Our First European Cycle Tour
Cycling is a great way to experience central Switzerland, with the Alps in the background and the Aare River alongside us. We took one reviewer’s advice and spent extra days in Interlaken to explore the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The Aare Cycle Path is well marked, but we had some difficulty in the transition from cycle path to city to hotel. All the hotels were comfortable and ideally located for exploring the Old Towns of each city. The boat ride on Thun Lake was wonderfully relaxing and scenic. Don’t miss the storks at Altreu - they are unique. We thoroughly enjoyed our Swiss vacation.
Cycling in Switzerland is Way more Accessible than you think!
I went on a portion of this tour from Thun to Bern to Biel/Bienne as a BikeTours.com staff member. The route was super easy to follow, very flat, and almost always on bicycle paths. We covered the daily distance quickly and were rewarded with more time to explore the perfectly-preserved and lively medieval town centers each night. The northern part of Switzerland is on a plateau, so it is not at all like the Alps. I missed the mountain views, but I definitely appreciated the more flat terrain.
Don't miss the Old City, the Clock Tower, the Rose Garden, or the bizarre, centrally located Kindlifresserbrunnen (German for "Child Eater Fountain") in Bern. Allow time to explore Biel/Bienne's old town. It is smaller than Bern, just as charming, and with a more local vibe. The nightlife in Biel/Bienne was more lively than expected, and there seemed to be a large student population. This is a fully bilingual German-French city. Very unique!
I visited Konstanz for one day at the end of this tour, and it was beautiful! Very charming, red-tiled buildings dominated the historic district. Be sure to climb up to the top of the Cathedral in Konstanz, and definitely visit the Island of Mainau, which is a beautiful botanical garden.
Fun bike trip through switzerland
A different and fun way to experience Switzerland. About 90% on dedicated bike paths or bike lanes, which makes it a very safe way of biking. Hotels were mostly very comfortable, but most lacked air conditioning, which would have been greatly appreciated in temperatures of 90plus degree for most of the week.
Great all Round trip except for the maps
Route maps failed at the departure point from the main route to the hotel. Upside: met a lot of very helpful people. Downside: consistently irritating.
Responses from Biketours.com
Thank you for your 4-star review! We're glad you had a good overall experience, and we're sorry you had issues with the maps. That can indeed be frustrating!
We're following up now with tour operator about this issue to improve this service going forward.
Thank you again for taking the time to review your time and helping spread the love of bicycle tourism worldwide!
Easy Riding Across Switzerland! And Free Water!
This is my 11th ride with Biketours, and probably, oddly, the easiest! The ride starts in Interlaken and follows the Aare River to Constance, Germany. I'd recommend it for newbies, looking for a great ride. You simply followed the well-posted number 8 Aare River route. It's pretty difficult to get lost. And there are few hills, too. Along the way, you'll ride about 25 miles each day, arriving at a wonderful historic town or city whose Alstadt, or old town, remains perfectly preserved. Unlike most of Europe, wars haven't ravaged Switzerland's land in over 500 years. The medieval centers are unique, and a great opportunity for photographers. On the first day, you take a 3 hour boat ride from Interlaken to Thun, crossing the pristine and aqua-marine waters of Lake Thun, set against the glaciers and jagged peaks of the Alps. I'd strongly recommend that you take the meal plan. It's quite a bargain, trust me. Switzerland is very, very expensive. Make no doubt about that. I got breakfast and a 3-course dinner every night. Some of the hotels were built in the 16th century. If you're looking for Marriots and Holiday Inns, seek elsewhere, nor can you expect air-conditioning, a rarity in most of Europe's hotels. The local tour provider, Radweg Reisen, presented us with brand-new bikes, suitable for touring. Most of the ride follows dedicated bike paths or on gravel roads through forests and farmlands. Here's a top tip: either through Biketours, or through your own effort, get to the start city Interlaken a few days earlier and visits the Alps, taking a train to either Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. That's what I did. There is no more beautiful valley in the world than Lauterbrunnen. Final thing: Switzerland is expensive, but the water is free! Every town and city features dozens of water fountains. You simply fill up when you need water.
Can't recommend it
Food organization poor. Rhine River portion very industrial
Responses from Biketours.com
Hi John, thanks very much for your review. We're sorry to hear this trip did not meet expectations. Since this is a self-guided tour, only breakfast is provided. The rest of the meals are on your own, as is typical with self-guided tours. We're glad to see, though, the higher ratings for the local tour company services and bikes/equipment. Thanks again for your feedback.