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3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • hotels
Meals
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days£1520GBP

Overview

Trip Code: USW

Trip highlights


  • Cycling through the heart of Switzerland from Lake Geneva to Lake Zurich
  • Enjoying the views of valleys, snowy mountains and classic countryside
  • Sampling locally made Gruyère cheese and window shopping in the ritzy resort town of Gstaad
  • Discovering the artfully decorated wooden houses of the Simmental and exploring castles
  • Taking a panoramic cable car ride from Vevey to Le Mont Pèlerin with 360 degree classic alpine vistas
  • Experience an alpine train journey from Meiringen to the Brünigpass connecting the Bernese Oberland with Central Switzerland

The Lakes Route cycle path leads through some of the most outstanding and picturesque regions of Switzerland. Crystal clear lakes, traditional villages, sweeping valleys, views of snowy mountains and classic Swiss countryside, this cycle tour truly encompasses it all. Starting in Vevey you'll discover the medieval town of Gruyères which gives its name to the favourite Swiss cheese, Gstaad with its reputation for attracting famous guests and the delightful city of Interlaken with its impressive views of the Bernese Oberland range. Cycling eastwards you'll ascend to the Bernese Oberland town of Meiringen and take a local train to the Brünigpass (1008m) connecting the region with Central Switzerland. Lucerne with its lakeside promenade and the town of roses, Rapperswil on Lake Zurich, whose hilltop castle offers dramatic views from the Glarus Alps all the way to the Oberland, are also highlights. Not only will you explore this beautiful corner of Switzerland by bike, you'll also enjoy a cable car ride and a boat trip on Lake Thun. Staying in charming accommodation and sampling local delicacies, you'll experience the best that this region has to offer.

Countries:

Switzerland

Starting Point:

Vevey

Finishing Point:

Lucerne


On arrival in Vevey you can check-in at the first hotel mid-afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Vevey is one of the "Pearls of the Swiss Riviera". Its lakeside location affords breath taking views of the Alpine panorama. The region is famous for its wines. Charlie Chaplin resided in the town and his home is now a museum. There are other various museums and galleries to visit or just soak up the atmosphere along the shores of Lake Geneva.

Meals:  Nil

The cycle begins this morning along the shores of Lake Geneva to the town of Vevey. Ascend via rack railway to Mont-Pèlerin. After absorbing the sweeping views you cycle on quiet, mainly level roads all the way to the Gruyères region. En route pass by green meadows with the sound of cowbells ringing as you ride. Check in to your hotel in Bulle/Gruyères. Whilst cheese is an obvious attraction of Gruyères, its rich medieval history is evident throughout and the imposing castle above offers a unique ambiance. Overnight Gruyères or surrounds (Bulle). +600-855m (1968/2805ft), -500-735m (1640-2411ft)

Meals:  B

Today's cycle takes you through picture postcard Swiss countryside. You'll pass by typical wooden chalets, snowy mountains and cable cars as you cycle through the classic landscape of the Pays d’Enhaut and the Saaneneland. Cheese producers abound and tastings of the Etivaz and Gruyère varieties are a must. Crossing over to the German speaking section of the Canton of Bern, you arrive in the upscale resort town of Gstaad with its promenade lined with international designer brands. Overnight Gstaad or surroundings. +735m (2411ft), -410m (1345ft)

Meals:  B

Today's route takes you by artfully decorated wooden houses of the Simmental, which are some of the most beautiful in Europe. The trail follows the wild Simme river, through the valley along mainly level terrain. On reaching Spiez on Lake Thun, a water-sports paradise, take some time to soak up the highlights of the town which is surrounded by vineyards and dominated by a medieval castle in the historic heart. +735m (2410ft), -1150m (3773ft)

Meals:  B

This morning you take a boat ride from Spiez to Interlaken (ticket included), a great way to view the towns and mountains from a different perspective. Reaching Interlaken, where you may like to stop at one of the many cafes, the trail continues along the shore of Lake Brienz. A steep ascending trail next to the Aare River brings you to Meiringen, home of the Meringue. There are a couple of bakeries along the 'high street' where this is evident, in all shapes and sizes. Meiringen is also known for the spectacular Reichenbach Falls into which Sherlock Holmes and his foe Moriarty, the master criminal, fell. A funicular railway may be used to take you to the top of the falls (time permitting) and you can also visit the 'Sherlock Holmes Museum' which is housed in the old Anglican church in the 'open area' by the Park Hotel, which is itself a national monument. From Meiringen you take the train across the Brünigpass (ticket not included), then cycle to Obwalden, a small Canton in a vast valley with a pre-alpine landscape scattered with villages, flat lakes and rich cultural traditions. Overnight near Lake Sarnen. +1145m (3755ft), -1200m (3936ft)

Meals:  B

The route today takes you through picturesque lakeside inlets to Lucerne. As soon as you get a glimpse of the lake, Mt Pilatus is in your path. Lucerne is a picturesque city, with a mountain backdrop, lake and historic heart brimming with sights, watch shops and cafes. Its main landmark is the flower and art adorned Chapel Bridge which crosses the mouth of the Reuss river. Take time to stroll the well-preserved Musegg wall and towers which form part of the old fortifications. In the evening we suggest visiting one of the restaurant-pubs along the river. +240m (787ft), -310m (1017ft)

Meals:  B

The trip concludes in Lucerne after breakfast. There's a lot to see and do around Lucerne including hiking at Mt Titlis and Pilatus. If you'd like to add any extra nights please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 nights in 2-3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Bicycle, 24 speed with pannier, helmet & bike computer (electric bike available - supplement applies)
  • Digital documents: Navigation app (smartphone required), with optional printed maps (per room booked) available on request
  • Luggage transfer - 1 piece, max 20kg per person
  • Emergency hotline
  • Boat ticket Spiez to Interlaken

  • Travel to Vevey and from Lucerne
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Guide – this is a self guided cycling holiday
  • Entrance fees
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Transfers or public transport not included in the program:
  • Optional Funicular: Vevey – Mont Pélerin: departs every 15 minutes, takes 11 minutes. Tickets cost approx CHF12 (bike included). It’s easy to obtain these at the ticket office.
  • Optional Train Meiringen – Brünigpass: Direct trains hourly and takes approx 12 minutes. Tickets cost approx CHF 16 (bike included). It’s easy to obtain these at the ticket office.
  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price
  • Items of a personal nature

Bike information


Suitability

moderate

3

The trip is graded moderate. The daily distances cycled are between 35 and 55km/22 and 34.5mi. The route between Mont-Pèlerin and Horn is smooth and flat when cycling along the lakes – but between the lakes there are some minor passes to cross. Day 5 involves more challenging terrain. It is possible to hire electric bikes if you are concerned about the distances or climbs, however please note that e-bikes are heavier than normal bikes and should only be used by confident cyclists. Helmet use is mandatory on all bike rides and you are strongly encouraged to bring your own well-fitted helmet.


Departure dates

Daily from 30 Mar to 13 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season 30 Mar - 5 Apr and 27 Apr - 27 Sep, supplement applies
DN2
Subject to availability during the Montreux Jazz Festival (5 to 20 Jul)

Priceper person from

£1520GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • E-bike supplementGBP£130
  • Single SupplementGBP£330
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

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