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Good places to stay along the Bernina Express route?

My wife and I are planning a trip from Zurich to Rome and would like to spend three days in Switzerland en route to Italy. We are planning to take local trains along the Bernina Express route.

What towns would you recommend staying in that have stops along this route (other than St. Moritz, which seems a little more ritzy than what we are looking for)? We are looking to experience a smaller town that is close to good hiking. Many of the stops seem to be not much more than a rail station, so it would be nice to stay in one that at least has a few restaurants and places to stay.

I previously stayed in the Lauterbrunnen Valley and loved it, so anything similar in this region would be awesome!

Posted by
13085 posts

If you want a town, there are lots of places in Pontresina. Hotel Steinbock is very moderately priced, and gets good reviews.

But we prefer the little mountain inns, which is what you will find at those railway stops where there is no town. These are part of the charm of Switzerland. Most have access to good hiking, and provide nice meals.

Like you we will be traveling from Zurich to Italy and have several days to spend along the way. I specifically booked this route as we have spent a lot of time in Switzerland but have never yet made it to the Engadine. We want to spend two nights in one place along the route--- two nights so we will have a full day for hiking, and also because most of the hotels offer a free local transport pass ( trains and lifts) with a two-night stay.

Our choice will be the Gastehaus Bernina, an historic mountain inn a bit south of Pontresina, with its own railway stop. We prefer this to a place in town where we would have a loooong walk, or taxi or bus ride, from rail station to hotel.

http://www.berninahaus.ch/

There are others, in more remote locations. Some are quite famous, and all are much-loved by the Swiss. Depending how much time you have,one of these might suit you.

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks for the thoughtful replies -- Poschiavo and Pontresina look like they would be perfect for the second leg of our trip through Switzerland.

Are there any recommendations for a village to stay in the first night between Chur and St. Moritz?

Villages like Thusis, Tiefencastel, and Filisur seem like a good distance from Zurich to make our first stop.

Posted by
16802 posts

Take a look at Berguen.
Edit- It has the Albula Railway Museum with a toy train layout of the Albula rail line so you get a good idea of the Bernina Express line layout with its helical tunnels. www.myswitzerland.com calls the town "unspoilt". Maybe they mean Lauterbrunnen has been "spoilt". There are few hotels there including the old Kurhaus. Lots of hiking routes.

Posted by
16 posts

Bergün looks like a great place to stay but unfortunately is all booked up the night we would stay there.

Now I'm looking at either Thusis or Filisur for a place to stay. Any thoughts on which might be better?

Posted by
16802 posts

I only know that Filisur is below the train station, so its a bit of a hike from town up to the station. I know this is the antitheses of the cute Swiss village, but Davos is just a 30 minute train ride away from Filisur. But hey, they have a casino!