Spend your Winter vacation at the San Bernardino Resort in Grisons, where you can have a perfect day in the snow, offering breathtaking views, upcoming luxurious accommodations, and a variety of activities to suit any traveler. You can explore the Confin ski area with your winter equipment, else enjoy visiting by foot with the San Bernardino gondola and Capanna Confin restaurant.
In this blog post, we’ll share what the San Bernardino Resort in Winter is like, why it’s special and why you should make this location your next winter getaway trip – even if just for a day!
We enjoyed our visit during the opening week, and below share also our experience from our day trip here!
Over 10 years ago the San Bernardino Resort closed up, no longer open or safe to the public for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports. It was closed due to much needed repairs and work that couldn’t be paid for. The funds to repair what was needed was out of the budget, which ultimately left the area dormant since 2012. And so the locals and tourists who used San Bernardino for winter sports could no longer. This was a big loss for the Grisons canton of Switzerland.
However due to a 300 million investment of a local Swiss entrepreneur, the area of San Bernardino is being brought back to life, back to it’s original safe state as well as brand new possibilities!
With this, the good news is that the San Bernardino ski resort reopened to the public on 27th December 2023. Yay!
Fun Fact: The San Bernardino resort is also known as ‘Little Andermatt’ due to its similarities of transformation of the Uri resort of Andermatt.
San Bernardino Gondola
Known officially as the Fracch-Confin Bas gondola, this is now open for all to enjoy at the Sports Arena of San Bernardino! It is based at the Southern side of the San Bernardino Pass in Grisons. This is at 1,626 meters elevation.
During our visit, we wanted to see the new San Bernardino gondola and surroundings on an easy day trip from Lugano. This was just a short 1 hour drive from Lugano to the San Bernardino gondola location. Upon arrival for the opening week, it was pretty busy and we had chosen to visit on a sunny Saturday.
The gondolas have seats for up to 6 people, but since it wasn’t busy we had one just for ourselves with plenty of room. There are little windows that can be opened to get some windowless photos on the way up!
We had arrived just around lunch time, so the car parking areas (there are quite a few nearby) were all full. So we had a little mission to try and find someone who was leaving. However with such a small car we were able to squeeze in to one of the spots discovered, after driving around for a few minutes only.
Though we do hope that it is a bit more organized in the future, as there were quite a lot of cars who had parked leaving a lot of space between them (since there were no lines like usual car parking areas), which meant less cars could overall park. Since it only had just opened that week of visiting, we’re sure this would be better in the future. So for now, do expect to be a bit of parking all over the place from visitors.
The good thing once parked, was that it was free!
San Bernardino Webcam
Before your visit, you can get yourself excited by checking the webcam beforehand. We often check the local webcams in Switzerland to see how it looks before we visit. It’s great to scope out how busy it looks or what the weather is like right now!
San Bernardino gondola Prices
Since we were not skiing or snowboarding, we took the return tickets to Confin as visitors only. This costed us as adults only 10 CHF per person for the return tickets on the gondola. We think this is a great price!! They have also many other price options for those who plan to ski, snowboard and other winter activities being based on how many days etc. Dogs are also welcome here!
You currently can not buy the 10 CHF return ticket online, but you can buy your ski passes in advance!
Click here for the official prices!
Capanna Confin Restaurant
At the arrival station of the Fracch-Confin Bas gondola is the Capanna Confin restaurant. This brand new cabin restaurant is self service as well as with a served area. There is plenty of seating inside for when you want to warm up, as well as outdoor seating on the terrace area directly outside. There are also a collection of deckchairs for those wanting to sit on the flat snow area too! Perfect for those wanting to chill in the sunshine.
The choices of food during our visit was good, where we decided to take the risotto and pasta to try – both delicious. There was also a soup choice, roast beef and some chicken with fries. We have noticed via their social media that they do offer different choices, so if you visit they will likely have something else on the menu. All did look delicious so you can’t go wrong with your choice!
For drinks, they had all the usual choices you can find in a restaurant as well as alcohol choices such as our favourite Aperol Spritz!
INFO: You can pay by card and cash here.
Confin ski area
Since we visited simply to check out the location, we did not experience the slopes for the Winter sport activities. However, with research we know that since December 27th, there is one gondola, one chair lift and one ski lift already in operation.
The Confin ski area joins the Pian Cales ski area, offering a total of about 45 kilometers of slopes, meeting the needs of skiers and snowboarders with any level. So if you are a beginner to an intermediate, there’s something for you all.
We spotted that they have two magic carpets near the Capanna Confin Restaurant, with ski chairs nearby to head up higher. So right near the restaurant, those with children don’t have to travel far to have their winter fun!
For 2024, more renovations will be done to expand the area – with two new ski lifts opening soon!
TIP: Check what lifts are open before you visit on the official site!
Hotels In San Bernardino
The resort will become home to a 5 star hotel, public spa and wellness area in the near future too – which is fully expected to be completed by 2033 – so we have a little time to wait for that. However two hotels in the village of San Bernardino are already being renovated as this post goes live – one of them being Brocco & Posta Hotel (due spring 2024). So check it out if you wish to stay longer than a day!
We can also recommend the following hotels you can consider staying at:
Hotel-Aparthotel San Bernardino – Just a few steps from the ski lifts, the Aparthotel San Bernardino at the southern entry point to the San Bernadino offers you nicely furnished rooms and apartments.
Hotel Bellevue – Built 130 years ago, the family-run Hotel Bellevue enjoys a sunny location in the centre of San Bernardino, offering panoramic views and free Wi-Fi.
Apartment Albarella Panorama – With free parking and a great location to the ski lifts, the apartment is the ideal place to relax with the indoor pool after a day on the slopes.
For local Ticino inspiration, check our ultimate guide for the canton with a whole year of activities & things to do!CLICK HERE
If you are a non-skier or snowboarder, we still think visiting San Bernardino resort and the Capanna Confin restaurant is a great day out. We could see it was very busy on a sunny day, so we suggest to arrive before lunch time to be sure you can get a spot with your car parking.
Tips for visiting:
- Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather, as it can still be cold when sunny (also sunglasses or suncream!)
- Don’t forget your camera for some beautiful winter photos
- Check the weather forecast before you visit. You can even check the webcam!