Bernina Express Switzerland
The Bernina Express in Switzerland is a legendary scenic train which connects Chur with Lugano and passes through Tirano in Italy. It is a two connection ride, from Chur to Tirano in panoramic train wagons and from Tirano to Lugano with the Bernina Express bus. Starting in Chur you will pass Filisur, St. Moritz, Pontresina, the Bernina Hospice, Poschiavo and Tirano on the train. Then on the drive from Tirano to Lugano you will pass Sondrio, Lake Como and Lake Lugano.
The Bernina Express train runs over many viaducts, past raging mountain torrents and along ancient glaciers. Starting in Chur the first highlights are several UNESCO protected viaducts. The most famous bridge is the Landwasser Viaduct which opened in 1902. Built in limestone this famous arch bridge is 142 meters long and curves right into a vertical rock wall which is the tunnel. Coming from Chur/Tiefencastel you want to sit on the right side of the train. This stretch continues to impress between Bergün and the tunnel in Preda. Turning in the middle of the valley with turn-tunnels it is easy to loose orientation. Then you reach St. Moritz, one of the most famous Swiss resorts.
From St. Moritz heading south you will first reach Pontresina, an authentic Engadin village. On your way to the Bernina Hospice the Bernina Express train passes romantic forests and the Morteratsch Glacier on your right side. Now it is not far anymore to the highest point of this formidable rail journey, the Bernina Pass and Hospice where you will see eternal snow. After a very short stop you will descend towards the south. First you reach Poschiavo, and then you will experience the spiral viaduct in Brusio and eventually get to Tirano.
You can have lunch in Tirano Italy before taking the Bernina Express bus to Lugano. Or you take a regular train back towards Poschiavo, Pontresina or St. Moritz. There are postal buses circulating between Poschiavo and Pontresina if you would like to experience this important method of transportation of the locals.
The drive from Tirano to Lugano first descends to Sondrio before reaching Lake Como. Then until Menaggio the road takes you along Lake Como before you eventually reach Porlezza on Lake Lugano. In Lugano you will see Mediterranean palms as this area of Switzerland enjoys a very special micro climate, usually sunny and warmer than the rest of Switzerland.