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Bernina Glaciers

The fascinating world of glaciers

Pontresina

The Bernina Range with its world-famous peaks such as Piz Bernina and Piz Palü and the impressive glacier world with the mighty Pers Glacier are among the most beautiful panoramas in the Alps. It is therefore no coincidence that many classic excursions take place here. Spectacular views of the Palü glacier from the picturesque Alp Grüm, a voyage of discovery in the Cavaglia Glacier Garden, and the fascinating glacier trail to the Morteratsch Glacier - one highlight follows the next. Welcome to the Bernina Glaciers.

A paradise for glacier experiences

There are 173 glaciers in the highest glacier region of the Eastern Alps. They surround the imposing peaks of the Bernina Mountains and thus provide an incomparable alpine panorama. The longest and probably best known of them is the Morteratsch Glacier with a length of seven kilometers. Its siblings have well-known names such as the Roseg, Tschierva, and Pers Glaciers.

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The Bernina Glaciers, as the area in this unique glacier complex is called and which connect the Engadin with the Valposchiavo, are one of the most popular destinations for excursions. Adventurers, sports lovers, nature enthusiasts, and families all get their money's worth here because the mountain world around the Piz Bernina has so much to offer. The best thing about it is that the individual activities can be combined quite easily and conveniently by means of hop-on / hop-off sightseeing on the Rhaetian Railway. For example, this will take you to the valley station of Diavolezza, where the highest virtual reality experience in the world awaits you and from where you can get even closer to the Piz Bernina. The viewing platform on Diavolezza offers an unrestricted view of the majestic peaks and the impressive mountain scenery.

On the trails of the eternal ice

Exploring the mighty glaciers on your own is not recommended, as dangerous crevasses hide beneath the white blanket of snow. If you would like to walk on a glacier, it is best to book one of the numerous excursions offered by the Pontresina Mountaineering School and venture onto the eternal ice with a professional. Close to the ice, however, is the glacier trail to the Morteratsch Glacier. This unique hike gets a little longer every year because, due to its constant melting, the glacier tongue has retreated by about three kilometers since 1850. There are 16 stopping points that provide information about this process, the climatic challenges, and the mysterious life in the foreground before the gigantic tongue of ice can be admired at the foot of the glacier. The glacier trail is also ideal for an excursion on two wheels, using your own muscle power or with the help of supplementary energy.

Time travel to the ice age

In the Cavaglia Glacier Garden you can admire glacier mills formed by the Palü Glacier. The mills were formed over thousands of years by the erosion of the glacier. Glacial water, debris, and gravel have sculpted the hard rock and ground huge holes in the ground. Starting this summer, the Glacier Garden with the new Cavagliasco Gorge will be part of the southernmost excursion highlight of the Bernina Glaciers. Situated on the edge of the Cavaglia plateau, the gorge is characterized by bizarre erosion patterns in the glacier. Many of these whirlpools, glacial mills, and large, cave-like overhangs were previously hidden from visitors, but a new gorge trail now makes these natural beauties accessible. To reveal the view of ten new glacial mills, many steps were cut into the stone along the 180-meter-long path and supplemented with bridge elements. The project was planned and implemented by the well-known bridge builder Jürg Conzett and his team.

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The reflected perception of the Camera Obscura

An unexpected way of viewing the landscape awaits visitors at the Camera Obscura on the Bernina Pass. The Camera Obscura is a windowless room in which only a hole in the wall reflects light onto the concave inner wall, thus mirroring an image of the outside world. The hole in the shell of the 'black chamber' has the effect that its angle of vision captures about 180° of the outside world, thus drawing a unique picture of the untouched landscape around Lago Bianco.

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A descent into the depths

The 'Cascada da Bernina' is a panoramic theme trail in the middle of the Bernina glacier world where the wild mountain stream 'Ova da Bernina' plunges towards the valley floor from a height of about 200 meters. Translated from Rhaeto-Romanic, 'Cascada' means waterfall and thus describes the rushing spectacle at the foot of the mighty mountain scenery, which can be marveled at from the viewing platforms along the cascade.

Experiences for the whole family

The Bernina Glaciers also have a lot to offer for families. With the cheerful mountain spirit Sabi, as well as other mythical creatures, children have their own companion who tells the story of the glacier and gives the little ones simple tasks to do. Sabi and his friends help the children explore the glacier world in a playful way and provide lots of fun and adventure in the discovery area between the Roseg Glacier and the Cavaglia Glacier Garden.

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Hop-on / Hop-off sightseeing with the Rhaetian Railway

These and many other Bernina Glacier excursion destinations are located along the UNESCO World Heritage route of the Rhaetian Railway. The Bernina line is the highest railroad line in the Alps and fascinates with unique views as well as a fascinating railroad construction consisting of old viaducts and bridges. The Bernina Express, which connects the Engadin with the Italian border town of Tirano, is therefore an unforgettable experience. With the hop-on / hop-off sightseeing of the Rhaetian Railway you can easily combine the glacier experiences of the Bernina Glaciers, an attraction that is unparalleled worldwide. 

Bernina Express

The highest rail crossing in the Alps leads over the Bernina Pass down to Tirano in Italy.

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 Bernina Express
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