Etappe 3: Südflucht Graubünden
On the last stage you will experience a true contrast of the cultural and natural landscape. In the morning you start in the barren and high alpine world of the Bernina Pass in the Engadine, to enjoy a gelato a few hours later in the almost Mediterranean Valposchiavo.
After the start in Pontresina up to the Bernina Pass, you can enjoy fantastic views of the alpine glaciers and mountains of the Engadine. At the top of the pass, turn left along Lago Bianco before the descent into Valposchiavo begins. After just a few meters of descent you can feel and smell the southern climate and the changed vegetation. The terrace of the Belvedere restaurant or the buffet of the Alp Grüm train station invite you to take a break from enjoying and taking a breather. From Cavaglia, you cross the Rhaetian Railway line again and again on the more technically demanding trail. Finally, the piazza in Poschiavo welcomes you with its Mediterranean charm, which leaves no doubt about its proximity to Italy. After you have treated yourself to a fine gelato, you will board the Rhaetian Railway patgific for the return journey. A little tip: Get off at the Ospizio Bernina and enjoy a lot of flow all the way to Pontresina at the end of this three-day tour.
On the way back from Poschiavo by train, you should ideally get off again on the Bernina Pass and tackle the descent to Pontresina along the ascent route on the mountain bike.
The third day on the southern escape starts with the ascent from Pontresina to the Bernina Pass – a scenic highlight of this three-day bike tour. On a single trail, the first meters of altitude are initially conquered with a pleasant incline. Again and again a fantastic view of the Morteratsch glacier and the pearly white Piz Palü is possible. The ascent up to the Bernina Pass usually leads over single trails, which are also easy to ride uphill. A few meters of pushing passages are still unavoidable. The route from the Bernina Pass to Poschiavo is a classic among the mountain bike trails. It is considered one of the longest singletrail descents in Graubünden and is now signposted as an official bike route (route no. 673 – Bernina Express). From Alp Grüm, the path crosses the railway line several times, which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 1,230 meters later we roll onto the spruced-up Piazza Poschiavos. Here there is already a visible Italian ambience, a perfect place for a coffee or lunch break. What is still to come is the return journey with the Rhaetian Railway on the Bernina/Albula line to Chur. Many areas look familiar to us when looking out of the window. It goes back in fast forward – even if "fast" is not the right term for once. The Bernina Express is considered the slowest express train in the world...
Option to extend this stage via San Romerio to Tirano:
Fit mountain bikers do not end the southern escape tour in Poschiavo, but continue to Tirano. This additional route begins with the steep climb to San Romerio. 900 metres of altitude difference have to be mastered under your own power – for once, there is no Postbus available as a climbing aid. The effort is worth it. San Romerio with its impressively situated church is located on a rocky outcrop. From here the view extends over the whole Valposchiavo. The small inn comes as convenient for the refreshment. If you announce your visit, you will get warm food here, prepared on an open fire. For spontaneous visits, there are cold specialties of the region. The refreshment on San Romerio is necessary, but now the long descent to Tirano is pending. On smugglers' paths, interrupted by short sections on forest roads, it goes further down over the border and after the village of Roncaiola steeply downhill through vines to Tirano. From here, the Rhaetian Railway brings the tired bikers back to the Alpine city of Chur.
Effective distance kilometers on the bike: 54 km.
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