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Bernina Express

Photos by Stefan Eisend

Rocky, challenging trails that weave by cafes at mountain passes, down endless backcountry descents, and out again to restaurants serving plates of pizzocherri. Linking the Engadin with the Valposchiavo, the trail leads through several climatic zones, crosses the backbone of the Alps, and offers dramatic views of the highest railway line in Europe - a Unesco World Heritage site. The iconic red Swiss trains, corkscrewing through mountain tunnels, serve at the same time as a shuttle from both sides of Bernina Pass, so all trails can be ridden to maximize descending.

Graubünden, Switzerland

Total distance:
37 km (unpaved: 35 km, singetrack: 14 km) / 23 miles total

Begins at 1,708 meters (5,603 feet) at Samedan, climbs to a high point of 2,264 meters (7,427 feet), then descends to 1,014 meters at Poschiavo. Click here for an elevation profile of the trail.

Route finding:
This is signed as a directional trail: Samedan to Alp Grüm toPoschiavo. Follow the logo indicated on the red signposts with the number 673. Ride with a copy of the map with you.

The start point is the key junction of Samedan; the end point is the town of Poschiavo. Despite the high-alpine terrain, the route—which for extensive sections is a singletrack trail—is passable throughout. The northern approach is characterised by long stretches with a very gentle gradient, interrupted by a couple of short, steep climbs. The view of the dazzling glaciers of the Bernina massif is just one of many highlights. From Pru dal Vent, above Alp Grüm, there is a magnificent view of the Lago di Poschiavo. The piazza in Poschiavo has a wonderful, unmistakably Mediterranean charm since the Italian border is close by.

More information here.