Both a main road and a motorway lead from Chur via Thusis, through the valley of the Posterior Rhine (Hinterrhein) and the Grisons holiday region of Splügen/Rheinwald to Hinterrhein. While the motorway disappears into a tunnel as far as the village of San Bernardino, the mountain pass goes over a high, mysterious moor with sparkling pools and polished glacial rocks up to the top of the San Bernardino Pass at 2065 m and the beautiful mountain lake of Lago Moesola.
Although now, south of the Alps, you are in Italian-speaking parts, it is still a long way to the Ticino: the road goes for more than 40 km through the southern Grisons valley of Misox (Valle Mesolcina).
The Bernardino Pass has been in use since Roman times. The main difficulty was not the pass itself but the tricky route through the 300 m deep Rhine gorge between Thusis and Zillis, which does not bear the name Via Mala ("Bad Road") for no reason.
There are numerous footpaths across the bleak mountain scenery around San Bernardino, including a themed walk about the natural, cultural and historic features of the region. Various crossings link the northern end of the Misox with the parallel Calanca valley in the west and the Italian Valle San Giacomo in the east. San Bernardino is the starting point for the high-altitude route "Sentiero Alpino Calanca" (42 km, 3 to 4 daily stages) to Santa Maria, where the Calanca valley meets the Misox.
In the San Bernardino adventure park you can test your courage on a breathtaking 550 m long swaying course between the trees or on a ride on the 150 m Tyrolienne cable to cross the Isola Lake. By bike, the descent from the top of the pass into the Misox is an exhilarating experience, with 2000 metres of freewheeling!
In winter, when the pass is closed, San Bernardino becomes a winter sports paradise. The ski area goes up to 2500 m, with eight lifts and 40 km of pistes, offering an impressive panorama of the surrounding mountains. Two small lifts near the centre of the village cater for children, while there are 24 km of track round the village and Isola Lake for cross-country skiing. Winter walkers will find 14 km of prepared footpaths.
SBB RailAway leisure shop
Combined offer: journey using public transport and leisure offer (also for existing tickets) to San Bernardino