Leave the rat race behind and hop on your bike: Off to the water!

We’re cycling and barbecuing our way across Switzerland and relaxing by the water. How about you?

Natalie Sidler

06.05.2021

What could be better than exploring the area with friends in spring-like weather? Now that it’s getting warmer again, we’re enjoying the fresh breeze on two wheels, looking forward to inviting rest stops by the water. Get ready for some springtime tips for cycling trips near the water.

Spring in the bike saddle around Lake Zurich

There’s a wide range of great cycling tours to discover in the region surrounding Lake Zurich. Depending on your adventurous spirit, your love of action and your physical condition, there is bound to be something to suit every cyclist. We recommend the following youth hostels in this area as starting points near the water, guaranteed to deliver fun cycling experiences: Zurich, Rapperswil and Richterswil.

The building in Zurich is an international multi-talent and a HotellerieSuisse-certified bike hostel with just the right bike infrastructure. A stone’s throw from Lake Zurich, you can start a relaxed tour around the lake along the lakeside promenade. Or get your muscles working on a Limmat-Greifensee loop – not without a well-deserved break on the shore or the ferry (Meilen-Horgen).

Top lake view with a barbecue break

You can enjoy just as beautiful of a location at our hostels in Rapperswil-Jona and Richterswil. Both are situated directly on Lake Zurich and the latter welcomes you with a complete makeover since its re-opening on 30 April.

From Rapperswil-Jona you can take the big round trip Rapperswil-Zurich-Pfäffikon-Obersee-Rapperswil on your wheels or, if necessary, shorten it with the ferry mentioned above (Meilen-Horgen) or the Seedamm (Pfäffikon-Rapperswil). And in Richterswil the morning sun will wake you up on the guest terrace before hopefully accompanying you on one of the many possible panoramic bike tours, for example towards Thalwil (where there are possible barbecue spots on the lake at the Farb playground or at the Gerbi lake complex).

Pedalling on Lake Geneva

Continue on to French-speaking Switzerland, where the “Tour du Léman” cycle route (SwitzerlandMobility 46) offers views of a breathtakingly diverse lake landscape. Here, you can watch the waves through vines just as easily as you can cruise through the streets of Geneva or Lausanne. Or go beyond the limits of the asphalt and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the nature reserve. Starting near the lake at the Lausanne Jeunotel or Montreux Youth Hostels, nothing stands in the way of this kind of project.

Viva la bicicletta or Ticino, bello Ticino?

Why not both?! The area around Lugano is considered by many to be an absolute mountain biking paradise. But even cyclists looking to take a leisurely ride will get their money’s worth on the 8th stage of the north-south route from Lugano-Agno towards Chiasso, among many others. Alternatively, move your base camp to the romantic town of Locarno, known for its film festival, at the northern end of Lake Maggiore. From there, you can choose between the fascinating stone formations of the Maggia Valley and the Magadino Plain, to the left and right of the Ticino River. That Mediterranean feeling leading up to summer and Ticino’s joie de vivre can be found on both routes, one way or the other. And both the bike hostel in Lugano and the youth hostel in Locarno course have space for bicycles.

Where the Lake Constance cycling route and the Rhine route meet

You guessed right: in Stein am Rhein. The Lake Constance cycling route, starting from the picturesque Rhine town, is especially flat, making it a leisurely option and the perfect way to slow down and relax. The Rhine route towards Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls is a bit more adventurous, thanks to the border crossing, climbs in the forest segment and the majestic Rhine Falls.

And these are by no means the only cycling opportunities by lakes, rivers or waterfalls in this area. Just ask at reception, hop on your saddle and enjoy freedom and nature! Back at the Stein am Rhein Youth Hostel the terrace surrounded by nature brings well-deserved relaxation, even offering its own barbecue area, in case you weren’t able to find a suitable one en route.

Fancy some more?

Discover our practical and customisable accommodation package and decide for yourself where to start your journey: Click here to book a Swiss Youth Hostels Hostelpass Youth Hostel.

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