UNESCO World Heritage

Up and away … on the Via Albula/Bernina

Up and away … on the Via Albula/Bernina - UNESCO World Heritage

Hiking is our lasting joy. It is becoming ever more popular with young and old alike. What is always an essential  part of hiking? Resting at a comfortable spot! „Contura“ presents the most beautiful resting spots on the  UNESCO World Heritage route, in the Albula / Bernina landscapes – real insider tips from Stefan Barandun, the local hero on the Via Albula / Bernina.

„I am so passionate about the railway and hiking that I wrote the Via Albula / Bernina hiking guidebook“, Stefan  Barandun enthuses. Of course he knows the area like the back of his hand. Here the walk leader tells us his three favourite resting spots and viewing spots.

Natural beauty – passed on from the glacier
„On the Ospizio Bernina – Cavaglia section or more precisely on stage 8 of the Via Albula / Bernina, between Sassal Mason (Long. 10.0137 / Lat. 46.3898) and Alp Grüm – it is worth visiting the Lagh da Caralin glacial lake, formed by the retreat of the Palü glacier“, Stefan Barandun tells us. There are two resting spots equipped with benches on the socalled „Sentiero Panoramico“. They provide a magnificent view of Alp Grüm and the track of the Bernina Line as it snakes its way up the mountain. Alp Palü lies below with the Lagh da Palü which is dammed so the water can be put to use. The retreat of the glacier has left a landscape of polished rocks, moraines and glacier forelands here. The Italian border mountain range rises up to the east with its distinctive summits. Particularly striking: „The Palü Glacier in the west glistening in the sun“, Barandun explains. Impressive diversion: Glacier Garden in Cavaglia.

Fabulous fairy tale route
„Down in the middle of the forest there lies a city. This city is blessed with no fewer than one thousand  streets. The people who live here are well known everywhere for their hard work. They all work constantly  from sunrise to sunset, from dawn to dusk. They venture off deep into the forest and climb up trees so they  can bring piles of wood back home. If one person’s load becomes too heavy, someone else will come along to  help him and carry some of the burden. This is the way people lived here until one day a great catastrophe  occurred ...“, this is the beginning of one of the legendary tales on the fabulous fairy tale route in the idyllic  Val Bever (Long. 9.74710 / Lat. 46.5356) between Spinas and St. Moritz (stage 6). There are six special places here which invite you to linger for a while.

The Via Albula/Bernina for the living room

The Via Albula/Bernina for the living room

For the first time, hiking enthusiasts – and of course anyone else who might be interested – can enjoy the virtual experience of a hike in HD and real time, thanks to the 100 “info hotspots” set up to provide information about selected attractions along the way. Currently available in German only.


Imposant: grosse Welt, ganz klein
Als drittes und letztes verrät uns Stefan Barandun den Weg zu einem etwas abseits der Via Albula/Bernina gelegenen Rastplatz – seinem Favoriten. Der gut zweistündige Abstecher nach Fallò/Signal (L 9.74229 / B 46.5887), auf Etappe 4 gelegen, beginnt in Naz auf 1750 m ü.M. Der steile Weg folgt hier dem in seinem natürlichen Bett wild herabstürzenden Bach. Beim zweiten Wegweiser zweigt der Pfad nach rechts ab und steigt hinauf bis zur Waldgrenze auf etwa 2140 m ü.M., wo der Rastplatz liegt. «Die fantastische Aussicht in die umliegenden Berge der Albulakette lohnt aber den Aufstieg», verspricht Stefan Barandun. Das Besondere jedoch ist die Sicht auf die Bahnstrecke, die zwischen Bergün/Bravuogn und Preda verläuft: Von hier lassen sich die Züge beobachten, wie sie sich zwischen den Kehr- und Spiraltunnels und über zahlreiche Viadukte karussellähnlich hinaufschrauben, als wäre es eine Leichtigkeit, bis zu 400 Tonnen mit einer Geschwindigkeit von 50 Stundenkilometern über die steile Rampe zu ziehen. «Aus dieser Vogelschau wirkt die ganze Bahnanlage wie eine Modelleisenbahn.»