Aare River in the Old City part of Bern, Switzerland. Photo via Wikimedia Commons:Daniel Schwen

Night time in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo via Flickr:kuhnmi
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Aare Trail

Switzerland Bike Tours

Cycle along the Aare River

The Aare Trail is Switzerland’s first, fully signposted long-distance bicycle route, and it was created in 1995. It is a magnificent tourist attraction that already enjoys an international reputation. The Trail gives you an excellent idea of the variety of landscapes that characterize Switzerland. The starting point lies in the midst of the highest of the Bernese Alps – but don’t panic! The action of the river over millions of years has flattened the path and you can follow it quite easily.

The attractions along the way include the lakes formed by the Aare – Lake Thun, Lake Wohlen, Lake Bienne – as well as a variety of cities and villages, some with world-famous names, and some with names you will never have heard of before.

As the bike trail winds its way pleasantly along the lanes through woods and meadows, along fertile fields and through isolated villages where the charm of the provinces lives on unchanged, you will also have ample opportunity to see a true picture of everyday Switzerland.

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Tour Dates

Arrivals daily from April 22 to October 15, 2017

Season A: April 22 to April 28  + October 1 - October 15, 2017
Season B: April 29 - May 19 + June 18 - June 30 + August 27 - September 30, 2017
Season C: May 20 - June 17 + July 1 - August 26, 2017

Where You’ll Stay

3* hotel accommodations including breakfast

What’s Included

  • Overnight accommodations in 3 star hotels for 5 or 8 nights
  • Breakfast
  • Hybrid touring 24 speed bicycle
  • Luggage transport
  • Route descriptions & maps (1 x room)
  • Emergency service hotline
  • Boat trip Interlaken to Thun
  • Boat trip to the Rhine Falls rock (9-day tour only)
  • Entrance to Rosgartenmuseum Konstanz, including 1 coffee (9-day tour only)
  • Emergency hotline number

What’s Not Included

Extra Stay

Extra nights possible

TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillEasy
Length6–9 days
From689 Rates
Client Reviews

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Skill Level

The route mostly follows well maintained cycle paths and very quiet side roads. A few inclines, which are quite manageable for all types of bikers.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Aare Trail Map

9-Day Tour
(Scroll down to see the shortened itinerary!)

Day 1: Arrival and overnight in Interlaken 
Day 2: Interlaken - Thun - Bern, 22 miles (35 km) + boat trip
Day 3: Bern - Biel, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 4: Biel - Solothurn, 19 miles (30 km)
Day 5: Solothurn - Aarau, 37 miles (60 km)
Day 6: Aarau - Waldshut-Tiengen, 31 miles (50 km) 
Day 7: Waldshut-Tiengen - Schaffhausen, 40 miles (65 km) 
Day 8: Schaffhausen - Constance/Kreuzlingen, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 9: Individual departure or extension of stay

*All distances are approximate.

DAY 1: Arrival to Interlaken 
Interlaken, meaning between the lakes, is uniquely situated between the pristine lakes Thun and Brienz. Created during the last glacial period, these lakes boast crystal clear waters whose banks are home to picturesque fishing villages and ancient castles. Interlaken also finds itself surrounded by the impressive snow capped heights of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, part of the Bernese Alps.

DAY 2: Interlaken - Thun - Bern, 22 miles (35 km) + boat trip
​Leaving Interlaken, you will pass through the town of Thun, located on the lower end of the lake. Situated in the center of this historic place is a magnificent castle, built by the Dukes of Zähringen dating back to the 12th century. Continuing along the Aare, your destination today is Bern. Although it is the capital of Switzerland, Bern has managed to maintain its unique historical features such as 15th-century terraced buildings, cobblestone streets, and lively market squares - it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983!

DAY 3: Bern - Biel, 31 miles (50 km)
After Bern, the Wohlensee extends a warm welcome – and now you will witness the merry interplay between the dazzling beauty of nature and the industrial world of energy production. The vegetable-growing region in the Grossen Moos and later on the Lake of Biel mark the scenery of today’s route. The city of Biel, the largest in Switzlerland, is the watch metropolis of the world. Rolex, Omega, and Tissot, among others, all have their home here. Biel's old town has a beautiful town hall and a gothic church dating from the 15th-century, certainly not to be missed during your stay here!

DAY 4: Biel - Solothurn, 19 miles (30 km)
Following Biel, the Aare remains as your faithful cycling companion. The storks of Altreu circling in the sky provide a very special addition to your trip, and soon the towers of the Solothurn Cathedral greet you from afar. In Solothurn, you may roam the picturesque lanes of the old center with its outdoor cafes, and perhaps venture an excursion to the local Weissenstein mountains.

DAY 5: Solothurn - Aarau, 37 miles (60 km)
Riding leisurely through an enchanting river landscape between Berken, Aarwangen and Wolfwil, you will reach Aarau. Perfectly situated in the center of the city triangle of Zurich, Basel, and Lucerne, Aarau was Switzerland's first capital and home to the first Houses of Parliament. An appreciation of the arts can be felt here from the numerous cinemas, theaters, and museums, and of course the Aargau Art Valley, which has one of the most beautiful and extensive public collections of Swiss art dating from the 18th century to the present.

DAY 6: Aarau - Waldshut-Tiengen, 31 miles (50 km) 
Across the German border, today's destination is nestled in the southern Black Forest where the Aare flows into the Rhine: Waldshut-Tiengen. Waldshut-Tiengen is home to many medieval gates and towers, and is vibrant with rustic charm. Be sure to explore the castle, the parish church, and admire the beautiful Gothic houses along the way.

DAY 7: Waldshut-Tiengen - Schaffhausen, 40 miles (65 km) 
Back again to Switzerland, the day's trip will end in Schaffhausen. Most impressive about this Swiss town is the imposing Munot Fortress, which can be seen for miles. From the battlements of this stronghold, built between 1564 and 1589, you can see far and wide. Every evening at 9 p.m., the Munot guard who lives in the tower rings the Munot bell, which used to be a sign that the town gates and inns should close. 

DAY 8: Schaffhausen - Constance/Kreuzlingen, 31 miles (50 km)
From Schaffhausen, the last bike ride will lead you to Constance, or right across the river to Kreuzlingen. Constance is a lively university town lying on the shores of beautiful Lake Constance. It has been a city since as early as the 1st-century AD, and quickly became a religious center. In the Old Town, you'll find the famed cathedral dating back to the 7th-century. Due to a border anomaly, the German city Constance lies on Switzerland’s land mass, and the Swiss town of Kreuzlingen is only a short walk away.

DAY 9: Departure from Constance/Kreuzlingen.

6-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Bern
Day 2: Bern - Biel, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 3: Biel - Solothurn, 19 miles (30 km)
Day 4: Solothurn - Aarau, 37 miles (60 km)
Day 5: Aarau - Zurich, 37 miles (60 km) 
Day 6: Departure from Zurich

Looking for a different flavor?  Check out our entire list of bike tours in Europe or view all our featured bicycle tours, news, and specials.

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Customer Feedback

  • K. Whittaker 6 months ago

    While we did have wind, rain and cold temperatures, the trip was absolutely beautiful. And I believe many people could physically do this ride, especially since you offer e-bikes. The challenges for us were the "less detailed" maps for arrival at the hotels each night. This was the greatest problem in Biel, Switzerland and especially in Konstanz,Germany. We are pretty intuitive about maps and locating directions. But, I think most non-European visitors might really be frustrated with being lost at the end of the day. Also, since we had a significant amount of rain, we wore through back brake pads on the bikes. We were able to change those ourselves; because we were traveling with our son who is a bike mechanic and brought his own tools. But, better quality brake pads would have eliminated that problem. Nevertheless, Switzerland is stunningly beautiful and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We will definitely look forward to another trip such as this one. The hotels, the staff, the locations, and the Aare River were all great!!

    • Richard 5 months ago

      Hello , i read your comments, can you give me an idea of the hills on that trip ? Are there lots ? big ? Any other info you could give that would be helpfull ?

      Thanks
      Richard

  • Ron Zauski 2 years ago

    Fantastic! We biked the Aare two years ago and it was great. We sought something a bit more challenging and selected this ride. We stayed in lots of small towns, biked on beautiful trails, and saw scenery just as exquisite as is shown on this site. Salzburg was outstanding. We had only one stretch of riding on a road with traffic; otherwise, it was serene.

  • Ron Zauski 5 years ago

    First of all the scenery was breathtaking. We loved the fresh air, mountains, and lovely Swiss towns and villages. Bern was outstanding. The bell ringing cows, einstein’s home, the blue waters of the Aare and the lakes were outstanding.

    We flew to Zurich, trained to Meiringen, got our bikes smoothly, and we were off. The weather was perfect and the “standard” bikes were high quality.

    We chose the “standard” hotels and each one you chose was outstanding. The luggage was always at the next hotel before we arrived. Breakfast at each hotel was diverse and tasty.

    You could improve upon the instructions. The book we received from Swiss trails was very good for high level view of the trip. Your additional paper copies were slightly helpful. It would be great if you could provide a few hints via map or written description of some confusion spots along the way. We found ourselves lost every day, but we were able to recover due to the nicely posted trail markers found throughout Switzerland.

    When we completed the trip, we concluded that we could have done the trip without luggage. Perhaps provide a trip discount for those requiring no luggage transfer.

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