Martin Donat

Great heights from Chur to Tirano with your mountain bike & post bus

Graubünden Ferien/David Schultheiss

Great heights from Chur to Tirano with your mountain bike & post bus

Mountain Biking Collection by Martin Donat

4-7

days

3-5 h

/ day

133 mi

22,550 ft

23,075 ft

Urban charm, alpine trails and Mediterranean flair: the Swiss canton of Graubünden is incredibly versatile and a great place for wonderful mountain bike routes. In this Collection, I present an exciting bikepacking adventure which is so compact that it can be done on a long weekend. It is also suitable for bikers who are not used to hours of alpine climbs.

You do not even need your own car to reach the starting point. Your journey begins at Chur station which is easily accessible by train, whilst you can travel to the individual stages with a Swiss speciality: the post bus. These yellow busses are a typical feature on the mountain roads. They can carry your bike and help out on the particularly long climbs.

Your adventure begins in Chur and takes you on three stages along great trails from north to south through the canton of Graubünden. Although it's a real alpine crossing, you'll always have a plan B just in case. If necessary, you can take a post bus or the Rhaetian Railway to make one of the ascents easier. I have noted in the individual stages where this is possible. This Collection includes overnight stays in Savognin and Pontresina where you will find plenty of places to stay. From idyllic campsites to fancy hotels, you are sure to find something suitable for you.

Despite the help of the post buses, these routes are not a walk in the park, they are still an alpine adventure. You should have a certain level of riding technique and also come well-prepared for mountain conditions. Pack suitable clothing, a change of clothes, spare parts and a first aid kit, as well as sufficient food. With a little preparation, you will have an unforgettable time in a beautiful area with great trails.

Post bus info:

Taking a bicycle on the Postbuses is free of charge if you have purchased a ticket for yourself. Logically, space for bicycles is limited, so it may make sense to reserve a seat in advance. You should reserve in advance if you are traveling with a group.

You can check the exact departure times of the Postbuses for this Collection or create your own Postbus route (note: not all Postbuses take bikes, look for the corresponding symbol in the timetable), you can find the necessary information here: postauto.ch/de/fahrplan.

You can find information about the Bernina Express here: rhb.ch/de/panoramazuege/bernina-express. Of course, normal regional trains also run on this route. They are not quite as romantic, but a bit cheaper. You can find timetables here: rhb.ch/de/home.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    08:04
    41.2 mi
    5.1 mph
    9,100 ft
    7,225 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    It starts at the train station in Chur and you have the choice: Crank yourself or let the Postbus do the first climb? A little decision-making aid from me: If …

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  • Difficult
    09:14
    57.2 mi
    6.2 mph
    8,725 ft
    6,625 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    One thing in advance: Don't panic if you look at the kilometers and vertical meters of the second stage - after all, there is the Postbus! Of course, you can …

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  • Difficult
    06:00
    34.3 mi
    5.7 mph
    4,750 ft
    9,225 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The third stage of the PostBus tour begins with the uphill from Pontresina to the Bernina Pass. It runs mostly on the “Bernina Express” route, which bears its name because it is always within reach of the railway line of the same name. The “Bernina Express” is legendary and not for nothing a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And the best thing is that after this tour you can still enjoy it on the train ride back to Chur. But more on that later ...Now you pedal to the Bernina Pass in peace and enjoy the wonderful views of the Morteratsch Glacier and the numerous mountain peaks all around. Occasionally you may have to push your bike briefly, but overall the driveway is rather relaxed. Your reward is already waiting on Alp Grüm: the train station is worth seeing and you can fortify yourself in the restaurant.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    3
  • Distance
    133 mi
  • Duration
    23:17 h
  • Elevation
    22,550 ft23,075 ft

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Martin Donat

Great heights from Chur to Tirano with your mountain bike & post bus