Day 1: Arrival in St. Moritz
We began our journey early in the morning from our home near Salzburg, heading towards Innsbruck, where we parked our car at the 'Landhaus' car park. Our stage manager, Peter, picked us up from the hotel along with other guests and helped us load the bikes and luggage. We then set off for St. Moritz. During the coach ride, we had a chance to preview our cycling route and Peter provided us with information about the region.
Upon arrival in St. Moritz, we took advantage of the beautiful sunny weather and went for a stroll. We explored St. Moritz and then took a short circular tour along Lake St. Moritz. We had booked half board for the entire tour, so we were able to enjoy the first regional delicacies for dinner, including the delicious 'Bündner' barley soup.
Day 2: Circular Tour near St. Moritz
The weather was fantastic, with a brilliant blue sky, perfect for cycling. We rode under the Swiss Engadin region's Maloja Pass, where the river Inn originates. The river appeared more like a small stream than a large river at this point. We encountered four lakes with well-developed cycle paths, some asphalted and others covered in gravel, between St. Moritz and Maloja. We only had to briefly cycle on the main road before reaching Maloja. In Maloja, we took a short walk to the Torre Belvedere, capturing some photos along the way and using a GoPro camera to capture great videos. We had lunch at a small restaurant, enjoying a focaccia. The crystal-clear lakes, with their stunning turquoise color due to the high mineral content, provided a refreshing diversion as we walked barefoot through the water. In the evening, we relaxed at the hotel, playing a few rounds of billiards after dinner.
Day 3: St. Moritz - Zernez
After a delightful breakfast, we packed our suitcases and left them at the reception before 9 am. We resumed our cycling journey from St. Moritz to Zernez, following the well-signposted Inn-cycle path, which made using maps unnecessary. Near Celerina, we made a quick visit to the San Gian church, which was missing its roof. We only stayed briefly as the First Holy Communion mass was about to start. The route took us along undulating terrain, following the "young" River Inn.
At times, we cycled not directly next to the river but on the slope beside it, with the river located several meters below in altitude. The route book provided several tips for lunch breaks, but we decided to have a late lunch since we started early. In the village of Schanf, we discovered that it was completely empty, and an elderly woman informed us that everyone was at a nearby vintage festival.
Excited, we headed to the festival, where we saw a display of antique tractors, listened to local music, and sampled traditional dishes. We enjoyed spicy meat skewers and had the chance to chat with some Swiss people, even though their dialect was not always easy to understand. We continued our cycling tour through pristine forests and meadows until we reached Zernez.
Our luggage was already waiting for us, allowing us to refresh ourselves. We had our half-board set menu dinner in the hotel's outdoor dining area, savouring an ice-cream sundae while enjoying the last rays of sunshine for the day.
Day 4: Zernez - Scuol
Yesterday, we tackled some elevation gain, and today required more effort in pedalling. In the morning, we stocked up on fruits, drinks, and sunscreen at a nearby supermarket. Due to road works, there was a diversion on the cycle path, leading us on a challenging route along the edge of the valley, adding a few extra kilometres to our journey. However, we were rewarded with fabulous views for our extra effort. Before reaching the artist's village of Guarda, we encountered a few long ascents.
Guarda is known for the "Schellen-Ursli," a children's story and film set in the village. The houses in Guarda are artistically painted, and there are opportunities to purchase handicraft items.
After Guarda, there were only a few more ascents remaining before a descent of approximately 8 km to Scuol. In the evening, we went for a short walk in Scuol, feeling the fatigue in our calf muscles. We spent the rest of the time at the hotel, enjoying a swim in the hotel pool and a glass of wine with dinner.
Day 5: Scuol - Prutz
Following a hearty breakfast, we resumed our cycling journey. We left Scuol via a bridge, enjoying a great view of the town and the wider River Inn. The route continued a level terrain, transitioning from Switzerland to Austria. The River Inn remained pristine and meandering in a wild-romantic fashion throughout the Swiss section. Near Martina, a new waterpower station was under construction due to the river's significant swell before entering Austria.
As the cycling path construction was not complete, we had to cycle on a section of the A-road for a while. This part of the route also included a short section through a gallery and tunnel, but it quickly led us into Austria. We made a short detour to the border fortress 'Altfinstermünz' and then followed the Austrian green Inn-cycle path signs.
Passing through Pfunds and Ried, we finally reached Prutz on relatively level terrain. Our hosts Edith and Michael welcomed us warmly at the hotel, and we took advantage of the offered laundry service to clean our cycle clothes. We received them back the next morning, clean and dry, ready for the next stage of the tour.
Day 6: Prutz - Imst
In Switzerland, the cycle path often took us high above the river Inn, providing a view into the valley. Now, the route primarily ran near the river. We cycled leisurely toward Imst, with our hotel located in Oberimst, requiring a final ascent.
Arriving around noon, we were faster than our luggage transfers this time. Since we forgot to pack a change of clothes in our saddlebags, we took a stroll through Imst in our cycling outfits. In Imst, we visited the Rose Garden Ravine, a fascinating natural spectacle worth seeing.
Once our luggage arrived at the hotel, we showered and enjoyed the hotel's spa area. It was so relaxing that we nearly fell asleep in the chill-out room and almost missed dinner.
Day 7: Imst - Innsbruck
We had breakfast on the hotel terrace, where we had a great view of the Corpus Christi church parade. Societies in traditional costumes and a brass orchestra marched in a festive procession to the church, creating a lively atmosphere. We embarked on the final stage of our cycling tour, with the conclusion of the tour in Innsbruck awaiting us. Although we enjoyed beautiful sunny weather throughout the week, this day lacked tree cover, and the heat was noticeable.
There were several attractions along the route, but we decided to cycle directly to Innsbruck, taking a longer break at lunchtime. As it was a bank holiday, the restaurant where we stopped was quite busy, and we had to wait a while for our meals. Finally, after covering an impressive 275 km of cycling distance, we reached our Day Finish in Innsbruck.
Day 8: Journey Home
Innsbruck's main attraction is the 'Goldenes Dachl.' The square in front of it is always bustling with people. We took advantage of our final day and strolled through Innsbruck. We encountered a talented street artist and spontaneously decided to have our portraits taken to commemorate the end of our tour. It was a lovely souvenir from our sensational cycling adventure.
Throughout the trip, we spent many hours on our bikes, breathing in the clean mountain air, marvelling at fantastic views, staying at amazing hotels, and indulging in culinary specialities.