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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(106 reviews)
2022Oct
9 days from
£2,195 pp
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9 days from
£2,195
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tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Glacier Express
Small Group
4.5 stars(123 reviews)
2022Oct
8 days from
£1,695 pp
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8 days from
£1,695
per person
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Varenna
Small Group
3.9 stars(47 reviews)
2022SepOct
10 days from
£2,095 pp
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10 days from
£2,095
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  • DestinationItaly, Switzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Engadine Valley
Small Group
4.4 stars(13 reviews)
2022Oct
9 days from
£2,795 pp
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9 days from
£2,795
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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9 days from
£2,395
per person
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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9 days from
£2,295
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Glacier Express in Winter (Chur-Kandersteg) 2016
4.7 stars(35 reviews)
2023JanFebMar
8 days from
£1,595 pp
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8 days from
£1,595
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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tour map
  • DestinationAustria, Germany, Switzerland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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  • DestinationItaly, Switzerland
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  • TransportRail, Coach
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
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Our customers love our Bernina Express tours
Classic Glacier Express
26/Sep
K Robertson
5 stars
“Stunning scenery, good food & accommodation, A well organised holiday, that you don't want to miss. I thoroughly recommend it.
Collected by Trustpilot
Lakes and Mountains of Switzerland and Italy
24/Sep
Mr Joe Bannister
5 stars
“Friendly group really well organised holiday and great fun
Collected by Trustpilot
The Glacier Express and St Moritz
22/Sep
Garfield and Sarah Lewis
5 stars
“An excellent holiday, well worth the money. St Moritz was a little dull and quiet, and really quite small, just a collection of VERY upmarket shops, but was a good base for trips. Zermatt was fantastic, full of life, plenty of small bars and cafes, and plenty of local things to do, and places to visit. Our courier, Gilly, was fantastic, with loads of ideas and help (eg. when the train decided not to stop at our station on the way home). The Hotel Sonna in Zermatt was fantastic, with the most sophisticated bathroom I've ever been in, as were all the trips on the Bernina and Glacier Express. Can't recommend the holiday enough, and we may well repeat it again.
Collected by Trustpilot
Mountaintops of Switzerland
20/Sep
Mr David Webster
5 stars
“A fantastic holiday. Amazing! Simply Amazing.
Collected by Trustpilot
Grand Alpine Explorer
8/Sep
Ian Rowe
5 stars
“Leaving by Eurostar remains a pleasure compared to a busy airport. First class rail travel between centres worked well. Good to excellent hotels en route. Affable small group and our friendly tour guide kept everything moving to schedule. Stunning locations.
Collected by Trustpilot
Glacier Express in Winter
29/Mar
Mr DAVID pollard
5 stars
“a great holiday
Collected by Trustpilot
Lake Como and The Bernina Express
27/Sep
Michael Brooks
4 stars
“A good experience in a beautiful location. We particularly enjoyed the trip on The Bernina Express and the Truffle Hunting. A busy schedule which was perfect for us.
Collected by Trustpilot
Traditional Glacier Express
27/Sep
Mr Horsley
4 stars
“Great holiday but tiring. The experiences were excellent but it was virtually none stop on and off trains with literally minutes between some connections.The two longest days were one after the other when a half day between them would have been better. Hotels in Strasbourg and Chur were excellent but the final hotel in Kandersteg was grand but disappointing with poor meals and minimum staffing plus no hot water before 7 am despite having to take early breakfast and leave at 8 am! One safety issue for older travellers in the last hotel was very small steps into the bathroom which caused my wife to trip and fall. Overall a great experience helped by excellent weather and an excellent tour organiser with us, would we do it again possibly but not at the same pace.
Collected by Trustpilot
Klosters and The Glacier Express
27/Sep
Mrs Wendy Doncaster
4 stars
“Excellent holiday.,wonderful experience on Glacier Express
Collected by Trustpilot

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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