Few cycling events that have achieved cult status after their first event. Those that do usually cover enormous distances or include an awe-inspiring amount of climbing. Sometimes the route course, landscapes, or special destination make the event an immediate hit. Now and then, an event includes all of these things. We present one of such routes in this Collection – the Navad 1000 bikepacking route is a challenging self-supported adventure that leads 621 miles (1,000 km) across Switzerland. The 10 stages in this Collection take you from Romanshorn municipality on Lake Constance to Montreux on Lake Geneva.
The idea of the Navad 1000 (which is now called Hope 1000 due to a change of sponsors) is as simple as it is brilliant. The Tour takes you up just about every mountain between Lake Constance and Lake Geneva. You get to Switzerland’s impressive wilderness and the beautiful mountain world of the Alps. The event is "unsupported", i.e. without support cars, mechanics, and helpers. The route should be done alone or in small groups.
En route, you can stay in your tent, a mountain hut, or hotels. You can decide how long you want to ride in a day as you could easily spend two weeks completing the route. That’s the beauty of bikepacking – the freedom to decide your adventure on your terms.
We have divided the challenging route into 10 stages, each about 60 miles (100 km) long. Given the route profile, this is ambitious, but it’s feasible with the right fitness level. All the stages are designed to take you to a place with accommodation and food and drink, so you don't have to pack a lot of provisions. If you like, you can of course still find a secluded spot in nature where you can pitch your tent or tarp and there is often an official campsite near the stage finishes. With a few exceptions, a train station is never far away so you can always come home if your plans change.
The route from Romanshorn to Montreux is a real challenge and requires good fitness and appropriate preparation. A light mountain bike is best suited. It doesn't matter if it has full suspension or not, because the routes are technically mostly easy. In order to master the ascents as easily as possible, you should pay close attention to the weight of bike and luggage. If you take only what you absolutely need, then even the occasional hike-a-bike or sections where you push are not as bad. En route, you are never from a stop for a bite to eat or grab supplies at a supermarket, but make sure you factor these stops in when planning your adventure. This way you will cut down your luggage and get to try regional delicacies at the same time.
You ride in the mountains in partly high alpine areas so pack waterproof clothing, a first aid kit, and spare parts. Bring enough water with you, especially in hot weather. 3,280 feet (1,000 m) of climbing can take a long time. Don’t forget to download all of the routes so they are available offline – you won’t have much phone coverage. You should also have enough cash on you as not all shops accept card.
Since the start and endpoints are far apart from each other, travelling by train is very convenient. Direct trains run between Romanshorn and Montreux and the train can always be your plan B in case something comes up en route.
You have to consider many things for such an adventure. But if you prepare yourself well, you can look forward to an unforgettable bikepacking Tour. You are guaranteed to be amazed as you cycle through the beautiful mountain world with magnificent views, breathtaking descents, picturesque lakes, and idyllic places. And at the end of your journey, your journey in Montreux, you will be welcomed by the statue of one of the greatest music stars ever: Freddy Mercury, former frontman of the legendary band Queen. Their world hit ‘Bicycle Race’ is probably the perfect soundtrack for your bikepacking adventure. So, are you ‘Ready for Adventure’?
The first stage begins - at least for Navad1000 conditions - completely relaxed and confidently goes through as an easy warm-up stage. Around 100 kilometers with “only” 1,370 meters of altitude carefully prepare you for the program of the following days.You start off idyllically on the shores of Lake Constance. From here, today's route is generally relatively urban. You drive on beautiful side streets, bike and forest paths, but never really far away from the shot. In between, you always enjoy the really beautiful view of Lake Constance, which accompanies you for quite a while.The goal of the stage is Sirnach. If you have planned to spend the night with a fixed roof over your head, you will find it here. You can also replenish your supplies here, because there is really everything here. Sirnach is also very well connected to the rail network. If your plans change or you want to start your adventure from here, that's also possible.
A look at the number of today's vertical meters reveals: Now the tour really starts and it gets down to business. Almost 3,500 meters in altitude - tonight you know what you did. Get used to it better: it stays so crisp until your destination in Montreux.The cool thing is that it's worth it. Because from today you can expect a wonderful mountain feeling. It is partly steep uphill and it may well be that you have to push your bike. From time to time, pasture gates also block your path, over which you sometimes have to lift your bike completely. But at the latest when a magnificent view opens up in front of you, you know what you are trying to do.The planning of meals is relatively easy today, because you keep coming across mountain huts and restaurants where you can stop off. On about half of the route, you will even drive through a city with a supermarket and train station (just in case), so that you can also replenish your travel provisions here.The goal of today's stage is right on the Walensee. The long descent is a dream. Here you can let your bike run properly and enjoy a magnificent view of the lake in the valley. The stage destination Weesen offers a wonderful backdrop to end the day nicely. Here you will find all sorts of accommodations and places to stop for refreshments, so that you can relax and strengthen yourself after the demanding tour.
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You can easily remember today's route profile with the following donkey bridge: Two times two. Which means nothing more than: two long climbs and two short climbs. In this way, you collect a whopping 2,890 vertical meters over 90 kilometers. So it is a good idea to use your strength well again today. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the ride. You will pass two picturesque lakes, drive through some picturesque towns, but you can also let your mind wander on completely deserted mountain trails.The stage begins on the picturesque bank of the Walensee, completely flat. Around six kilometers to warm up - but then it gets down to business. The first climb of the day is the longest. It leads you over quiet roads, forest paths and trails up to the Rossweidhöchi, where a wonderful view and a cozy alpine hut await you. If you want to save a bit of energy, you can save around 600 meters in altitude by cable car from Niederurnen: valley and mountain station are exactly on the route.From the highest point of the day it is now downhill for a long time. You can let your bike run properly over long distances on an easy-to-drive gravel path. The descent ends in Seibnen, where you can fortify yourself and look forward to the next mountain. Now you cycle slowly but surely up to Alp Grueb, from where you have the gigantic view towards Einsiedeln and the Sihlsee. And that's where you'll go next.Now you can take a deep breath. When you have reached the lakeshore, around 20 flat kilometers with refreshment stops await you in Einsiedeln. The ascent to Haggenegg then begins in Brunni, followed by a long descent that ends in Schwyz. Here you drive through the impressive town center, in which there are many places to stop. Alternatively, you can replenish your supplies here in the supermarket or wait until you reach Brunnen, where you will not only find all kinds of shops but also a train station.Finally, there's something for the eyes again: You drive exactly along the shores of Lake Lucerne. The view of the lake is exhilarating, even if the route unfortunately runs along the road. As soon as the route snaps back towards the mountain just before Gersau, the idyll is back and you can enjoy the view from above of the lake again before you reach the stage destination "Arche Ruchenberg".
Stage 4 on the Navad route begins demanding and ends unspectacular. But one after anonther. To warm up, button up the Gätterli Pass, where a great trail awaits you. From up here the view of the Leuerzersee is really beautiful and the descent down is pure pleasure. In Steinerberg, however, there is no more relaxed warm-up mood: here the longest climb of the day awaits you, which leads you up to the Wildspitz. The journey here is really tough. Once at the top, every sweat bead is immediately forgotten, because the view at the summit cross is just beautiful.This is followed by a varied descent, some of which is quite steep and exposed. It spits you out directly at a small alpine inn, where you can fortify yourself with drinks and snacks. Then it goes much more relaxed downhill towards Ägerisee. You cross the main street, then it goes uphill again. And then you have already mastered most of today's vertical meters.From now on the route is relatively unspectacular - at least compared to the rest of the tour. You drive on quiet roads and paths through a hilly landscape, but you always come through villages and cities with rail connections and shopping opportunities. If you see Lake Sempach, the goal will be reached soon. Maybe you take a longer break on the beach in Sempach, relax a little and treat yourself to a drink? The remaining kilometers to Sursee then fly by. Here you will find everything from the accommodation to supermarkets and refreshment stops that please the tired bike packer.
As the fourth stage ended, the fifth tour of your Navad adventure begins: rather urban and very relaxed. The first 20 kilometers to Gettnau are almost flat. But don't worry: From here on everything is the same again. Slowly but surely, the route profile becomes more varied and the surroundings rural.Another twenty kilometers pass with a slight up and down along the Luthern until the tour suddenly leads steeply uphill. The ascent to the Höchänzi Alp at 1,328 meters is tough - there is the finest view at the top and a cozy break station including a self-service station. If you'd rather have “something right” brought to you, just keep going: there are still several places to stop for refreshments, all with a panoramic view.When you have reached the Napf at 1,408 meters, it goes downhill again. At the very bottom of the valley you finally reach the Kleine Emme, which you cross and then follow on a beautiful forest path. You are now somewhat rested and ready for the next long climb. It leads you up to the Schimbrig Bad, a single hut in which you could previously cure in the sulfur bath - today you can stop off in the restaurant instead and strengthen yourself for the last 15 kilometers of the tour.The rest of the route takes you diversely over trails and unpaved paths past various Alps and finally down to Flühli, where this stage ends. Here you will find refreshments, accommodation and shops, so you can sit back and relax for the rest of the day.
With the sixth stage, a really demanding tour awaits you. You climb several passes and sometimes it is so steep that you will push or carry your bike here and there for sure. In return, this stage is one of the most scenic: you can expect picturesque alpine pastures, mystical raised bogs and magnificent views.After a quiet night in the small village of Flühli, the route begins with the climb to the Hilferenpass. It lies at an altitude of 1,291 meters and is, compared to what is still waiting for you today, a cozy "warm-up pass". Nevertheless, it is very beautiful, especially because it is not possible to get here with motorized vehicles. Once at the top, you are warm and also mentally well attuned to the upcoming climbs.Some of them are still waiting for you today. The ascent to the Imbrig Alm is just as demanding as the steep climb to the Grünenbergpass or later to the Lombach Alp. But every time a different reward awaits you: either a cozy place to stop for a bite to eat, a magnificent view or a mystical moor area with exciting flora and fauna. It will definitely not be boring today!As is well known, the best comes to the end. Or the thickest chunk: With the Glaubbielenpass you reach the highest point of the day at more than 1,600 meters. Then the longest descent of the tour is waiting for you, which leads you down to Giswil. Another short but intensive climb and you reach the idyllic Lungerersee and finally the stage destination Lungern. Here you can end the day on the beautiful lakeshore and let yourself be pampered in your hotel or in one of the numerous refreshment stops, so that you are fit for stage seven tomorrow!
A look at the map reveals that today there are essentially “only” two climbs on the program. What sounds easy at first has it all. Because today you button up the big and the small Scheidegg. That means: You break the magical 2,000 mark twice and that over really long climbs, on which you collect more than 1,000 or 1,400 vertical meters in one piece. So it's best to take a deep breath on the beautiful shore of Lake Lunger before you take on the challenge.Immediately after the start in Lungern, things get really steep - today there is no grace period. At least the first climb is not that long and will soon take you to the Sherlock Holmes town of Meiringen. A little later in Schattenhalb you will reach the last bakery in front of the mountain. Maybe you'd rather fill up your energy storage here again?Then the first chunk of the day is waiting for you. The large Scheidegg is curiously not quite as high as the small one. The climb still lives up to its name: on the next 18 kilometers you collect a whopping 1,400 vertical meters - wow! So it's best to take it easy. There are plenty of opportunities for enjoyable breaks along the way. And if you really can't do it anymore, you still have an ace up your sleeve: A Postbus drives through the Reichenbach Valley, which can collect you on the way.Once at the top, the view is terrific and it gets even better when you have arrived on the panorama path. Here you finally have loose ground under the tires and can enjoy pure mountain bike happiness. After a long descent you really deserve an extensive break in Grindelwald. More than half the way is done.When you have crossed the Black Lütschine, the climb to the small Scheidegg begins. It is shorter and does not have as many vertical meters, but it is steeper overall and quite demanding in view of the preload. The same applies here: take your time and keep calm to enjoy the breathtaking view. As with Grosse Scheidegg, there is also a Plan B: With the Wengernalpbahn you could simply shorten from Grindelwald to Kleinen Scheidegg. Once at the top, the promising descent via Wengen to Interlaken is waiting for you, where you can end the day on the shores of Lake Brienz.
If you got a taste for yesterday's stage, then we have good news for you: Today it continues the same way. There are few climbs, but they are long, high and require perseverance. The highlights of the day are Rennglipass, Latreyenfeld and Stierenberg.You start in Interlaken, leave a few streets and the motorway behind you and dive right back into the beautiful world of the mountains. And they are steep. Especially if you want to conquer the Rengglipass and then the Latrejefeld. The climbs are tough and you may have to push your bike in between. At least you can take a cool drink from a self-service refrigerator upstairs - don't forget to pack a little change in Swiss currency.There is a long descent through the Spiggengrund (a picturesque valley basin) to Kiental, where you can take a leisurely break and stop off. From here you roll on to Kandertal, where you can relax and follow the river of the same name for a while. Here you can finally take a deep breath and relax a bit.When you have passed the train station in Oey, the next climb begins. Past the beautiful Seebergsee you will reach Stierenberg after around 75 kilometers. The mining industry offers itself for a further stop. After a long, sometimes somewhat gruff descent, you finally come to the Simmental, whose highest-altitude community is your today's destination: In Lenk you will find all kinds of places to stop and sleep.
Slowly but surely you are approaching the goal of your stage trip: Montreux. You will notice this in the course of the ninth stage mainly because the names of the places you are driving through have a French sound. But before you really reach Lake Geneva, there are still a few challenging and equally impressive trails and paths ahead of you.Stage 9 is really trail heavy again. A very special 2,000 meter is waiting for you right from the start. The trail that takes you to the Stübleni takes you on a little moon expedition: washed out rock formations provide a surreal landscape that will amaze you. Just stop and enjoy this unique landscape - then the steep climb is also less strenuous.The alpine feeling accompanies you all day today. Again and again you come across rustic alpine huts or mountain restaurants, so that your food is secured, even if you don't have much provisions yourself. About halfway you also drive through the towns of Saanen and Rougemont, where you can find supermarkets for shopping.After a comparatively relaxed section, there is something to do for your legs at the end of the tour: The crisp climb to the Euschel fun is really tough again. As a reward there is a wonderful descent down to the Schwarzsee. There you will find a few places to stop for a bite to eat and where to stay, as well as a campsite. And of course the beautiful lake, in whose sulphurous water you can cool your heavy legs.
Navad1000 - the last stage! After nine demanding days on the bike, the grand finale is coming up. You are probably already quite exhausted and looking forward to arriving at Lake Geneva. Nevertheless, there is always a bit of melancholy over the last stage of such a trip. The good time on the bike - soon it will be over. Fortunately, the tenth stage is by no means an easy bike ride, but a demanding undertaking. At 107 kilometers with 3,310 meters of altitude you will end this unforgettable tour with dignity today and despite the effort, every burning sensation in your muscles will be a pure pleasure.After a short flat passage to warm up, it's straight to the point. On the steep climb to Alp Balisa, it may well be that you have to push your bike a bit. When you get to the top, you can reward yourself with a little break in the alpine inn and take a piece of alp cheese from the alpine dairy as a culinary souvenir. There is a descent to a monastery, the Charterhouse La Valsainte. From here, pedaling back to the mountain hut Les Allières is announced.Now follows a relatively long, rather flat section past Lake Gruyère and through a few small towns. This section is relatively asphalt-heavy, so you can do a few kilometers here and also rest a bit. That can't hurt, because there are two noticeable climbs waiting for you.The first leads you up to the Alphs Gros-Plané, where you can treat yourself to a longer break after almost 60 kilometers. The second one has it all again. Partly really steep it goes up to the Col du Jaman, from where you have a first impressive view of Lake Geneva. An unmistakable sign that it is not far now! And this impression is not deceptive: 15 kilometers are still ahead of you and they lead almost exclusively downhill. You always have a breathtaking view of Lake Geneva.Then it's time! You will reach Montreux and the shore of the lake. You worked towards this moment for ten days. Past the Queens Museum in the former studio of the cult band, you roll to the promenade and follow it a little way to the final destination of your trip: the Freddy Mercury statue directly on Lake Geneva. What a moment! Take your time and enjoy it. You will remember this bikepacking ride for a long time.