Pontresina Lead Text: Piz Albris above Pontresina is home to one of the largest ibex colonies in the Alps, with around 1,800 ibex.
In spring, when there is still snow above the tree line, the royal animals venture down to the outskirts of Pontresina, offering a very special natural spectacle. With a little luck, however, the ibex can be observed throughout the summer months.
Considered graceful, regal, and majestic - the ibex. In earlier times, the animal was mythicized and considered a miracle cure for all kinds of diseases, which almost led to the extinction of the now beloved ibex. Fortunately, the ibex was re-established in the Alps a good hundred years ago, including on Piz Albris above Pontresina. The reintroduced ibex obviously felt at home in the Engadin mountains because, to date, the colony has grown to over 1,800 animals, making it the largest in the Alps.
In the spring 'The King of the Alps' - as the Graubünden heraldic animal is often called - ventures down to the edge of the village to enjoy the fresh blades of grass and the warm spring sun. The animals have recently become accustomed to humans and can be observed at close range in a completely unique way.
On the ibex promenade off the church of Sta. Maria you can watch the climbing experts moving on the ledges and sunbathing peacefully on the green meadow. And when the young animals are getting frisky, you can watch them playfully battling with branches, stones, or other ibex.
The one-kilometer hiking trail, which is suitable for strollers, also offers exciting information about the life of the ibex. At seven posts you will find a lot of interesting information about the character and the way of life of the regal animals. From April to June, when the ibex walk in large numbers to the edge of the path, experienced rangers can be found here who are happy to provide information about the ibex. Pontresina also regularly offers free guided tours with exciting insights into the world of the ibex.
The ibex paradise on Alp Languard with its impressive view of the Bernina Range is also dedicated to this natural phenomenon. Children and adults can playfully discover the life of the ibex. Children can also frolic on the playground while parents treat themselves to a refreshing drink or the infamous giant crème cake on the wonderful sun terrace of the Alp Languard mountain restaurant. And with a bit of luck, the occasional ibex will be spotted here as well.
Hikers who have arrived at Alp Languard are spoilt for choice: should we try a more demanding excursion to one of the surrounding mountain huts or a leisurely hike on the Paradisrunde including the Paradishütte? On this enjoyable loop with a beautiful view of the Bernina Range, with a bit of luck, you might also see an ibex or two. Tip: A stop at the benches is worthwhile. On the information boards, which are attached to the seven benches from Alp Languard in the direction of Chamanna Paradis, hikers can read humorous anecdotes about the ibex from the Pontresina wildlife officer Daniel Godli
With the Ibex Passport, hikers have the opportunity to explore the Ibex Paradise Pontresina in a playful way by visiting the four mountain huts "Unterer Schafberg", "Chamanna Paradis", "Chamanna Segantini" and "Chamanna Georgy" and getting stamps for their passport. If they also solve the respective hut riddle, the hard-working Ibex Paradise hikers will receive a small reward on site. The Ibex Passport is available at the Pontresina Tourist Information as well as at the Languard valley and mountain stations.
Have you ever wondered where the ibex hibernate, how they cope with the cold season, and where they find food? On the sun terrace at Crast'Ota you will find a large and weatherproof outdoor ibex book with answers to these and many other questions. And with the telescope, you can observe the wild animals in the area from a distance.