With around 12,000 kilometers of bike routes with signage, Switzerland is a cycler’s dream come true. Cruise past shimmering lakes, conquer mountain passes with unforgettable views, or stop to play at one of the country’s bike parks. The entire country is bike-friendly, and you can even transport your bike on the rear of a FlixBus, Postbus or aboard one of Switzerland’s trains. And the SBB offers convenient international bike tickets if you want to cross borders.
You can join bike tours that include sightseeing stops and places to sample Swiss cheese and chocolate or plan your own route. Check into a cozy country inn to rest or stay at one of many campgrounds.
Now that you know your options, let’s explore the best bike tours in Switzerland.
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As the name suggests, the Rhone Route follows the Rhone River. It’s the first section of EuroVela 17 which stretches for about 1,050 kilometers all the way to the French Mediterranean coast. You’ll travel along serene paths amidst the stunning mountain scenery of the Valais and along the palm-lined promenade of silvery Lac Léman. Along the shores, you’ll coast through the charming towns of Vevey and Montreux, and then on to Lausanne, Lyon, and finally end in cosmopolitan Geneva.
You’ll experience changing scenery on the stretch between Oberman and Geneva. The landscape in Goms is alpine, going mostly downhill with an occasional rise. The Rhone Valley widens in Brig to become the sunniest area in Switzerland. Entering Villeneuve, you’ll have Lake Geneva on one side and rolling hills with lush vineyards on the other side.
If you want to keep going all the way to the lavender fields of Provence, continue on from Geneva.
The North-South Route is a classic transit route that passes through the scenic regions of the Jura and Central Switzerland across the Alps to the south. You’ll ride over gently rolling hills and pass through verdant valleys and steep gorges. It follows prominent traffic routes that allow you to visit several historically and culturally significant places of interest.
Also known as Switzerland’s National Cycle Route 3, the North-South Route leads from Basel near the borders of Germany and France to Chiasso near the Italian border. After crossing the eastern foothills of the Jura, you’ll cross the Alps via the Gotthard Pass. The scenery changes from granite to trees to vineyards with views of Lake Lugano as you pass through the municipality of Morcote in the canton of Ticino.
If you choose the North-South Route, be aware that some stages can be challenging. However, the Swiss railway is never far away so you can shorten the journey with a train ride.
The Aare Route is one of the best-known cycle routes in Switzerland. You’ll begin your cycling journey along Lake Thun in Interlaken with the peaks of the Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch mountains in the distance. The route will take you through the historic Swiss capital city of Bern, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the location of the famous Toblerone chocolate factory.
Cycling along the Jura range, you’ll pass through ancient towns and come to the point where the Aare and Rhine Rivers converge and on to the Rhine Falls. You’ll experience a heart-stopping descent from the Grimselpass with views of the Aare Gorge and Lake Brienz and on to Interlaken. Passing by Lake Thun, the route lies at a more ground level along the Aare to Bern, Switzerland’s stately capital city.
Traffic, factories, warehouses, and towns are packed into the narrow strip of land at the foot of the Jura, but the peaceful Mittelland forests aren’t far away.
The Lakes Route goes from Lake Geneva to Lake Lucerne and is so named because of the number of lakes the route touches along the way. This route is a popular one because it includes some of Switzerland’s most picturesque regions.
You’ll bike past crystal-clear lakes, sweeping valleys, and traditional villages like Montreux and the medieval town of Gruyères where you can stop and sample the cheese that made it famous, and then on to Gstaad and Interlaken with views of the Bernese Oberland range.
Traveling eastward, you’ll reach the Oberland town of Meiringen where you can hop on a train with your bike to the Brünig Pass that connects to Central Switzerland. You’ll pass through Lucerne and Rapperswil, known as the “town of roses” on Lake Zurich.
The Rhine Route begins in Andermatt, a popular Swiss village for skiing holidays, and is a huge loop that follows the Rhine River from its source to the Rhine port at Basel. Included in this mountain excursion is the Romansh -speaking town of Surselva, the Rhaetian capital of Chur with its warm winds, and the Ruinaulta Gorge.
Also known as EuroVelo 15, scenic wonders along the way include sparkling glaciated valleys, the majestic Lake Constance, ancient castles, and a landscape of orchards. The toughest part of the route is the ascent to the Oberalp Pass where you’ll climb to an altitude of 2,044 meters.
If you want to cycle beyond Switzerland’s borders, the route includes EuroVelo 6 beginning in Basel.
The Mittelland Route is Switzerland’s most popular multi-day cycling tour. It goes from the town of Romanshorn on Lake Constance to Lausanne on Lake Geneva. The route is peaceful and mostly away from motorized traffic. At an elevation of no more than 1,600 meters and with no overly-steep inclines, the route is favored by families and pleasure cyclists.
The route traverses picturesque valleys, peaceful towns and villages, and spacious plains, but it also passes through the urban region of Zurich. It follows the River Aare through the Three-Lakes region to Lake Biel and along Lake Neuchâtel to Yverdon-les-Bains.
You can take your bike on a boat between Neuchâtel and Portalban free of charge as well as the boat from Biel to Solothurn.
The Jura Route meanders through spacious rolling hills from Basel to Lake Geneva at Lyon. It’s an exceptional route through the alpine countryside and serene valleys with rushing streams and through fragrant fir forests away from the hustle and bustle of civilization. The plateau of Franches Montagnes is an especially picturesque area as you’ll be surrounded by meadows and grazing cows and horses.
You’ll cycle over several Jura passes into the hilly landscape of the Ajoie region and on to St.Ursanne, a captivating medieval town situated on the secluded Jura River.
The route from Hochrhein to Lake Geneva is fairly challenging but worth the impressive views. The hustle and bustle returns passing through the clockmaking metropolis of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Herzroute translates to “Heart Route,” an appropriate name since it takes you through Switzerland’s alpine foothills with scenery that will win your heart. Behind every chain of hills, there is a unique valley to explore. Bike at your own pace and stop by the small towns, farmsteads, and hamlets for plenty of variety and heartwarming encounters with the local folk.
The Herzroute is a regional cycle route that lets you bike all through Switzerland in different stages. Officially designated as Cycle Route 99, it’s been compared to Route 66 in the United States except it was created for bikes instead of automobiles and motorcycles.
The route officially begins in Lausanne, divides into 13 stages, and ends in Romanshorn in Northeast Switzerland. One section passes through the canton of Zurich. This is an especially picturesque section beginning in the monastery village of Einsiedeln and passing along the secluded Sihlsee Lake. The route then passes over the legendary Devil’s Bridge and you will soon come to the Etzel Pass for a white-knuckle descent back down to Lake Zurich.
Alpine Panorama Route
The Alpine Panorama Route is a strenuous route that is 475 kilometers long with an ascent of 9200m. It requires lots of stamina but is very rewarding with spectacular views. It crosses the northern foreland with numerous passes and gorges. Settlements and mountain farms in the area are rich in traditional Swiss culture.
You’ll be constantly up and down starting in the rolling Appenzell country, then heading through one flat stretch in the Linth Plain before the route takes you over the Klaussenpass.
The route starts in St. Margrethen near Lake Constance and can be reached by bike via the Rhine path of the Constance path. It can be cycled in eight stages each of which are between 56 and 80 kilometers long. The trip can be broken up by train or boat.
The Graubünden Route begins in Chur, Switzerland’s oldest city, and takes you over 152 kilometers of stunning Graubünden Alpine land, one of the most spectacular parts of Switzerland. It crosses over the narrow, winding Albula Pass to the Engadine Valley with jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains.
The next section of the route passes along the Inn River to the foot of the White mountain ranges near the Austrian border. Another section is 129 kilometers long and traverses the Hinterrhein through the Via Malla gorge going up the San Bernardino and down to Bellinzona.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you ride a bike in Switzerland?
Yes, Switzerland has over 12,000 kilometers of well-marked paths designated just for bike riding.
Where is the best place to stay in Switzerland for cycling?
The best place to stay while cycling through Switzerland is at one of the country’s pristine campgrounds.