Via Albula/Bernina

Regional route No. 33, St. Moritz–Ospizio Bernina


Regional route
No. 33 (St. Moritz–Ospizio Bernina)
24 km
Ascent • Descent
↑ 840 m • ↓ 360 m
Lowest point • Highest point
1732 m • 2266 m
Hiking time
6 h 30 min
medium (mountain hiking trail)
Fitness level
A gentle, steady climb through moor landscapes and Alpine pastures to the Bernina pass. The protected Staz forest, the Pontresina mountain resort, the Morteratsch glacier world and the highest peaks in the Graubünden region make this an unforgettable tour.
St. Moritz is located at 1865 m in the middle of the Upper Engadine’s lake area. The world-famous resort originally owed its reputation to the mineral springs, which have been known for 3000 years. The town is the focal point of three cultural groups because of its proximity to Italy, the Romansh language and the predominantly German-speaking population. This section of the route begins at the train station and leads directly along Lake St. Moritz to the wetland surrounding Lej da Staz. The small high moor lake is relatively shallow and because of its dark water, it is easily warmed by the sun. Its lovely beach makes it the premier swimming lake in the Engadine region. A gravel path goes gently downhill through the beautiful Staz forest to Pontresina. The forest is part of the ecological Smaragd network that protects the habitats of endangered species of flora and fauna. Large parts of the forest are designated wildlife sanctuaries. After the forest, you follow the Rhaetian Railway to Pontresina. The mountain resort, surrounded by fragrant fir and larch forests, is located in the highest side valley of the Upper Engadine. An attractive path continues uphill through Val Bernina. Accompanied by the Ova da Bernina river and the Rhaetian Railway you continue hiking on beautiful forest paths along the slope to Morteratsch. After hiking about 3 ½ hours, you reach Cascada da Bernina where the mountain stream plunges almost 200 meters down into the valley. A waterfall path across wooden walkways and steps leads up to several waterfall platforms, offering views of the Bernina massif and its glaciers. The Rhaetian Railway meanders along this passage (without cogwheel) around tight turns and across historic viaducts. Further along Ova da Bernina, attractive trails lead past boulders through the impressive mountain area to the Diavolezza gondola station. The gravel path through rocky grass landscapes takes you to Lej Pitschen, Lej Nair and Lago Bianco. Large Lago Bianco consisted of two natural lakes, which were joined by two gravity dams in 1911. Its name stems from the whitish colour that comes from the inflow of the Cambrena glacier. Both, the linguistic boundary between the Romansh-speaking Engadine and the Italian Valposchiavo, as well as the watershed are located at the height of the dam. From Lej Nair the water flows into the Black Sea, from Lago Bianco it makes its way to the Adriatic Sea. The last section follows after you cross the dam, with views of the bare slopes of Piz Cambrena and Sassal Mason. Thin white-water streams and the Vadret dal Cambrena glacier are visible. The path continues above the train track leading to Ospizio Bernina at 2253 m. This very interesting, scenic and long section of the Via Albula/Bernina ends at the train station.


Height profile


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