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from £1599
This holiday is a showcase for two things at which the Swiss excel – magnificent mountain scenery and the best train system in the world.
  • Product Code 19350
  • Holiday Type Holidays With Rail, Continuous Route Holidays
  • Grade Grade 5
  • Holiday Duration 8 Nights

Guided Walking Holidays - Walking the Trail of the Bernina Express

As the train leaves the mountain station the only sound remaining is that of cow bells. Stepping out from the village past neat gardens and window boxes, the meadows are suddenly filled with the smell of freshly scythed grass dotted with wild flowers, spread and rigged to dry in the sun. Snowy peaks shine against the blue sky, or maybe mist rises mysteriously from the valley. This is summer in the high Alps, on a journey made possible by the wonder that is the Swiss railway system. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays.  

The Bernina Express passes through the alpine wonderland of eastern Switzerland. Our holiday follows its route, partly by train and partly on foot. Sometimes our walks follow the track, whilst at other times we head off into more remote landscapes. We base ourselves in five small towns or villages, and our daily walks are short enough to allow time to soak up the atmosphere in these mountain enclaves. Should you want to take a day off and cover the distance between hotels entirely by train, that is possible too.

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy Switzerland’s scenery at its finest both on foot and from the train. 
  • The section between Thusis and Tirano has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
  • Our walk from Bergün allows us to visit the village of Latsch where the first Heidi film was filmed
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Heathrow to Zurich (British Airways)  
      Airport transfers
      Half board en suite accommodation
      A Swiss rail pass, see our Holiday Information Sheet for more information
      Travel on the Bernina Express
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 5

  1. Day 1

    We fly to Zurich from London Heathrow and transfer to our hotel in Thusis (2 hours) by rail.

  2. Day 2

    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.

  3. Day 3

    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.

  4. Day 4

    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.

  5. Day 5

    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.

  6. Day 6

    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.

  7. Day 7

    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.

  8. Day 8

    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.

  9. Day 9

    Transfer by train from Chur to Zurich airport for our return flight back to the UK.

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Zurich (British Airways)
  • Airport transfers by rail c. 2 hours 15 minutes
  • We can offer regional flight options but due to the location and travelling time to our resort we operate just one transfer coach between the airport and our hotel to coincide with our main group. This may mean that there is a wait at the overseas airport in one or both directions

Trip Map

See where this holiday travels to.

The map will be available soon...

ABC Swiss Quality Hotel, Chur

Our last stay is in charming Chur, the oldest town in Switzerland. In contrast the four star ABC Hotel offers the best in modernity with its four star services and chic and clean decor. Located in the centre of Chur and near the train station, the hotel makes for a perect base to reach the trails and connections by rail. By the way of facilities the hotel has a bar by the lobby with a unique design, a sauna, fitness room and dining area where the excellent and varied breakfasts are served. Recently renovated rooms with a minimalist feel include free Wi-Fi, TV, mini bars, Nespresso machines, en-suite facilities and air conditioning.

Hotel Bernina, Pontresina

The three star Hotel Bernina in Pontresina, a traditional hotel in the centre of town. The rooms are equipped with a bath tub or shower, WC, radio, TV, telephone and a minibar. Many of the rooms have a scenic view over the mountains.





Hotel Bernina, Tirano

Two nights are spent at the three-star Hotel Bernina in Tirano (Italy).

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