Via Engiadina and Bernina Tour – long-distance hiking in the Engadine
Gian Giovanoli, Engadin St. Moritz Tourismus AG
Your alarm rings, but what really wakes you up is the magnificent mountain scenery outside your window. At breakfast, you take a last glance over the route. You can already feel the excitement in your legs. You spend the whole day on beautiful paths through nature with one fantastic view after the next. Every evening ends with a new panoramic summit. Sounds like a dream? That’s exactly how a long-distance hike in the Engadine Valley will be.
The high valley in Graubünden in Switzerland is the ideal destination if you want to get away from it all for a while by hiking high up into the mountains. In the Upper Engadine, all the towns are situated higher than 1,600 metres (5,250 feet). When you start hiking from this height, you arrive in the fabulous Graubünden mountains very quickly. We introduce you to two long-distance trails that show you all the beauty of the area: the Via Engiadina, a more leisurely route which is suitable for beginners, and the Berina Tour which takes you on a challenging alpine journey. If you want to hike even further, you can easily combine the two routes and continue on the Via Engiadina from Maloja, the end of the Bernina Tour.
The Via Engiadina runs lengthwise through the Inn Valley from Maloja in the Upper Engadine to Zernez in the Lower Engadine. Over 70 kilometres (43 m), you discover the valley from above with fantastic views over glistening lakes and huge rocky peaks. You spend the nights in typical Engadine villages that are brimming with history. The high trail follows beautiful mountain paths and hiking trails. Some of the climbs are steep so you should have a basic fitness level, although the paths are not technically challenging. The Via Engiadina is therefore suitable for less experienced hikers too. Are you curious? You can book your hike on the Via Engiadina here: booking.engadin.ch/de/experiences/wanderferien-via-engiadina-von-maloja-nach-zuoz (website in German).
The Bernina Tour is a spectacular long-distance hike for experienced mountaineers that takes you from the Italian-speaking Val Poschiavo valley over the Diavolezza mountains to Maloja in the Upper Engadine. The 70-kilometre (43.5 mi) route takes you up through rocky terrain and close to mighty glaciers. As you hike, the backdrop is defined by the Bernina massif. At 4,049 metres (13,284 ft), the ranges’ highest peak, Piz Bernina, is the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps and the only 4,000 metre peak in Graubünden.
The alpine trails here require surefootedness and a head for heights, but they’re not too technical. The more difficult or exposed parts are secured with ropes. You can book the Bernina Tour as a complete package: booking.engadin.ch/de/experiences/wanderferien-bernina-tour (website in German)
Since these trails take you high up in the mountains, they’re best suited for the snow-free summer months and warm, early autumn. The Bernina Tour includes several mountain lifts so you save a few metres of elevation gain but still enjoy phenomenal views. The Via Engiadina also uses a lift once.
You can reach these hikes with the Rhaetian Railway which is in itself an experience. The route to Poschiavo, where the Bernina Tour starts, is stunning. For the Via Engiadina, you get off in St. Moritz and continue from there by bus to Maloja.
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Last updated: December 7, 2021
The first stage on the Via Engiadina gives you some of the most beautiful views of the Upper Engadine lakes. Beautiful paths lead you along the slopes high above the valley, below you the Silsersee and the Silvaplana shine.
It is a good idea to arrive a day before the first stage so that you can have…
The second stage on the Via Engiadina is a long ascent. Today you cross the 2,500 meter mark and hike from the large Silvaplana lake in the valley up to the equally beautiful mountain lake Lej Alv.
From Silvaplana you climb steeply uphill through a forest area. Then the slope decreases a little and you…
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In the morning you take the gondola back up to the start of the stage in Marguns. This day is uphill with a few meters of altitude and a distance of less than ten kilometers rather leisurely. If you want to do a few more meters in altitude, you can also walk back up to the starting point.
Once at the…
You leave Bever to the north to ascend on beautiful paths over the steep, wooded slopes of the Crasta Mora. Again and again, meadows or stone fields break through the trees and you can look forward to beautiful views down into the valley. Behind a ridge it goes steeply uphill until you cross the side…
The fifth stage is the longest at just under 20 kilometers. So you can enjoy your last day of hiking again to the full. The most demanding ascent is done right at the beginning. It goes steeply up to a mountain ledge high above S-chanf. Here you have a fantastic view over the Upper Engadine and the Swiss…
From Poschiavo at the foot of the Bernina group, you start your long-distance hike with a proper ascent into the impressive mountain world. You leave the place to the north and, as soon as possible, turn off the road onto a hiking path. In many bends you gain more and more height - just like the Rhaetian…
The second stage is an exciting ascent to the Diavolezza. Magnificent glacier views await you on the way. But first slowly: The day starts quite leisurely along the shores of Lago Bianco. At its northern end you pass two smaller lakes, only then does the ascent begin.
It becomes more and more rocky and…
On the third day on the Bernina tour, you wake up on the Diavolezza and can enjoy your coffee with a glacier view. This is how the day starts well. Then let the gondola take you comfortably to the valley station, where the actual stage begins. You can of course also descend on foot, but then the stage…
On the fourth day, the Bernina Tour is a little gentler at the beginning: the first half of the route is a little ascent through forests of larch and Swiss stone pines in the picturesque Val Roseg. Where the trees are slowly becoming fewer, there is a wonderful view of the mountains at the head of the…
On the last stage of the Bernina Tour, you take the mountain railway up to the Murtèl middle station in the morning. From there it is initially steep and then becoming flatter downhill. You cross the slopes to Alp Prasüra and slowly advance into a new landscape. It is getting greener and greener and…
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