6 Graubünden Route
6 Graubünden Route

Cycling in Switzerland

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Graubünden Route

Stage 2, Thusis–Bergün

Route report
62 photos

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Graubünden Route

The ride through the Schin Gorge to Tiefencastel is wild and steep. Then the pace slackens for a comfortable passage through the Albula Valley around Alvaneu, with its soothing sulphur springs. High above, the curved Landwasser Viaduct carries the red carriages of the Rhaetian Railway.
Thusis was almost completely destroyed by a fire in 1845. The Protestant parish church, built in 1506, still survives. The village has a long tradition as a marketplace because the Walser Route to Thusis was already very important for the people of the Safien Valley. Soon after leaving Thusis and Sils im Domleschg, you glimpse Ehrenfels Castle below you. Its tower probably dates from the first half of the 13th century. Although the ride through the Schin Gorge is impressive, the main road is not child-friendly: however, its many tunnels make for adventurous cycling. Your eyes will feast on the Solis Viaduct, which spans the river Albula at a height of 85 m and is 164 m long. The Rhaetian Railway, with UNESCO World Heritage status, runs straight through Switzerland's largest nature park here: Parc Ela.

Parc Ela includes nine villages classified as Sites of National Importance. One of them is Alvaschein: the cycle path climbs steeply up to this terraced village high above the Albula, the Solis bridge and St. Peter's church in Mistail. A steep ascent also means a steep descent: Tiefencastel, with its Roman fort (Imacastra), lies deep in the valley between the vivacious rivers Albula and Gelgia (Julia). Bad Alvaneu's sulphur springs are among the most important in Switzerland. Enjoy steam and bubble baths in the spa waters until your skin wrinkles. Then enjoy the stunning beauty of the river and forest on the stretch between Surava and Bellaluna. Cycling by the Alvra (the Rhaeto-Romance name of the Albula) is great fun – especially along the "Water Trail", where some truly creative examples of engineering art are on show. For example, the Landwasser Viaduct at Filisur, the most photographed structure on the Rhaetian Railway: balanced on 65-meter-high pillars, the little red train makes its graceful way towards the Landwasser Tunnel. The pillars of the viaduct taper upwards, making it one of Switzerland's most elegant bridge structures.

The first industrial centre in Graubünden was also a milestone in Swiss history. At Bellaluna, smoke and fumes from charcoal kilns used to rise into the sky from an ore-smelting plant, fuelled from the abundant forests of the Albula Valley. Mining in Bellaluna was abandoned in the mid-19th century. You can't miss the ruins of the former plant, located directly on the cycle route. The last section of the cycle route feels rather antiquated and looks different than the previous stretch along the Albula. Huffing and puffing, you pedal up to the unspoilt mountain village of Bergün at the foot of the Albula Pass. You've earned your Graubünden specialities: Pizokels (pasta), Maluns (a potato dish) or Capuns (a noodle dough dish)!
The ride through the Schin Gorge to Tiefencastel is wild and steep. Then the pace slackens for a comfortable passage through the Albula Valley around Alvaneu, with its soothing sulphur springs. High above, the curved Landwasser Viaduct carries the red carriages of the Rhaetian Railway.
Thusis was almost completely destroyed by a fire in 1845. The Protestant parish church, built in 1506, still survives. The village has a long tradition as a marketplace because the Walser Route to Thusis was already very important for the people of the Safien Valley. Soon after leaving Thusis and Sils im Domleschg, you glimpse Ehrenfels Castle below you. Its tower probably dates from the first half of the 13th century. Although the ride through the Schin Gorge is impressive, the main road is not child-friendly: however, its many tunnels make for adventurous cycling. Your eyes will feast on the Solis Viaduct, which spans the river Albula at a height of 85 m and is 164 m long. The Rhaetian Railway, with UNESCO World Heritage status, runs straight through Switzerland's largest nature park here: Parc Ela.

Parc Ela includes nine villages classified as Sites of National Importance. One of them is Alvaschein: the cycle path climbs steeply up to this terraced village high above the Albula, the Solis bridge and St. Peter's church in Mistail. A steep ascent also means a steep descent: Tiefencastel, with its Roman fort (Imacastra), lies deep in the valley between the vivacious rivers Albula and Gelgia (Julia). Bad Alvaneu's sulphur springs are among the most important in Switzerland. Enjoy steam and bubble baths in the spa waters until your skin wrinkles. Then enjoy the stunning beauty of the river and forest on the stretch between Surava and Bellaluna. Cycling by the Alvra (the Rhaeto-Romance name of the Albula) is great fun – especially along the "Water Trail", where some truly creative examples of engineering art are on show. For example, the Landwasser Viaduct at Filisur, the most photographed structure on the Rhaetian Railway: balanced on 65-meter-high pillars, the little red train makes its graceful way towards the Landwasser Tunnel. The pillars of the viaduct taper upwards, making it one of Switzerland's most elegant bridge structures.

The first industrial centre in Graubünden was also a milestone in Swiss history. At Bellaluna, smoke and fumes from charcoal kilns used to rise into the sky from an ore-smelting plant, fuelled from the abundant forests of the Albula Valley. Mining in Bellaluna was abandoned in the mid-19th century. You can't miss the ruins of the former plant, located directly on the cycle route. The last section of the cycle route feels rather antiquated and looks different than the previous stretch along the Albula. Huffing and puffing, you pedal up to the unspoilt mountain village of Bergün at the foot of the Albula Pass. You've earned your Graubünden specialities: Pizokels (pasta), Maluns (a potato dish) or Capuns (a noodle dough dish)!
30 km
Asphalted: 23 km
Natural surface: 7 km
950 m | 260 m
difficult

Arrival | return travel

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

More …

Danger: Schinschlucht (Thusis-Tiefencastel)
Reason
Other
There is a lot of traffic on the main road Thusis-Tiefencastel. The tunnels in the Schinschlucht gorge are dangerous. Recommendation: Use the train between Thusis and Tiefencastel. Our recommendation is the No. 49 rail connection. Alternative: For athletic cyclists with robust bikes, the mountain bike route 1 from Alvaschein via Muldain (270 meters height difference, with steep sections, not paved) is also suitable.
Data source: SwitzerlandMobility / Cantonal office
Transport Thusis–Tiefencastel
49
Transport Thusis–Tiefencastel
Rail, bus, boat recommendation
Thusis–Tiefencastel
or
Tiefencastel–Thusis
Reason: dangerous stretch with tunnels. Metres in height saved Thusis–Tiefencastel 400m, Tiefencastel–Thusis 140m.
Cycle transport: limited space.
SBB Timetable
Ascent Albula
53
Ascent Albula
Rail, bus, boat recommendation
Thusis–Samedan
Reason: dangerous stretch Thusis–Tiefencastel, main road with tunnels. Metres in height saved approx. 1800m.
Cycle transport: limited space.
SBB Timetable

Hints

Biking in swiss parks
The wide and steep Schinschlucht leads to Tiefencastel and thus into the Ela Park, the largest nature park in Switzerland. Here water flows in all directions, dinosaurs have left their traces in the rocks and three languages are spoken.
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Arrival | return travel

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

Services

Accommodation

BnB Rohrbach
BnB Rohrbach
Rodels
TCS Camping Thusis - Viamala
TCS Camping Thusis - Viamala
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
Hotel Albula & Julier
Hotel Albula & Julier
Tiefencastel
Hotel Rätia
Hotel Rätia
Tiefencastel
Hotel Restaurant Rätia
Hotel Restaurant Rätia
Filisur
Chamonas d'Ela CAS
Chamonas d'Ela CAS
Filisur
Hotel Grischuna
Hotel Grischuna
Filisur
Hotel Weisses Kreuz
Hotel Weisses Kreuz
Bergün/Bravuogn
Hotel Bellevue Wiesen
Hotel Bellevue Wiesen
Davos Wiesen
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Bookable offers

Graubünden Route Ost: Chur - Scoul
Graubünden Route Ost: Chur - Scoul
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Places

Obermutten
Obermutten
Thusis
Thusis
Tiefencastel
Tiefencastel
Bergün – Albula
Bergün – Albula
Filisur
Filisur
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Places of interest

Parc Ela
Parc Ela
Hohen Rätien Castle
Hohen Rätien Castle
Pumppark Sils i.D.
Pumppark Sils i.D.
The Alte Schin – a deep, dreadful ravine
The Alte Schin – a deep, dreadful ravine
Belfort Castle Ruins
Belfort Castle Ruins
St Peter's Church, Mistail
St Peter's Church, Mistail
Landwasser Viaduct
Landwasser Viaduct
Albula Railway Museum in Bergün
Albula Railway Museum in Bergün
Evangelical Church of Stuls
Evangelical Church of Stuls
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Swimming

Bad Alvaneu
Bad Alvaneu
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