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Switzerland Journey Bike Tour

Lake Geneva to Lake Como: Climbs from the Alps to Italy

7 days / 6 nights Level: 4Price From: $5,195Collection: Challenge

Tour Highlights

  • Pedal every kilometer across the Swiss Alps into Italy
  • Conquer the most iconic Swiss cols, including the Mittelberg, Col de la Croix, Col du Pillon, Grosse Scheidegg, Grimsel Pass, Furka Pass, and St. Gotthard Pass
  • Spend a day cycling on buttery smooth gravel and experience the Swiss approach to Strade Bianche
  • Ride on completely car-free roads framed by saw-toothed peaks and chalets, where your only companions are grazing cows

Eat

Emmental, Gruyère, Raclette, and Appenzeller cheeses; fondue, rösti, and excellent Swiss chocolates

Drink

Outstanding Pinot Noir, Chasselas, and Gamay wines from the Valais, a continuation of the Rhône

As featured in:
Print Itinerary
  • Day 1

    Welcome to Switzerland

    Welcome to the ride of your life! Your guides will meet you in Montreux and shuttle you to Chillion Castle to start our epic journey across one of Europe’s most mountainous regions. After a map review and coffee stop, it’s time to start pedaling. We’ll warm up on a bike path, admiring vineyard views before tackling the day’s first col. The Col de La Croix is not to be confused with France’s Col de La Croix de Fer—luckily for us, the Swiss version is 300 meters less in elevation. Next up: the Col du Pillon. You’ve already done most of the climbing, but our last 3.5 kilometers is at 9%, so get ready to power through. By the time we reach our hotel in Saanen, you’ll be aching to rest up your legs for tomorrow.

    Meals: Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Aigle, Gstaad, Saanen
    Accomplished: 45 miles / 72 km, elevation gain: 2,106 meters
    Accommodations: Hotel Spitzhorn

  • Day 2

    Mittelberg

    This morning, you may want to join the sprinters while you can. It might be the last time you see them, since today’s ride begins right out the door of our hotel with an average gradient of 7.8%. The Mittelberg is a classic Swiss climb—if it were in the French Alps, it would be a TDF fixture. But here in Switzerland, it remains a secret so you can climb in solitude. There’s no traffic, just the sound of clanging cowbells and your gears trying to find a bigger cog. Our ride ends with an undulating route to the Schwarzsee, where our hotel (and dinner) overlooks the lake.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Jaun, La Roche
    Accomplished: 54 miles / 87 km, elevation gain: 1,675 meters
    Accommodations: Hostellerie am Schwarzsee

  • Day 3

    Swiss Strade Bianche

    In case the first two days weren’t interesting enough, today we’re adding a special ingredient: Swiss gravel, the smoothest you’ll ever encounter. As you pedal through the dust, you’ll come to understand why we brought you on this road—it’s mind-blowingly beautiful and completely idyllic as it slowly ascends to cycling heaven. Reach the highest point of the week on the Gurnigel Pass, then descend toward the Thunersee and enjoy our final few kilometers along Lake Thun to reach our hotel. Unwind with a swim or sip a beer while marveling at the mountains we just conquered. Tonight, we’ll make our way to town for dinner at a restaurant on the water’s edge.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Wattenwil, Thun
    Accomplished: 48 miles / 78 km, elevation gain: 1,704 meters
    Accommodations: Bellevue au Lac

  • Day 4

    The Most Beautiful Climb in Switzerland

    Your legs may not feel very rested after three days of riding in the Swiss Alps, but at least they’re in mountain goat gear for the Grosse Scheidegg, considered the most beautiful climb in Switzerland. You’ll be so distracted by the gorgeous views and perfectly paved one-lane road that you’ll hardly notice the 10 kilometers at 9.1%. Aside from your own rhythm, the only sound for miles is distant, clanging cowbells—no mistaking it, you’re surely in Switzerland! Since this pass is officially closed to traffic, pure cycling bliss is guaranteed. It’s just one more short push to our hotel for the night, then time to put your feet up and relax before tomorrow’s king stage.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Interlaken, Grindelwald, Meiringen
    Accomplished: 42 miles / 72 km, elevation gain: 2,220 meters
    Accommodations: Hotel Wetternhorn

  • Day 5

    King Stage

    Every journey has its king stage, and today promises to be a royal challenge with the Grimsel Pass and its unforgettable switchbacks on today’s agenda. Get into your granny gear: for the next 26 kilometers, you’ll be getting comfortable with an average gradient of 5.9%. Until the Gotthard railway was completed in 1882, this pass was the main trade route to Lombardia in Italy (and mules were the ones doing the climbing). Last but not least is the Furka Pass, with an average gradient of only 6% for 10 kilometers. You’ll arrive in Andermatt as fresh as a daisy! Enjoy a free night in Andermatt, where your guides will happily share recommendations for a hearty meal.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch
    Destinations: Meiringen, Innertkirchen, Andermatt
    Accomplished: 50 miles / 80 km, elevation gain: 2,624 meters
    Accommodations: The River House

  • Day 6

    “Mostly” Downhill

    It’s an easy day in the Alps ahead, with only a single pass on our to-do list. The Oberalp Pass is charmingly beautiful and not too steep; we’ll pedal through meadows and pass the Oberalpsee where 50 kilometers of magnificent downhill begin. Temper the big grin on your face with a few small bumps as we make our way into the town of Thusis. Stop for a strudel and listen to the echo of cowbells—life in Switzerland is pretty sweet. Tomorrow, we cross the border into bella Italia.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Sumvitg, Thusis
    Accomplished: 60 miles / 96 km, elevation gain: 1,257 meters
    Longer Option: 63 miles / 101 km, elevation gain: 1,899 meters
    Accommodations: Hotel Weiss Kreuz

  • Day 7

    Bella Italia and the Splügen Pass

    You’ve seen the daunting photos of a pass that resembles the Stelvio, but isn’t. It’s our pleasure to acquaint you with the pass in question: the Splügen. In use since the Roman era, the Splügen Pass was traversed by donkey or on foot until in 1823, when the road was finally finished. Today, it’s 8.7 kilometers of switchbacks galore with an average gradient of 7%—a walk in the park compared to what we’ve already accomplished. Descend into Italy towards Lake Como through some spectacular scenery until we reach the little town of Chiavenna. Pop the Prosecco—you’ve successfully crossed the Swiss Alps! Enjoy a celebratory lunch as only the Italians can, then transfer to Varrena where you can catch a ferry to Bellagio or Como. Arrivederci!

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch
    Destinations: Splügen, Chiavenna, Varenna
    Accomplished: 41 miles / 62 km, elevation gain: 1,862 meters

DuVine itineraries may be subject to slight route changes, hotel substitutions, and other modifications.



Arrival Details

Airport City: Geneva, Switzerland, Italy Pick-Up Location: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic in Montreux Pick-Up Time: 8:30 am
Departure Details

Airport City: Milan, Italy Drop-Off Location: Varenna Ferry or Lecco Station Drop-Off Time: 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm
Travelers Take Note

Our Journey tours are designed to reach small towns where hotel options are often limited and/or seasonal. Due to availability and routes, groups may sometimes be split between different properties.

Any scheduled tour can be made private. Your group, your dates.     Go Private

2019Single Supplement From: $700

See our cancellation policy

Accommodations

  • Thoughtfully selected accommodations that reveal the true character of the region in ideal riding locations
  • Luggage transfers

Meals

  • Daily breakfasts, all lunches, and 5 cyclist-friendly dinners at our favorite local restaurants and renowned culinary establishments
  • Nutritious energy snacks, hydration, and shakes to support endurance and recovery
  • Local wines and beer with every meal

Activities

  • Wine tastings and activities as outlined in the tour itinerary
  • Entrance fees to historic sites, museums, parks, and all other exclusive events
  • Gratuities for baggage, porters, and hotel service

Gear

  • Top-of-the-line Cannondale carbon fiber road bike
  • Complimentary DuVine gear, including a custom cycling jersey, DuVine t-shirt, water bottle, and drawstring bag
  • GPS with pre-programmed route maps

Support

  • Expert bilingual guide with extensive cycling experience and local knowledge
  • Support vehicle that follows the day’s route, distributes refreshments, and offers lifts
  • Pick-up and drop-off before and after your tour from predetermined meeting points
  • Laundry service provided mid-week
  • Daily bike maintenance to ensure optimal performance
NOT INCLUDED:
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Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra Di2

Manufacturer: Cannondale

Type: Road