The Swiss Alps on an E-bike: 385 Km, 7 Alpine Passes, 6 Days!


I have to confess that after spending a month residing on Robinson Crusoe Island earlier this yr, I used to be satisfied I may by no means be “wowed” by my travels once more.

I skilled weeks of intense withdrawal signs, spent days not desirous to get out of a four-walled room, missed deadlines, and reached out to a therapist to strive to determine how I may claw my method again into the true world. Her recommendation didn’t assist, however the universe discovered me a method.

Route 1291: E-biking by means of the center of Switzerland!

Route 1291 switzerland
E-biking in Switzerland: The way forward for sustainable journey?

I’d already mentioned no to 2 potential journey assignments, unexcited by the prospect of a meaningless journey and extra flying emissions.

However Switzerland Tourism had a singular proposition for me: My associate and I might check out one of many nation’s latest sustainable tourism choices – Route 1291, a 7 day e-biking journey throughout the magnificent Swiss Alps!

Having skilled a little bit of wintry Switzerland a number of years in the past, and tried brief distance e-biking in Austria and Goa, I knew the 2 would make an epic mixture. However I may by no means guess simply how epic.

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E-biking up the Swiss Alps: A check of sustainable mobility and our personal endurance

switzerland ebiking, flyer ebikes
In love with the Flyer ebikes, made in Switzerland.

After the preliminary pleasure of being invited on our first “Swisstainable” self-guided, multi-day biking journey, I used to be fairly rattling nervous about our skill to cycle 50-80 km day by day and pedal up a few of Switzerland’s highest Alpine passes.

However because the journey started, I shortly realized that each drop of sweat and each sore muscle could be definitely worth the reward – rugged karst mountain surroundings, turquoise blue lakes, idyllic Swiss villages, mist-clad peaks, historical church buildings, gushing rivers and streams, meadows bursting with wildflowers.

Apart from, our Swiss-made Flyer ebikes have been simply good, with upto 100 km battery life in eco mode – making this lengthy distance biking journey difficult however fairly doable on a reasonable health degree.

Trying again, it’s onerous to place in phrases the sensation of climbing up hair pin bends (thank heavens it was an e-bike!) to excessive mountain passes, flying down lengthy downhills within the cool Alpine breeze, and pedaling from vacation spot to vacation spot with none motorized transport.

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Switzerland’s awe-inspiring community of e-biking (biking) trails

cycling trails switzerland
Views like this all alongside Switzerland’s ebiking trails!

I’ve skilled the cycling-friendly streets of Copenhagen and Amsterdam, and examine cycling-only highways in Korea. However the Swiss Mobility Community got here as an entire shock. This community of biking / mountain climbing trails, with no or minimal motorized transport, winds throughout the nation and its majestic landscapes, making a haven for cyclists.

Route 1291 golf equipment the perfect of various biking trails throughout Switzerland – and has been curated by Eurotrek such that no two days really feel the identical. Our round loop began in Lucerne, climbed as much as Andermatt and Meiringen, handed by means of Sorenburg, then winded into the ‘wild west’ of Entlebuch and Sursee, earlier than taking us again to Lucerne.

The panorama saved altering from dramatic mountain panoramas to lakeside villages to rolling meadows to wheat and maize fields to stark karst mountains to gushing rivers to glaciers to farming villages with no paved roads to protected forests. Regardless of the low I hit after Robinson Crusoe, I’ve in all probability by no means uttered “wow” so many instances in every week!

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Taking sluggish journey to the following degree

To me, sluggish journey has all the time meant connecting deeper and staying longer (mentally if not bodily). However lengthy distance e-biking launched me to an entire different dimension of sluggish journey.

I skilled each slope, each curve, each bump on the street. I may inform how the air modifications from the meadows to the fields to the forests to the excessive mountains. I may really feel the isolation of distant mountain villages but additionally their bond with nature.

In contrast to mountain climbing and common biking, we have been in a position to cowl for much longer distances (50-80 kms day by day on common, with common elevation positive aspects of 1200-1700m) and expertise a surprising vary of pure landscapes, residing traditions and architectural types round Switzerland. I don’t suppose I may’ve identified this nation so intimately every other method!

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A win for sustainable tourism

Ebiking alongside such landscapes appears like a dream on reflection.

Ebikes are essentially the most eco-friendly mode of transport, particularly with a clear grid

  • With zero tail pipe emissions and nil PM 2.5 emissions from the tyres, e-bikes are essentially the most eco-friendly modes of long-ish distance transport proper now.
  • We needed to cost our e-bike batteries each night time, however the grid in Switzerland is fairly clear. Electrical energy primarily comes from hydro (59.9%) and nuclear (33.5%), with solely 2.3% from fossil fuels.

However some detrimental influence should be acknowledged

  • Relying on the method, mining lithium ion for batteries can contaminate groundwater and be environmentally damaging.
  • Our baggage was (nearly magically) transported from one place to the following by Eurotrek – both utilizing public transport or grouped with different baggage in a automobile, so there have been nonetheless some emissions concerned.

All in all although, I can’t consider a greater method to journey – experiencing a spot slowly, deeply, whereas maintaining our environmental footprint low.

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Sensible ideas for e-biking in Switzerland

switzerland cycling
Put money into a pair of biking pictures to stop a really sore butt 😉

How one can set up a self-guided ebiking journey in Switzerland

Our journey was organized by Eurotrek, an lively holidays firm primarily based in Switzerland. Their route maps and descriptions have been extraordinarily useful for a first-time self-guided journey throughout Switzerland. And we actually appreciated their baggage transport service!

How one can discover the way in which: Signposting, Swiss Mobility App, Google maps

We discovered the Swiss Mobility app (Schweiz Mobil) a bit onerous to navigate, however the trails are brilliantly signposted all alongside. With some assist from google maps, we by no means acquired too misplaced.

How one can stop a sore butt whereas biking!

Lengthy distance biking can result in a really sore butt. I purchased a pair of padded biking pictures from Decathlon, and although not eco-friendly, they have been a life saver, particularly over 7 steady days of biking. I hope to make use of them for all future biking journeys.

What’s it like being vegan in distant Switzerland

With a standard eating regimen that largely consists of meat, cheese and potatoes, Switzerland isn’t precisely vegan-friendly. However even within the remotest countryside, I hardly ate any potatoes! Many eating places and cafes supplied atleast one vegan possibility (suppose vegan rosti, gnocchi, burgers, pasta, salads and curries with Southeast Asian flavors). We even discovered an area veggie cafe alongside the route, value a 20 km detour for a lentil Buddha Bowl and vegan ice cream 😉 As all the time, the HappyCow app was my go-to supply for suggestions.

Value of a 6-day e-biking journey in Switzerland

Prices for the Route 1291 begin at CHF 2700 for 2. Summer season is a good time to cycle, with cool climate and heat solar – although warmth waves have gotten extra frequent in every single place. The biking route is fairly offbeat and we hardly encountered any crowds!

Have you ever been to Switzerland or tried e-biking? Do you dream of e-biking within the Swiss Alps?

*Notice: I’m so grateful to Switzerland Tourism for internet hosting us on this journey – and turning what appeared like a loopy proposition only a few weeks in the past, into an unforgettable reminiscence!


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