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This departure: Grade 5
We fly to Zurich from London Heathrow and transfer to our hotel in Thusis (2 hours) by rail.
This morning we experience an engineering masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage site. We travel on the Albula line with countless bridges, loop and spiral tunnels, taking only 30 minutes from Thusis to Filisur. We then walk to Bergun which takes us approximately 3.5 hours, 6.5 miles, 10.6km, ascent 500m / descent 200m maximum altitude 1366m.
From Bergun our path leads to the nature reserve of Parc Ela before we reach Preda. The walk will take us about 3 hours. 4.5 miles (7km)ascent 550m / descent 250m maximum altitude 1788m. After lunch we will board a train to Pontresina where we will spend the next two nights.
Today you have the opportunity to do an optional glacier hike near Diavolezza arranged by a local mountain guide. We have intentionally not included this in our programme as it is above the grade (see further information on this hike in our walks section). Alternatively join the tour leader on a pleasant walk from Pontresina to the Muottas Muragl mountain hut (part aided by cable car). 3.5 hours 6 miles (9.5km)minimal ascent / descent 525m. Alternatively you can take a day out to explore Pontresina itself.
Today we travel part of the route of the Bernina Express over the Bernina Pass from St Moritz to the Puschlav and into Italy in Tirano. On this route we will be rewarded with wonderful mountain scenery of the Morteratsch Glacier Diavolezza and Lagalb. Our walk is fairly leisurely but leads us into high Alpine terrain. We pass Lago Bianco and marvel at the magnificent views of the town of Poschiavo. This walk takes a little over two hours with time for a picnic before arriving. At Alp Grum we can enjoy a view of the imposing Palu Glacier, and the Lago di Poschiavo deep down in the valley. 4 miles (7km)ascent 200m / descent 600m maximum altitude 2359m.
The section of the trail we follow is called the "smugglers" path, and leads us from Viano to Tirano crossing the border into Italy as we do so. On the way we can enjoy panoramic views of Brusio and its round viaduct, before descending through terraced vineyards. The walk will take around 3 hours 4.5 miles (7km)ascent 200m / descent 1000m. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
Today we will go aboard the Bernina Express which seamlessly connects the warm balmy south with the cool airy north, and effortlessly overcomes the steepest gradients travelling from Tirano to Chur.
A day to discover Chur. We can visit the Gothic old town with St. Martin's Church and Martinsplatz and all those quaint narrow streets and pretty squares. Alternatively you can take the train an hour up into the mountains to Arosa from where there is a wealth of walks.
Transfer by train from Chur to Zurich airport for our return flight back to the UK.