Whenever the words ‘Swiss Alps,’ are mentioned, what comes to mind straight away are words like, ‘Snowy Mountain Tops’, ‘Skiing’, ‘Winding Roads’ and, ‘Apres-Ski’. At least those are the first words that came to a sample of Flight Centre colleagues when asked.
However Switzerland is actually a popular cycyling holiday destination, almost 2 million visitors to Switzerland cycle during their holidays either on the saddle of a touring bike, e-bike, mountain bike or racing bike each year.
Given the popularity of cycling around the country, Switzerland has rolled out an exciting new initiatives for cyclists called, ‘Ride the Alps’, during which certain passes in the Swiss Alps will be closed for everyone except cyclists during specific dates over the 2018 summer.
The various events will happen around the country between May and September and a full list can be found on the newly launched Ride The Alps website which also features guidance on the best routes to take for breathtaking alpine views.
Popular cycling routes have traditionally included the Gotthard region, the Valais and the Vaud Alps however cyclists will now be able to fully explore other alpine regions around the country sans motor traffic.
Switzerland is one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world even featuring hotels that cater specifically to cyclists. These ‘bike hotels’ offer everything from bicycle storage and hire, through to repair and cleaning services plus free transfers of baggage from city to city so that you’re able to simply ride from one to the next.
There are also more than 12,000 kilometres of standardised, signposted cycling routes throughout the country. Keep an eye out for the signposts that are red and feature a white bike pictogram.
The country’s natural beauty and assets aside, panoramic rail journeys, unique accommodation options and a host of competitions and events often complement the cycling experience and are just another reason why Switzerland makes for the perfect ‘racecation’ this summer.
This year, up to 26,000 cyclists are forecasted to be the first to ‘ride the alps’ over the five months, with the event expect to continue for years to come.