Saturday, 27 March 2010

Top 5 Bicycling routes in Switzerland Europe

When you consider a bicycle tour destination in Europe, Switzerland most likely does not come top of mind. Yet you may be amazed to learn the Swiss are great cyclists. The country is crossed by a network of 8,300 km (5,157 miles) of bicycle paths on 9 national and 55 regional routes. Does it not have mountains? Well yes, but there are also valleys where many of the bicycle paths are located.

The top 5 routes for cycling in Switzerland:

Rhone Route - this is the most popular of the Swiss cycling routes. Starting in Geneva with a combination of bicycle paths and dedicated lanes along the roads you cycle along the north shore of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman). Along the way you pass through Lausanne and the Olympic Museum and numerous vineyards before reaching Montreux.

Montreux is home to the lakeside Castle de Chillon, the number one historical attraction in Switzerland. Take the excellent tour (in English) and find out why Lord Bryon and others found it so fascinating. The bicycle path continues the banks of the Rhone River passing the International Cycling Association velodrome and wine center of Sion before ending in Andermatt. This route is gently rolling and can be handled by any level of cyclist.

Rhine Route - this route starts near Andermatt and heads over to the Austrian border before turning north to the Bodensee (Lake Constance) and Basel. You may decide to continue along the Rhine through Germany and the Netherlands if you wish. The Swiss cycling is over gently rolling terrain.

Lakes Route - if you are looking for a hilly and scenic Swiss cycling experience across the entire country this is the route for you. Starting in Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) you have a very steep climb at first taking you into the cheese making town of Guyere. The route continues over hilly terrain passing through scenic Lucerne.

Mittelland Route - This route also starts on the shores of Lake Geneva and heads across northern Switzerland and along the shores of Lake Neuchatel, the watch making town of Biel and eastward into the Zurich area and finally Lake Constance. A few hills at the start although most of the route would be considered gently rolling terrain.

Bodensee (Lake Constance) Route - offers an easy cycling experience around the lake with the benefit of visiting three countries - Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

The best time bicycle tour in Europe including Switzerland is in late May, June or September. Avoid the heat and crowds you will find in the summer. Any of these Swiss cycling adventures will provide you with a great 2 - 3 week vacation.

And every year Tom Oxby visits Europe on bicycle touring and hiking trips. He has found that proper planning is essential to get the most from your trip. For more fascinating information about bicycle touring in Europe and the regions of France visit his website at Easy Bicycle Touring

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