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Duration
7 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • hotels
Meals
  • 6 Breakfasts

Price

$1470USD

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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 Montreux 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.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

On arrival in Montreux you can check-in at the first hotel mid afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Montreaux is situated at the eastern end of Lake Geneva, and each July hosts a Jazz Festival. You can stroll along the promenade and enjoy the breathtaking views of Lake Geneva and the snow-white glaciers of the nearby Mont Blanc massif. If you have the time a visit to the Château de Chillon, on an island in the lake, is highly recommended.

Meals:  Nil

The cycle begins this morning along the shores of Lake Geneva to the town of Vevey. Here you board the Mt-Pèlerin funicular railway (ticket not included) which takes you up through the Lavaux vineyards (a World Heritage Site) to an altitude of more than 810m in less than 15 minutes. After absorbing the sweeping views you continue on quiet mainly level roads all the way to Gruyères. Enroute pass by green meadows with the sound of cowbells ringing as you ride. Whilst cheese is an obvious attraction of Gruyères, it's rich medieval history is evident throughout and the imposing castle above offers a unique ambiance. Overnight Gruyères, Charmey or surrounds. +600-855m (+1968-2804ft), -500-735m (1640-2410ft)

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 ritzy resort town of Gstaad with its promenade lined with international designer brands. Overnight Gstaad or surroundings. +735m (2410ft), -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), -410m (1345ft)

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. An 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 en route to Lucerne. Lucerne is very picturesque, with a mountain backdrop, lake and historic heart brimming with 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.

Meals:  B

The trip concludes in Lucerne after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 nights in 3 star hotels and a hostel in Gstaad (Category B) on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (upgrade available to 4 star hotels (Cat A) - supplement applies)
  • Navigation app and printed maps per room booked
  • Luggage transfer
  • Emergency hotline
  • Boat ticket Spiez to Interlaken
  • Bicycle, 24 speed with pannier (electric bike available - supplement applies)

  • Travel to Montreux and from Lucerne
  • Lunch, dinner and drinks daily
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Helmets (not available for rent - please bring your own well fitted helmet)
  • Items of a personal nature, ie. laundry, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide - this is a self guided trip
  • Transfers or public transport not included in the program:
  • Funicular Vevey – Mont Pélerin: departs every 15 minutes, takes 11 minutes. Tickets cost approx CHF9 (bike included). It’s easy to obtain these at ticket office.
  • Train Meiringen – Brünigpass: Direct trains hourly and takes approx 12 minutes. Tickets cost approx CHF 14 (bike included). It’s easy to obtain these at ticket office.

Bike information


Grading

moderate  

The trip is graded moderate. The daily distances cycled are between 35 and 55km/22 and 34.5mi. The route between Montreux 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 April to 16 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season is from 21 May to 23 Sep - supplement applies
DN2
Subject to availability during the Montreux Jazz Festival (1 to 20 Jul)

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

$1470USD

Options & Supplements*
  • E-bike supplementUSD$160
  • Upgrade Supplement - Cat A (4 star hotels)USD$220
  • Single Supplement - Cat B (mainly 3 star)USD$300
  • Single Supplement - Cat A (4 star)USD$390
*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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