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Bernina Express

Connecting Switzerland and Italy via the highest mountain railway in the Alps, the Bernina Express train rises to the challenges presented by snow, ice and the steepest gradients to delight passengers with a four-hour journey of breath-taking beauty through this iconic mountain range.

Beginning in the north at Chur, capital of the canton of Graubünden and the oldest city in Switzerland, the narrow-gauge railway that carries the scarlet-liveried  Bernina Express winds its way south-eastwards through the Alps, crossing into Italy shortly after Poschiavo, to its destination in Tirano.

Highlights

The Alpine passage that the Bernina Express makes from Switzerland to Italy has been acclaimed as Switzerland's most scenic journey, and passengers have much to admire from the train's panoramic windows.

The first part of the route from Chur passes through the area of Switzerland most populated with castles. As the train ascends into the glacier-dominated region of Bernina itself, the scenery becomes increasingly breath-taking. However, the views are at their most magnificent at the mountain-ringed Lake Bianco, whose placid waters mirror the sky above.

Of the 55 tunnels and 196 bridges that help the train negotiate the trickier natural elements of the route, Solis Viaduct and famous Landwasser Viaduct are particularly spectacular.

 

 

Landwasser Viaduct

 

 

 

13 results matching: Bernina Express

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Classic Glacier Express
Small Group
4.7 stars(34 reviews)
2022MarAprMayJunJul...
9 days from
£2,095 pp
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9 days from
£2,095
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Glacier Express
4.4 stars(49 reviews)
2022AprMayJunJulAug...
8 days from
£1,595 pp
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£1,595
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
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  • TransportRail
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Glacier Express & St Moritz
Small Group
4.8 stars(16 reviews)
2022MayJunJulAugSep
10 days from
£2,895 pp
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
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  • TransportRail
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Varenna
Small Group
4.8 stars(5 reviews)
2022AprMayJunJulSepOct
10 days from
£2,095 pp
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  • DestinationItaly, Switzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Glacier Express in Winter (Chur-Kandersteg) 2016
Small Group
5.0 stars(8 reviews)
2022JanFebMar
8 days from
£1,495 pp
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
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Engadine Valley
Small Group
2022JunJulAugSepOct
9 days from
£2,795 pp
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£2,795
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
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9 days from
£2,295
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
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9 days from
£2,295
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
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Grand Alpine Explorer
4.4 stars(5 reviews)
2022MayJunJulAugSep
14 days from
£3,895 pp
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  • DestinationAustria, Germany, Switzerland
  • Starts / EndsLondon Heathrow
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Klosters
Small Group
2022JunJulAugSep
9 days from
£2,395 pp
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£2,395
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
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12 days from
£2,895
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  • DestinationItaly, Switzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
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Our customers love our Bernina Express tours
Glacier Express in Winter
10 Feb 2020
Ms M Hickox
5 stars
“Awesome trip! Fabulous sites and people on our tour!
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Classic Glacier Express
20/Oct
Mr John Aliband
4 stars
“Very well organised trip, and certainly lived up to its promise to show outstanding Swiss scenery. Travel on Swiss railways was easy, and comfortable, and the hotel accommodation was generally very good. The only reason we haven't given 5 stars is that we kept that rating for the Rocky Mountaineer trip which we did in 2019.
Collected by Trustpilot
Lake Como and The Bernina Express
17/Oct
Izzyd
4 stars
“A wonderful trip. Well organised and led by Chris, our tour manager. The dinner experience in the hotel Grand Caddenabia wasn’t wonderful but the accommodation was good. I really enjoyed travelling by rail and would certainly consider another Great Rail Journey in the future.
Collected by Trustpilot
Traditional Glacier Express
12/Oct
J Mott
4 stars
“We enjoyed our holiday with Glacier express for various reasons. The organisation was good though the first days travel was too long. We only had 8 couples on our trip including the tour manager, which seemed a good amount.
Collected by Trustpilot
The Glacier Express and St Moritz
11 Jul 2019
Les Mackey
4 stars
“We were downgraded on the Glacier Express because of overbooking. This was not the fault of GRJ. At the last minute we were reinstated for most but not all of it. It meant we had to travel on later trains to the group. The train journey from Cologne to St Moritz was tiresome and involved changes of stations, trains etc due to the problems on German Rail. This was not the fault of GRJ. However, the journey took 13.5 hours. Our tour guide was brilliant, he did his utmost to get us there as quickly as he could. He was constantly cheerful no matter what was thrown at him. He is a credit to GRJ. Overall the holiday was superb. Lovely scenery, hotels.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Grand Alpine Explorer
16 Aug 2018
Mr M Ward
4 stars
“The hotels were of variable standard. We felt the hotel in Traunkirchen was not of 4 star standard with regard to facilities, room, and the hotel was not particularly well situated. The dinners served in St Moritz were of poor quality and appeared to have been prepared on an extremely tight budget. However the hotel in Innsbruck was excellent and we would have preferred more time there than in Traunkirchen. The total porterage worked excellently which is why we give the holiday 4 and not 3.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys

A touch of class

Bernina Express trains typically comprise two or three First and Second class carriages separated by a bar and services carriage at the train's centre. The carriages in both classes are spacious and offer air conditioning, panoramic windows, comfortable seating and an at-seat trolley service providing light refreshments.

Second Class carriages are designed to carry more passengers and are configured with two rows of tables, one each side of the carriage, each of which provides seating for four people.

First Class carriages comprise one row of four-seater tables and one row of double seats. Carrying fewer passengers than Second Class carriages means that First Class passengers enjoy more space and greater legroom and larger, leather-upholstered seats. Fewer seats in First Class also mean that the views from the carriages' larger panoramic windows are less obstructed.

 

 

Bernina Express Interior

 

 

 

The section of the Bernina Express's route that passes through the Albula and Bernina regions between the Swiss Town of Thusis and the Italian town of Tirano became a UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2008.

This prestigious status recognises the supreme feats of engineering that were achieved by railway builders in the early twentieth century in overcoming natural obstacles to connect remote Alpine settlements whilst simultaneously minimising the impact upon the stunning landscape.

Passengers can learn more about the route, its history and its highlights courtesy of an on-board commentary during the journey.

From the train's terminus in Tirano, the connecting Bernina Express allows passengers to continue their journey by road along a route that follows the shores of Lake Como and Lake Lugano to the city of Lugano itself on the Swiss/Italian border.

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