The reality of biking in the epic scenery of the canton of Bern is even better than you might imagine - think soaring mountains, vast panoramas, flower-filled meadows, beautiful lakes and thrilling experiences. The region may be famous for its winter resorts, such as Grindelwald, Wengen, Gstaad, Adelboden, Lenk and Interlaken, but in summer, these ski paradises turn into sunny mountain playgrounds for adrenaline-seeking
bikers, with more than 620 miles of wild mountain biking trails as well as a host of road routes and a highly-developed e-biking system. Ready to get pedalling? Here are five reasons to make Bern the destination for your next cycle trip.
Amazing road routes
You’ll soon forget your aching thigh muscles - the fresh mountain air makes riding the hilly roads around Bern an exhilarating experience. You’ll find plenty of varied routes suitable for all levels, from relaxed flat rides beside sparkling lakes to challenging high mountain passes where you can test your mettle along the same routes as the Tour de France and the Tour de Suisse.
The range of routes in Interlaken makes a great base for road cycling. Start here for the 50 mile Jungfrau circuit, which climbs up through the postcard-perfect ski resort of Grindelwald in the shadow of the Eiger before racing downhill through the lush Rosenlaui Valley and hugging the shores of inviting emerald green Lake Brienz. Or plan your trip around a road event, such as the 100 mile Bernese Rundfahrt or the notoriously tough 171 mile Alpenbrevet.
Thrilling mountain trails
Pack your knee pads - Bern is a dream destination for mountain bikers. With more than 186 miles of GPS-mapped trails, Gstaad is a great first stop for bikers of all levels, with both hair-raising steep descents and easy, flat stretches to play on. Interlaken offers a brilliant choice of MTB routes, from pleasant lakeside rides to challenging routes exploring the surrounding peaks.
In the imposing mountains of Kandersteg you’ll find a dozen spectacular trails against the backdrop of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and thrill-seekers can even bike down the six-mile Skiing World Cup course in Adelboden. Or head to the Jungfrau region, where a massive 100 miles of marked mountain bike trails wind in front of the jawdropping backdrop of the mountainous triple whammy – the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau.
Wonderful culture and cuisine
Eating and drinking in Switzerland is a journey through four cultures, and regional specialities abound in German-speaking Bern, from holey Emmental cheese to irresistible giant meringues. History lovers will adore Bern itself - the Swiss capital and the city that gives the region its name has an old town full of architectural treasures. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old town’s winding alleyways and arcades, home to a myriad of cafes and bakeries, are a delight to explore by bike or e-bike.
The canton of Bern is home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the Swiss Alps, and it’s worth making time for a few side trips to explore some of its the lush green valleys and soaring mountain ranges. Ride the railway up to Europe’s highest train station, Jungfraujoch, known as the Top of Europe, then head even higher by taking the cable car up to the summit of the Schilthorn, above picturesque Mürren, where you’ll find a museum devoted to the action-packed world of Bond, James Bond.
From Interlaken take lazy boat trips on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, or get a bird’s eye view by paragliding over their still green waters (very 007). The Gstaad area is an active sport lover’s paradise, with canoeing, paragliding, and even summer tobogganing all on offer if you fancy a break from the bike.
For cyclists, any old hotel – however luxurious - just won’t do. Bern is a hub for specialist bike hotels designed with riders in mind, including mountain cabins, city hotels, country inns, wellness spas and comfy B&Bs - all offering lockable storage areas, bike-washing facilities, workshops for repairs and overnight laundry services for refreshing your sweaty gear. Maps, guides and insider tips from like-minded local cyclists make for a truly bike-friendly stay.
For more info about all of the biking adventures on offer in Bern, head over to madeinbern.com