The Engadine provides a wealth of hiking tours that combine rides on cable cars or gondolas with sometimes-strenuous hikes across rocky or, in some cases, glacial terrain. The most spectacular of these is the Diavolezza tour, which reaches a maximum height of 2,723m (8,931 ft.), and which includes views of -- and if you opt for it, hikes over -- as many as two separate glaciers. To access it, travel by road 7km (4 1/2 miles) south of Pontresina, following the signs to the Bernina Pass until you reach the lowest station of the Diavolezza cable car, and climb aboard for a head-spinning 15-minute ascent to the top. One-way transit costs 24F for adults and 8F for children ages 6 to 12; the round-trip cost for adults is 33F and 11F for children. If it's winter, you can ski back down to the valley, or -- more precariously (and this is only for experts) -- you can negotiate down the face of the glacier to the hamlet of Morteratsch. The better bet occurs in summer, when you can take a guided hike along the surface of the glacier as part of a 4- to 5-hour tour that's recommended only for the fit and hardy. (Don't even consider this without the proper equipment, including sturdy boots with rubber treads, sunglasses, sunscreen, and protection against the rain and sometimes howling winds, even during midsummer.) A guide waits for participants every day, from May to September, at the top of the Diavolezza cable car, at noon. Participation in the walking tour costs 45F for adults, and 25F for children 11 and under. For more information about the Diavolezza hiking tour, contact the tourist offices of any of the surrounding towns and villages, including St. Moritz, Silvaplana, and Pontresina, or the Pontresina Mountaineering School (Bergsteigerschule Pontresina; tel. 081/842-82-82; www.bergsteiger-pontresina.ch).
Another of the region's panoramic aeries, in this case one that's more conveniently reached than the above-recommended Diavolezza, is Alp Languard, whose chairlifts will carry you to a height of 2,550m (8,364 ft.). You'll access it from a hillside above the rest of the town. A one-way ticket costs 15F for adults and 5F for children 6 to 12, and a round-trip ticket costs 22F for adults and 9F for children 6 to 12. Ascents are continuous during daylight hours throughout the year. For more information, contact Sesselbahn Languard at tel. 081/842-62-55.
The area's chief attraction is Muottas Muragl, a mountain whose peak is reached by funicular. The excursion begins in Pontresina, where you board a bus that travels 3km (2 miles) downhill in the direction of Samedan, to a final destination at the base of the funicular, Punt Muragl. The funicular ride takes 15 minutes to reach a platform set at 2,414m (7,918 ft.) above sea level. From it, you'll see the Upper Engadine Gap, with the mountain ranges of Piz Julier and Piz Rosatsch on either side. If the day is clear, you can also see the lakes between Maloja and St. Moritz. The excursion, including bus rides, costs 35F round-trip, but a one-way ticket is available as well, for 26F, depending on the season. For information in Pontresina, call the tourist information center or inquire at the reception desk of your hotel. For information about the funicular, contact Standseilbahn Muottas Muragle at tel. 081/842-83-08.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.