The Bernina Express: from Tirano to St. Moritz

December, 22 2020 ( Updated December, 22 2020)


A unique and evocative experience that should definitely be tried in winter- but even in the hottest seasons, all you need to do is sit in a cozy wagon with a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape and let yourself be carried away by the magic. We are talking about the Bernina Red Train also known as Bernina Express, which takes its name from the red color of its wagons.


This train, owned by the Rhaetian Railway, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.


The route begins in Tirano, a town in Valtellina not far from the famous Livigno (just over an hour by car), passing through various locations including the Bernina Hospice, which is the summit of the route (about 2253 meters above sea level) and then reaching the terminus in St. Moritz, Engadine. Its charm is indisputable not only for the spectacular view but also for the grandeur of this railway line: the highest in Europe that does not use the rack.


Once you are seated, the slow speed of the train allows you to admire the view and take memorable photos. You may also refer to the travel program that is always available to the passengers. You can decide to make some stops during the trip and visit the points of interest.


Cavaglia is certainly one of the most recommended stops. Its giant glacial potholes, about thirty in number, some up to 14 meters deep are located in a natural park that will leave adults and children breathless. Here you can admire the natural beauty created by pressurized glacial water over the years. The recommended period for visiting this natural wonder is from May to October when there is no snow.


Another stop where you can take amazing photos is the scenic Alpe Grum, about 2000 meters from the sea level. Opposite the station, stands the Piz Palù which gives its name to the crystalline lake and the glacier of unique beauty.


The Bernina Hospice is definitely worth a stop. About 1,800 meters above the starting point, it is the peak of the entire trip! Several lakes can be seen from here, such as the White one, an artificial lake and the Black and Small one of natural origin. In this area where time seems to have come to a standstill, you can go on various excursions in the summer and ski in the winter.


And for those who love a long hike, the Morteratsch glacier is an enchanting place that can be reached in about two hours on foot.


It is advisable not to get off the Bernina Express which only makes some of the various stops along the way. One should rather enjoy the scenery from their own carriage. However, for those who want to visit some of the places along the journey, it is preferable to use a scheduled train to and from the destination.


A unique, fairy-tale and exciting journey that will surely warm the hearts of passengers even during the coldest winters when one can enjoy the views of an incredible snow-covered landscape. And during summers, when the snow has melted, it leaves room for green valleys, animals and clear skies.

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