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Bike Challenge

offered by supplier M10068 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 11 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 18 people
Destination(s): Switzerland  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Sightseeing  
Season: April - October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 3850 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3850 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Dates:
- June 22 - July 2 (spaces left: 6)
- July 27 - August 6 (spaces left: full tour).

M10068 offers a cycling itinerary that will take moderate and strong cyclists across Switzerland in 11 days. Riders choose between long days (60-80 kilometers) or shorter days (30-40 kilometers). Unlike other bicycle tour companies promoting themselves to Americans, our company is run out of Carouge, Switzerland. We promote value, nature, authenticity and friendship on our rides. We offer one itinerary every year that we come to know very well. The tour all but two meals, luxury accomodations, all in-country transportation and high-quality, Swiss-made BMC bicycles.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Geneva arrival, bike fitting, party

Welcome to Geneva! We pick you up at the airport and take you directly to your four-star hotel in the city center. We'll give you some time to settle in and then send you across the street for your bike fitting. Afterwards, take a stroll along the lake or watch the world go by from a sidewalk café - the day is yours. We'd like to make your first night special with an evening in the Geneva countryside. We'll all meet downstairs at 6 PM and you'll be whisked away to a vineyard of in the small wine town of Russin. Once there you'll discover the vineyard of Les Molards, their 12 different wines, delicious appetizers and organic salads. All riders should plan on arriving in Geneva before 2pm.

Day 2: Geneva-Chexbres (80 km)

We’re off! You will follow small country roads and vineyard paths before stopping for a picnic lunch in the lakeside town of Rolle. Get back on your bike, but relax: it’s Saturday and many of the villages along the route will be hosting festivals, concerts and sporting events. Make sure to take your time and get a taste of the local color. We will also pass through the larger city of Lausanne. Consider exploring the lakefront or stop by the IOC’s Olympic Museum... We pass right in front! Later in the day we begin our climb through the vineyards to our hotel in the small town of Chexbres. Riders preferring to avoid the climb can take the train from Vevey: nothing is too complicated in Switzerland.

Day 3: Chexbres-Gstaad (80 km)

Feeling adventurous? If so, take the steep back roads to our first coffee stop, otherwise join the rest of us on the more direct route. There is a lot of flexibility on our itinerary if you choose to stray. Once at our coffee spot, grab a slice of dense chocolate cake: we’ve got another 50 kilometers to work up an appetite. Lunch is in the medieval village of Gruyère. Take a tour of the castle or visit the cheese museum before getting back in the saddle to discover the magnificent valleys and giant chalets of the region beyond. Our destination is the sleepy village of Saanen. Up for a bit of Alpine nightlife ? The small, but world-famous Gstaad is just a ten minute walk along the river Saane. Gstaad’s car-free streets are perfect for admiring the surrounding Bernese alps. You’ll come to understand why a long list of celebrities, from Grace Kelly to Tina Turner have made Gstaad their summer home.

Day 4: Gstaad - Interlaken/Wengen (80 km)

After a short but steep climb out of town and a very long descent into Zweisimmen, it’s pastures and streams on densely packed gravel paths. We’ll be stopping from time to time to pet the cows and admire the monstrous family chalets. Take plenty of pictures: these traffic-free valleys are seldom seen by tourists. You’ll spend the later part of the day riding the shores of Lake Thun before reaching Interlaken. Once in the town of Interlaken, we'll leave our bikes behind and take a 45 minute cogwheel train ride 4,265 feet up to the alpine town of Wengen. As one of the most outstanding areas of beauty in the world, the Wengen area and it's hiking trails have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Tomorrow we'll explore, but now it's time to relax. We'll be staying two nights at a charming, turn-of-the-century hotel built in an Art Nouveau style.

Day 5: Hiking in Wengen

Wake up in an alpine paradise. Open the windows and listen: no cars or horns in this traffic-free town. Come downstairs and eat a hearty breakfast, you'll soon be following the world's most beautiful hiking trails. No bikes, but you will be working your legs in different ways. You'll dangle them from gondola lifts, run with the grazing alpine herds and your knees will bend to pick the wild edelweiss that fill the pastures.

Day 6: Interlaken/Wengen - Lucerne (90 km)

This morning can be very tough or really easy: You choose! Those strong (or brave) will follow lake Brienz to Geissbach to admire its 350-meter high cascades. Afterwards the riders will tackle the Brunig Pass and be climbing 400 meters in 5 kilometers. Riders can choose to have a more relaxing morning with a lake cruise, 15 k of flat riding followed by a train to lunch on the lake in Lungern. The afternoon's paths are flat and picturesque and will take us through the bustling medieval village of Sarnen. Quench your thirst with a tall beer in the market square; you've got another 30 kilometers. Our hotel overlooks the lake in Lucerne's city center. Put your bike away and get your street clothes out: you're on your own this evening to explore the city's possibilities.

Day 7: Lucerne - Rapperswil (95 km)

Today we follow four lakes and go through four cantons. Our ride begins outside of Lucerne on hard dirt paths along the River Reuss until reaching Zug: Switzerland's smallest (but richest) canton. We'll picnic on the lake and tour Zug’s medieval old town before climbing out and into the Rothernthurm high marshlands, one of Switzerland's best-known nature preserves. We'll bike past peat-covered cabins and through wet rolling fields before reaching the imposing Einsiedeln monastery.

If your legs hold up, you’ll soon be high in the clouds with spectacular views on all sides. As always, narrow and well-maintained bike paths will allow you to venture where few tourists have gone before! Take a long coast into Rapperswil and settle into your hotel in the town’s center. Once showered, you'll have some choices to make: an ancient city center, lakeside promenade, a perched chateau, a medieval convent, reputed rose gardens, a circus museum, zoo, wine bars or nap. See you at 8 O'clock for dinner.

Day 8: Rapperswil - Sax (95 km)

We're riding our bikes to breakfast this morning. No worries: just a short 3 clicks down the road to Thomas and Judith's family farm. Enjoy the farm fresh eggs, homemade preserves and cured meats smoked on the premises. There will also be plenty of coffee brought over by the sisters next door at the Wurmsbach convent. Take your time: stroll the farm, visit the nuns, pet the goats and come back for another cup of coffee. Afterwards it’s twenty kilometers of unusually flat riding before reaching the long Walensee lake and its 1500 meter cliffs. The ride soon becomes surreal as we head into a long series of bike tunnels where giant windows give us stunning views of the lake and its high calcium cliffs. Take a swim in Switzerland ’s cleanest lake and then dry off for a picnic.

Later we meet up with the Rhine and follow a perfect bike path Northward to Liechtenstein and its capital Vaduz. Take five minutes to cross the bridge into Liechtenstein, or stay on your bike until you reach our hotel in the village of Sax, but don’t blink or you’ll miss it. (Population: 65 inhabitants) Meet the other riders downstairs in the cozy pub and share your experiences over a tall glass of wheat beer. Don’t eat too many pretzels: the meal tonight is amazing.

Day 9: Sax - Rorschach (60 km)

Our last day of riding follows rivers and lowlands: it’s a cinch. You’ll pedal past farms and through fields and along canals until lunchtime in in Widnau. You’ve then got a choice: make your hardest climb yet to the village of Heiden overlooking Lake Constance. Or take the low road to the lake and our final stop in Romanshorn. This is our easiest day, so use your time and energy to explore the unique lakeside villages and shops. Or get in early and wander around the grounds of the medieval castle that is our hotel. Be sure to work up your appetite: it’s wonderful barbecue with champagne toasts. After all, you’ve just biked across Switzerland!

Day 10: Rorschach - visit in Berne - Geneva

Say goodbye to your trusty 27-speed steed; after a late breakfast it's all-aboard! We'll interrupt our five-hour train trip back to Geneva with a stop-over in the Swiss capital of Berne. Your last evening in Switzerland will be spent back where it all started: on the shores of lake Geneva. You'll catch the long summer rays with a tall drink and good food at our banquet on the United Nations private beach.

Day 11: Geneva Departure.

Highlights Include:
- Day off for hiking in Bernese Oberland
- Boat cruise
- Overnight in castle
- Wine tasting, United Nations banquet, farm breakfast.

Tour Notes:
- Riders will cross Switzerland to ride a total of 580 kilometers while climbing a total of 4,800 meters.
- We do make extensive use of the Swiss train network, allowing riders to avoid climbs, reduce mileage or take days of at any time.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
Location: USA
Joined InfoHub: Nov 2003

M10068 offers a cycling itinerary that will take moderate and strong cyclists across Switzerland in 10 days. Riders choose between long days (60-80 kilometers) or shorter days (30-40 kilometers). Unlike other bicycle tour companies promoting themselves to Americans, M10068 is run out of Carouge, Switzerland. We promote...

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