Bernina Glaciers
the white giants

Glaciers & ice in Pontresina in the Engadine

In Pontresina, the famous eternal ice is right on your hotel doorstep. Indeed, with 173 glaciers, the Engadine is truly a landscape “on the rocks”. They surround the highest peaks of the Eastern Alps like ice cubes around a lemon wedge in a martini glass. The undisputed #1 is the Morteratsch glacier. It is about seven kilometres long, making it the longest glacier in the Engadine. An equally impressive spectacle of nature are the others glaciers in the region such as Roseg, Tschierva, Sella and Pers glaciers.

The Morteratsch Glacier is the longest in the Engadine.

Crevasses and ice caves

Under the wintry snow cover, the mighty white giants are hardly recognisable. Only the occasional crevasse can be seen, allowing a glimpse into the blue of the eternal ice. Descending on your own into the eternal ice is dangerous – it is preferable and advisable to book a guide at the Bergsteigerschule Pontresina. They know the glaciers like the backs of their hands. The ice caves are equally fascinating. They occur in the summer when the meltwater makes its way to the outside.

Accumulation area of the glacier

Whether a glacier grows or shrinks is related to how much glacial ice is growing in the so-called accumulation zone above the snowline. This ice does not form from frozen water, but from snow that has not melted away in the summer. For a glacier to be in balance, the accumulation area must be twice as large as the "ablation zone" below the snowline where the ice melts.
Anyone who walks through the archaic mountain landscape of the Engadine as a hobby glaciologist in the late summer will quickly become aware of this phenomenon. The spot where there is still snow on the glacier marks the accumulation area.

Pots of giants

Between May and October you can marvel at another glacier phenomenon at the glacier garden Cavaglia: Moulins that have been shaped by the Palü Glacier. For millennia, glacier water, scree, and gravel have hewed the hard rock and ground huge holes in the ground. The moulins are easily accessible: from the Rhaetian Railway in Cavaglia Station, it is only a ten-minute walk. The route is signposted.
Learn more about the Bernina glacier experience.


The children's book series Sabi’s Big Dream [Sabis grosser Traum] is an adventure tour for children from 5 to 12 years of age. Children receive a booklet and can playfully follow the story of the children's book interactively as they collect stamps at various information points. Once they have collected all of the stamps, the booklet with the solution can be presented at the Tourist Information Pontresina, where the child will receive a little surprise. Booklets are available at the Tourist Information Pontresina, in most Pontresina hotels, at Camping Morteratsch, as well as at the Alpine Dairy Pontresina.