Why you should travel Switzerland by bike

Snowboard expert Sina Candrian talks about her experiences on the Gravel Bike Tour from Buchs to Basel.

Are you sick of lengthy train journeys and endless car rides, but still long for a change of scenery? Have you ever set yourself the goal of actively discovering your home country? I feel the same way. So without further ado, I decide to discover Switzerland by bike. Thanks to the many youth hostels in Switzerland, the stages can be easily divided up and overnight stays can be arranged at attractive prices – no fuss.  

For my master plan, I grab my biking buddy Anja and together we set off from Buchs SG on our gravel bikes. These sporty bikes are particularly suitable for longer distances. They look like racing bikes but the thicker tyres allow cyclists to leave the hard asphalt and ride adventurous gravel paths.

Sina and Anja have saddled up their bikes and are ready for adventure. © Sina Candrian

Off on an adventure!

And so our tour begins along the magnificent Rhine. We’ve committed to 250 kilometres over the next three days. An exciting and varied route following the flow of the Rhine awaits us as far as Basel. After the river flows into Lake Constance at the Rhine delta, we cycle alongside the lake and enjoy the cool turquoise-blue of the water. 

After 90 kilometres we reach Kreuzlingen Youth Hostel. This hostel, reminiscent of the past, is located directly on the cycle path and the lake is just a stone’s throw away, too. Lovely!

Exploring Switzerland by bike can be so beautiful. © Sina Candrian


New day– new stage! Our destination for today is Schaffhausen Youth Hostel. So we saddle up our bikes early in the morning. We stow our luggage in special handlebar, saddle and frame bags. A backpack would make the tour far too burdensome. We only have the bare essentials with us and still want for nothing. We appreciate this lightness.

Less is more is the motto when you tour Switzerland by bike. © Sina Candrian

For 58 kilometres we enjoy our pleasant cruising speed and the lush green landscape as it passes by. Every now and then we stop to fill our water bottles at a fountain. You should take every opportunity to do so, because you never know when the next free water filling station will come along. 😉 

Tired but happy, we arrive at Schaffhausen Youth Hostel around noon. We park our bikes in the bike room and explore the picturesque town. A highlight is the visit to one of the largest waterfalls in Europe: the thundering Rhine Falls. Again we are overwhelmed by another day full of impressions.

Never miss the opportunity to fill your bottle with fresh water at a fountain. © Sina Candrian

Detours towards Basel

It’s crazy how quickly the last few days have passed us by. Fortunately, the tour is not over yet! Today we set off early in the morning towards Basel. We’ve got 158 kilometres to cover before the Rhine leaves Switzerland. For me as someone from the Grisons, this is a very special feeling, particularly as this mighty river rises in my home canton. 

We didn’t need our smartphones to guide us throughout the entire trip. Only once does it seem suspicious to us when the planes heading for Zurich are suddenly flying in the same direction as we are supposedly cycling towards Basel. We quickly notice our faux pas.

You can also look into other people’s gardens on your bike tour. © Sina Candrian

Don’t want it to end!

Despite the extra kilometres thanks to our little detour, we reach the hip city of Basel in the early afternoon. Next up is an exploration tour! Thanks to the ideal location of the city youth hostel, we are right in the middle of the action between restaurants, bars and sights. We chill by the Rhine and think about our tour with a well-deserved aperitif and lots of conversation. Although we’ve covered around 250 kilometres, we’re not really exhausted. However, the fact that we are trained to sit on the saddle for longer periods of time has certainly helped us. And of course the indispensable chamois cream. 😉 

The mix of athletic activity, the speed of travel and the great scenery made this trip so special. Another Gravel Bike Tour from youth hostel to youth hostel is already being planned and we are really looking forward to it.

Basel Youth Hostel is located close to the city centre. © Sina Candrian

This old manor house is now Kreuzlingen Youth Hostel. © Sina Candrian

Even more bike action

Sina has already toured the Interlaken holiday region on two wheels. I wonder how she liked it.

Frau auf de Bike im Wald
Action & adventure Couples Friends In the city On the water

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