2 Rhine Route
2 Rhine Route

Cycling in Switzerland

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Rhine Route

Stage 2, Disentis–Chur

Route report
64 photos

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Rhine Route

The Surselva is the largest Romansch-speaking area in the Grisons region. Up and down we go, following the burbling Rhine through pretty little hamlets. The amazing wild gorge of the Anterior Rhine is known as the Grand Canyon of Switzerland. The day ends in Chur, the oldest Swiss town north of the Alps.
A final look back at the oldest existing Benedictine monastery north of the Alps and off you go, down to the still young and turbulent Anterior Rhine. Soon the valley begins to open up: Surselva («above the forest») is what the mountain valley of Flims is called, referring to one of the largest forests in the Grisons region, with gorgeous fields and small lakes. “Welcome to Sumvitg“, it says on the board greeting the visitors to this village. All of the villages are lovely and all of them have handsome fountains. If you’re lucky, you may even be treated to the «Ave Maria», played on the village’s church organ.

Despite the continuous up and down, biking in this lovely, peaceful area is a lot of fun, with the Rhine burbling pleasantly and the Rhaetian Railway leisurely travelling through the magnificent countryside. The «Ognas da Pardiala» nature reserve is an area of water meadows of national significance, about 100 hectares in size. Due to various riverbank reinforcements and drainages, however, the meadows are no longer part of the Rhine’s floodplain. Rare songbirds have occasionally been spotted here, such as hoopoes, whinchats or red-backed shrikes. The water meadows are also an important habitat for lizards, snakes and smaller mammals.

An attractive place for humans to live is the small town of Ilanz (or Glion). The financial and political centre of the Surselva region is considered to be the first town on the Rhine. The picturesque old town has much to offer, such as the Upper Gate, St. Margarets Church, Casa Gronda and Casa Carniec, where the regional museum is housed. Shortly after Ilanz you get to Valendas, a village steeped in history. Europe’s largest wooden fountain, built in 1760, stands right in the middle. A gem to be sure – and very tempting if you happen to be there on a hot summer day …

Down on the Rhine, in the Ruinaulta ravine, things are quite spectacular. Perhaps the most impressive ravine in Switzerland, it is located between Ilanz and Reichenau. No wonder it is known as the Grand Canyon of Switzerland. If the light is right, bizarre rock formations, up to 400 meters in height, create an almost mystical atmosphere. The Rhine Gorge is a UNESCO world heritage site. Once you arrive in Chur, the city with the highest concentration of restaurants, it should be easy enough to find a place to eat and remember the exciting afternoon.
The Surselva is the largest Romansch-speaking area in the Grisons region. Up and down we go, following the burbling Rhine through pretty little hamlets. The amazing wild gorge of the Anterior Rhine is known as the Grand Canyon of Switzerland. The day ends in Chur, the oldest Swiss town north of the Alps.
A final look back at the oldest existing Benedictine monastery north of the Alps and off you go, down to the still young and turbulent Anterior Rhine. Soon the valley begins to open up: Surselva («above the forest») is what the mountain valley of Flims is called, referring to one of the largest forests in the Grisons region, with gorgeous fields and small lakes. “Welcome to Sumvitg“, it says on the board greeting the visitors to this village. All of the villages are lovely and all of them have handsome fountains. If you’re lucky, you may even be treated to the «Ave Maria», played on the village’s church organ.

Despite the continuous up and down, biking in this lovely, peaceful area is a lot of fun, with the Rhine burbling pleasantly and the Rhaetian Railway leisurely travelling through the magnificent countryside. The «Ognas da Pardiala» nature reserve is an area of water meadows of national significance, about 100 hectares in size. Due to various riverbank reinforcements and drainages, however, the meadows are no longer part of the Rhine’s floodplain. Rare songbirds have occasionally been spotted here, such as hoopoes, whinchats or red-backed shrikes. The water meadows are also an important habitat for lizards, snakes and smaller mammals.

An attractive place for humans to live is the small town of Ilanz (or Glion). The financial and political centre of the Surselva region is considered to be the first town on the Rhine. The picturesque old town has much to offer, such as the Upper Gate, St. Margarets Church, Casa Gronda and Casa Carniec, where the regional museum is housed. Shortly after Ilanz you get to Valendas, a village steeped in history. Europe’s largest wooden fountain, built in 1760, stands right in the middle. A gem to be sure – and very tempting if you happen to be there on a hot summer day …

Down on the Rhine, in the Ruinaulta ravine, things are quite spectacular. Perhaps the most impressive ravine in Switzerland, it is located between Ilanz and Reichenau. No wonder it is known as the Grand Canyon of Switzerland. If the light is right, bizarre rock formations, up to 400 meters in height, create an almost mystical atmosphere. The Rhine Gorge is a UNESCO world heritage site. Once you arrive in Chur, the city with the highest concentration of restaurants, it should be easy enough to find a place to eat and remember the exciting afternoon.
65 km
Asphalted: 44 km
Natural surface: 21 km
800 m | 1350 m
medium

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Disentis/Mustér
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

More …

Surface/foundation
Between Disentis and Ilanz at times the route leads over rugged and narrow natural roads.
Bypass Versam
21
Bypass Versam
Rail, bus, boat recommendation
Ilanz–Reichenau-Tamins
or
Reichenau-Tamins–Ilanz
Reason: metres in height saved Ilanz–Reichenau 300m, Reichenau–Ilanz 390m.
Cycle transport: limited space.
SBB Timetable

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Chur
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Services

Accommodation

Catrina Resort
Catrina Resort
Disentis/Mustér
Chesa Prema
Chesa Prema
Cavardiras
Hotel-Restaurant La Furca
Hotel-Restaurant La Furca
Disentis/Mustér
TCS Camping Disentis
TCS Camping Disentis
Disentis/Mustér
Hotel Greina
Hotel Greina
Rabius
Hotel Ucliva
Hotel Ucliva
Waltensburg/Vuorz
Hotel Vincenz
Hotel Vincenz
Breil/Brigels
Pension Casa Quadra
Pension Casa Quadra
Obersaxen
Hotel Rätia
Hotel Rätia
Ilanz
Kloster Ilanz - Haus der Begegnung
Kloster Ilanz - Haus der Begegnung
Ilanz
Ustria Mundaun
Ustria Mundaun
Castrisch
wellnessHostel3000
wellnessHostel3000
Laax
Peaks Place Apartment-Hotel & Spa
Peaks Place Apartment-Hotel & Spa
Laax
signinahotel
signinahotel
Laax
B&B Buchli-Wieland
B&B Buchli-Wieland
Valendas
Camping Carrera
Camping Carrera
Valendas
Jugendherberge Trin Bergwaldzentrum Mesaglina
Jugendherberge Trin Bergwaldzentrum Mesaglina
Trin
B&B Springinkerl
B&B Springinkerl
Tamins
Biohof Danuser
Biohof Danuser
Felsberg
Ambiente Hotel Freieck
Ambiente Hotel Freieck
Chur
Hotel Chur
Hotel Chur
Chur
Hotel Drei Könige
Hotel Drei Könige
Chur
Hotel Post
Hotel Post
Chur
Calandahütte SAC
Calandahütte SAC
Haldenstein
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Bookable offers

2 Rhine Route Andermatt - Rorschach
2 Rhine Route Andermatt - Rorschach
Lake Constance - Lago Maggiore
Lake Constance - Lago Maggiore
2 Rhine Route: Vorderrhein & Rhine Valley
2 Rhine Route: Vorderrhein & Rhine Valley
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Places

Disentis
Disentis
Sumvitg
Sumvitg
Trun
Trun
Brigels - Waltensburg - Andiast
Brigels - Waltensburg - Andiast
Obersaxen Mundaun
Obersaxen Mundaun
Ilanz
Ilanz
Trin
Trin
Tamins
Tamins
Chur – the Alpine City
Chur – the Alpine City
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Places of interest

Disentis Monastery
Disentis Monastery
Disentis–Sontga Gada
Disentis–Sontga Gada
Vorderrhein Raft
Vorderrhein Raft
Parc la Mutta
Parc la Mutta
695 Never End Freeride
695 Never End Freeride
Kids-Pumptrack Laaxersee
Kids-Pumptrack Laaxersee
Skill Area Laax Bergbahnen
Skill Area Laax Bergbahnen
Versamer Gorge – a daring passageway
Versamer Gorge – a daring passageway
The Rhine Gorge
The Rhine Gorge
Bikepark Bonaduz
Bikepark Bonaduz
Alluvial zones near Rhäzüns
Alluvial zones near Rhäzüns
Brambrüesch - Chur's mountain
Brambrüesch - Chur's mountain
Pumptrack Segnes Chur
Pumptrack Segnes Chur
Alpenbikepark Chur
Alpenbikepark Chur
Grisons Museum of Fine Arts
Grisons Museum of Fine Arts
Grisons Museum of Natural History
Grisons Museum of Natural History
Old Town Chur
Old Town Chur
Rhaetian Museum
Rhaetian Museum
St Maria Himmelfahrt Cathedral Chur
St Maria Himmelfahrt Cathedral Chur
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Swimming

Indoor swimming baths in Laax
Indoor swimming baths in Laax
Lake Laax
Lake Laax
Lake of Cauma Flims
Lake of Cauma Flims
Nature bath Crestasee Trin
Nature bath Crestasee Trin
Obere Au Chur adventure bath and indoor swimming pool
Obere Au Chur adventure bath and indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool Obere Au Chur
Outdoor swimming pool Obere Au Chur
Sand Chur outdoor swimming pool
Sand Chur outdoor swimming pool
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Signalization

Signalization
For cycling, follow the logo indicated on the red signposts. Take a printout of our web map on your tour for safety's sake.
Signalization