The Rhone Valley is the most popular of Swiss Cycling National Routes and is over a 320 km (200 mile) distance crossing parts of both the French and German parts of the country so you get to see a lot.
From Geneva to Lausanne
You will be following the Swiss Cycling National Route 1 signs and the shores of Lake Geneva as you depart the international city of Geneva. The Rhone Valley route in this section runs along paved parks, quiet roads, promenades never goes too far from Lake Geneva with its palm trees and flower gardens.
Your first destination is Lausanne where we spent the night and you be passing the world headquarters of the Olympic Organizing Committee, right along the route and may wish to visit their museum. In Lausanne from the promenade known as Ouchy heading into the heart of the city is uphill but worth the effort. The Musee De L’Art Brut featuring eccentric artists or people from mental asylums offers some very striking art.
Lausanne to Montreux
Your Swiss bicycle touring continues to Montreux with this section mainly on bike lanes along one side of the road with vineyards stretching up the hillside on the other side. You can expect a lot of turns and it does get confusing in this section.
The town of Vevey is the heart of the Swiss wine industry and is also the world headquarters for the Nestle company. You are in the French speaking part of Switzerland and can expect excellent wine and food. Although only a short ride from Lausanne it is worth spending the night in Montreux.
In Montreux stop on the waterfront and admire the statue to the late Freddy Mecury, of Queen, who lived here. Another must see is the medieval Castle Chillon located steps from the Rhone Bike route. Side trips are also available to Gruyere in the mountains by train or cycling steep mountains to sample the cheese.
Montreux to Sion
Leaving Montreux on your Swiss cycling journey you pass the Castle Chillon and soon the Rhone Valley Bike route turns into a paved riverside bike path.
A surprise is the World Cycling Centre, a veledrome located right beside the bike path where we stopped for coffee and to watch the cyclists. The valley is mostly fruit farms along the Rhone river with steep mountain slopes on both side as we continued to the city of Sion, a trendy wine center.
Sion to Brig
Continue your Swiss cycling along the Rhone Valley to Brig. If you wish to go hiking take the mountain train to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn which is what we did. You are now in the German part of Switzerland with the most significant different found on restaurant menu’s.
Brig to Andermatt
If you continue your Swiss cycling the route has a gentle uphill as you head to Andermatt. From here you can take a train a few kilometers through the mountains to reach the beginning of the Rhine Valley route which continues all the way to the Netherlands.
Swiss Bike Tours along the Rhone Valley route offers tremendous variety covering French and German parts of Switzerland, lots of vineyards, castles, museums, lakefront promenades, shopping along a gently rolling route.
Click on the link for other European cycling route ideas.Finally, I must say that the Swiss are the most polite people towards cyclists I have met anywhere in the world. Swiss Bike Tours are one of the most scenic anywhere, enjoy!
Although the route is signed in sections some sections between Lausanne and Montreux there are many turns and local bike routes which can be confusing which is why I recommend the Cicerone Cycling Guide of Switzerland which covers all nine national routes.
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