6 Graubünden Route
6 Graubünden Route

Cycling in Switzerland

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Graubünden Route

Stage 5, Thusis–Splügen

Route report
78 photos

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Graubünden Route

A 300-meter chasm: that’s Via Mala, once the most dreadful gorge in Rhaetia. The floating mythical creatures in the famous church of Zillis are delightful, and in the Walser village of Splügen it is the stately houses of stone and wood that make you look twice.
In Thusis, at the table where the locals meet, the subject of wolf and bear seems to be an irritant. Like crocodiles in Lake Zurich, some say. But the masterpiece of the Rhaetian Railways seems to please everyone. No wonder. After all, the Albula and Bernina route has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. The legendary Via Mala Gorge is another marvel. Especially the lowest part, the so-called Lost Hole, is wild and untamed. It was impassable until the road was built in 1822. The visitor’s centre is at the heart of the gorge. Precisely 359 steps lead down from here to the Posterior Rhine. For safety reasons, the Via Mala, which means Bad Path, is closed in winter. Bike riders interested in gorges, sophisticated safety tunnels and strongholds get their money’s worth. It all appears a little antiquated, similar to the Schöllenen Gorge in Uri.

But the area on the Posterior Rhine has more to offer: there is lovely Val Schons, for example. A stop at St. Martin’s Church in Zillis is a good idea. It is famous because of its painted, almost completely preserved ceiling from the 12th century. Colourful butterflies are dancing around the bikers as they continue. And then a relaxing soak in the mineral waters of the Andeer resort, amid strontium, magnesium and calcium – what could be more soothing!

Another must-see is the rock gallery at the historic Rofflaschlucht tavern (admission CHF 4): the entrance is inside the restaurant. When the water of the Posterior Rhine is high and thundering through the rocks the power of the water is said to be so strong that the walls in the restaurant are shaking. Sufers is the only village on small Lake Sufner. The dam was completed in 1962. There are peaceful and pleasant spots on the shore of the lake. The views of the water, the village and the Rundhorn (2549 m) are amazing. Once you leave the reservoir, the view opens up to reveal the mountain ridge of the Rhine Forest and pyramid-shaped Pizzo Tambo. From an altitude of 3279 m, it majestically looks down to wonderful Splügen, whose stately wooden houses are covered by heavy slabs of gneiss.
A 300-meter chasm: that’s Via Mala, once the most dreadful gorge in Rhaetia. The floating mythical creatures in the famous church of Zillis are delightful, and in the Walser village of Splügen it is the stately houses of stone and wood that make you look twice.
In Thusis, at the table where the locals meet, the subject of wolf and bear seems to be an irritant. Like crocodiles in Lake Zurich, some say. But the masterpiece of the Rhaetian Railways seems to please everyone. No wonder. After all, the Albula and Bernina route has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. The legendary Via Mala Gorge is another marvel. Especially the lowest part, the so-called Lost Hole, is wild and untamed. It was impassable until the road was built in 1822. The visitor’s centre is at the heart of the gorge. Precisely 359 steps lead down from here to the Posterior Rhine. For safety reasons, the Via Mala, which means Bad Path, is closed in winter. Bike riders interested in gorges, sophisticated safety tunnels and strongholds get their money’s worth. It all appears a little antiquated, similar to the Schöllenen Gorge in Uri.

But the area on the Posterior Rhine has more to offer: there is lovely Val Schons, for example. A stop at St. Martin’s Church in Zillis is a good idea. It is famous because of its painted, almost completely preserved ceiling from the 12th century. Colourful butterflies are dancing around the bikers as they continue. And then a relaxing soak in the mineral waters of the Andeer resort, amid strontium, magnesium and calcium – what could be more soothing!

Another must-see is the rock gallery at the historic Rofflaschlucht tavern (admission CHF 4): the entrance is inside the restaurant. When the water of the Posterior Rhine is high and thundering through the rocks the power of the water is said to be so strong that the walls in the restaurant are shaking. Sufers is the only village on small Lake Sufner. The dam was completed in 1962. There are peaceful and pleasant spots on the shore of the lake. The views of the water, the village and the Rundhorn (2549 m) are amazing. Once you leave the reservoir, the view opens up to reveal the mountain ridge of the Rhine Forest and pyramid-shaped Pizzo Tambo. From an altitude of 3279 m, it majestically looks down to wonderful Splügen, whose stately wooden houses are covered by heavy slabs of gneiss.
27 km
Asphalted: 25 km
Natural surface: 2 km
950 m | 140 m
difficult

Arrival | return travel

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

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Traffic volume
Beware: busy main road Thusis–Rongellen (dangerous tunnels switch on bike lights)

Hints

Biking in swiss parks
The nature park begins just after the Viamala, the most notorious gorge in the Grisons. It stretches form the Roman Schons (in German Schams) over Piz Beverin to Safiental with its Walser settlements. Shortly after Andeer we leave the nature park.
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Diversion of route 6, Sufers, in direction of Splügen–San Bernardino
Duration
01.05.2021 - 17.09.2021
Reason
Construction & maintenance work
The route is being diverted in direction of Splügen–San Bernardino. Please follow the local signposts. See map for details.
Data source: SwitzerlandMobility / Cantonal office

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Splügen, Dorf
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Services

Accommodation

BnB Rohrbach
BnB Rohrbach
Rodels
TCS Camping Thusis - Viamala
TCS Camping Thusis - Viamala
Thusis
Ferienwohnung Prümavaira
Ferienwohnung Prümavaira
Thusis
Hotel Weiss Kreuz Thusis AG
Hotel Weiss Kreuz Thusis AG
Thusis
Jugendherberge Sils i. D. (nur für Gruppen)
Jugendherberge Sils i. D. (nur für Gruppen)
Sils im Domleschg
Hof Familie Juon
Hof Familie Juon
Zillis-Reischen
Camping Andeer
Camping Andeer
Andeer
Cufercalhütte SAC
Cufercalhütte SAC
Sufers
Herberge zum Tobel
Herberge zum Tobel
Sufers
Camping + Ferienlager Splügen
Camping + Ferienlager Splügen
Splügen
Hotel Piz Tambo
Hotel Piz Tambo
Splügen
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Bookable offers

6 Graubünden-Route
6 Graubünden-Route
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Places

Obermutten
Obermutten
Thusis
Thusis
Andeer
Andeer
Splügen
Splügen
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Places of interest

Trail center Thusis
Trail center Thusis
Hohen Rätien Castle
Hohen Rätien Castle
Pumppark Sils i.D.
Pumppark Sils i.D.
Viamala Gorge
Viamala Gorge
St Martin's church Zillis
St Martin's church Zillis
Viamala – from a bad to a good route
Viamala – from a bad to a good route
Beverin Nature Park
Beverin Nature Park
Roffla Gorge
Roffla Gorge
Splügen Pass trade route
Splügen Pass trade route
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Swimming

Mineral Spa Andeer
Mineral Spa Andeer
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