Travel report: The Grand Bike Tour in Switzerland
From our guest Marco
Day 1: Individual journey to Constance
In mid-June 2021, I took the train from my home in Switzerland to Konstanz on Lake Constance. Near the train station, I took a Corona test, which I needed to check in at the hotel. I then walked to my hotel and dropped off my luggage. After that, I took the train to the bike rental shop of Radweg-Reisen. There I was provided with an e-bike and everything about the e-bike was explained and adjusted. With the e-bike I then went towards Mainau Island, where I marveled at the plants and spent the entire afternoon. In the evening I visited the city of Constance and sat in great weather on Lake Constance.
Day 2: Constance - Schaffhausen, approx. 50 km
I started at 08.00 o'clock from the hotel and drove in the direction of Schaffhausen. After a short time I crossed the national border and reached Kreuzlingen. From there it went partly on the main road along Lake Constance towards Stein am Rhein. I found the small old town worthwhile for a short stopover. I continued on the German side of the Rhine towards Schaffhausen. Arriving in Schaffhausen, I drove directly to the Rhine Falls. With the voucher I received for a boat ride to the Rhine Falls Rock, I got really close to the great masses of water. It is a wonderful place to see. In the evening, I walked through Schaffhausen and spent time along the Rhine. The Munot Fortress high above Schaffhausen is a must-see for me in Schaffhausen.
Day 3: Schaffhausen - Zurich, approx. 65 km
After the rich breakfast in the stately hotel I went on route 2 in the direction of Eglisau. The bike path leads through beautiful natural landscapes and went slightly uphill in parts. From Eglisau I continued towards Zurich. Until Affoltern the whole route is on a bike path without many cars. From Affoltern to the hotel in the center of Zurich, you have to be careful because there is a lot of traffic and intersections. I partially pushed the bike in more dangerous places. Arrived at the modern and nicely furnished hotel near the main station, I immediately went to Lake Zurich, through the city and later still in the Botanical Garden. I spent the sunny evening hours on the well-visited shore of Lake Zurich.
Day 4: Zurich - Pfäffikon - Einsiedeln, approx. 35 km + train ride.
Today's stage led the entire way directly along the Gold Coast on Lake Zurich. The lake was always in sight and the vineyards accompanied me again and again along the way. The only downer was that the bike path runs mostly on the main road. However, it was worth it again and again on the rather short bike route to make a stop at the lake and jump into the water or enjoy the view. After a longer break on the shore of Lake Zurich in Rapperswil, I crossed the Seedamm and changed from the north to the south shore towards Pfäffikon SZ. With the included train ticket, I rode up the track to Einsiedeln. In Einsiedeln, the huge monastery and the ski jump caught the eye. I spent the late afternoon at the Sihlsee.
Day 5: Einsiedeln - Lucerne, approx. 75 km
Already in the early morning I went uphill to the Chatzenstrick. From there I had a great view over Einsiedeln and the mountains around. Downhill it went over a bumpy gravel road. Further on it went through a beautiful scenic area towards Sattel. From there, I continued mostly along Lake Aegeri until I reached Unterägeri. Without stopping in Unterägeri, I continued through the Lorzentobel. I really liked the Lorzentobel because it is a beautiful landscape and the bike path in the ravine was good, although it was not an asphalt surface. Leaving the ravine, the town of Zug on Lake Zug was not far away. There I enjoyed my lunch by the lake and rode on the right side of the lake towards Küssnacht am Rigi. The route led directly along the lake and the view was beautiful. After a short swim in Lake Zug, I got on my bike again to arrive at my next overnight stop, Lucerne, later in the afternoon. In the evening I enjoyed the city of Lucerne and visited beautiful places.
Day 6: Lucerne - Giswil - Brienz - Interlaken, approx. 65 km + train ride
Day 6 started in Lucerne and my destination was Interlaken. Along the Vierwaldstättersee we went to Stansstad. After a few photo and drinking breaks at the Vierwaldstättersee I drove to Sarnen. From there I continued to Giswil. There I took the train to get over the Brünig Pass. During the train ride I could enjoy the wonderful view and relax. The highlight was the Lungernsee with its crystal blue water. Arriving in Brienz at the lake of the same name, I drove through the village. Then I went along the south shore to the Giessbach Falls. The way there was very steep and it takes a lot of endurance to get there. However, it was very worthwhile to look at the Giessbach Falls. I walked up quite high to have a nice view over Lake Brienz and marvel at the waterfall from above. I continued downhill to Iseltwald. With the day's destination in sight and the lake in view, the last few kilometers passed quickly. Arrived in Interlaken, I went first to the hotel and later by bus back to the lake to finish the Saturday evening. Since it was quite warm and sunny, there was a lot going on at the lake.
Day 7: Interlaken - Thun - Bern, approx. 35 km + boat trip.
Since the first ship left only at 12:00 to Thun, I had the morning to look at Interlaken. Since it was foggy and I had already been on the local mountain Harder Kulm, the view is fantastic when the weather is nice, I decided to do a short sightseeing and then I drove to Lake Thun. The view over the lake and the quiet morning hours were very relaxing and gave energy for the second half of the trip. At 11:00 a.m., I headed back to Interlaken to the pier. I obtained my booked ship ticket and boarded the ship. I really enjoyed the approximately 2-hour boat ride across Lake Thun. Arrived in Thun, I rode my bike through the city. After a short while I saw that the sky was getting darker and I decided to continue to Bern. As soon as I left, the heavy rain and some lightning started. It was doomsday mood, but I liked the weather so much that I drove all the way to Bern without stopping. Until then I had been very lucky with the weather. Completely soaked I arrived in the late afternoon in the hotel in Bern. Since it has rained practically until the night, I stayed, except for a short exception, in the hotel.
Day 8: Bern - Biel, approx. 50 km
Today started dry again. I took my time to see the city of Bern. I passed the Bundeshaus, went to the Bärengraben, visited the Botanical Garden and much more. At about 10:30 a.m. I left the city of Bern and entered a beautiful forest area. I continued along the river Aare until I reached the nuclear power plant Mühleberg. From there, the bike path continued to Aarberg. Once there, it wasn't far to Lake Biel, where I spent my lunch break. On the east side of the Bielersee it went comfortably to Biel. Arriving at the modern hotel in the middle of the city of Biel, I received a very pleasant welcome. The staff in the bilingual town mostly spoke German or made an effort to speak German. After a short stay in the hotel room, I went to see the city and was again at the lake. Towards evening rain was announced again and I went back to the hotel.
Day 9: Biel - Solothurn, approx. 30 km
With about 30 kilometers, a shorter bike ride was on the day's program. The day started with light rain, but the weather got better and better during the morning. Along the river Aare the bike path led again today. After some time I reached a nature reserve in a piece of forest. I got off the bike and visited the reserve on foot. There were various birds, other animals and plants to see. Back on the bike I went to Solothurn. On the left side of the ride were the Jura Mountains to admire and on the right ran the Aare River. Shortly after noon I reached the city of Solothurn. Here I also went on a sightseeing tour of the most beautiful baroque city in Switzerland. Afterwards I went to the hotel. A special room awaited me, because the room was unusually long for a hotel room. Here I rested and let the day end.
Day 10: Solothurn - Aarau, approx. 60 km
The 9th stage led me from Solothurn via Olten to Aarau. From Solothurn I went along the river Aare towards Wangen an der Aare. I continued and a few kilometers later reached the village of Aarwangen, where Aarwangen Castle is the main attraction. The castle can be seen from far away. I continued for about 17 kilometers in beautiful weather to the village of Aarburg. There, a rare natural wonder could be observed, as part of the water of the Aare flows backwards. A good two-thirds of today's bike ride was now behind me. The next stop I made was in the old town of Olten. I had lunch by the Aare and then headed for Aarau. In the early afternoon I reached the city of Aarau. After a good hour and a half of sightseeing, I went to the hotel. I liked the family hotel with restaurant very much. It is located close to the center and therefore I went into the city again in the evening.
Day 11: Aarau - Zurich, approx. 60 km
The day started with a lot of rain. I waited about an hour in the hotel and hoped that the weather would get better and the rain would let up. It didn't and so I just rode through the rain. The way led a lot through forest roads. The canton of Aargau is considered the water castle of Switzerland, because many rivers come together here. But I concentrated more on the ride through the rain and saw little of the rivers. After a good hour I reached Brugg. Until then, Habsburg Castle, which can be seen from a distance, was the highlight of the ride. From Brugg, I left the Aare after a few days and now rode along the Reuss to Baden. In the meantime it stopped raining and the sun was shining. I put on my spare clothes and was now dry for the rest of the day. Along the Limmat over field paths the route led me to the Chatzesee. From there it went again through the urban jungle in Zurich until I reached the hotel. It was the same as on day 3.
Day 12: Individual departure
After breakfast I dropped the bike off at the hotel and headed home with great memories.
My conclusion of the bike trip:
I really enjoyed the cycling vacation in Switzerland. Although I live in Switzerland and I have already seen a few places, I have discovered and admired many for me new places. I found the two routes from Einsiedeln to Lucerne and the day after to Interlaken the most beautiful. The entire trip leads repeatedly past bodies of water and the routes are anyway easy to manage with the e-bike and for me not too long or too short. I can only recommend it to make such a trip by bike. I was very lucky with the weather and was rained on only a little. All the hotels I stayed in were very good and I had nothing to complain about. Also the travel documents from Radweg-Reisen were top as well as the service at the bike rental.