Rhine Gorge (Ruinaulta)
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The Rhine Gorge lies just outside the gates of the Alpine City of Chur, easily accessible by public transport. What began as the Flims landslide has now become a unique natural backdrop: 10,000 years ago, 10 billion cubic metres of rock thundered into the valley. Since then, the Rhine has carved a path through the bedrock between Ilanz and Reichenau. The result is a ravine that is justly referred to as the Swiss Grand Canyon. The bizarre stone formations bordered by pine tree captivate train passengers, ramblers, mountain bikers and river rafters from around the world. Several panorama platforms along the gorge allow for breathtaking views over the Rhine Gorge, called «Ruinaulta» in Romansh.
The value of this impressive landscape was recognised early on and in 1977 it was one of the first landscapes in Switzerland to be placed under national protection - even before the Rhine Falls and the Matterhorn. Not only are the impressive limestone walls and the vast floodplain forests fascinating, the Rhine Gorge is also home to a variety of rare plants (including various orchids) and rare animals (especially birds, butterflies and bats).
Experience the Rhine Gorge
- The Rhaetian Railway runs right through the middle of the Rhine Gorge, opening up spectacular views - from the comfort of a railway carriage.
- Numerous hiking trails, several viewing platforms and barbecue areas provide unique hiking experiences.
- There are also several paths and trails for cyclists and mountain bikers to discover.
- As part of the «Transruinaulta», the Rhine Gorge also offers trail runners a fascinating running experience.
- Gliding through the Rhine Gorge on the waters of the Vorderrhein is a fascinating experience. The section between Ilanz and Versam to Reichenau is one of the most scenic stretches in Switzerland. Various providers offer tours with rafting boats, canoes, packrafts, funyaks and hydrospeeding is also possible.
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