Switzerland/Austria

Day 1 Zurich (Switzerland) to Bassersdorf

Arrive in Zurich, Switzerland and be transferred via the Alpine Cycle Tours mini bus to Bassersdorf in time for our first tour group dinner which is at our expense.

Day 2 Bassersdorf to Damuls (Austria)

We set off toward the Appenzell region art he foot of the Alpsteins in northern Switzerland before turning south down the Rhine Valley toward Austria and then turning left up into the Vorarlberg mountains and over the Furkajoch pass and into the ski village of Damuls.

Day 3 Damuls to Flirsch

Today we climb the Hochtannberg Pass and the Flexen Pass. The Hochtannberg really descends very little before the Flexen begins so it’s really like doing one pass. We fly down the other side and then down a gently sloping river valley past St Anton before stopping in Flirsch. It is here that we spend the night in a grand hotel complete with an underground level of roman baths to relax and unwind in!

Day 4 Flirsch to Rabland (Italy)

We continue down the Inn Valley to Landeck and turn right up the Reschen Pass and enjoy lunch on the banks of the Reschen See on the Italian border. This lake is famous for the semi-submerged church seen in many postcards of the region. The descent on the other side comprises many fast flowing bends which makes for exhilarating cycling before the run into Rabland.

Day 5 Rabland to Cortina d Ampezzo

We transit most of the day until we reach entrance of what I refer to as the “Valley of the Giants” at Tobblach. This is the northern entrance of the Italian By getting into Cortina relatively early, a pedal to Lake Misurina with its unparalleled views of the Marmarole section of the Dolomites. The view as you sip a coffee on the terrace of the cafe looking south over the lake toward these mountains is so spectacular it plays tricks on your eyes!

Day 6 Cortina d Ampezzo

Today we ride up the Passo di Falzarego and back to Cortina. As Cortina is situated at about 1200 metres and the surrounding passes are at about 2100 a climb is never more than a thousand metres from the bottom. It sounds a lot but by now you have become so much fitter that this is easier than you think and you can do more than you ever thought possible!

Day 7 Cortina d Ampezzo to Castelrotto

We transit to the top of the Passo di Giau and pedal down the other side before heading up the Passo Pordoi. These climbs are famous from the Giro d Italia. Once through here, we spend the night at Castelrotto on the eastern edge of the Dolomites

Day 8 Castelrotto to Varenna

Today is a rest day of sorts in the bus as we transit to Lake Como but via the Val Vermiglio and the small Passo d Tonale and the Passo del Aprica. Once we have had lunch in Aprica there is nothing stopping us until we reach the shores of the most beautiful of the major northern Italian lakes, Lake Como. Varenna is a breathtaking town right on the steep shores of Lake Como. The dining room of our hotel boasts sweeping views of the eastern side of Lake Como. Breakfast on a sunny morning is a memory you will never forget!

Day 9 Varenna to Ascona (Switzerland)

Off we go pedalling the northern edge of Lake Como bound for Ascona but we jump in the bus when the traffic is less than idyllic. We are in Ascona by late morning and have plenty of time to take advantage of the many cafes and ice cream shops in what is an almost carnival atmosphere right through the European summer here in Ascona

Day 10 Ascona to Lauterbrunnen

We pedal out of Ascona and head up the picturesque Centovalli toward Domodossola and then the Simplon Pass. We cross the pass and once at the bottom, transit the rest of the way via bus and train under the Walliser Alpen popping out at Kandersteg! Pretty farming country and massive waterfalls are the order of the day as we make our way toward Lauterbrunnen.

Day 11 Lauterbrunnen

There are many options available here including taking the highest railway in Europe to the Jungfrau and walking on the glaciers and exploring ice caves, white water rafting, helicopter flights or simply a walk to take in the stunning mountain scenery.

Day 12 Lauterbrunnen to Schaefler

We transit most of the day to the bottom of the cable car we need to get us to get us most of the way to our mountain chateau, Schaefler. A short alpine walk brings us to our mountain chateau which offers us absolutely indescribable views of the Austrian Vorarlbergs, Lake Constance, Bavaria, Liechtenstein and the Swiss Alps! Here we enjoy the hospitality of the local Swiss mountaineers in a cosy mountain chateau built over a hundred years ago!

Day 13 Schaefler to Zurich

The tour is nearly over as we transit back to Zurich for onward connections.