400km of mountain biking bliss: your guide to the very best rides in sunny St. Moritz
Countless single track and signposted routes crisscross the Engadin alpine world. Those seeking the most spectacular ascent, the most stunning panorama or the most beautiful trail can benefit from using a local guide, and fortunately in the Engadin there are plenty of them, offering professionally organised tours for all abilities. Special mountain bike hotels provide extra infrastructure and services. The mountain transport facilities take bikers to new sporting heights – and open up new dimensions for the really ambitious. Those who prefer a gentler start to their day can take a cable car and ride the first couple of hundred vertical metres up to Corviglia in comfort.
Mountain bike enthusiasts can comfortably reach the peak of Piz Nair at 3056 metres above sea level by means of the Corviglia-Piz Nair aerial cableway. Awaiting mountain bikers at the top are stunning views and an endless choice of trails: whether over the Suvretta Pass to Val Bever or down the other side to Champfer, via the Fuorcla Schlattain and the Lej Alv lake to Corviglia or to Trais Fluors, or directly back to St. Moritz – with a stop at the el paradiso, arguably the most stylish mountain hut in the world.
Find your Flow
The absolute highlights include the ‘World Championship Flow Trail’ (‘WM Flow Trail’), the ‘Foppettas Flow Trail’ and the ‘Corviglia Flow Trail’. The Corviglia Flow Trail on the 1948 Winter Olympic route as well as the other flow trails have been created with respect for their natural setting and offer a unique riding experience. The World Championship Flow Trail with its innovative 360° turn begins at the Corviglia mountain station and winds its way through a breathtaking panorama, followed by a fast flowing downhill pump-track to the Trutz Hut – always worth a pit stop for its Wienerschnitzel.
The flow trails follow the natural terrain across hollows and rolling hills and make mountain biking seem almost like surfing, or a descent on powder snow – certainly a unique mountain biking experience.
A Natural High
The Engadin has everything that sets mountain bikers’ pulses racing: narrow trails alternating with broad paths, long climbs leading to thrilling descents – and all around nature in all its glorious variety. The Suvretta Pass Route leads from Samedan through forests, over meadows and past impressive rock formations, over the Alp Muntatsch to Marguns and on up to the Suvretta Pass. By the time riders have made it back to Samedan some five hours later they will have climbed 1365 beautiful metres, surrounded by a wealth of scenery. Those who prefer to take things more easily can tackle the first stage by gondola: mountain bikes travel from Celerina to Marguns for a small additional charge.
Meanwhile, sunny views all round await on the Bernina Pass Route mountain bike tour, which leads past the glaciers and snowfields of the spectacular Bernina massif into the magical Val Poschiavo. After 30 kilometres filled with diverse scenery and wide-ranging terrain, bikers arrive in Poschiavo, where they have the option of climbing aboard one of the trains of the Rhaetian Railway to travel back to the Engadin in a relaxed manner along one of the world’s most beautiful railway lines – which is part of UNESCO World Heritage.
Exploring the Engadin
30 kilometres long, a 415 metre difference in altitude and never-ending swimming opportunities – the Engadin Lakes tour leads past nearly all of the region’s lakes. The greatest challenge is not to dismount at the first one and stretch out on the sunny lakeshore. This easy loop begins in Pontresina and leads via Celerina to Lake Staz. This is the most popular of all the Engadin swimming lakes, not just because of its clear blue waters, but also because of the attractive Restaurant Lej da Staz, with its creative cuisine. The trail continues on down to Lake St. Moritz, then via St. Moritz to the Lej da Champfèr. The final climb is in the direction of Surlej; the route then leads back through St. Moritz to Pontresina.
The lakes in the Engadin valley are also easily accessed by e-bike. The extra pedalling power can help extend the tour and thanks to a number of charging stations at hotels and public facilities the e-bike is easily recharged to continue the adventure.
From Dawn until Dusk
The Engadin sunrise has a special beauty all of its own. The Piz Nair Sunrise gives you the chance to witness an amazing spectacle at over 3000 metres above sea level. The mountain railways will transport the participants outside the normal operating times and before dawn up to 3056 m.a.s.l. At the same time as the spectacular sunrise takes place, a hearty breakfast buffet is served at the restaurant on the summit. (30.7./ 27.8./ 24.9.2017)
You can also ride into the evening sun! Every second Friday evening from 7 July to 1 September 2017 the flow trails on Corviglia are open exclusively for all those who have still not had enough.
Mountain Bike Special: includes accommodation, transport on the mountain rail and cableways, and various other services provided by 3 star hotels with mountain bike expertise. It costs as little as CHF 212 per person for two nights in a double room with sports breakfast.
Bike Races and Events
The Bike Giro Engadin, a three-day mountain bike stage race for pros and amateurs alike will be held for the second time. The programme comprises a prologue event in and around St. Moritz on Friday, followed by two weekend stages, with the start and finish in Silvaplana. 30th June to 2nd July, 2017.
The Rocky Mountain Trail Games are a new form of mountain bike event in which teams of twos and threes complete various challenges together. It is important to note that this is not a ‘classic’ enduro race in which one has to proceed as fast as possible with each test (known as a stage). Although the Trail Games do include special tests, each of these tests consists of various tasks and targets that have to be fulfilled. 11th -13th August, 2017.
The National Park Bike Marathon around the Swiss National Park is a true test of one’s physical limits, set in serene natural surroundings: Real tough nuts can tackle the 137 kilometres and 4026 metre elevation climb starting in Scuol, but there are also 3 other, less strenuous levels. 26th August, 2017.
Before and After Biking
- Refuel before the tour: Brunch at the alpine cheese dairy
At the alpine cheese dairy, the traditional craft of cheese-making has been revived and visitors can watch how cheese and curd are prepared by hand, as well as taste the many varieties produced at the cheese buffet. The idyllic alpine hut is located at Alp Nova close to the Morteratsch Glacier and is an ideal starting point for the Bernina Express tour.
- Muscle regeneration: Relaxation at Samedan mineral baths
At the Samedan mineral baths – Switzerland’s first ‘vertical’ mineral baths – visitors bathe their way ‘up’ through a labyrinth of baths and steam rooms spread over three storeys. After a long day on the trails this is the perfect place to relax.
- A perfect ending: Cocktails at sunset on Muottas Muragl
The view from Muottas Muragl over the Engadin is so unique, that one can make an exception and take the red funicular up the mountain without the bike. Looking out over the valley with a drink in hand you can review the routes taken and plan the next tour.
More info at: www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/mountainbike-en