"Beauty of Far East Switzerland" Pontresina by kokoryko

Pontresina Travel Guide: 34 reviews and 135 photos

A nice picturesque village

Not as fashioned as St Moritz, not as ?hype? as Davos, rather touristy, but a real nice place nested in the Engadine Alps, where you can start beautiful hikes to passes and summits.
On physical geography books or maps, Pontresina is located in the Engadine Alps, but in administrative or political maps it is in the Graubünden canton (The German name is also used in English, apparently, in the local Rhetic Romanche language it is called Grischun, in Italian, Grigioni, Grisons, in French, etc); it is a special place, quite far from the main roads, deep far East Switzerland, between Italy and Austria, where the mountains, even invaded by numerous ski and summer resorts with their ski lifts and cable cars, have kept a real mountain character, and in the valleys between the high massifs, not far from the glaciers, are nested a few picturesque, colourful villages, and Pontresina is one of them!

A few little gems

The mountains are of course for me the main reason for a trip there, but the village, very well located as ?base camp? for planning hikes to the high meadows and glaciers is a really picturesque place, a bit like in old books, and a stroll in the little streets bordered by old farmhouses will reward you with beautiful views, on houses and mountains, and walking a bit further, you will discover some beauties like the small Ste Maria church, a well hidden gem, surrounded by a moving, exotic cemetery.
I post here a few tips about hikes and trips in the mountains, but most of mountain pictures are in the Grishun/Graubünden page

Proud to be Romanche

The area is also a special one for its people and language, still surviving in the globalised world: Rhetic Romanche language, a Latin language, a very ancient form, spoken nowadays by less than 50.000 people, but still an official language in Switzerland.
I did not learn Rhetic Romanche language during my stay in Pontresina or Engadine, only a few words, like ?Chesa?, which is not ?cheese?, ?Käse?, ?church?, no it means ?house? and many houses have a name and it is written on them, in more or less artistically way. To me that demonstrates some pride to belong to a community. . . .

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful village in beautiful mountains
  • Cons:Cable cars spoil the mountains
  • Last visit to Pontresina: Jul 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (22)

Comments (10)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Hermann, fabulous page with outstanding photos of Pontresina. Unfortunately, I was only briefly in this gorgeous town.

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    The Engadine is one of the best areas to hike in Switzerland for the natural beauty and the Rhaetoromansch culture - though I am a little partial to nearby Samedan :-]

  • Zajem's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    Like your excelent Pontresina info!!Greetings from CZ.

  • Feb 22, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    what a charming village, and the hike looks awesome! a fantastic page hermann, im glad i have discovered your pages, you are a fantastic writer and your photos are superb!

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    Great Pontresina pages! Wearing a helmet on a bicycle is not compulsory but advised. Our protestant churches are not Lutheran in the east of Switzerland as we had our own reformator Zwingli. I find ours barer than even Lutheran churches in Germany.

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    Excellent new page on this charming Alpine village. The tips are comprehensive and a pleasure to read. Good pictures. Justb finished my tour - Bravo Hermann. Especially good transport tips

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    These 5-star tips are excellent..from the emphasis on architecture [windows, especially] to the information about the ice-axe crosses and the Dabu. I was often smiling at your "tongue-in-cheek" humor also.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    Fascinating new tips with acute observations, such as the different kinds of windows side by side in the same house. Fine photos and descriptions of your hikes. Great that you took the train on the Viafier Retica.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    Hermann, I don't know where to begin - such an amazing page!! So many interesting things to learn - the ice-axes, lop-sided Dahu creatures, the formation of the mountains and your fantastic tips on the Rhetic Railway! Pontresina is a 'must visit' place!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2009 at 3:12 AM

    Fabulous page, Hermann, full of great info and beautiful photos. That frescoed church is such a treasure - for me, reason enough on its own to seek out this corner of Switzerland. leyle


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