Alpine round trip

See Switzerland and Italy in one fell swoop

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This Alpine round trip packs the best of what the Alps has to offer into two days: Albula Valley, Rhine Gorge, Oberalp Pass, Schöllenen and Gotthard Railway. The panoramic tour boasts spectacular views of the Alps – better than any postcard.

The journey starts in Chur, then continues via Ilanz and Disentis through the Rhine Gorge towards Andermatt. The train reaches the highest point of the trip at the Oberalp Pass. Then it's on via Göschenen: Lugano with its lido, piazza and Monte Brè conjures up all the charm of the South.

The return journey on the Bernina Express Bus takes passengers past Lake Como and through the vineyards of Valtellina. The crowning glory is the trip on the Bernina Express: first climbing up to the top of the RhB, the Ospizio Bernina, then through the Albula Valley and back over the famous Landwasser Viaduct to Chur.

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Der Bernina Express nahe der Station Alp Grüm mit Aussicht ins Puschlav. Bild: Andrea Badrutt

Der Bernina Express nahe der Station Alp Grüm mit Aussicht ins Puschlav. Bild: Andrea Badrutt

Unterwegs mit dem Glacier Express entlang dem Oberalpsee  am Oberalppass. Bild: Bernhard Lochmatter

Unterwegs mit dem Glacier Express entlang dem Oberalpsee am Oberalppass. Bild: Bernhard Lochmatter

Der Glacier Express unterwegs zwischen Andermatt und Nätschen am Oberalppass.

Der Glacier Express unterwegs zwischen Andermatt und Nätschen am Oberalppass.

Der Bernina Express auf dem Berninapass, links im Bild der Lago Bianco. Bild: Tibert Keller

Der Bernina Express auf dem Berninapass, links im Bild der Lago Bianco. Bild: Tibert Keller

Ein Allegra-Triebzug der Rhätische Bahn in der Montebellokurve auf der Berninalinie. Bild: Erik Süsskind

Ein Allegra-Triebzug der Rhätische Bahn in der Montebellokurve auf der Berninalinie. Bild: Erik Süsskind

Ein Allegra-Triebzug mit Panoramawagen auf dem Landwasserviadukt bei Filisur. Bild: Erik Süsskind

Ein Allegra-Triebzug mit Panoramawagen auf dem Landwasserviadukt bei Filisur. Bild: Erik Süsskind

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Taking the UNESCO World Heritage route is just one of the highlights of the Alpine round trip.

Castles of the Domleschg Valley

Nowhere else in Europe are so many castles, fortresses and ruins to be found in such a small area. Between Chur and Thusis, medieval towers, castles and ancestral homes stand perched on rocks or loom up out of dark woods and villages. The castles of Hohenrätien and Ehrenfels exude a palpable sense of history.

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Rhine Gorge

Ruinaulta is the name given to the monumental Rhine Gorge between Ilanz and Reichenau in the local Romansh dialect. You will see rare birds, white rock faces and bizarre geological formations in the Swiss Grand Canyon that can only be crossed on foot, by bike, train or boat.
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Oberalp Pass

At 2033m above sea level the Glacier Express reaches the highest point of its panorama journey, the Oberalp Pass. The source of the Rhine is to be found not far away in Lai da Tuma. The river flows from the Gotthard Massif 1233 kilometres to Holland and into the North Sea.

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Schöllenen Gorge

Legend has it that the devil once built the first bridge over the Schöllenen Gorge. For a long time, the ravine between Andermatt and Göschenen was a major obstacle on the route from Uri over the Gotthard to the south. Only when the Devil's Bridge was built in 1200 did it become easier to cross.

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Lugano

Lugano is not just the major business centre of the Ticino region, it is also a town of parks, flowers, villas and sacred buildings. Mediterranean flair awaits visitors to Lugano. From the town's very own mountain, Monte Brè, you can see far beyond the country's borders.

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Brusio Circular Viaduct

This viaduct turns round a 360-degree curve, lengthening the track so that it is possible to overcome the difference in altitude in the narrow Valposchiavo. The Brusio Circular Viaduct is considered the most spectacular construction on the Bernina Line.

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Ospizio Bernina

The highest point on the RhB is situated 2,253 metres above sea level. The watershed between Lago Bianco and Lej Nair is also the language frontier between the Romansh-speaking Engadine and the Italian-speaking Valposchiavo. The Bistro Albergo at the railway station was renovated in 2013 and serves tasty snacks at teatime.

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Albula/Bernina UNESCO World Heritage route

The Albula and Bernina section of track is a masterpiece in terms of civil engineering and routing. Landscape and railway blend into one: in wide radiuses, ingenious man-made structures punctuate rugged valleys. The Landwasser Viaduct, the helical tunnels between Bergün and Preda and the Brusio Circular Viaduct all stand testimony to the early, pioneering days of the railway.

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Accomodation

You will stay overnight in Lugano in one of these hotels:

***Hotel Federale

The hotel is situated at the start of the pedestrian zone in Lugano, in the heart of the old town.
More information: www.hotel-federale.ch

***Parkhotel Continental

The hotel is located close to the railway station and has its own sub-tropical gardens, swimming pool and Merlot vineyard.
More information: www.continentalparkhotel.com

****Hotel Bellevue au Lac

This hotel on the Lugano lakeside offers all the comforts, class and style you expect from a large, well-appointed four-star hotel.
More information: www.hotelbellevue.ch

 

The the Alpine Round Trip is also available starting from Lugano with overnight stay in Chur against extra charge.

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Tickets and further information can be obtained at all staffed stations of the Rhaetian Railway, by calling Railservice on +41 81 288 65 65, or by using the contact form.

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A fascinatingly different gift.
Looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones? Why not give them an unforgettable experience with the Rhaetian Railway!

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Dates and prices 2018: forthcoming