The spectacular ride on the Bernina Express from St. Moritz, past glistening glaciers and down to the exotic palm trees of Tirano, Italy, connecting language regions and cultures via twists, turns and spectacular panoramic views, is the highest crossing of the Alps by rail.
As the highest railway line across the Alps, the Bernina Express connects northern and southern Europe. From St. Moritz, the route leads through Swiss pine forests and past Lago Bianco to the Ospizio Bernina – at 2,253 m above sea level, the highest crossing without cogwheels in Europe. It continues to wind its way past breathtaking glaciers down into Val Poschiavo and to the majestic palm trees of the Italian city of Tirano. The impressive route is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a trademark of the Rhaetian Railway. Seated in modern panoramic carriages, passengers enjoy an unrestricted view of the untouched Alpine panorama. In winter, when everything is covered in glistening snow, the train journey is an especially impressive experience.
It’s one highlight after another on the scenic trip aboard the Glacier Express through the Swiss Alps. The route leads across the Alps from metropolitan St. Moritz to the world's most photographed mountain peak – the Matterhorn.
The 8-hour journey in the world's slowest express train travels over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels. From metropolitan St. Moritz, the Glacier Express meanders through the beautiful Albula Valley. The journey continues through the stunning Rhine Gorge, the Grand Canyon of Switzerland. The highest point of the journey is on the Oberalp Pass near the head of the Rhine, at 2,033 meters above sea level. Then it’s downhill – via Andermatt and Fiesch to Brig. The destination is close: Zermatt and the Matterhorn soon come into view.
Culinary tastes are also catered for: a three-course menu, fresh from the onboard kitchen, is served during the journey. The newly introduced Excellence Class offers even more comfort and enjoyment.
From Thusis, the little red Rhaetian Railway train climbs through spiral tunnels and over dizzying viaducts up the Albula Valley towards St. Moritz. The route, harmoniously embedded in the landscape, is a masterpiece from the time of the railway pioneers and is part of the RhB UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Even today, the 62-kilometre-long Albula line is considered a masterpiece in terms of railway technology and routing. In 1903, the RhB opened the spectacular route between Thusis and St. Moritz after just five years of construction. The red train climbs more than 1,000 meters in altitude without the use of cogwheels – thanks to the Solis Viaduct, Landwasser Viaduct, and the numerous loop tunnels between Bergün and Preda. In Preda, the tracks disappear in the 6-km-long Albula Tunnel, which takes it to the sunny Engadine and St. Moritz.
Albula Railway Museum
The Albula Railway Museum in Bergün tells the railway history of Graubünden in a unique way. The historical railway relics, films, and models are popular with all age groups.
600 exhibits spanning over 100 years of railway history bear witness to the pioneering work in the Grisons, including the people who shaped the railway, and also present the landscapes that called for extraordinary engineering achievements. Old station clocks, historical documents and plans of the elaborate structures show the history and importance of this UNESCO World Heritage route between Thusis and Tirano.
The PostBus trip, full of stunning contrasts, from glaciers to palm trees, leads over the Maloja Pass, through the Bergell to Chiavenna, and then along Lake Como and Lake Lugano to Lugano.
The highlights of the approximately four-hour trip aboard the Palm Express include the medieval market town of Chiavenna, the deep blue lakes of Lago di Mezzola, Lago di Como and Lago di Lugano, the picturesque villages on the banks of the lakes and the enchantingly situated city of Lugano in Ticino.
The Diavolezza cable car is in operation, but all ski slopes are closed. Corviglia and Muottas Muragl will open their summer season on June 10, 2023, Corvatsch on June 17, 2023. •The TIME Magazine has listed St. Moritz among the 50 World's Greatest Places of 2023. •Souvenir St. Moritz Volume 4 is a unique collaboration between two British artists: David Sims and Jake Chapman. Order now in the shop. •