Enjoy an intensive cycling week with itineraries in different parts of the Valais. Discover the magnificent landscapes of this paradise for cyclists while you are crossing the vineyards of the Central Valais, well preserved alpine pastures and legendary passes. During this stay, you will be following routes according to your level and be guided by cycling experts, who will show you the most beautiful trails of the valais region. The trips will be based from the fashionable resort of Crans-Montana, the tour stage finish of the 1984 Tour de France.
Prices from for single room occupancy CHF 1,735 per person
Prices from for double room occupancy CHF 1,665 per person
Sample of Itinerary
Day 1 - Discover the Val d’Anniviers and Val d’Hérens
Elevation Gain: 3,819m
Major climbs: Sierre Vercorin par Vissoie Hors Category (966m) 21km, 5% Ave. Gradient.
As we descend from Crans-Montana and down towards the sun drenched town of Sierre, skirting the Pfyn-Fringes nature park before crossing the River Rhone to the opposite side of the valley, we start our ascent with a punchy HC category climb along the narrow and winding roads where you can't not be in awe of the Swiss engineering. With the road cut into the side of the rock and narrow stone tunnels, you really have to trust the huge nets above you protecting you from falling rocks!
The road continues up towards the amazing Val d'Anniviers valley before we take a right turn and take the road traversing the valley floor to the Val d'Herens, famous for its strong connection in cow "fighting" (friendly pushing between female cows). The route joins part of the Tour de Romandie 2018 route where you'll be cycling in the wheels of cycling heroes as the road passes through traditonal Swiss villages which cling to the sides of the hills before winding down and through the earth pyramids of Euseigne are one of the most important geological sights in the Alps and are protected monuments. A great photo opportunity. A glance up to your left and you'll catch a glimpse of the the world’s highest dam, the Grande Dixence and if you're lucky the infamous Matterhorn in the far distance.
From there it's a fast descent back down crossing through the vineyards along the valley floor and the climb back up to Crans-Montana or the funicular for those with tired legs.
Day 2 - Col du Sanetsch Pass; Col du Pillon and Col de la Croix
Elevation Gain: 3,904m
Major Climbs: Col du Sanetsch Hors Category (1,430m) 33km distance, 8% Ave. Gradient.
Col du Pillon 2 Cat Climb, 6.72km (346m), distance, 5% Ave. Gradient.
Col de la Croix 2 Cat Climb, 7.27km (566m) distance, 7% Ave. Gradient.
Frequently rated as one of the best top 10 climbs in Switzerland and required as one of the country's best kept secrets the Col du Sanetsch pass has pretty much everything you could wish for. It's tough, as you would expect from a HC climb, very long but worth every pedal stroke to the top of the glacial lake at the summit. Because it's dead end it's quieter than other Cols so it's just you, the local yellow post bus, farmers and some intrepid hikers who are left to enjoy this absolute beauty of a climb.
The ascent starts in the Rhone valley and meanders through the vineyards before reaching woodland and a series of hairpin bends which lead to pastures and the summit (alt. 2252m) near the Tsanfleuron glacier.
The road stops at Sanetsch Lake, a few kilometres on from the summit. Does that mean have to turn back? No! You can attach your bike to the cable car and descend to Gsteig near Gstaad, 1000m further down. You can then climb to the Col du Pillion pass through pristine alpine meadows and neat tidy chalets (alt. 1546m) and head towards Les Diablerets before another climb up the Col de la Croix.
A stunning 9km descent awaits as you go through the upmarket resort of Villars, followed by some sharp hairpins through the meadows and the vin yards before arriving back on the Rhone valley floor at Aigle, the home of cycling. A short flat section and then it's back to the hotel and spa for a well deserved relax.
Day 3 - Discover parts of the Upper-Valais and 2 dams: Mattmark and Gibidum
Elevation Gain: 3,226m
Major Climbs: Stalden – Saas Grund Cat 1, 14km, 5% Ave. Gradient.
Only steps away from the Italian border, the dam is hovered over by towering peaks:Ride through valleys dominated by impressive towering 4,000m peaks, the Allalinhorn (4,021m), Rimpfi schorn (4,199m) and Strahlhorn (4,190m). You will notice as you pass throughSaas-Grund that you will only be a few kilometres away from the famous mountain ski resort of Saas Fee and Zermatt.
Day 4 - Crans-Montana Secret Roads
Elevation Gain: 1,156m
Major Climbs: Mur de Roc 0.08km, Elevation difference 14m, 17% Ave. Gradient.
Give the legs a bit of a break and take it ‘easy’. Ride some roads that not even the local cycling community know about and take advantage tasting the local Valais wine or relaxing in the spa. Take advantage of some of some of the other activities on offer in Crans-Montana and the surrounding area.
Day 5 Part 1 - Martigny to Emosson Dam 2016 Tour de France Stage
Elevation Gain: 2,595m
Major Climbs: Le Feys 11.3km Hors Category 966m, at 8.5% Ave. Gradient.
Finhaut Emosson Dam, 11km, 920m Elev diff. 9% Ave. Gradient.
Crans-Montana to Sierre/Siders on Funicular (12 mins). Sierre/Siders to Martigny by train (30mins). Follow in the footsteps of the Tour de France, climb 2 of the great mountain top finishes of previous years.
This one is steeped in cycling history! Featured in the Tour de France 5 times! The first time in 1963, and most recently in 2016; on the way to the Emosson Dam where Ilnur Zakaurin took the win on stage 17, but where Froome outclassed the likes of Quintana, Bardet and Aru to stamp his authority on the GC race.
As you can see from the Strava below, you are in good company with a few famous GT cyclists and local Swiss cycling heroes. Sébastien Reichenbach and Steve Morabito.
Day 5 - Vehicle from Le Chatelard to Sembrancher
Part 2 - Sembrancher to Verbier
Elevation Gain: 1,109m
Major Climbs: Le Chable - Verbier 9km, Cat 1 Climb 664m Elev diff, 8% Ave. Gradient.
Remember when Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador rode for Astana……? Well this is where Contador so famously ‘pulled the trigger’ and left Lance for dead, and all loyalties were cast to the road side. Stage 15 of the 2009 Tour de France left its mark on this climb to the ski resort of Verbier.
Day 6 - Discover Arolla and the Grande Dixence dam
Elevation Gain: 3,890m
Major Climbs: Sion to Heremence, Cat 1 Climb (770m) 10.60km at 7% Ave. Gradient.
Arolla Cat 2 climb 11km (564m) 5% Ave. Gradient
The route of the Tour de Romandie 2018 passed along these roads. The wide smooth roads sweepeing up towards the imposing Grande Dixence dam, one of the tallest gravity dam in the world and the biggest dam in Europe. The last few kilometres are steep with tight swtichbacks but worth the effort! The descent is exhilarating to say the least. The final finish will the climb up to the small village of Arolla in the Val d’Hérens (Eringer Valley) at the foot of majestic mountain peaks, you can see the Matterhorn in the distance. The breathtaking glacier landscape and natural farming here is simply remarkable.
Day 7 - Itinerary with a historical touch and gravel roads of the central Valais
Elevation Gain: 1,193m
Major Climbs: Mur de Roc 0.08km, Elevation difference 14m, 17% Ave. Gradient
Finish the week doing a completely different route, riding on Switzerland’s immaculate gravel roads. This route could very well become a favourite for many cyclists due to its quite adventurous itinerary. The route uses sections of gravel roads and offers a totally unusual circuit passing through the village of Cordona. Great fun and a bit of an adventure.
World class riding in the beautiful Valais region of the Swiss Alps on quiet, bike friendly alpine roads.
Fully supported vehicle back up for spare clothing, nutrition and technical assistance.
7 nights half board accommodation in a 3* Hotel in Crans-Montana with spa, outdoor and indoor swimming pool. Conveniently located near the centre of town. Excluding drinks.
Breakfast and lunch snacks.
Experienced qualified cycling guides.
All GPX routes and files
Bike hire can be organised at an extra cost