Probably the fact of travelling and crossing one country from side to side could be a very interesting tourism situation. Crossing Switzerland on a mountain bike is a fantastic experience for any well trained biker, interested in experiencing great riding through marvellous landscapes and mountains, discovering the outstanding net of trails and back roads, digging into the culture and gastronomy that this central European country has to offer. The tour starts in Rorschach, near Lake Constance and nearby the borders of Germany and Austria, and goes from east to west through the “Röstigraben” the cultural & linguistic border between German and French speakers, and arrives in Montreux, by Lake Leman. Switzerland is a renowned country for its cheeses and lakes, for idyllic amazing mountains and delicious chocolate and for its famous “Victorinox” army knife. It’s also a noted country for its efficiency and organization and along the bike ride we will experience why this is one of the most visited countries in the World. We will rarely cycle through flat land: Every day we’ll face different challenges so it will be very important to be in the best possible shape. The reward won’t take long in being noticed; the beauty of the views, the different traditions displayed in the architecture of towns, churches and chapels and the perfect combination of the harmonic work of humans and nature together will be part of the everyday experience of this tour. The tour of the Swiss Alps will be a never-to-be-forgotten experience!
|DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL||Regensdorf / Geneva|
|DEPARTING TIME||2 p.m. in Regensdorf|
|Location||Geneva, Gruyères, Lucerne, Montreux, Rorschach, Thun|
Mountain bike tour in Switzerland starting in”Rorschach” (East Switzerland, near Germany and Austria) to “Montreux” (west Switzerland) near France.
Hotel Trend en Regensdorf or Hotel Airport en Glattbruck
Day 2: Rorschach - Appenzell
Heiden will be the first little town we reach and from there the ride continues towards Trogen, a nice town with enormous old mansions where we’ll stop to have our pic-nic.
The ride so far switches between dense forests and little rural areas, where every inch of ground is cared for and they grow grass which is to save for the harsh winters. These little farms normally have ancient wooden barns where they store their tools, the bells that cows wear to be indentified and the buildings also protect the cattle from bad weather; we will notice how beautiful these barns are decorated often with red flowers. The Swiss government has marked the whole route from East to West, so our task will be to follow these marks that will always have the same number, colour and symbol. After climbing a hill of 400mts, we’ll pass by “Gais”, then another climb before starting a deserved downhill towards “Appenzell”. This town with a population of 7000 is the economic and cultural center of the Appenzell Rodas Canton, the smallest in Switzerland. It’s very well known for its decorated and painted houses, the famous Appenzell cheese and the Appenzeller Bier, from Brauerei Locher AG beerhouse, founded in 1886.
45km and 1590mts elevation gain
Day 3: Appenzell - Arvenbuel
47km – 1800mts elevation gain
Day 4: Arvenbuel - Einsiedeln
There’s a cable car that goes to “Morgenholz” half way up the hill, so if the cable car is in operation, bikers wanting to save some energy can count on it. Once on the top in “Rossweidhöchi” we will have a great descent on a trail that then turns to gravel road, again surrounded by pure nature, forests and hills “decorated” with small wooden houses and barns and a mountain panorama that takes your breath away. We ride down towards “Vordertal” and once there we can enjoy lunch before facing the last uphill of the day towards “Satteleg”. From up there we’ll have hundreds of panoramic shots of the “Lake Sihl”, the largest lake in Switzerland, which will be crossed some minutes later through a two kilometers bridge that will lead us to Einsiedeln. In Einsiedeln, a city of 12,000 inhabitants there is the most famous Swiss convent built in Baroque style between 1704 and 1735 to replace an earlier one built in 835 in Gothic style. The imposing Monastery is the best example of the Baroque style and is the most popular point of pilgrimage in the country, due to its incredible black mother Mary.
45km – 1770mts elevation gain
Day 5: Einsiedeln - Lucerna
31km – 500mts elevation gain
Day 6: Lucerna - Thun
Thun is part of the Bern Canton; it has more than 40,000 inhabitants and lies nearby the Lake of Thun. The three eternally snowed Alp massifs of “Monch”, “Eiger” and “Jungfrau” can be seen in clear days, thanks to their more than 4.000mts in height. The name of “Thun” comes from Celtic language and means “fortified city”. The city is divided by the “Aare River” that comes from the “Lake of Thun”, which reinforces its beauty. It was part of the Roman Germanic Empire in about the year 1194 b.c. when the Dukes of Zähringen built the magnificent Castle of Thun that governs the whole city and has a very interesting museum that is worth a visit. After that just a gentle walk by the river and a stop in one of the various cafes and restaurants can be the ideal program for a relaxed day.
Day 7: Thun - Sangernboden
Winding roads and the undulated landscape, the planted fields and the “Browne Swiss” tinkling cattle will be part of the scene today. Arrive in “Sangernboden”, the smallest town on this trip.
43km – 1550 elevation gain
Day 8: Sangernboden - Gruyères
On the top, there is a farm where we can have a drink and taste the “Raclette” cheese.
In Switzerland there’s a tradition that became mandatory by the state: Cattle must carry a bell and on this farm we’ll see all the different models depending on the animal, its size and age. From “La Balisa” we enjoy a great downhill to “La Vailsante”, a convent established in 1295 from the Chartreuse order, and then continue over amazing singletracks towards “Charmey” and “Broc”, passing near “Le Moléson” and “Lake Montsalvens”. From some respectable distance we will see the shape of a castle on the horizon and after doing 41km we’ll arrive at Gruyères, a fantastic medieval town, with plenty of history and beauty. The Castle of Gruyères was built in the XI Century and it’s surrounded by a medieval walled city whose architecture will lead us through different historic time periods. Not forgetting the cuisine! We can’t leave Gruyères without tasting a “moitié-moitié” fondue of Gruyère cheese accompanied by a local beer.
41km – 1370mts elevation gain
Día 9: Gruyères - Montreux
51km – 1450mts elevation gain