Are you looking for the most beautiful route between Lake Geneva and Lake Constance rather than the shortest? Do you want to get to know Switzerland as it really is? Are you comfortable at high altitude? Then hop onto your saddle and follow the Herzroute.
The route starts in the metropolis of Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva. From here, you will cross several cantons, get to know many lakes, discover pretty towns, churches and castles, until you finally arrive in Rorschach am Bodensee. Along the way, you will be constantly accompanied by fabulous nature and breathtaking mountain panoramas – every day!
This unique biking experience is not "free": you need to be in good form to enjoy the views and to reach the most beautiful corners of Switzerland. Many stages involve climbing 3300 vertical feet (1000 vertical meters) per stage and more than 30 miles (50 km). You can pedal the route with your trusty road bike, or if you're worried that your calves do not have enough stamina, you can also complete the Herzroute with an e-bike.
Overall, the Herzroute consists of 13 stages. All are difficult and hilly, but they offer a glimpse into hidden corners of Switzerland and a view over snowy peaks that tower above 9842 feet (3000 meters). In addition, there are three heart loops that complete the route. One of the heart loops is also divided into two stages, whilst another is split into three. Confusing? Not at all – all of the paths are well signposted. For the Herzroute you simply follow the bike path 99. The heart loops are signposted with 299, 399 and 599.
The Herzroute's infrastructure is excellent. Therefore, it is not a must to ride all the stages in a row, you can divide them into sections or just cycle one single stage - you decide. You can easily reach the start and endpoints by train.
Ready for an unforgettable adventure through a picture book landscape? Then off you go to Switzerland!
Your unforgettable adventure through the heart of Switzerland begins in Lausanne on Lake Geneva. Before you start your tour, it is definitely worth spending some time in the city. Several parks, the beautiful old town, the Olympic Museum and the beautifully landscaped waterfront promenade are just a few examples worth a visit.The bike tour starts right at the port of Lausanne and takes you out of the city near the lake. Then follow the first small climbs in the Lavaux, the excellent wine region in the canton of Vaud. Especially in autumn, the vine terraces with the sparkling lake in the background offer a charming play of colors.You continue to snake up. After a total of 18 kilometers you reach the first summit, a good 400 meters above Lake Geneva. Up here, an impressive, clichéd panorama of Switzerland opens up: mountains, lakes and cows.The rest of the way leads you on well paved roads through a beautiful natural landscape in which alternate meadows, fields and forests. Here and there you cycle through a medieval village. Again and again you master some ascents until you finally arrive in Romont. Surrounded by hills old town is a popular photo opportunity.
Unlike the last stage, you are going down more today than up. After leaving behind the walls of the medieval town of Romont, there is a long climb and a very long descent with a few small ascents.The first cultural highlight of this stage is Avenches. The small town was once the capital of the Roman province of Helvetia. Even today huge buildings can be seen, such as the very well-preserved amphitheater.About ten miles later, you'll reach Lake Murten. Directly on the shore lies the bilingual town Murten / Morat. The place was one of five locations of the Swiss National Exhibition Expo.02 and is a unique gem. The old town is surrounded by a walkable wall and from up there you can see the lake shimmering behind the red roofs and many towers. Here is worth a long break.After Murten it is always uphill again up to the Schiffenensee, on whose banks are two castles - Petit Vivy and Grand Vivy - and is dammed up from the river Saane. Shortly before your destination Laupen you cross the river in a beautiful nature reserve and thus the Röstigraben, the border between the French-speaking and German-speaking Switzerland.
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You can not get enough of this beautiful landscape and elevation meters? Then the first heart loop fits perfectly into your tour. The round starts and ends in Laupen and is a nice addition to the Herzroute. But also as a day tour, the route is interesting, especially since you can easily go by train to Laupen.With 73 kilometers and 1,200 meters of altitude difference, the tour has it all, but the overwhelming scenery lets you forget the effort. Or did you ever want to try an e-bike?From Laupen we head south through an agricultural region. Small villages and chapels lie along your way, which leads you over fields and meadows, sometimes through small forest sections.In the town of Rechthalten you can expect not only a beautiful panorama, but also some well-preserved, beautiful farmhouses with wooden shingles. Just before Plaffeien you have reached the highest point of your route and also cracked the 1,000 -meter mark. From up there you have a beautiful view of the foothills.The route will take you north, parallel to the scythe. You drive above the Sensegraben, an impressive gorge. After a long descent you reach Thörishaus the scythe, which no longer flows through a narrow gorge, but already rippling almost leisurely. Ten kilometers you follow the beautiful bike path on the Senseufer until you are back in Laupen.
Today's stage offers you one thing in particular: fantastic panoramas! In order for you to earn these, you have to overcome some altitude. But you already have some training.It starts in Laupen, where you master the first steep climb. Shortly thereafter, you have a nice view of the mountains. In Thörishaus you drive down again to the scythe and cycle up through the Scherligraben with its distinctive rock walls. Then follow several climbs, which have it in part.As a reward, a clear view of the whole range of the Bernese Alps including the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau opens up in clear weather. The snow-capped mountains line up in the distance, while your eyes in the foreground sweep over the rolling hills covered with lush meadows.Just before Thun you drive over a beautiful plateau, lined with several lakes. After a short descent you finally reach your destination Thun, where the Aare flows into Lake Thun.
Also on this stage there is no shortage of promising routes and demanding climbs. But first you make a little dangling through the beautiful old town of Thun, which is partly on an island in the Aare. Thun Castle towers over the old town and has been guarding the town for more than 800 years.Shortly after the city begins a seemingly endless climb, which brings you to well over 1,000 meters in altitude. As you wend your way through the unique natural landscape on excellent roads, you will be rewarded again and again with a beautiful panorama. The path leads you further up, down, through small forests, over fields and through original villages.After a unique ride through the pure nature, the town of Langnau awaits you in the Emmental after a long descent. Despite its small size, the idyllic village has an interesting museum: the 500-year-old "Chüechlihus" houses a museum about the Emmental.
This stage is a bit more relaxed, but you should not underestimate the 900 altitude difference that you are going through today. From Langnau you first drive to the river Emme and cross it. You are now in the Emmental, from which the famous cheese has its name.You leave the Emmental on a short but crisp climb and reach a plateau that is so typical of the area with its hills. Again and again you discover old, pretty farmhouses built entirely of wood. You cycle on small roads up and down, later in the down more than up. Beautiful views accompany you throughout the day.At the end of your stage you will reach again the Emme and the pretty town Burgdorf. The huge castle towers over the very well preserved old town. So it's worth taking a stroll through Burgdorf after the tour and exploring the most beautiful parts of the city.
At the beginning of this stage you will ride along the banks of the Emme. The route on the water is very nice. You cross the Emme on the longest wooden arch bridge in Europe and in Lützelflüh begins a short but very steep ascent, which brings you high above the Emme.Now the beautiful path begins on the plateau of the Emmental. On the way there are lush meadows where cows graze and you see some ancient farmhouses. It is obvious that delicious cheese is made here. In Affoltern you have the opportunity to try the Emmentaler in the cheese dairy.The route continues hilly with several longer climbs and descents. In the background you can see partly snow-capped mountains in clear weather. Finally you reach the destination of this stage in Willisau. There you will find the beautiful, medieval old town. Particularly striking is the city gate with its huge clock at the entrance to the old town.
The second heart loop of the Herzroute runs around the mountain Napf, the highest peak of the Napfbergland in the Emmental Alps. The heart loop is divided into three stages and the first leads from Willisau to Langnau. The heart route leads through both places.On the route there are some climbs to master, overall, you overcome a whopping 1,370 meters in altitude. As always you will be spoiled by an impressive landscape. On the route through the beautiful nature, there are always great inns in which you can strengthen yourself.The highlight of the tour is the drive to the Lüderenalp. From the over 1,100 meter high pass you can enjoy magnificent views over the Emmental. Then follows a long descent down to Langnau, where the stage is over.
The second stage of the second Herzschlaufe starts in Langnau. You cross the Ilfis and drive on a barely traveled road to Trubschachen. In the small village, biscuits and biscuits are made by Kambly. In the factory outlet you can not only drink a coffee, but also stock up on the famous Bretzeli that have been produced for over 100 years.You will also need the power of the biscuits for the upcoming climb. First quite steep, later a bit flatter, then steeper again and then flat you reach the Höch. The over 1,200 meter high mountain is the highlight of your tour today and you can expect a great view.Then follows a beautiful, long downhill. On the rest of the route forests and meadows alternate. Small villages and large farmhouses line your path, from which you can enjoy all noselang beautiful panoramas. The stage ends in Entlebuch at the confluence of Kleiner Emme and Großer Entlen.
The third and final leg of the Herzschlaufe around the Napf is once again full of wonderful views. On small roads you meander through the unique landscape and you come very close to the bowl. The many Besenwirtschaften along your way strengthen you before and after the strenuous climbs.From Entlebuch an der Kleine Emme, the route initially climbs steadily to Doppleschwand and then straight back down into the valley of the Great Fontanne. Then follows a long climb of 400 meters. Arriving in wood paths, you can strengthen yourself in the Holzwägbeizli and on the following descent constantly changing panoramas on steep cliffs enjoy, which line up behind the meadow-covered hilly landscape.The path continues through the valley of the Little Fontanne. The idyllic valley is not called "Paradisli" for nothing. Then follows a neat climb to over 1,000 meters altitude. From Ober Waldig a path branches off and if you still have a lot of power left, you can cycle from here to the cup.After a magnificent descent and a long climb, it is almost only downhill. You drive again through a landscape typical of the area, cultivated by small farmers. After about 54 kilometers and a total of about 1,420 proud altimeters you have reached Willisau and thus again the heart route.
It's been a long time since you saw a really big lake on the Heart Route. But today it is time again. This stage is a bit longer than the previous ones, but it is much less altitude.From Willisau you drive towards Buttisholz. On the way are many chapels, such as the chapel of St. Ottilien. Then you'll cross the biggest hill of this stage, but the way up is not too steep.During the magnificent descent you will enjoy a beautiful view of the high mountains and the Sempachersee, your next destination. Right on the lakeshore is Sempach, which is suitable for a small breather. In light up and down you cycle through a beautiful landscape with lush green meadows and small villages.In Cham you reach the beautiful Lake Zug. On its shores huge mountain massifs rise. You cycle along the lake to Zug, the capital of the canton of the same name. On the promenade you can let your gaze wander into the distance or how about a piece of the famous Zuger Kirschtorte?
The third heart loop will take you around the Seetal. The route branches off from stage seven of the Herzroute and is itself divided into two stages. The first stage starts in Eschenbach and leads you steadily uphill to the castle Horben. There and in other places along the way you can stop in a broom shop and enjoy the local delicacies.On small streets it is now leisurely, mostly downhill. Due to the hilly landscape, you can often see a charming panorama, for example over Lake Hallwil. Just before Seengen there is still a hill to overcome. From the top you have again a beautiful view of the lake. Once at the bottom, the first cultural highlight of the stage awaits you: the Hallwil moated castle.A little further downstream, on the banks of the Aabachs, you will find a small outdoor pool where you can cool off. The rest of the way leads you flat along the Aabachs to your destination Lenzburg. In addition to the pretty old town, the huge castle Lenzburg is one of the highlights of the city. It is one of the oldest and most important castles in Switzerland and is very well preserved, besides, from the top you have a great view of the surroundings.
The second leg of the Herzschlaufe around the Seetal takes you from Lenzburg back to the Herzroute in Eschenbach. Along the tour you cycle past many castles and palaces. This tour is relatively long and crisp, but in the many restaurants you have on the way again and again the opportunity to strengthen you with local delicacies.With the huge castle Lenzburg behind you leave the city and drive in Schafisheim equal to the next castle. Then you change from the valley of the Aabachs in the valley of the Wyna. On the descent, you pass two castles, the Liebegg Castle and the Trostburg Castle.The next climb will not be long in coming, because you climb the Böölerpass. The Rued castle is already in the next valley, so it is downhill and uphill again. On a beautiful plateau you cycle between Sempachersee and Baldeggersee through a beautiful nature with wide fields and colorful orchards. After a long descent you have arrived in Eschenbach and can continue to follow the Herzroute.
Two lakes and a pilgrim monastery are on the program today. Start is in Zug, where you drive through the charming old town. About seven kilometers, it is now a few serpentines uphill. And of course you will be rewarded again with a fantastic panorama.On a high plateau you cycle on lonely paths and small roads to Ägerisee. In the village of Unterägeri it is worth taking a break to regain strength for the next ascent. This is not as long as the first, but the view from above is still unique.Continue gently uphill to the huge Rothenthurm moor. You can observe the rare and valuable natural landscape, for example from the Steinstoss-Stübli, while drinking a coffee. You still have to overcome a small hill and then you roll down the "Katzenstrick" down to Einsiedeln, the famous place of pilgrimage. The overwhelming monastery complex attracts many people, so it's worth exploring the area and taking in the place.
This stage is quite relaxed, you cycle along two lakes, so much in the flat. A few slopes with beautiful views complete the day. Let's start in the most important place of pilgrimage in Switzerland, Einsiedeln. You drive directly past the mighty, late baroque monastery church to Sihlsee and cycle on a beautiful riverside path on the other side.Then the long climb through a beautiful idyll begins. The small road winds through forests and across meadows up to the Sattelegg. Upstairs you can fortify yourself in a mountain restaurant. Then it's just uphill again, before you enjoy the sheer endless downhill over 800 meters. Do not forget to slow down while watching the breathtaking panorama.In Laughter you have reached the upper lake and almost drive around the lake. As the last climb of the day you climb the Buchberg with your bike, a long hill directly on the lake, from which you have great views. From Schmerikon the way to your milestone is completely flat.After about 60 kilometers you have arrived in Rapperswil. There starts the Seedamm, which separates the Obersee from Lake Zurich. Next to it is a very interesting wooden bridge over the lake. In Rapperswil, you can really relax after the tour, either by taking a walk through the pretty old town or in the lakeside resorts or having a refreshing dip in the lake.
Shortly after Rapperswil begins the first climb of today's stage, which is not lacking in climbs. In Bubikon the knight's house awaits you as cultural. In the well-preserved old walls, you can experience the Middle Ages up close.After the knight's house, your calves will again be stressed, because it goes uphill for several kilometers, sometimes gently, sometimes more demanding. Again and again there are beautiful viewpoints along your way, which leads through a perfect country idyll. Above the forest you have reached the climax of the stage and on a benches with a beautiful panorama you can relax and pause for a moment before continuing.In constant up and down you drive through a typical Swiss dream scenery with farms and happy cows, surrounded by mountains and hills. The last bit will take you along the Thur until you arrive at your destination in Wattwil. The quiet place offers some architectural features from all eras, such as old farmhouses with wooden shingles, a late Classicist church and a high Baroque monastery.
Today's stage is again very crisp, but you expect as always fabulous routes, a dream landscape and a lot of nature. After a short drive along the Thur, the ascent to Krinau begins and the course is also quite hilly.Shortly before Libingen you cross a beautiful covered wooden bridge. A long descent brings you back to the Thur, which you cross in Lütisburg on another, very beautiful wooden bridge. The idyllic village is also ideal for a little break.Now comes a renewed, exhausting climb to a plateau, which again presents you breathtaking panoramas. After several climbs and descents, you will reach Herisau, the capital of the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. It is particularly easy to relax in the pretty rose garden.
On the penultimate stage of the Herzroute you cross the Appenzell. You start in Herisau, the capital of the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. At the beginning, it goes a few miles slightly downhill, past the Gübsensee. That the railway in Switzerland is almost everywhere, you have already noticed on the tour. To get everywhere, many tunnels and bridges were built. The highest railway bridge in Switzerland, the Sitter Viaduct, is right on your track.After crossing the sitter, you are almost in Sankt Gallen. The route will take you further uphill. A detour to Sankt Gallen is worthwhile, however, because in the lively old town there is much to discover, such as the abbey with its unique abbey library.After crossing the sitter for the third time, the steepest climb of the stage comes. Before you take a breathtaking view down to Appenzell, the capital of the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, scratch again at the 1,000-meter mark. In Appenzell worth a longer stop to explore the old town, which seems to be cut out of the picture book. You can also replenish your energy reserves with a piece of the delicious Appenzell mountain cheese.After another long climb you enjoy a several kilometers long descent into the Sankt Galler Rheintal. While dense fog is often found in the Rhine Valley in autumn, the climate in summer is almost Mediterranean. They like the grapes, which are processed into wine here. Maybe you end the day with a glass?
The last leg of the Herzroute is in front of you. And she sums up everything that makes it worthwhile to get up early and pedal: beautiful views, unique nature, high mountains, small villages, idyllic farms and an impressive lake panorama.Right at the beginning, it's 600 meters uphill to the 1,110 meter high Sankt-Anton-Pass. On the way up you often have beautiful views of the Rhine Valley. When thick fog is hanging down in autumn, the sun is shining overhead.The following descent is just gorgeous. For miles you drive down through the Appenzell, past lush green meadows and through sparse forests. After a long, flat piece you arrived in Walzenhausen. From the center you have a look at three countries: Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Here is worth a short stop and a coffee break.After a rapid descent you reach Rheineck. The place is located on the Old Rhine, the border river to Austria. Only a small slope separates you from your target, Rorschach. Now you have arrived at Lake Constance. You did it. You have traveled across Switzerland and have spared no effort to discover the most beautiful corners of the Confederation.Now you can take a cool dip in the lake and relax your muscles. Or can not you get enough of cycling? How about a round around Lake Constance? Here you will find the right collection: komoot.de/collection/41/der-bodensee-radweg-3-laender-in-5-tagen.