PLEASE NOTE: This holiday runs daily between 13 June and 11 October 2020
Take the Eurostar from London to Paris and connect onto a high-speed TGV service direct to Basel, just over the Swiss border. From here, continue on Swiss regional trains to Thusis, via Chur and check in for an overnight stay at the Hotel Weisses Kreuz (or similar).
TMR RECOMMENDS: Why not break your journey to Thusis with an overnight stop in Strasbourg, Basel or even Paris?
After breakfast, pack a day pack and head out for your first hike, leaving your bags at reception to be transported to your next hotel, the Albula & Julier (or similar).
Today’s walk is around 12.5 miles. You can shorten any day of walking by hopping on the train as you generally follow the Bernina line. Highlights today include a spectacular trail leading from Domleschg through the Schinschlucht gorge along with the Solis viaduct and St Peters church in Mistail, dating from the 8th century. The ascent to the hamlet of Muldain rewards you with breathtaking views.
After breakfast this morning, head out for your second day’s walking, which includes the famous Landwasser Viaduct. Prior to this, your route takes you along the fast-running Albula River to a perfect viewpoint of the viaduct, where you can take breathtaking pictures. Continue past the historic village of Filisur and follow the trail up to the pretty railway station at Stugl.
Your finishing point for today is the village of Bergün, with its distinctive Engadin houses and railway museum (at the station). Your overnight stay will be at the Hotel Albula (or similar).
Today’s walk is around 11 miles and should take around 6 hours. Follow the banks of the Albula River which criss-crosses the railway line. You will be walking along the ‘Railway Adventure Trail’ with regular plaques offering fascinating facts about the past and present of the railway and the people of the Albula Valley. There will a quite steep ascent and descent as you climb up over Weissenstein Alp to the Fuorcla Crap Alv and then drop down through the Bever Valley into Spinas.
Catch a train here to St Moritz and check in for a 2-night stay at the Randolins Berghotel (or similar).
Enjoy a day’s rest today as you discover the ski-resort of St Moritz. You can browse the boutique stores, enjoy coffee and cake in one of the tempting cafés or perhaps take a boat ride around the lake.
If you want to continue walking, there are plenty of options for short hikes in the area. Take a cable car up to Alp Languard and then walk the breathtaking Panoramaweg to Muottas Muragl, with panoramic views all the way along the 4-mile path. You can then return to St Moritz via the funicular railway and a quick bus journey back into town.
You’re in for a spectacular walk today as you catch a train from St Moritz to the little station of Morteratch. From here, you’ll walk through Alpine pastures and moorland to the Bernina Pass. Photo opportunities abound here; Pontresina, the Morteratsch Glacier, stunning Lago Bianco and the highest mountain in the Graubünden region.
After walking by the glacial waters of Lago Bianco, your route takes you up to the panoramic vantage point at Sassal Masson. Stay tonight at the Hotel Alp Grum (or similar), right by the railway line, with spectacular views.
A relatively short, downward hike today of around 7 miles takes you towards Poschiavo, still following the route of the Bernina Express line. You can take a detour along the way to see the Cavaglia glacier garden (pictured). This is also on the train line if you don’t want to walk.
On arrival in Poschiavo, check in at the Hotel Suisse (or similar) for an overnight stay. There’s plenty of time to explore the town of Poschiavo, with its pretty narrow streets and piazzas. Enjoy some Italian-inspired food for dinner this evening.
After breakfast at your hotel today, take the train to Miralgo, the starting point for your last day of hiking. The route of the hike takes you through orchards, vineyards and chestnut groves, across the border into Italy. The stand-out highlight is famous Brusio spiral viaduct, a fantastic feat of engineering.
Arriving into Tirano, check in at the Hotel Stelvio (or similar) for an overnight stay at the end of your fabulous hike. Remember you’ll need some Euros here to pay for dinner and don’t miss out on the city views from the spire of the church of S. Perpetua.
It’s time to board the Bernina Express this morning for your return journey to St Moritz. Watch the familiar vistas pass by your window as you make your way along this UNESCO World Heritage-listed route. Change at St Moritz for the train to Zurich, via Landquart.
On arrival in Zurich, check in for an overnight stay at the Hotel Adler (or similar) in the Old Town area of the city. Why not head out for a meal this evening to celebrate your beautiful hike? The Altstadt along the River Limmat has plenty of options for a drink and an evening meal.
Leave Zurich today and make your way back to London by train, catching a high-speed service direct to Paris and then connecting onto the Eurostar from the Gare du Nord.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
This small, family-run hotel offers a relaxing home from home in the heart of the Graubunden region. Facilities on-site include a restaurant with an outdoor terrace in the summer months as well as a wellness area with hammam and sauna, where you can also book an indulgent massage.
Hotel Albula & Julier is situated in the village of Tiefencastel, on the River Albula. The hotel offers individually decorated bedrooms, each with its own en suite facilities, seating area, work desk and TV along with views of the surrounding mountains. There is a restaurant in the hotel, serving local and regional dishes. Tiefencastel train station is just a 5-minute walk away.
Within easy walking distance of Bergün/Bravuogn train station and two chair lift stations, the Hotel Albula offers an ideal base to explore the surrounding area. All bedrooms come with free Wi-Fi, soundproofing, en suite bathrooms and hairdryers. There is a bar at the hotel, with outdoor seating in the summer.
Overlooking St. Moritz, the Berghotel Randolins is in an ideal position to take advantage of local hiking trails. Bedrooms are comfortably furnished in a classic style and some have a view over the mountains and lake. There are also great mountain views to be had from the wellness area and outdoor hot tub. A free regular shuttle service from and to the train station and the village centre is available.
Located at 6,860 feet above sea level, the photogenic Hotel Alp Grum is literally on the platform of the Bernina Express line and is only accessible by train or on foot. Traditional rooms come with en suite bathrooms and TVs. There is also a restaurant serving regional specialities and a café with a scenic sun terrace.
The family-run Suisse Hotel occupies a great location in the centre of Poschiavo, within 200 yards of the station which serves the Bernina Railway. All bedrooms come with flat-screen TV, minibar, complimentary Wi-Fi access and tea making facilities. There’s also a restaurant serving local and international dishes with an outdoor terrace during the summer.
Located in the historic centre of Tirano on the border with Switzerland, the Hotel Stelvio is conveniently situated for the town and the main station which is just 500 yards away. Bedrooms are all en suite, with flat-screen TVs, a safe and complimentary Wi-Fi access. There is also a bar, a TV lounge and a breakfast room.
The Hotel Adler is situated in the Niederdorf Old Town area of Zurich and occupies a building dating back to the 16th century. Bedrooms are decorated in classic Swiss style with complimentary Wi-Fi and soft drinks. The hotel also boasts a traditional Swiss restaurant.