One of our most scenic trips, our Trans-Swiss Challenge is part fairytale, part Alpine adventure.
Join us on a magnificent journey through some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in Europe. Nowhere are the Alps more stunning than in Switzerland, and our Trans-Swiss Challenge captures the very best of the Swiss Alps.
Ride the incredible St Gotthardpass - one of the few cobbled passes in Europe - and Grosse Scheidegg - with it’s views of the famous Eiger, one of the most dramatic climbs in Europe. In addition to these 2 unique climbs, you’ll also conquer the Furkapass, Albulapass, Nufenenpass, Ofenpass, Umbrailpass, Grimselpass, and even the Passo Stelvio! No other trip has such an impressive list of legendary climbs!
Bienvenue en Suisse!
Our trip starts at Geneva airport where our staff will be there to welcome you. We’ll transfer to our hotel in the beautiful Alpine resort of Villars-sur-Ollon in the Swiss Vaud Alps.
After lunch, orientation meeting and bike build-up we’ll head out for our first ride in the Swiss Alps. Our ride starts with an 800m descent to the Rhone Valley floor. A short flat section along the valley takes us to Bex and the start of the 15km climb back up to our hotel in Villars.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 8:30am - either at Geneva Airport or at the Holiday Inn Express Geneva Airport.
The journey begins
Our ride across Switzerland, from west to east, begins today with a magnificent ride to Lake Thunersee. 4 categorised climbs lie between Villars and our destination by the famous lake as we ride through French-speaking Switzerland and into the German-speaking region.
Our first climb, the Col de la Croix, rises to almost 1800m on an absolutely beautiful route in magnificent Swiss mountain surroundings. Col du Pillon is next with it’s spectacular views of the glacier in Diablerets, where glacier skiing can be practiced all year round. From the Pillon enjoy the long descent into the quintessential Swiss town of Gstaad, a fantastic place for a coffee stop. From Gstaad we head up the Mittelberg climb, a maginficent climb on a single-lane road that features in the annual Gruyere Gran Fondo. The strikingly beautiful Jaunpass is all that separates us from the long descent to our hotel on the shores of Thunersee. This is an absolutely beautiful and epic day on the bike!
Over the Gurnigel to Interlaken
You couldn’t be anywhere else but in Switzerland today. How the Swiss manage to keep everything so incredibly picture-perfect is a bit of a mystery - so make sure your phone has the battery fully charged as you’ll want to take a photo at every bend in the road today!
Our route takes us into the Gantrisch Natural Park and over the main mountain pass in the region, the Gurnigel. From the Gurnigel we take a spectacular route across a mountain ridge to Guggisberg then head back down towards Thunersee lake. A strikingly beautiful road runs through the mountains on the north side of the lake and we’ll follow this road for 50km though some of the most impressive scenery in Switzerland before dropping down to our hotel in Interlaken.
The highlight of today’s ride is the climb to Grosse Scheidegg. This remarkable climb traverses the highest peaks in Europe including the famous north face of the Eiger. Ask any cyclist who’s had the good fortune to ride this climb and they will no doubt tell you that it’s one of their Top 10 climbs in Europe - it’s that good! Just stick “Grosse Scheidegg” into Google and search for images - you’ll see what we mean…
From Grosse Scheidegg we descend to Innerkirchen where we start our second climb of the day - the 25km climb to the Grimselpass - another incredibly beautiful pass which tops out at almost 2200m. The descent of the Grimsel, through numerous switchbacks brings an end to one of the most spectacular days you can enjoy on a bike.
St Gotthard Pass
The “spectacular” theme continues, with an amazing loop over 3 Hors-Categorie climbs. Highlight of the day is, without a doubt, the cobbled Saint Gotthard Pass. There are 2 other roads that lead to the summit, so us cyclists have the old, cobbled road to ourselves. Only the Swiss could maintain such perfect cobbles, painstakingly repairing the road every spring.
To get to the Saint Gotthard we have to first climb over the Nufenen Pass, itself an absolutely spectacular climb, rising to 2500m with switchbacks and impressive views galore! The Nufenen takes us into the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland so maybe a good time to stop for a coffee. The final climb of the day is the equally impressive Furkapass also rising to almost 2500m before the final descent to our hotel in Obergoms where we can celebrate another unbelievable day of cycling.
Today we continue our journey eastward across the central Swiss Alps. We’ll start off the day by climbing back over the Furkapass, from the west side this time. Enjoy the fantastic views of the Grimselpass as you climb the final switchbacks of the Furka. The descent from the Furkapass takes into Andermatt where we start the next climb, the 2000m Oberalppass. The Oberalp is a fairly steady climb through pristine Swiss Alpine meadows with the usual stunning views of high peaks on both sides of the road. Keep an eye out for the famous Glacier Express train which runs alongside the road, linking St Moritz and the Matterhorn.
After the long descent from the Oberalp we’ll turn off the main road onto a spectacular single-lane road that climbs high above the valley to Obersaxen. Enjoy the simply stunning views from this ridge, perched high above the valley, before eventually dropping down to Llanz and the end of our ride.
Albulapass & Umbrailpass
What a magnificent day to end this remarkable trip! The days starts with the climb to the Albulapass which tops out at 2300m. The Albula is a fantastic climb on a small road with the usual stunning Swiss scenery on the lower slopes becoming wild and remote towards the summit, a really spectacular climb! The short descent takes us down to the valley just north of St Moritz. We’ll ride along the valley for 20km to Zernez where we enter the Schweizer National Park and the climb to the Ofenpass. The descent from the Ofenpass takes us through the Val Mustair, a Unesco biosphere reserve with it’s immaculate green meadows and pretty villages.
In the village of Mustair we start our final climb of the trip, the stunning Umbrailpass which leads up to the border with Italy. If the legs are feeling good, the famous Passo Stelvio lies just 3km up the road! From here it’s all downhill to our final hotel in Bormio and the end of a magnificent week discovering the mountains of Switzerland.
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. We’ll transfer you to the Milan Malpensa airport. Safe travels!