Pontresina, Switzerland Vacation Guide
Pontresina is an authentic Engadin village with magnificent houses from the 17th and 18th century and stylish hotels from the Belle Epoque. Sgraffitos, a traditional wall decoration, cover most of the buildings. Nature lovers will find pine forests and a network of hiking path and cross country skiing tracks. Pontresina lies on a sunny spot at the entrance of the Bernina Valley. It is only 7 km/5 miles away from St. Moritz. Muottas Muragl, Mt. Diavolezza and the Morteratsch Glacier Valley are all very close by. Book your Pontresina, Switzerland vacation guide to experience one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland!
Pontresina is one of the highest resorts in Switzerland. It is protected by the Bernina Massif and casts its spell on travelers as they arrive. The Glacier Valleys of Morteratsch and Roseg are best visited from Pontresina. The famous Bernina Express train stops in Pontresina and shortly after leaving the station one can see the Morteratsch Glacier on the right side looking forward. The Bernina mountain pass then leads over 2,330m/7,644 towards northern Italy. Seat reservations on the Bernina Express are required!
Pontresina Attractions and Activities
Pontresina is an ideal place for longer vacation stays in the Engadin. It is much quieter and closer to nature than neighbor St. Moritz. Visitors will find a hiking paradise in summer and a cross country skiing mecca in winter. Strolling up and down the village you will see many buildings decorated with sgraffitos. Inviting boutiques, mountaineer stores and restaurants line Main Street where you will also find the Bellavita Pool and SPA complex and the conference and cultural center. Guests of the Hotel Allegra enjoy direct access to Bellavita through a private entrance for hotel guests.
A visit of Muottas Muragl is a great mountain excursion and will give you a view of 3 valleys and 4 lakes – one of the best vantage spots in Switzerland in our opinion! A solar powered funicular takes visitors up to the top to the Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl which also includes 3 restaurants and a large and sun panorama terrace. Discover high Alpine scenery and spectacular nature on many of the mountain trails. The 700-meter climb from Punt Muragl takes 10 minutes and is included in the Engadin Card.
Mountain Excursions in Pontresina
From Pontresina you can take a train to Diavolezza Station where you can take the cableway to the mountain’s summit. The panorama at an elevation of 2973 m/9753 ft. is breath taking and includes views of Piz Palü and Piz Bernina and a view down onto Morteratsch Glacier. At the summit there’s a restaurant and a self-serve cafeteria, both with access to the terrace.
A funicular takes travelers up Muottas Muragl at an elevation of 2454 m/8051 ft in just ten minutes from the La Punt Muragl station. You will enjoy the most stunning views of the area of the Upper Engadin’s lakes, St. Moritz, Piz Palü, Piz Bernina and Biancograt.
Train Excursions from Pontresina
The Bernina Express with its panoramic wagons connects Chur with Tirano in Italy. Pontresina is about at the half-way mark of this almost 5 hour long scenic train ride. In Tirano you have access to trains to Milan and/or can take the Bernina Express bus to Lugano. Seat reservations required!
The Glacier Express in is a panoramic rail journey in the other direction of the Bernina Express to Zermatt. The part between St. Moritz and Chur is shared by both scenic trains. The entire stretch from Pontresina/St. Moritz to Zermatt takes almost 8 hours. Seat reservations required!
Excursions from Pontresina
Around April to June the Ibex migrate from their home around Piz Albris down into the valley which has been dubbed the Ibex paradise. Travelers may encounter these animals close to Pontresina on an easy one-kilometer (0.7 miles) hike. The path contains 7 placades with interesting info about Ibexes. For more info visit Pontresina Tourism.
The train takes you to Poschiavo in summer and in winter. Alternatively there is also a public yellow bus but in winter the road is sometimes closed. Poschiavo is an Italian speaking village in Switzerland and much more charming then nearby Tirano. It is built in a typically Italian architectural character which is of national significance. Make sure you visit the "Spaniolenviertel", a neighborhood with villas built by wealthy returning emigrants.
St. Moritz is just 7 km/5 miles from Pontresina and you can take a bus or the train which both are covered by the Engadin Card and the Swiss Travel Pass. You will find a small heart of town with exclusive boutique’s and brands along top-class hotels, restaurants and traditional tea rooms. Take a cable car up to Corviglia to get a better view of the surroundings.
Chur is one of the oldest Alpine cities in Switzerland and the capital of the Canton of Graubunden. Chur is a recommended stop for train enthusiasts since it is located half way between Zermatt and Tirano if one takes both the Bernina Express and the Glacier Express.
Summer Sports in Pontresina
Pontresina is surrounded by large pine forests, glacier valleys and mountain likes. Visitors of the area will find a network of sign-posted hikes and many times dotted with park benches to rest and enjoy.
Winter Sports in Pontresina
In Pontresina you can choose from three ski areas: Diavolezza/Lagalp is the most demanding, St. Moritz is the closest, and Mt. Corvatsch including its summer ski areas is on the other side of the valley.
Cross Country Skiing
Pontresina is among the best places to practice Cross Country Skiing: 220 km / 124 miles of tracks extend through the Upper Engadin, including the Engadine Ski Marathon route. There is a lit night trail at Cuntschett illuminated daily from 5 – 9 PM.
Museums in Pontresina
The Museum Alpin is a multifaceted exhibition site for fauna, flora, and the geology of the mountains of Grisons region. Exhibitions about local tourism are a highlight as well as the exhibition on the development of SAC mountain huts. Founded in 1971 it is on Via Maistra 199 in the center, in a stately Engadine building. Swiss Travel Pass accepted. Limited opening times. For more info visit Pontresina Tourism.
Location and Map
Pontresina is located in the Engadin Valley and the southeastern part of the Swiss Alps. Chur is the nearest city located 94 km/59 mi northwest of Pontresina and can be reached in 2 hours via car or train. Zurich and the closest international Swiss airport are 211 km/131 mi from Pontresina. There is a local airport in Samedan where private aircraft can land.