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Valais Road Cycling  The Natural Adventure 35

Valais Road Cycling

Overview

If you can picture yourself cycling through open roads, rolling meadows and the misty mountains of the Swiss Alps, if you can smell the fresh air and hear the cowbells ringing, then our 370 kilometres biking tour in the canton of Valais would be perfect for you. Routes lead through vineyards, valleys and gorges and on panoramic roads over impressive passes. Starting from Leuk, discover the Pfyn-Finges nature park and the wonderful Moosalp. The tour continues into the Goms, high up to sparkling dam lakes and alpine worlds of rock and ice.

You are likely to work up an appetite during your Swiss cycling adventure, and Valais delights with a range of traditional local products like Raclette du Valais, the quintessential Valais cheese with a recipe passed down from generations. Pair it with some of the delicious wines produced in the region.

  • Legendary mountain passes
  • Scenic valleys
  • Delicious local cheese and wine
  • PfynFinges nature reserve
  • The high valley of Goms in the heart of the Swiss Alps

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Susten | Round trip Turtmanntal valley | 90 km

Arrival and bag drop in Susten. In the beginning, the tour leads to Sierre through Pfynwald. Then back through the vineyards to Varen and Leuk in the peaceful village of Agarn. Now things get more challenging. A long climb leads back into the Turtmanntal valley. The subsequent descent rewards the effort. Finally, there is one last climb high into the vineyards and a ride over the Dala Gorge before returning to Susten.

  • Cycling for the day: 90 km ↑2860 m ↓2860 m
  • Accommodation: Relais Bayard or similar

Day 2: Leuk – Brig | 68 km

After breakfast, leave the Rhone-biking path, to climb up the serpentine road to Moosal. Enjoy the view and take deep breaths at the top: the descent to Visperterminen is going to rob your breath soon. You then pass the saffron-growing village of Mund to reach Brig.

  • Cycling for the day: 68 km ↑1720 m ↓1790 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Ambassador or similar

Day 3: Round trip of the Gibidum reservoir | 21.5 km

The Gibidum Dam is perhaps the least known of the Valais dams, but it’s definitely worth the visit for the amazing scenery and a climb full of discovery. 1436 metres high, the dam entered service in 1969 after five years of construction. It dams the Massa River, into which the Aletsch glacier water flows.

  • Cycling for the day: 21.5 km ↑950 m ↓950 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Ambassador or similar

Day 4: Brig – Obergesteln | 82 km

Today, you will follow the course of the vibrant Rhone river with renewed energy. Discover the unique atmosphere of the Haut Valais villages scattered along the roadside. The Walser villages in Goms are waiting to be discovered as if strung on a string of pearls. You arrive in Oberwald, but the tour is not over yet. The Grimsel Pass is only a stone’s throw away, at an altitude of 2,164 m. The pass was long the key trade route between central Switzerland and Lombardy: Swiss cheese and cattle travelled south, while mules carried wine, corn, rice and olive oil to the north. 

  • Cycling for the day: 82 km ↑2585 m ↓1890 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Hubertus or similar

Day 5: Round trip of Alpine passes | 100 km

The most beautiful Alpine passes can be reached quickly from Oberwald. You climb high into the rocky world of the Nufenen pass and whoosh down to Airolo. The following challenging ride up to Gotthard Pass is over cobblestones along the countless serpentine curves. You can relax while descending to Hospental. And then it’s time for a challenge again, as the Furka Pass at the end of the journey is really tough. The top of the pass offers views of the summits in both the cantons of Valais and Bern. A park with Marmots makes the restaurant at the pass a very friendly place to visit.

  • Cycling for the day: 100 km ↑3185 m ↓3185 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Hubertus or similar

Day 6: Oberwald – Leuk | 75-90 km

There are two options for the ride back to Leuk. Either you take the easy route along the Rhone to Leuk, or detour up into the Binntal. Although the ride leads through tunnels, and some of the roads are not asphalted, the romantic village of Binn is well worth the effort!

  • Cycling for the day: 75-90 km ↑1305 m ↓1905 m
  • Accommodation: Relais Bayard or similar

Day 7: Departure

After breakfast, your tour comes to an end.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation in 3 and 4-star hotels. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. When no restaurant is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or you can pre-order packed lunch from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or from restaurants and taverns in the village near your hotel.

Difficulty & terrain

You will mostly ride on tarmac, between the Upper Valais and the Goms there are occasional sections on natural roads that are easy to ride. (Brig – Obergesteln and Obergesteln – Leuk). The ride over the Alpine passes on the fifth day poses a significant challenge in terms of fitness (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.

When to go

This trip is available between mid-June and end-September.

The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Zurich.

By train or bus
  • The distance from Zurich Airport to city center is 12 kilometers and the travel time is around 10 minutes by high speed train. From there, you can hop on the train to Visp (approx. 2 hrs), and then to Leuk (10 min).
  • Paid parking in Leuk: about CHF 20.- per week. Payable on site.
  • For more information visit Swiss Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS) or the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 6 overnight accommodation with breakfast included
  • Daily luggage transfers
  • Carefully elaborated route
  • Detailed travel documents (1 x per room) 
  • GPS data available
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinner, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room – single rooms only available with the upgraded accommodation option
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Road bike rental

Bike Rental

Rennvelo Stevens Aspin. A spare inner tube per bike, tyre lever and pump are included, as well as a smartphone holder.

Frame sizes:

  • XS = 50 cm (body height < 165 cm)
  • S = 52 cm (body height 165 – 175 cm)
  • M = 56 cm (body height 175 – 183 cm)
  • L = 60 cm (body height 183 – 192 cm)

Specifications:

  • Frame: Aluminium SL 7005 TB
  • Front fork: Stevens Full Carbon SL
  • Breakes: Schimano Ultegra BR-6800
  • Gearshift: Shimano Ultegra RD-6800-GS (2×11 or 3×10)
  • Wheel size: 28″
  • Weight: 8.5 kg

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