A bicycle tour through Switzerland – why?
The opportunities to go on holiday abroad last year were quite limited. But isn’t it obvious that you can have just as good a holiday in Switzerland? Simply spending a week in the same place or doing something from there wasn’t enough for us – which is why we soon came up with the idea of a bicycle tour through Switzerland. But what’s the best way to plan such a trip?
Luggage – how much is too much?
If you don’t have a support vehicle to transport your luggage, you should think carefully about what you take with you. You’ll feel every kilo on the first long climb at the latest. And if you don’t want to load your bike with a tent and sleeping bag, you need to think about accommodation. We went with the latter – to take the essentials, but stay in youth hostels. Why youth hostels? There are a total of 50 youth hostels in Switzerland, so there are plenty of opportunities to plan your tour and stay overnight in different places at reasonable prices.
Where to go
When we started planning, we thought about the most beautiful passages that we really wanted to take and how we could combine them into a tour that made sense. After discussing and making several adjustments to the route, we finally came to an agreement.
Let the tour start
The tour starts (and finishes) in Aarau. We wanted the first stage to be flat, but to take us towards the Alps. Aarau – Montreux, 183 km and an elevation gain of about 800 metres. From Montreux, the second day took us through Vaud and then through the Bernese Oberland. We made our way to Interlaken via Gstaad. Of course, we just had to take a refreshing swim in the Aare to cool down.
Am dritten Tag führte uns die Tour an Meiringen vorbei hoch zum Grimselpass, den Furka haben wir zwar von weitem gegrüsst – verzichteten aber darauf diesen in die Tour miteinzuplanen. Danach endete diese eher kürzere Etappe im Wallis, schliesslich hatten wir am kommenden Tag einiges vor.
Now it’s time to climb high
We left the Valais heading towards Ticino. Over the Nuffenen Pass, we made our way to Airolo. On the Tremola, one of the most famous and beautiful mountain passes, we rode up to the Gotthard. However, this was just the second pass. In Andermatt, we took the Oberalp Pass into Grisons– this queen’s stage ended in Trin. 150 km, an elevation gain of 3,600 metres – 7 h of riding time. There’s no need to explain how good a cool beer tasted at the end of that day.
On the second to last day, we knew where we were headed with the Klausen Pass and our next destination Lucerne, but ended up altering our plan a bit. We finally set off from Trin on our way home to Aarau on a more or less direct route. Rainy weather and the anticipation of being in our own beds definitely played a factor in our decision – not our already very tired legs…
After this kind of tour, initially you’re just happy to be back home. Not that you aren’t pleased with what you’ve achieved – on the contrary. Nevertheless, you think about what you could possibly do differently or how the tour could have been better planned. What stayed with me is the certainty of wanting to cycle through Switzerland again next summer…
2021 – die #tourdejeunesse
Die Idee auch in diesem Jahr wieder eine Fahrradtour zu machen ist geblieben – und hat mittlerweile neue Formen angenommen. Dieses Jahr hast auch du selbst die Möglichkeit (d)eine Fahrradtour zu machen – dies ganz einfach in dem du an der «Tour (D’Auberge) De Jeunesse» oder kurz #tourdejeunesse teilnimmst.
7 legs, from youth hostel to youth hostel, 800 km and an elevation gain of 1,500 metres. From Aarau via Schaan, Scoul, Santa Maria, St. Moritz, Laax, Interlaken and back to Aarau – a week discovering the most beautiful parts of Switzerland and all under your very own steam!
From accommodation to food, material transport to the support vehicle – everything is organised for you. You will find all the relevant information at: www.tourdejeunesse.ch