One of the classic cycling routes in Switzerland. Although the Aare Route starts in Gletsch in a high alpine region, the river has carved a bicycle-friendly way through the rock, with no climbs worth mentioning all the way to Lake Constance. You cycle through the cantons Berner Oberland and Swiss Mittel-Land, across the Three Lakes Country and into the southern Jura region. Enjoy charming provincial Switzerland, native farms and unspoilt nature along this popular and easy route.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
The city between the Brienzer- and Thunersee lakes is a popular starting point for visiting the Aare gorge and the mountains of the Berner Oberland. A breathtaking panorama of mountains awaits you with views of the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger mountains which are best seen from a trip on a rack and pinion train..
You start the day with a pleasant boat-ride across Thun Lake. Sit back and relax and watch the countryside slowly passing by. From Thun, you cycle to Berne, a simple route and well suited for acclimatizing to the days to come. Goethe thought Berneto be Switzerland’s most beautiful town. Today, the old part of the town is world heritage site.
You cycle along the banks ofthe Aare and Wohlensee Lake to the bilingual town of Biel/Bienne. The Swiss clock-making industry made this town famous. In the Omega museum you can find out more. Discover the many fountains the town has, which are mostly fed by Roman wells.
Today’s route is short so that you have enough time to spend in the old town or on the lake at the beach. Solothurn is the capital of the canton of the same name and is considered to be Switzerland’s most beautiful Baroque town.The number eleven has particular significance here: there are 11 churches and chapels, 11 fountains, 11 towers and 11 steps.
The River Aare, which has by now increased considerably in size, is what shapes the landscape here. Villages, fields and a magnificent castle are on your way to Aarau, which still bears features dating back to the 16th century and from when the town was once the capital of the Helvetic Republic. Walk through the town -and keep looking up! This town is famous for its lovely gables. Be inspired by their painted scenes.
You cycle along the Aare to Brugg, where you should visit Habsburg Castle. The castle is the seat of the dynasty of the same name which once achieved the position of a true world power. Passing the “water castle” through which about half of the volume of Switzerland’s water flows, you cycle on, via Koblenz, to where the Aare flows into the Rhine. The last section takes you to Waldshut-Tiengen.
You cycle up the Rhine, passing Rheinau Abbey, which is situatedidyllically on an island in the river. The closer you get to the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen the louder the roar of the water gets. Try out one of the boat trips that take you to the rocks of the Falls and experience the roaring mass of water all around you!
In the morning, enjoy a stroll through the canton’s capital, watched over by Munot fort. And admire the gables -the citizens of the town competed with each other in building gables on their houses. Now, continue cycling upstream to Stein am Rhein, where town square is surrounded by frescoed houses. A good place for a break. Next, you follow the southern bank of Lake Constance, passing pretty fishing villages, to Constance. The old diocesan town was the site for the only Council to elect a pope north of the Alps in the Middle Ages.
RATING: Easy to Moderate
Paved cycle paths along the river; mainly flat or slightly downhill, with just a few small hills. Suitable for novice cyclists, families and experienced cyclists alike. Some stretches are along public roads in/out of the towns, and some days are fairly long, hence the Moderate tag.
AIRPORT / TRANSFERS
The nearest international airports are Zurich and Geneva, with regular rail transfers available directly from the terminals of each.
Departure Dates 2017: Daily from mid April to early October
Season 1: April 21 to May 4 & September 16 to October 7
Season 2: June 3 to 29; August 25 to September 15
Season 3: May 5 to June 2; June 30 to August 24
|Season 1: Price per person||CAD||$1570|
|Season 2 surcharge||$200|
|Season 3 surcharge
Optional electric bike
Single room supplement
This tour includes:
Telephone: 705-949-1710 or 888-297-4786
Station Mall, 293 Bay St., Sault Ste Marie, P6A 1X3
Monday to Friday: 9.30 am. to 5.30 pm.
Saturday: by appointment