A wide, level path leads for a short distance up above the railway line, then directly along the bank of the Lago Bianco (White Lake). The Bernina Pass lies about 2250 metres above sea-level, and it consists of a flat plateau about 4 km long occupied by the Lago Bianco and the Lej Nair (Black Lake). The glaciers on Piz d'Arlas, Piz Cambrena and Piz Caral give you the feeling of the high Alps.
At the south end of the Lago Bianco, the view opens to the south, out towards the distant blue Bergamo Alps. On this stretch of the way we encounter rock formations that have been rounded and flattened by the glaciers. Depending on the season, we will also find here quite a magnificent garden of Alpine flowers.
At Mot we take the turn to the left, which leads us through airy stands of larch to the viewpoint of Belvedere. This part of the trail is particularly attractive in July, when the Alpine rose blooms. The Belvedere Inn deserves its name. From its garden terrace you can get a breathtaking view of the Palü glacier to the west, the Bergamo Alps to the south, and across to Piz dal Teo, the Vetta Sperella and the Sassalb in the east. A comfortable path brings us from here in ten minutes down to Alp Grüm.
Tips and hintsThe highest adhesion railway in Europe: “Viaggiare e non essere trasportati” as the Italians say: to travel, and not just to be transported. Which railway line could this better be applied to than the Bernina line, the highest adhesion railway in Europe! The line is so laid out that passengers are always getting new and surprising views of a changing landscape. The Bernina railway goes from St. Moritz to Tirano in the Valtellina. First it goes for a short while through the Upper Engadin, after Pontresina crosses the magnificent Alpine valleys of Roseg and Morteratsch, then mounts the pasture slopes of Bernina Diavolezza and Bernina Lagalb towards Ospizio Bernina. The journey along the greenish-white Lago Bianco (White Lake), framed by glaciers and mountain peaks, has a definite high Alpine feel to it. Unusual, unforgettable impressions reminding one of the far North delight the passenger especially towards evening in Autumn or Winter, when the pass landscape already lies in shadow and banks of mist hang over the dark grey water.
On the south side, the railway line soon approaches the station of Alp Grüm, from which you can admire the shining white Palü glacier and get an unforgettable view out over the Valley of Poschiavo to the Bergamo Alps in the distance. The train crosses the plateau of Cavaglia, and now winds down in innumerable curves and loops, through tunnels and over viaducts, to the Poschiavo valley floor. One should be aware of the tremendous altitude differential that the railway copes with in its descent: from 2250 metres above sea-level at the Bernina Pass it climbs down to 1000 metres in Poschiavo and 420 metres in Tirano! Before the latter destination is reached, the train stops in Poschiavo, one of the loveliest towns in Graubünden, continues along the turquoise Poschiavo Lake, goes over the famous round viaduct at Brusio, and then goes through chestnut woods and vineyards to reach Tirano in the Italian Valtellina.
Places to eat: Alp Grüm Station.