Riding options for all in Switzerland
Surprisingly easy riding options
While dreams of Switzerland can often conjure up images of snow-capped mountains, steep Alpine ascents, and free-falling descents, crossing the country by bicycle can be surprisingly easy. This is thanks to geology (lots of east-west valleys) and infrastructure (an extensive network of well-planned bike routes). Of course, challenging options abound as well for those of you out there who dream of steep climbs in a good way.
But you don’t have to be in super-fit shape to take on a Swiss bike tour. John Klemme, owner of one of our local operator partners, Bike Switzerland, agrees. “The country has built a network of more than 2,000 miles of dedicated bike paths, and routes through river valleys offer the spectacular mountain vistas that bring travelers to Switzerland–but without the lung-busting climbs.” (Learn more about John and Bike Switzerland in this blog post >)
For those of us who prefer a more leisurely tour, electrically-assisted bikes (or e-bikes) are particularly popular in Switzerland and are available for riders seeking an extra boost. Small, nearly undetectable engines give riders a boost by providing up to 150% of their own power with each pedal stroke, helping less fit or confident riders (or those slowed by joint injuries or surgeries) maintain the same pace as their riding companions or get an assist up a challenging slope. More on e-bike tours >
Here are a few tour options to help you start planning your Swiss adventure, or search all tours in Switzerland now.
The Swiss Crossing “Lite” tour program follows the “Mittelland Route” (through the “middle of the land”) from Geneva near the French border across the entire country to Rorschach, near the German and Austrian borders. Cyclists ride through a river valley with views of the Jura mountain range to one side and the Swiss Alps on the other. There are rolling hills but no significant climbs, and the daily distances are kept to an average of about 35 miles. This is an ideal bike tour for travelers wanting to experience the splendor of mountain landscapes at a leisurely pace. Rental e-bikes are available on this and the more challenging version of this bike tour.
The Locarno and Lake Maggiore bike tour takes travelers on daily loop rides from a single hotel and through the “Swiss Riviera” along the Italian border. Palm trees and endless mountainside vineyards set the Italian-speaking Ticino region distinctly apart from the French- and German-speaking areas.
By contrast, the Aare Cycle Route tour follows a leisurely itinerary along the Aare River from the popular destination city of Interlaken and through the capital city of Bern, ending at Lake Constance. Another great option, the Constance – Zurich – Interlaken tour, winds its way around many picturesque lakes and presents riders with postcard-perfect vistas along each mile.
Cyclists who do want a true challenge should consider the Tour of Mont Blanc, a mountain bike tour that travels a loop around the full 165-mile (265-km) base of the massive mountain, passing through three countries.
Have a question about any of these tours? Be sure to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.