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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 4 star hotel
Meals
  • 6 Breakfasts

Price

$2190USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: BTX

Trip highlights


  • Experience an epic descent of the Gotthard Pass to Ticino
  • Enjoy Swiss mountain beauty and the Italian 'Dolce Vita' lifestyle
  • Explore the enchanting cities of Basel, Lucerne and Lugano
  • Relish in the sense of achievement crossing Switzerland by bike from north to south
  • Relax in comfortable hotels in the evenings

Switzerland's north to south cycle route connects two of the most beautiful cities of Switzerland. From the French border city of Basel the route crosses the Jura mountains to the charming lakeside city of Lucerne. The next stage takes you through central Switzerland and into the alps. A highlight of the cycle is the massive 2155 vertical metre descent from the historic Gotthard pass with its series of switchbacks making for a quick descent. Passing by the castles of Bellinzona you reach the sparkling waters of Lake Lugano nestled between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como on the Italian border. Lugano is a fitting end to the trip where you can dip your toes in the cool lake and marvel at the dramatic scenery surrounding the city. There is so much to love about this expansive route showcasing Switzerland's finest treasures.

Trip Grading

moderate to challenging

More info about grading system

The picturesque city of Basel, Switzerland's third most populated city, is the starting point for your tour. Check into your hotel either in Basel and take the opportunity to explore both sides of the Rhine river, the Old Town concentrated in Grossbasel on the south bank and Kleinbasel on the north bank.

Meals:  Nil

Cycling from the bustling centres of Basel, Liestal and the Ergolztal you enter the tranquility and charming countryside in the Baselbiet Jura. The route takes you through Aargau's Jurapark hills, followed by a racy descent down the southern Jura slopes to Aarau. details: +860m, -725m

Meals:  B

From Aarau the way leads to the idyllic Suhrental river valley; with views of the Alps spotted south and the Jura chain to the north. Through rich orchards and fertile fields alongside Lake Sempach, the end of this stage takes you into the charming city of Lucerne with its impressive chapel bridge, Kapellbrücke. The covered wooden bridge is a central feature of the city together with the lake and heritage buildings lining the canal. details: +630m, -580m

Meals:  B

Lake Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s largest and most beautiful lakes. Its many arms link the Mittelland and Alps. When the fierce Föhn wind blows, the lake reveals its wilder side! Part of the route today will be by boat offering a different perspective of the impressive scenery. The cycle route continues through the Urnerland, a transit corridor surrounded by mountains, to Amsteg, a pretty town on the north south route. details: +470m, -340 m

Meals:  B

The trip continues through the canton of Uri where the wild Reuss river plunges down through the Schöllenenschlucht (gorge), subdued only by sheer mountain walls and the Teufelsbrücke (Devil’s Bridge). Whether by horse, train or more recently car, the route across the Gotthard southwards has been popular since the middle ages. It was and continues to be an important trade route and marks the change in language from German in the north to Italian in the south. While a series of tunnels take the bulk of the vehicle traffic, the old road to the pass is for local traffic and therefore perfect for cycling. The ascent today is formidable, however the distance is shorter to compensate making it a worthy challenge (made easier on an e-bike!). Tonight you stay in a historic hospiz. details: +1’315m, -100m

Meals:  B

Todays cycle is a highlight. Don't be put off by the longer km's with the vast majority of the route downhill. Starting from the historic pass, the descent takes you on a series of cobblestone switchbacks with incredible views to the south and west. As you descend south, the climate becomes noticeably milder. The route levels out at the base of the valley with an easy ride along the waters of the Ticino, passing chestnut trees and vineyards and scenes that are more Italian than Swiss. Bellinzona, called 'La Turrita' because of its many castles is a charming Italian style town oozing in atmosphere. Welcome to Ticino! details: +300m, -2‘155m

Meals:  B

Leaving behind Bellinzona you take a short cycle route to Cadenazzo and take the train up to Rivera Bironico. From Monte Ceneri a clear view of the Piano di Magadino vegetable fields and Lago Maggiore rewards you. Your first sight of Lago di Lugano's picture-postcard beauty will be sure to impress. From Agno you continue by train to the centre of the cultural city of Lugano. details: +350m, -550m

Meals:  B

This morning arrangements conclude after breakfast. Optional cycle to the southernmost tip of Switzerland, the Mendrisiotto. This ride takes you around Lake Lugano to the delightful town of Morcote, before crossing to the other side of the lake and continuing to Ticino's largest wine growing area. From Chiasso you can continue you onward travel by train to nearby Italy or back to central Switzerland. details: +405m, -440m

Meals:  Nil


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

  • 7 breakfasts - buffet style
  • 6 nights in 3 star hotels and 1 night hopiz on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (Hotel taxes extra)
  • Bicycle, 24 speed with pannier, helmet & bike computer (electric bike available - supplement applies)
  • Boat ride Beckenried – Flüelen (bicycle included)
  • Information pack including navigational app per room booked
  • Luggage transfer (max 20kg per piece)

  • Transport to Basel and from Lugano at start/end of trip
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Lunches, dinners and beverages
  • Tour guide - this is a self guided trip
  • Hotel/Tourist tax - allow CHF6.10 per person, per night
  • Tickets for bicycles on the train Cadenazzo – Rivera-Bironico and Agno – Lugano. approx. CHF 5.-)

Bike information


Grading

moderate to challenging  

MODERATE to CHALLENGING – GRADE 4 Daily cycles are between 30 and 75km/19 or 47mi through undulating to mountainous terrain - daily ascents of between 300m-1315m (984-4340ft). With an e-bike the ascents are much easier and therefore the grading reduces to moderate - however you do need to be a competent cyclist to ride an e-bike. The cycling is on low traffic side roads. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. It is considered suitable for experienced teenagers and adults.


Departure dates

Daily from 17 Jun to 24 Sep

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
high season is from 17 Jun to 8 Sep - supplement applies

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$2190USD

Options & Supplements*
  • e-bike supplementUSD$170
  • Single SupplementUSD$460
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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