Alp Grüm, Switzerland: The Best Stop on the Rhaetian Railway

alp grum

Set in a valley in the canton of Graubunden, Alp Grum is a charming mountain village on the Bernina Express panoramic route. Thousands of travelers pass through the village without discovering its beauty, and that’s an oversight you should not make!

Alp Grum is a classic Swiss village with views of glaciers, Alpine lakes, and tall mountain peaks. Exploring the area can take a couple of hours if you rush it, or a couple of weeks if you’re in the mood for a long-distance hike in Switzerland. Here’s everything you need to know about Alp Grüm in the Poschiavo Valley!

Location

Situated in the Poschiavo municipality, Alp Grum is a tiny village in the mountains. It’s mostly known for the namesake stop on the Rhaetian Railway, but the village is a stunning destination. It is accessible by trains year-round, with a few alternative routes that open in the summer. 

Alp Grum village is not connected with roads to the rest of the region, so there’s no way to reach it in a personal vehicle.

How to Get There

bernina express
Bernina Express panoramic train is the best way of traveling to Alp Grum

Traveling to Alp Grum is possible by regional and panoramic trains. The Bernina Express passes through this area, and it’s by far the best way of traveling to the village. But regional trains are also available, and they are significantly more affordable than Switzerland’s best panoramic train. 

Highlights

If you need a reason to get off the train at the Alp Grum station, here are a few highlights of the area that will make the detour worthwhile.

Ristorante Alp Grüm

alp grum restaurant
Restaurant Alp Grum at the train station

Ristorante Alp Grüm is both a restaurant and a small hotel on the railway station. It’s the first thing you see when you get off the train here and a great place to visit for a taste of some excellent Swiss delicacies. The fondue is finger-licking good, made even better by the fabulous panoramic views that stretch from the restaurant windows.

Spectacular Views

Glacial landscape visible from Alp Grum
Glacial landscape visible from Alp Grum

The stunning views of the Swiss landscapes are the best thing about this mountain village. Forests, towering mountain peaks, a glacier, and even a seasonal waterfall are all sights for sore eyes.

In my experience, the views at Alp Grum are the best in the fall season, when all the leaves turn orange and red. The contrast between their warm colors and the cold turquoise lake looks amazing in real life and in photographs.

Palü Glacier & Palü Lake

palu lake alp grum
Palü Lake

The views of Lake Palü and the namesake glacier are jaw-dropping. Hike down to the Alpine lake to admire the views from close up, preferably while enjoying some delicious snacks at the nearby restaurant. The seasonal restaurant is open only in the summer, and accessible via hiking trails from the Alp Grum station.

Val Poschiavo

Poschiavo Valley Alp Grum
Poschiavo Valley

Poschiavo Valley is vast and full of wonderful natural landmarks. Staying here for a few days is an excellent idea if you enjoy hiking and exploring the great outdoors because there are a plethora of sights to behold. Glacial landscapes, mountain lakes, towering mountains, and quaint villages all await in Poschiavo Valley, which stretches from the border with Italy to the mountains north of Lago Bianco.

Hiking Trails

The best way to discover this hidden gem in Switzerland is by hiking, and luckily for you, there are more than a dozen trails in the area. Below are some of my favorite hiking trails near Alp Grum.

Bernina Hospice

Ospizio bernina train station
Ospizio Bernina train station

Alp Grum and Bernina Hospice are connected by a railway, but hiking from one station to the other is a better way of discovering the sights. A mostly flat trail takes you from Alp Grum, along the shore of wonderful Lago Bianco, and finally to the Ospizio Bernina train station. 

Along the way, hikers are treated to magical views of the Poschiavo Valley and the Palü Glacier.

Glacier Garden of Cavaglia

Glacier Garden of Cavaglia
Glacier Garden of Cavaglia © Engadin St. Moritz Tourismus

The trail from Alp Grum to Glacier Garden of Cavaglia is mostly downhill. It’s about a three-hour hike through the valley, over moderately challenging terrain. The Glacier Garden is wonderful and offers insight into some spectacular geological features staples for this region. 

Additionally, it’s worth noting that it is possible to ride the train from Alp Grum to Cavaglia. It’s only about 15 minutes, and the Glacier Garden is very close to the train station.

Poschiavo Valley Trail

The Poschiavo Valley features at least half a dozen hiking trails that allow you to discover the top sights in the area. Many are multi-day hiking trails that go in circles around the valley, covering 50+ kilometers of area not accessible by the railway.

The route from Cavaglia to Le Prese is the penultimate stage of the Via Albula/Bernina long-distance hike. The trail takes hikers from the glacial landscapes of Cavaglia to the northern shore of Poschiavo Lake, following a mostly downhill path over the Poschiavo Valley floor.  

Val da Camp Hike

Saoseo Lake Val da Camp Alp Grum
Saoseo Lake in Val da Camp

Val da Camp is approximately a three-hour hike from the Ospizio Bernina train station. Bus transport is available from Sfazù, and it’s best to rely on public transport to get you to the valley so you don’t waste too much energy.

At Val da Camp, you can hike for hours discovering the Alpine lakes, high plateaus, and mountain pastures. Viola Lake is the highlight of the area, with mesmerizing views of forests and tall mountain peaks reflected on the lake’s surface. There’s a cabin for hikers here, so you could spend a couple of nights in the area if you wanted to discover more of Val da Campo.

Alp Grum to Sassal Mason Hike

Sassal Mason Alp Grum
Sassal Mason mountain summit

Sassal Mason is a mountain summit approximately halfway between Alp Grum and the Bernina Hospice train station. The peak of Sassal Mason is inaccessible due to its steep and rocky face, so an ascent on the peak is not in the cards.

Rocky cabins at the foot of the mountain are as close as you can get to the summit. They’re only about a 30-minute hike from Alp Grum, over mostly uphill terrain.

Best Time to Visit

It is possible to travel to Alp Grum any time of the year thanks to the train connections, but summer is generally the most enjoyable time in the region. But late summer and early fall mean you get to enjoy the sights of gorgeous autumn foliage.

Think orange trees in the background of the turquoise lakes. For photographs and beautiful views, early autumn is truly the best time to visit Alp Grum.

Map of Alp Grum Attractions and More

Frequently Asked Questions

How high is Alp Grüm?

Alp Grum is on an elevation of 2,091 meters above sea level. The railway climbs from the mountain from the village, on the way to Ospizio Bernina which sits at an elevation of 2,253 meters above sea level. 

Is Alp Grüm worth visiting?

Yes, Alp Grum is worth visiting if you’re traveling in the area. It’s not a place you should plan an entire trip around, but if you’re nearby or planning a ride on the Bernina Express, it’s worth it to get out at this stop. 

Courtesy of Wikimedia for the image header.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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