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Stopover on Bernina route

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Stopover on Bernina route

Hi everyone,

Due to a planned strike by Trenord (of Italy) I will have to leave milan at 6.20 instead of 10.20 AM I had earlier planned to catch the Bernina Express at 14:33 on 14th March. Since I will now be arriving at Tirano at 8.50 instead of 12.50, I have an extra four hours or five and a half in total before the bernina Express. I have already reserved and paid for the reservation which I can't refund on the Bernina and hence would like to catch it. However, I figure I could spend some time in Tirano or other stops on the way before Poschivino. The reason I choose for stops before Poschivino is that I heard that the route from Poschivino to Pontresina is a World Heritage site and I figure I might enjoy that in the Bernina Express.

We do have two luggage which we can pull along but would prefer stops where we can leave the luggage in the storage and then check out the place. I also heard that a stop in Bernina Diavolezza is good and I can take the cable car up the mountain and back. However, I would need some advice as to whether there is enough time and is the stop worth it?

Please do recommend something that we can do before catching up with the Bernina express seats that has been paid for. If I haven't paid for it, I would have probably just taken the regional train and arrive in the evening at a better time.



PS: Just in case, is it possible to get a refund on the train seat reservation in Switzerland?

Destination Expert
for Zurich
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1. Re: Stopover on Bernina route

Hello Romy_Ravit

The first thing that you may need to understand is that most of the stops of the Bernina train route are VERY small villages or even just a stop with a shelter. So you need to be careful about planning if you will be towing large suitcases with you.

Tirano and Poschivino are both large enough to have luggage lockers, but then the next largest station is really only in Pontressina. Bernina Diavolezza is a stop to service a ski mountain... but as far as I remember there are no facilities there to store your luggage. The other option to consider is the stop at Alp Grüm. This is a (very quaint Swiss style) restaurant immediately beside the tracks, and it is at a lookout point where you get a view of the entire surrounding valley... but you would be able to stop here for an hour (until the next train) and get a drink and some local food, and your luggage could be accommodated in the restaurant.

The Bernina route is very lovely, and the views are fantastic, but the trains run every hour and with your ticket you can hop off and wait for the next one... you just won't have a reservation on every train... although this is rarely a problem.

The final thing you might be interested in is the fact that Google maps - Street view - has been done for the entire Bernina rail line. So you can see the entire train trip using google maps: See here:


Good luck

Edited: 1:16 pm, March 11, 2014
Goldau, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Lucerne, Zug, Brunnen
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2. Re: Stopover on Bernina route

Hi Romy_Ravit

Please note Poschivino = Poschiavo.

I would stop at Poschiavo which is a great place before the trains climbs the Bernina pass. Spend a few hours there and enjoy the beautiful town including the Palazzi at the Southern end of the town. There are a few nice restaurants, if the weather fits you could even have a coffee at the piazza in the Center of the town.



Destination Expert
for Switzerland
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3. Re: Stopover on Bernina route

Only the Bernina Express train itself requires a reservation for seats. The "normal" trains that run hourly over the same line do not. You just get on and off. I would consider, if I were you, that the reservation fees I paid on the BEX itself are lost and just take the most convenient train from Tirano to St Moritz. Then if you want to stop in Poschiavo (great idea) or Alp Grum you can.

I think (but am not sure) that you can store baggage at the cable car station at Diavolezza - the valley one. Ask at the ticket office there about this if you go up. If you want the restaurant at Alp Grum to look after your bags for a couple of hours then you had better have lunch there and also tip them nicely!

St. Moritz...
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for St. Moritz, Engadin St. Moritz
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4. Re: Stopover on Bernina route

There are several options to stop along the route, but except Diavolezza on a sunny day none of those is worth 4 to 5 hours. Your best option is as Hambagahle suggest to not bother about the reservation fees for the BEX and consider it as a collateral damage and go on with local trains. With your very early departure from Milan you could perhaps need a coffee brake in Poschiavo, leave your luggage at the station there and have a stroll through the village. It is special, a northern alpine village in a narrow valley, with an Italian background. As suggested, have a look at the palazzi: those are impressive houses built by returning migrants, mostly confiseurs, who had earned a fortune in foreign countries after they had left because of the poverty in this remote valley. See more about Poschiavo here: valposchiavo.ch/en/valposchiavo/portrait.html

Then take the train one or two hours later and continue on the Bernina line - I would not bother to get off in Alp Grüm in winter, it is just a train station, however with a very nice view, but you see it from the train anyway - and continue to Bernina Diavolezza, where you get off again. There are lockers at the cablecar valley station, however they are rather small, as they are provided for skier leaving their shoes and backpacks. If your luggage is larger, ask the cashier at the counter and they will keep it for you while you visit. Be however aware that the cablecar is CHF 33.00 per person, however IMO it is worth every centime of it with a good weather day. You will most probably be with a hord of skiers this time of year, as Diavolezza is a top ski area in spring, as it is high altitude and the snow keeps longer than on the sun exposed lower runs and skiers have to get up again with the cablecar after every run. So you may have to calculate some waiting time there (just to get up, you will be almost the only ones on the downhill-ride). Plan to have lunch on the sunny terrace of the restaurant and take in the sun and the views. Make sure to bring a good sunblock as the sun is strong at this altitude and then reflected by the snow all around.

Then you can take a leisurly pace getting back and taking the next train direction St. Moritz, or then take the BEX. It does not matter which part you take the express train, as all trains are on the same tracks, so the same views.

5. Re: Stopover on Bernina route

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