Cross the Alps on our Trans-Graubünden mountain bike tour Switzerland
On our new Trans-Graubünden mountain bike tour Switzerland you’ll mountain bike through the beautiful Graubünden region from north to south, climbing and traversing high Alpine mountain passes, descending through alpine forest to lush valley floors, and even dipping your toes into Italy along the way for pizza and espresso.
With an early snow fall covering the mountains of the Graubünden, our photographer Ross Bell had a challenge he hadn’t bargained for when we travelled to Switzerland with mtb legend Thomas Vanderham, to capture the vast landscapes, glorious trails, and tremendous food and accommodation of our latest mtb adventure… You can also read our photo story
From the Swiss Alps in the north to Italy in the south, you’ll ride the length of the Graubünden region in south east Switzerland, witnessing the change in culture, cuisine and architecture as you go.
We’ll put the seamless Swiss transport system to good use, taking trains – including the famous UNESCO Bernina Express – and gondolas to allow us to get farther into the mountains and valleys, experiencing true wilderness riding in Switzerland, as well as tremendous man-made flow trails. There will still be plenty of climbing, though.
With all meals, transport passes, accommodation and guiding included, you only need to bring beer money!
Tour dates 2018
- 7 – 14 July (4 PLACES)
- 29 Jul – 5 Aug (4 PLACES)
- 2 – 9 September (TRIP FULL!)
- 16 – 23 September (5 PLACES)
Contact us if you would like to create your own private group tour.
This mountain bike tour Switzerland is a real must-do for passionate mountain bike travellers, combining breath-taking landscapes with world-class trails and true mountain life. Here are some other special moments you can look forward to in Switzerland:
- Spend the day riding the IMBA Epic Trail
- Stay in a remote mountain inn perched on a cliff high above Italy
- Descend 3,500m in one day, from Jakobshorn into the Sertig Valley
- Ride the famous UNESCO Bernina Express train over the Bernina Pass
- Enjoy mid-ride rösti in traditional mountain huts
- Round off your adventure on the perfectly-built flow trails of St. Moritz
Mountain bike tour Switzerland Itinerary
This trans-Graubünden mountain bike tour Switzerland will take you across the Swiss Alps, over high Alpine mountain passes and into lush valleys, sampling traditional Swiss and Italian mountain produce as you go. You’ll be riding at over 2,000m / 6,500ft much of the time, so be prepared to pace yourself as you acclimatise to the altitude. There is also a degree of exposure on the Swiss trails, significant on some days.
- +Arrival in Lenzerheide - refresh + prepare for your adventure
If you’re travelling a long way or across several time zones to Switzerland then we would recommend arriving in Lenzerheide a day or two early to allow your body to adjust and to make sure any flight or luggage delays don’t spoil your trip
- +Day 1 - Welcome to Switzerland! Ride Lenzerheide bike park
Your guide will meet you at the H+I preferred hotel in Lenzerheide in the morning, enjoy a coffee with everyone whilst chatting through the all-important pre-trip briefing. He will set the tone of the week ahead, explain the trails to come and answer any questions that you may have.
After your guide meeting you’ll build your bikes or set up rental bikes, before hitting the trails in and around the world-famous Lenzerheide bike park. Your guide will build you up progressively to warm up the legs and the mind, before returning back to your Lenzerheide hotel for your first evening meal as a team.
Distance cycled: 15km (app. 4 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel Lenzerheide
Meals included: L, D
- +Day 2 - Into the Alps: Casanna Pass to Klosters
Today you will leave Lenzerheide behind and start your Trans-Alp route with a gondola trip high above the valley to Rothhorn and the first of many breathtaking vistas that you will encounter during this mountain bike tour Switzerland.
Once you have taken in the view you’ll start a long and famous descent that will take you to the valley floor and the town of Arosa, by which point you’ll be fully awake and appreciating why Switzerland holds such appeal for mountain bikers!
You’ll then embark on a long uphill climb to the top of the Casanna Pass where you will feel like you are deep in the Swiss Alps, with high mountains surrounding you as you weave your way to the descent that will drop you in to your first stunning and secluded mountain cabin for the night where you will be treated to a feast of local produce, before getting your head down to sleep in the fresh mountain air.
Distance cycled: 30km (app. 7 hours)
Accommodation: Mountain lodge Klosters
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 3 - What goes up - must come down! To the Sertig Valley
You’ll wake to the sound of cow bells this morning, then we’ll leave our mountain accommodation and work our way down to the gondola station where we board our first uplift of the day. We will utilise this seamless infrastructure today and throughout the week to ensure we reach the best trails and see as much of the region as possible.
The trails today will be predominantly flowing, but you can be sure that you will encounter slightly more technical features and sections that will demand thought and consideration, which will include a true highlight – the Chörbschhorn – which is punctuated by an alpine style lunch mid-descent.
As you work your way through this vast landscape which is home to the highest town in the Alps, Davos, you will be traversing high above the valley before pealing off onto three different descents with a grand total of 3500m of height loss, with the final one ending at the door of your accommodation for the night, nestled at the foot of the massive headwall of the spectacular Sertig Valley.
Distance cycled: 40km (app. 7 hours)
Accommodation: Small hotel Sertig
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 4 - Into the wilderness and over the Albula Pass
As you look out of your accommodation window this morning, you will see the sun rising above the massive rock wall at the head of the Sertig Valley. On leaving our accommodation we will head straight into a hour long climb, that will slowly take us out of the stillness of the morning light and deliver us 400m higher above the valley bottom. Once at this high point, we spend the rest of the morning traversing on the IMBA Epic Trail all the way to Monstein, when we will be met by a beautiful lunch on the patio.
Suitably fed, watered and rested in this truly awe-inspiring location surrounded on all sides by jagged peaks, you will saddle up again and head further along the IMBA Epic Trail on a moderately technical descent that will see you arriving at Filisur. Here you will be met by a shuttle, that will transfer you to the last singletrack of the day, which will take us straight to our accommodation for the night in Bever.
There is a wonderful spa available with massage and laundry service here too, so before settling down in the chic dining room, why not relax and unwind in the spa?
Distance cycled: 43km (app. 8 hours)
Accommodation: Mountain lodge Bever
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 5 - Bernina Pass and overnight in the mountains
We have a big day ahead of us today, and we’ll also need to carry our overnight kit with us for our unique, mountain-top ‘refuge’ accommodation.
We’ll leave the front door of our lodge and board the Bernina Express that will take us to the highest point on the Bernini Pass. With glaciers towering above us and turquoise waters all around, we’ll disembark the train and throw our legs over our bikes for a stunning and varied 1000m descent that will lead you to the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, Val Poschiavo.
We’ll stop in the piazza of Poschiavo to enjoy a typical local tasting lunch at Hosteria del Borgo. After lunch we will be shuttled high above the valley to embark on our last goal of the day, making it to San Romerio, which is perched on the edge of a 1000m cliff at the end of a two hour traversing singletrack.
It is magical, there is nothing else to say about this night’s accommodation. We’ll eat fabulous traditional food and sample some home-made grappa outside whilst watching the sun set and the skies fill with stars from one horizon to the other.
Distance cycled: 30km (app. 8 hours)
Accommodation: Mountain refuge San Romerio
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 6 - Clifftop refuge to Italian vineyards
Bleary-eyed, we will sip coffee and tuck into a simple, but tasty mountain breakfast. Saying farewell to our hosts we’ll snake our way down the descent, stopping every so often to catch a glimpse back up the mountain to your mountain hut where you spent a night to remember for the rest of your life.
This descent changes in character many times as you leave the high alpine behind, flow through forests, along Italian village streets and down vineyard trails until you reach Tirano and your awaiting Italian pizza and espresso.
Once lunch has begun to settle in the stomach we will again board the Bernina Express train that will take us back up to the highest point of the Bernina Pass, coming from the Italian side this time. Once there you will descend down the Swiss side along flowing local trails that will deliver you to your last accommodation of the adventure, in Pontresina in the Engadin canton.
Distance cycled: 29km (app. 6 hours)
Accommodation: Sport hotel Pontresina
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 7 - Grand finale - flow trails in St. Moritz Valley
You’ve worked hard this week and for our last day the emphasis is very much on ‘fun’! We’ll aim to hit as many trails as possible from the hotel in Pontresina, using gondolas, trains and cable cars to link up a number of trails that cross the valley around St.Moritz.
We will set out to complete three trails in the morning before visiting a local café half way up the mountain side, where you can settle down to the best burger and coffee in the country…fact! After taking in the astonishing views down the valley you will hop on your last train transfer to a high point of 3053m and your final fling of this mountain biking tour Switzerland.
Starting from 3053m you’ll set off on rocky singletrack trails that will have you pumping and jumping your bike down trails that seem to be made by the gods!
It’s short but sweet! You’ll then have 20 mins of work left, where you will climb up to a mountain hut. This is your last chance to pick up water before we start descending for the next hour on trails that change in style all the way to the valley floor.
Your guide Dave lives at the bottom of this trail and he will be sure to show you some of his local gems. This descent will crown off what has been a singletrack extravaganza and, hopefully, one of the most memorable trips yet!
When you arrive back at your hotel in Pontresina you can take advantage of spa (and laundry) facilities before our final celebratory dinner together.
Distance cycled: 46km (app.6 hours)
Accommodation: Sport hotel Pontresina
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 8 - Departure
Sadly today we leave Switzerland behind, say our farewells and transfer to Zurich airport. You will depart for the airport early morning on the train.
Meals included: Breakfast
Please note: Your mountain bike tour Switzerland is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Switzerland and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience on our mountain bike tour Switzerland.
- +Tour price
Mountain Bike Tour Switzerland Price
£2,400 / $3,600 USD per person (ex. flights, based on two sharing a room) We welcome solo travellers on our adventures and if you are happy to share a room with another solo rider of the same sex you do not need to add the single supplement. If, however, you wish to have a room by yourself, a single supplement of £250 / $375 USD will be payable. H+I Adventures is bonded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), so you can be sure that when you book with us your money will be safe. Price includes:
- Services of fully-qualified, English speaking expert mountain bike guide(s) for the duration of the trip
- All meals beginning with lunch on day one and finishing with breakfast on day 8
- All lift, gondola and train passes mentioned in itinerary
- 7 nights’ accommodation
- All ground costs
- Luggage/ bike transfer (as required) for duration of your mountain bike tour in Switzerland
- All group safety equipment
- Global Rescue security evacuation services
- International/ domestic flights
- Transfer to/from airport to/from first and last hotel
- Bike hire – we can arrange bike hire for you at a cost of £350/ $525 USD for the duration of the trip
- Travel and activity insurance
- Tips in restaurants and hotels
- Alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverages
- Personal safety and cycling equipment
- Any other items not mentioned as included
- +Skill + fitness levels required
Does this sound like you? Your vacation time is precious and we want to be absolutely sure that you’re making the most of it, by finding the perfect mountain bike tour for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other mountain bike tours that may well be a better fit for your mountain biking experience and ability.
Please note: The skill level required reflects an overall rating for the trails on the trip but you should expect to find sections and obstacles that push your ability levels.
- You are generally comfortable riding most types of terrain in different conditions: singletrack, double track, muddy, dry, loose, bedrock…
- You can brake, use gears and corner instinctively
- You’ll have a go on moderate technical features, such as small rock gardens, small drops and steeper sections, but may get off and walk certain technical features
- You ride more than once a week throughout your biking season
- And the ‘+’ part of ‘Intermediate+’ means that you will be aiming to tackle more of those moderate technical features
- You have a reasonable level of mountain bike fitness, exercising at least twice a week for one hour or more, throughout the whole year
- You can ride a mountain bike for up to six hours per day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for four or more consecutive days
- You are capable of tackling one or two moderate mountain bike climbs per day, of up to 600 metres each
Typical trails you’ll be riding
- Much of the riding you’ll do on our mountain bike tour Switzerland is over 7,000ft/ 2,000m and to just over 10,000ft/ 3,000m with exposure present on most trails
- Double track: undulating forest roads made up of hard-packed dirt and small rocks
- Singletrack: rustic singletrack, mainly high alpine trails and through forests with roots crossing the trails, and at times you will encounter golf ball-sized rock gardens, and occasionally purpose built flow trails
- The trails in the Swiss mountains are hundreds of years old, so are not always buff purpose built trails, they are natural high alpine walking trails that link villages across the region and surfaces may be soft and muddy at times
- +Arrival + departure details
Your mountain bike tour Switzerland will start in Lenzerheide and end in Pontresina.
You should arrive the day prior to your tour start date and spend one night in Lenzerheide, allowing for any delays to flights to luggage and being ready for your guide to meet you there the following morning. Your guide will meet you in the foyer of your hotel and he/she will be holding an H+I Adventures sign and wearing an H+I ride top.
On the last day of the tour, your guide will ensure you are dropped off at Pontresina train station on time to catch your train back to Zurich in time to catch your flight home. Therefore, we would advise booking your flights home no earlier than 6pm on your day of departure.
If your departure flights differ from this, we would be happy to help book you into an airport hotel overnight, if needed.
- +Travelling to Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland is well-served by many major airlines from all over the world.
For up-to-date timetables and booking visit: www.ba.com; www.aa.com; www.united.com; and www.swiss.com. You must book your bike on to your flight in advance, otherwise you could face a heavy charge at the airport.
US, Canadian and European Citizens do not require visas to visit Switzerland. You must have your passport as proof of citizenship. A tourist/landing card may be given to you aboard the airplane during your flight to Switzerland.
- +Preparing yourself + your bike for your adventure
Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your mountain bike tour Switzerland, so that you have everything you need!
Our mountain bike tour Switzerland is for intermediate+ riders with level 6 fitness. The ideal bike for the Swiss trails is a good quality full-suspension bike with around 140mm of front travel. To get the most out of your mountain bike tour Switzerland you should plan some training in advance of your tour, and it is essential that, if you’re bringing your own bike, you must ensure that it has been properly serviced before the trip.
You will experience altitudes of between 7,000ft/ 2,000m and 10,000ft/ 3,000m when mountain biking in Switzerland, so we have some advice on mountain biking at high altitudes.
We recommend that you do travel with your own bike, and have some handy tips on how to do this, however if this isn’t possible for you we can arrange bike hire for you for a high quality full suspension mountain bike for the duration of your mountain bike tour Switzerland.
- +Your mountain bike guides in Switzerland
Our mountain bike guides in Switzerland are of the highest level.
They are qualified in first-aid and they have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these remote, wild and beautiful parts of Switzerland.
Our guides have years of experience in the saddle on the trails of the Switzerland area and will be able to enhance your holiday with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna. They’re also genuinely nice people and will do their best to make sure that everyone in the group has a great time.
- +Accommodation + food
One of the things that sets our holidays apart from others is the unique local accommodation we use. We aim to use the best, locally-run accommodation in each country, and that which is traditional to that specific area, whether it be city or mountain.
On our mountain bike tour Switzerland you’ll be staying in a selection of traditional Swiss accommodation from rustic mountain huts, to small family run hotels, to hidden mountain lodges on the border with Italy, where a roaring fire and delicious home-cooked food await.
Most of the food you will enjoy on our mountain bike tour Switzerland is traditional food influenced by surrounding countries, all prepared with the greatest of care and skill. Typical dishes include: rest with eggs; local meats and cheeses, salads and, of course, local ales.
- +Health + safety
No vaccinations are required for visiting Switzerland.
We recommend you check before drinking tap water, but 99% of this is safe for consumption. Bottled or filtered water will be readily available throughout the trip.
Also, please let us know if you have any special food requirements, allergies or pre-existing conditions your guides should know about.
You should always consult your own doctor or physician before travelling to new countries to seek their advice on matters concerning your health abroad.
Your health and safety is on our mountain bike tour Switzerland is our top priority so when you travel with us you also have the peace of mind knowing that you will be covered by Global Rescue emergency medical and evacuation services.
- +Currency + foreign exchange
The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. ATM machines are readily available throughout Switzerland.
It is not compulsory to tip your guides or drivers in Switzerland, but if you feel that you have had a good service or experience on your mountain bike tour Switzerland, you can tip at your discretion.
It is not compulsory to tip in restaurants, however should you wish to tip your servers, 10% – 15% of your meal cost would be acceptable.
- +Holiday insurance
You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. In this policy you must include cover for mountain biking and we recommend that you take out a policy which covers cancellation and baggage.
We work closely with WorldNomads whose policies are specially designed for mountain bike holidays. You can arrange your insurance cover directly with them and we ask that you send us your policy details.
Please note: if you have arranged your own holiday insurance, you must bring a copy of your policy with you on your mountain bike holiday with us.
Please note: our mountain bike tour Switzerland is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Switzerland and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
Submit your review
A five star adventure from start to finish. We were treated to some of the most amazing trails Switzerland has to offer. Our guide David notched the trip up even further with his enthusiasm and joy in sharing his beautiful country.
The food, logistics and hospitality were first rate!
H+I have put together an incredible trip that is one epic day after another separated only by great Local inns and restaurants along with incredible vistas and trails to fill the days and ending with a great flow day to cap off a top notch week of riding.
Without a doubt the best Biking vacation I have ever taken! Well Done!
Fantastic vacation! H+I put together an amazing seven days of riding from high alpine rocky descents to long wooded single track. Our guide Dave was incredibly knowledgeable of the trails, area, and seemed to know people at each of our stops. Every day was packed with a variety of terrain and perfect lunch locations.
My bike handling improved throughout the week as a result of Dave’s coaching and he was truly attentive to everyone’s riding ability.
Great itinerary, hotels, food, and guiding.
Book this trip!
Thank you H+I Adventures for an epic and amazing trip! The team out did itself with this package- trails, guide (Dave), lodging, views and food spoiled the group while creating lifetime memories and connections to the trip's participants!
From the start, the H&I team were professional and responsive with questions and matters around the organization of the trip!
As you begin the trip, the first thing I noticed is the professionalism of the guide, Dave!
The trails were world class! It ranged from alpine (uphill/downhill/traversing), double track and flow trails! The flow trails were a treat to help master any skills you feel can improve! Everyday you'll experience panaromic views of the Swiss Alps! Pictures cannot give this experience enough justice!
As you approach the end of the trip, you'll start to realize the narrative that H+I has created with this trip! The food and accommodations were spot on with the narrative and welcoming after a day on the bike!
I highly recommend this trip if you want to experience amazing alpine trails, great food and build lasting relationships and memories!
What a week!
With fast flowing trails to technical downhills, all with the Swiss mountains as a magnificent backdrop. Our guide Dave couldn't have been better. He organised everything so the whole week ran perfectly.
He was also happy to advise on technique so that we got the absolute best out of the trails.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) mountain bike tour Switzerland
- Q. How many people will be in the group?
We only run small group mountain bike tours to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible, and there will generally be between six and eight people in each group. We can stretch to a maximum of ten if it’s a group of friends. The minimum number of people we require to run this mountain bike tour Switzerland is four.
- Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this holiday?
Our mountain bike tour Switzerland caters for a wide age range; typically between 30- and 55-years-old, but age is simply a state of mind, as they say, and we welcome anyone over the age of 18! As long as you have a good level of physical fitness you will enjoy this mountain bike tour Switzerland no matter what your age.
- Q. What style of mountain bike tour is it?
This mountain bike tour Switzerland is a guided mountain bike vacation, ideal for intermediate+ mountain bikers. The terrain you’ll be riding on consists of double track and singletrack through thick forests, villages and across mountain passes. You’ll encounter some steep climbs and rooty sections, as well as fabulous, swooping descents. Altitude is a factor in this trip and we have some tips for riding at high altitudes and managing the effects of altitude.
- Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?
The distances we cover each day range from 20km to 40km, in accordance with the altitude and height gain/ loss on each stage. We will gain a lot of your height via shuttle, gondola and train, but don’t be fooled, you will still need to ride and climb. Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s mountain biking and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.
- Q. Do we have to carry all our gear with us?
No, you only need to carry a day pack with you whilst riding. We have your large kit bags transferred to your next accommodation each day, and have it ready and waiting for your arrival. Except for night 6, when you will need to carry a light overnight kit for a night under the stars at the mountain hut on the Italian border, hence the need to bring a 20L backpack to ride with.
- Q. What if I come across a section of trail I can’t ride?
Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills help during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour Switzerland. If there is a section that you would prefer not to ride, then you can simply hop off your bike and walk. You won’t be the only one to walk certain sections and it’s not a competition in biking ability; it’s a mountain bike holiday!
- Q. Who will be guiding us?
Your mountain bike guides are local to Switzerland and experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the culture and landscape of Switzerland. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour Switzerland. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip.
- Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?
On this mountain bike tour in the beautiful Graubünden region of Switzerland you will be staying in a selection of traditional mountain huts, small family run hotels and a unique mountain top lodge on the border with Italy.
- Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?
All meals starting with lunch on day one, and ending with breakfast on day eight. Graubünden has a diverse and high quality offering when it comes to food, pulling on Switzerlands surrounding countries to influence its dishes.
- Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?
A good quality full suspension with 140mm front travel would be ideal for this mountain bike tour Switzerland. It depends on your style of riding because this mountain bike tour Switzerland is fairly unique in that riders of differing abilties and experience can enjoy the trails equally; the more confident bikers can just ride faster!
- Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?
The daytime and nighttime temperatures vary greatly in this part of Europe, so you must make sure that you have plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot, and you should bring a down jacket for the evenings. It is possible that you will experience some rain in the afternoons in the Alps, so you must remember to bring a waterproof jacket too. You should bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, padded undershorts, specific shoes for cycling, sun cream, insect spray, and Advil or Ibuprofen. Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your mountain bike tour Switzerland.
- Q. Will there be a chance to get laundry done?
Yes, you will have the chance to have laundry done most evenings, this is also included in the cost of your adventure.
- Q. Do I need to carry shoes for the night in the mountain hut?
Not if you don’t want to, there are house shoes up in the mountain hut for your use, should you choose.
- Q. Can I bring a drone with me?
Unfortunately not. We are working hard to provide each and every customer who rides with us an unparalleled mountain bike experience in every destination we ride. This takes years of experience, riding and planning to get right, and a drone adds a very real danger to the group’s riding experience and health & safety.