Holidays in Chur - Switzerland
Historic town with a wonderful selection of outstanding scenic journeys
The attractive old town of Chur is a superb destination at the centre of an area offering incredible scenic journeys and places of interest to visit.
Chur is Switzerland’s oldest town and as the capital of the canton of Graubünden it has developed as a hub for the most amazing rail journeys into the high Alps including the Arosa Line, Bernina Express and the Glacier Express. Chur also has the advantage of excellent connections with Zurich airport.
The interesting Gothic Old Town dates from the 15th and 16th century; be sure to visit the 800 year old cathedral which has a wonderful, three-sided carved altar dating back to the 15th century. The area around St. Martin's Church and Martinsplatz, with its narrow streets and pretty squares adorned with flowers, is an ideal place to stroll around.
A Saturday market adds to the colour from May to October where farmers from all over Graubünden proudly bring their produce to sell - look out for the Bünderfleisch air dried meats and local cheeses which are a real delight. Modern shopping and a variety of excellent restaurants all help to make Chur an enjoyable year round destination.
VISITS FROM CHUR
Brambrüesch cable car
Brambrüesch, Chur’s local mountain, is reached by cable car which whisks you from the centre of Chur 1,000m directly up to the high plateau of Brambrüesch. This natural terrace stretches the length of the mountain ridge, where you are greeted by glorious alpine summer meadows, beautiful flora and awesome panoramic views. In the summer you can enjoy wonderful walks and cosy restaurants.
Daily mid June to mid October every 30 minutes. 13 Sfrs with your Half Fare Card.
From Chur, you can experience one of the most spectacular ways to cross the Alps. The UNESCO World Heritage Albula and Bernina Lines connect northern and southern Europe along a steep, winding route without the aid of rack and pinion, as far as the Italian village of Tirano. This full journey takes 4 hours each way with time in Tirano for lunch 'Italian Style'!
You can also enjoy day trips to St. Moritz or Pontresina on the Bernina Express, journey time around 2 hours each way.
Chur to St. Moritz or Pontresina: 2nd class 41 Sfrs. Chur to Tirano: 2nd class 70 Sfrs. Prices shown are with your half fare card.
Arosa Line Railway – Climb a thousand meters in just one hour
This delightful journey gets off to a leisurely start as it trundles along the middle of the street past the town walls, Malteser Tower and the Upper Gate before continuing into the countryside. The train now starts to tackle the mountains with their stunning scenery; it crosses the elegantly designed Langwieser Viaduct and in its final feat of strength, climbs the steep section from St. Peter to the attractive resort of Arosa which lies at 1,800m. FInd out more here...
Trains depart hourly throughout the day and the journey takes one hour. Return Chur to Arosa: 2nd class 15 Sfrs or 1st class 27 Sfrs with your Half Fare Card.
Rhine Gorge, Flims
The Rhine Gorge walk begins at the Park Hotel Waldhaus in Flims and heads east to Lake Cauma. Continue through Flims' dense forest, with its huge pine trees, in the direction of Trin. At the hamlet of Pintrun begin your descent into the spectacular Rhine Gorge. The directional signs will indicate Versam station. The views on the way down are certainly impressive: massive rock formations tower above the high velocity river that crashes through its narrow bed.
The Rhine Gorge walk (2½ hours easy walking) is available May to November. Bus from Chur to Flims Waldhaus and train from Versam to Chur 15 Sfrs with your Half Fare Card.
Viamala literally means 'bad path' and for several centuries travellers preferred not to pass through this wild gorge as the path was frequently washed away or buried. These days, the 300m deep Viamala Gorge is an outdoor museum with walls made of solid rock and the sky as a roof. The gorge is only a few metres wide in parts and by walking down 321 steps it is possible to descend to the bottom. You can still see the remains of the mule track from the middle ages. The interplay of colour and light and a bridge dating back to 1939 (70m above the river) all add to this wonderful experience.
Available April-October. Chur to Thusis by bus to Zillis, Viamala - 20 Sfrs with your Half Fare Card.
St. Martin Church, Zillis
The church is famous for its painted ceiling dating from the 12th century. The ceiling, which consists of 153 painted panels, is the one of the world's best preserved of its type. The outer panels depict mythical creatures, the inner panels the life of Christ. The church itself is mentioned for the first time in the year 831 but coins prove that it existed in Roman times. The church is open all year. During April-October, you can learn more about the history and visit the workshop of a medieval artist to see how the panels were created. This visit can be combined with a visit to Viamala Gorge.
Chur to Thusis and bus to Zillis - 20 Sfrs with your Half Fare Card.
Crestawald Fortress museum, Sufers
For 60 years the military fortress of Crestawald was a closely guarded secret. A few months before the beginning of World War II, construction work on the fortress began. From 1941 onwards it was a compact artillery installation with 95 men. Today, the fortress is redundant. The installation was taken over by a military foundation and is an interesting museum for visitors of all ages. This visit can be combined with St. Martin's Church, Zillis or Viamala Gorge.
Open Saturdays Jun-Oct; daily mid Jul-mid Aug. Chur to Thusis and bus to Sufers 29 Sfrs with your Half Fare Card.
Heidi Village above Maienfeld – on the trail of Heidi
The author Johanna Spyri, was inspired to use the old hamlet above Maienfeld as the setting for her stories about Heidi. Today this hamlet is known as ‘Heidi Village’ where you can learn more about the author in the local museum and enjoy many walking paths. The full Heidi trail which starts at Maienfeld station takes around 4 hours, a charming journey through history and time.
Train from Chur to Maienfeld - 8 Sfrs with your Half Fare Card