The Rhine Gorge Adventure Train is a unique way to experience the stunning beauty of the Rhine Gorge, the Rhine River, and the surrounding landscape. This train ride with open observation cars allows passengers to experience the Rhine Gorge, a region known for its dramatic rock formations, with the full sensory experience of fresh air, clacking of the train wheels, and breathtaking landscapes.
The Rhine Gorge Adventure Train starts its journey in Chur, in canton Graubünden. Alternatively, you may also start the journey from the town of Ilanz in canton Graubünden. Along the way, the train follows the winding Rhine River through the heart of Rhine Gorge. It is a truly memorable experience.
Overview of Rhine Gorge
The Rhine Gorge Adventure Train is a scenic rail journey that takes passengers through the picturesque Rhine Gorge in Switzerland – the Swiss equivalent of the Grand Canyon.
10,000 years ago, the Rhine Gorge was formed by massive cubic meters of rock breaking off from the Flims landslide. The Flims landslide was the biggest in the Alps with over seven cubic kilometers of rock falling. In the years that passed, the river carved a deep rift in the massive rock. This resulted in the Rhine Gorge’s steep cliffs and imposing shapes.
Rhine Gorge is part of Geopark Sardona, a tectonic area that includes the Glarner Overthurst UNESCO World Heritage site. By focusing on geology, geological history, and mining (visitor mines), the Geopark itself offers adventures and educational experiences. Other places in the Geopark include Seerenbach Falls, Tamina Gorge, Berglistüber Waterfall, and more.
The Rhine Gorge is incredibly picturesque with its craggy rocks, dense forests, and flowing river.
Rhine Gorge Adventure Train Journey
The adventure train stops at the following train stations:
- Domat / Ems*
Note: Stops marked with an asterisk (*) are not guaranteed, so please review the schedule for confirmation.
My Impressions and Recommendations
The Rhine Gorge Adventure Train begins in the alpine city of Chur, Graubünden. I highly suggest coming in early enough in order to secure a seat in the open compartment. This will allow you to enjoy the stunning views fully, without the train ceiling and windows blocking your way.
You may also choose to find a seat in one of the normal train compartments if you wish. Our train featured old-style compartments and looked comfortable enough. This might be the better option in case of inclement weather. However, I do feel that you won’t be able to experience the ride fully inside the normal train compartments.
As the train begins its journey, it will first go through residential neighborhoods. After that, it crosses a bridge over the Rhine River, and the journey becomes more scenic and enjoyable as the train continues along its route. Slowly, you will see higher cliffs and rock formations.
The most impressive part of the Rhine Gorge Adventure Train is the area near Trin, Versam-Safien, and Valendas-Sagogn, where you’ll find stunning rock formations.
Although the Rhine Gorge Adventure Train is in itself a popular tourist activity, I noticed that there were many locals too.
Riding the Rhine Gorge Adventure Train is definitely a unique and exciting way to experience Rhine Gorge, especially if you are not really into hiking. The train travels along a narrow and winding track, offering views of the Rhine River and people rafting on one side while towering cliffs surround it on both sides.
Rhine Gorge Adventure Train Schedule
The Rhine Gorge Adventure Train runs from spring to autumn. In 2023, the train schedule was from April 22 to October 22, every Saturday and Sunday.
The train departs from Chur or Ilanz and travels along the Rhine River and Rhine Gorge. The first train departs from Landquart. The journey takes approximately 1 hour, with plenty of opportunities to take in the stunning views and snap some photos.
You can find the official schedule on the website of the Rhaetian Railway: https://www.rhb.ch/en/erlebniswelt-bahn/erlebnisfahrten/erlebniszug-rheinschlucht. Please note that the schedule is subject to change. It is best to consult the website before your trip.
Rhine Gorge Adventure Train Tickets
The Rhine Gorge Adventure Train is a popular attraction for tourists who want to explore the Rhine Gorge. If you have a Swiss Travel Pass or General Abonnement, there is no need to purchase an extra ticket.
Travel Tips for the Rhine Gorge Adventure Train
- Best time to visit: Since it only runs twice a week on Saturdays and Sundays, I recommend checking the weather app to determine the best possible timeframe that you can embark on your journey.
- Best seats: As long as you come early enough, you will likely be able to get a good spot in the open compartment. I prefer the right side of the train coming from Chur but the left side will offer fantastic views as well.
- Recommended clothing: I suggest bringing an extra layer, like a light jacket, even during the summer. This could come in handy if the train speeds up or goes through tunnels. If you choose to wear a hat, be sure to secure it well to prevent it from blowing away.
- Bring your camera: Remember to bring your camera or phone to capture some photos. The scenery is beautiful, and it’s definitely worth snapping some pictures.
- Bring your drinks and snacks: They do not sell snacks on the train so you should bring your water flask and snacks just in case.
How to Get to the Rhine Gorge Adventure Train
I recommend starting from Chur or Ilanz, though you may also go to Trin, Versam-Safien, or Valendas-Sagogn.
|Address (Chur)||Chur Train Station|
|Address (Ilanz)||Ilanz Train Station|
Via dalla Staziun 25
Final Thoughts: Rhine Gorge Adventure Train
Is it worth doing the Rhine Adventure train? Yes, based on my experience, I liked riding the adventure train. It is a unique way to discover the Rhine Gorge, and probably the better option for those with small children or those who do not want to hike. Would I do it again? Yes, I can imagine doing it another time, possibly in autumn to see the fall foliage.
The Rhine Gorge Adventure Train is a unique and exciting way to experience the stunning beauty of the Rhine Gorge. With its open compartments and beautiful surroundings, passengers can relax and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Rhine Gorge and the Rhine River. It reminds me of the Davos to Filisur Historic Train, except that train had even much older train compartments.
Overall, the Rhine Gorge Adventure Train is a fantastic option for those visiting Chur or Surselva. I hope you enjoy your journey!
- Rhine Gorge – The Swiss Grand Canyon
- Historical Train Davos to Filisur: All You Need To Know
- Zügen Gorge, Davos: What to Expect
- 10 Best Day Trips from Chur
- Centovalli Review: Panoramic Views through Switzerland and Italy
Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.