I love the tagline “Its the journey that matters and not the destination”.
In fact, I love it so much that it went into my websites tagline too.
I say this so after traveling through the picturesque landscape of the Alps crossing through the Bernina pass. I have been here in Bernina Express and also in my car. I have no idea which is better, as both equally challenging in terms of the wonderful journey.
Anyway, here I would like to cover the trip I made with the Bernina Express for the benefit of those who would prefer the train journey.
St.Moritz is in the east of Swiss, a little above the Italy border and are well connected with trains, including the Panoramic ones, from many places. Since I stay in Milano, the easiest and shortest path would be to take this Bernina Express that leaves from Tirano (SO).
There are good train connections from Milano to Tirano. It is the last station on Italy side in this region. Unfortunately, there are no high-speed trains on this route, and the regular train takes around 2:30 min to reach Tirano. So, plan to start early if you want to make it as a good One day visit.
The red train or the Bernina Express (its express just for the namesake! do not expect it to go fast) also takes roughly 2;30min to reach St.Moritz after passing through the world famous circular bridge.
If you are planning this as a one day trip, then go for the Io Vaggio card (or one day pass) which would cost 15.50 Euros for the segment from Milan to Tirano. Else, its 11 Euros one way. The station for Bernina Express is just next to the Trenitalia station.
The train travels through the Lake Como on the Lecco side and offers a beautiful view all along the lake with roads and track competing with each other. From there we turn towards right heading towards Sondrio region, which is the border region of Italy with Swiss.
After exactly 2hrs and 30 minutes, we arrived at Tirano. It was a small station, and the moment you step out of the train, you are outside the station.
So, you come out of the Italian side, have a cafe or cappuccino, and get on to the Swiss side of the Station.
The Bernina Express cost is around 50euro round-trip for one person. You need to get a reservation of around 10 Euro for getting into the Panoramic car. I would say well worth it. Of course, if you are on the budget, then you can go on the regular car. Both cars go exactly on the same route, so you do not miss the scenes.
Look out for deals!
And keep checking for the offers that are available at the time of your travel. In fact, I got a good deal, 79 Euro with lunch for 2 people including the Panoramic Car reservation. So, watch out before you book and plan.
And then you see this famous bridge of this route, called the Brusio Spiral viaduct. Heard that this just helps to adjust the elevation for the train in this area. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful idea to have such a bridge and also make the route a touristic delight.
Once you cross this famous bridge, within 10-20minutes, we are crossing the Miralago. A beautiful scenery that we liked to see in most of the desktop wallpapers. In fact, the train stops for a few minutes giving an opportunity for the tourists to take some good pictures.
All through the way, there are numerous bridges. Makes sense since the train has to reach a height of 2000+m when it arrives at Bernina, starting around 500m from Tirano.
This is the beautiful lake you will see once in Bernina. The ice-covered mountain is the Piz. Bernina, where even in the beginning of winter, people visit for ski. It’s almost 4000m.
We reached the St.Moritz station and headed to the lake just outside the station. A picture could not speak about the excitement we had when we arrived here.
Lunch @ Waldhaus am See restaurant
After a fantastic lunch @ Waldhaus am See, restaurant next to the lake, we settled for a romantic view. I should say, its a much visit place given the beautiful view you get from the windows of the restaurant.
There was a return train that we caught around evening, and back to Tirano same day. This could be done as a one day trip from Milano provided you start your day a bit early around 6-7am.
Make sure you try this route in both winter & autumn. Just imagine how it would be in winter with full of white snow all around you and your train gliding between those white snow!!!
Interesting, right? Yes, plan for this winter.