A holiday is many things to many people. For some, it’s an opportunity for adventure and exploration. They use it as a chance to see new sights and experience new cultures. For others, it’s simply an opportunity to relax and sip a cold cocktail by a sun-drenched pool. For the seasoned cyclist, however, a holiday is both an opportunity and a challenge. It allows them to experience some of their destination’s natural and man-made wonders up close and personal from their bike in greater detail than they would from a car or bus. It’s also a chance to test their mettle against the rigours of some of their destination’s more rugged terrain.
Most popular cycling areas in Switzerland
Switzerland is a veritable paradise for cyclists. With stunning scenery and a great infrastructure of well-maintained roads and paths, there’s something here for everyone. There are easy and picturesque lakeside paths and yet there are passes that traverse the snowy peaks of the Swiss Alps at 2000m altitudes. Some of the most popular cycling destinations include;
Furka Pass- One of the highest Swiss passes this is still accessible to intermediate level cyclists offering a nice balance between challenge and reward. Famous for stunning views and the stone pillars which line its multitude of switchbacks, no trip here is complete without a selfie on “James Bond Street”!
Albula- A regular feature of the Tour de Suisse, the Albula slopes have pleasant gradients which will allow you to climb in direct proportion to your fitness and ability level. You also get lots of wonderful sights including picturesque hillside villages and a number of UNESCO-listed railway bridges.
Col de la Croix- Not a very steep climb but one of the most sparsely beautiful, the uppermost reaches of Col de la Croix are a cross-country skiing trail in winter, but when the slopes are cleared it’s paradise for cyclists!
The history of cycling in Switzerland
Cycling was introduced to Switzerland from Germany in the late 1800s and remains both a hugely popular sport and a primary mode of transport for many. It’s also a huge part of Switzerland’s tourism industry with a plethora of road cycling and mountain biking tours.
Famous cycle races in Switzerland
Aside from the Tour de Suisse (Switzerland’s equivalent of the Tour de France) the country also plays host to a number of cycle racing events all year round including the Tour de Jura, Tour de Romandie and the Gran Premio Città di Lugano.
The best time to cycle in Switzerland
With such diverse topography and climate, Switzerland offers great cycling all year round but it’s advisable to steer clear in winter. The low season (April / May) is a great time to beat the crowds while still enjoying wonderful weather. However, it’s a widely held truth that September is the best time for outdoor pursuits like cycling in Switzerland.