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The Rhine gorge - a tour of Switzerland's very own Grand Canyon

A trip to the Rhine gorge is a must for any visitor to the Surselva valley. Today’s 13-kilometre-long gorge, in places as much as 400 metres deep, is the product of a cataclysmic geological event, the Flims rockslide, which took place 10,000 years ago. You can explore this natural wonder from the water, on foot, or by bike, car or train.

By train / by foot:
Start at Reichenau station. Suggested itinerary: drive to the station and leave your car there (parking ticket required). Tickets are available online directly from the Rhaetian Railway, in the Postauto busses, or from Guest Information Flims Laax Falera.
The train leaves from platform 3. The train ride, which takes half an hour in total, follows the upper course of the Rhine via Versam and Valendas to Ilanz. The impressive landscape features you will see from the train include steep limestone cliffs and larger-than-life rock formations.

First stop: Trin
At Trin, the Rhine is spanned by the Punt Ruinaulta, the longest suspension bridge in Graubünden.


Lunch / refreshment stop: Ustria Trin Staziun
This restaurant in Trin’s old railway station is open every day from 11 am to 6 pm from May until the start of October. It serves fresh salads, home-made polenta, delicious soups and fine ice creams

Next stop: Versam-Station
The most scenic walking route around starts right here at Versam-Station. So what are you waiting for? Get out of that train! The path leads right along the bank of the Rhine all the way from Versam-Station to Valendas. This medium-difficulty walk takes around one and a half hours to complete on foot.


Tip:
There are some delightful barbecue areas at Versam-Station, so you might consider bringing your own sausages with you.

Once you reach Valendas, it is time to board the train again and continue your journey.

Lunch/refreshment stop:

Light snacks are available from the train station in Valendas. If you are looking for something a little more substantial, we recommend the Gasthaus am Brunnen in the centre of Valendas village.

Final stop: Ilanz.
If you are returning to Reichenau by train, it is worth using the time before your train leaves to explore Ilanz’s little old town, where some of the buildings date back to the seventeenth and even sixteenth centuries.

Alternative routes

By car

Start in Flims Laax Falera; drive to Valendas, Versam, Bonaduz, Tamins and back again (40 km) via either Ilanz or Sagogn (short cut). Stop in lay-bys or use the special viewing platforms to look down into the
depths of the gorge.

By mountain bike:

If you want to explore the Rhine gorge by mountain bike, we recommend following the route for cars as previously described. there are various possible short cuts. But be warned: the difficulty level is medium to high.

From the water:

Fancy seeing the Rhine gorge from an even more spectacular angle? These two canoeing and kayaking schools offer a range of options for checking out the gorge from the water.

Versam canoeing school: www.kanuschule.ch
Swiss River adventures, Ilanz: www.swissriveradventures.ch