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Mountain-biking in Engadin, Switzerland

Engadin St. Moritz is a paradise for everyone who feels at home in the (bicycle) saddle. Exploring this glorious Alpine landscape is a never-ending thrill – whether alone or in a group, independently or on an organised tour… …

such as on a mountain bike, for example – over 400km (250 miles) of enchanting singletrails and marked routes lead throughout the Engadin mountain landscape, past breathtakingly beautiful backdrops and up to spectacular heights. Those who prefer a gentler start to their day can take a cable car, funicular or gondola and ride the first couple of hundred vertical metres up onto the Corviglia in comfort. And their smile is sure to last, given the breathtaking panoramic trails and the thrilling descents that await them at the top.

It is not without good reason that the Engadin is one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the Alps. The route network is constantly being expanded.

Incidentally, bikers will sleep even better at night by taking advantage of the Mountain Bike Special: this special arrangement comprises accommodation, transport on the mountain rail- and cableways, guided tours and various other discounts.

Uphill rides made easy

New horizons: now bikes can be transported up the mountain with their riders. News that will cheer up leisure bikers – and make athletic riders more mobile than ever.

In future, mountain bikers no longer have to be super-sporty to set their sights high, their bikes can ride up the mountain, too. This applies for the Signal cable car in St. Moritz Bad, the funicular from St. Moritz Dorf to Chantarella and up to the Corviglia, the gondola from Celerina to Marguns and the gondola up to the Piz Nair. As a result, occasional riders can now easily access the fabulous network of panoramic mountain-bike routes above 2,000m (6,500ft), while serious bike fanatics find their radius of action considerably extended, with whole new horizons opening up. The widely communicated Mountain Biker’s Code of Conduct sensitises mountain bikers and hikers to each other’s needs and encourages people to respect the environment.

Mountain bikers are also particularly welcome on trains of the Rhaetian Railway: the “little red trains” have special carriages in which bikes are stored and transported in a simple and straightforward manner. Consequently, bikers can explore the magnificent mountain-biking area of the Val Poschiavo, with its Mediterranean atmosphere, which is reached by crossing the spectacular Bernina Pass. In addition – space permitting – bikes can be carried on the Engadin buses.

3 Bike tours that offer a natural high

Here you will find yourself in seventh mountain-biking heaven ?the Engadin’s clearly marked mountainbike routes open up a host of unforgettable experiences. For every taste and level of ability.

Thirty-five kilometres (22 miles) with 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. Such is the Suvretta Pass Route, which 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 conquered 1,365 vertical metres (4,478ft) – and their heads will be filled with a wealth of memorable impressions of the fabulous scenery. Those who prefer to take things more easily can tackle the first stage by gondola: mountain bikes can be taken from Celerina to Marguns.

Meanwhile, sunny views all round await on the Bernina Pass Route, which leads past the glaciers and snowfields of the spectacular Bernina massif into the magical Val Poschiavo. After 30 varied kilometres (19 miles), 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, incidentally, is now part of UNESCO World Heritage.

Note: The trail from Samedan to Spinas is also suitable for families with children, as well as casual cyclists.

The Engadin Lakes Tour: a waterway for leisure cyclists

Thirty kilometres (19 miles) long, a 415m (1,362ft difference in altitude and no end of bathing 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 circular tour begins in Pontresina and leads via Celerina to Lake Staz. This is the most popular of all the Engadin bathing lakes, not just because of its clear blue waters, but also because of the attractive Restaurant Lej da Staz, with its creative cuisine.

trail continues on down to Lake St. Moritz, then back up via St. Moritz Dorf to the Lej da Champfèr. The final climb is in the direction of Surlej; the route then leads back through St. Moritz to Pontresina. Tip: Anyone wishing to make a short detour can follow the beautiful, but unmarked, trail over the Alp Pretpair.

A leisurely ride by e-bike

E-bikes open up brand-new horizons for leisure cyclists: whether as part of a guided group tour or individually under their own steam. And that (almost) without any effort at all.

A call to “Engadin Bike Tours” is all it takes ? and before you know it, your e-bikes are waiting for you in front of your hotel or holiday apartment. Two mobile mountainbike stations guarantee a flexible rental system for the e-bikes, which this year are fully in trend. And no wonder: a battery provides extra pedalling power and makes biking in mountainous terrain child’s play. As a result, even less proficient bikers can effortlessly master substantial differences in elevation – thus enhancing the nature experience all the more. Those who wish can head off on their own on a tour of discovery, while those who prefer some company can join a guided theme tour. The e-bikes are handed back again on arrival at the destination.

Mountain Bike Specials: irresistible – right down to the price

Calling all bike fans: since last summer, Engadin St. Moritz has been offering mountain bikers a special deal that can be tailored to their individual requirements.

The Mountain Bike Specials comprise 2–4 nights’ accommodation, including a healthy breakfast, a multi-day card for mountain bike transport on the Signal cable car, the Chantarella/Corviglia funicular, the Marguns gondola and the cable car up to Piz Nair, as well as guided mountainbike tours. At selected hotels, free use of the Upper Engadine public transport is included. Additional services are provided at the special mountain-bike-friendly hotels as for example a lockable bike room or an area to wash and repair bikes. Whether simple or luxurious, the choice is yours; the Mountain Bike Specials can be booked at anything from a guesthouse to a five-star deluxe hotel.

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