It’s a case of “two wheels good, four wheels bad” when you explore Switzerland’s lesser-known parts by bike.

When you travel by bike you get to know a place more slowly, more intimately; taking your time to explore the byways and backtracks that you can miss when you fly over, or zoom through, a country on mass transport. With a biking holiday, the journey stops being the boring bit and it becomes THE POINT.

It offers you the chance to discover the bars frequented by locals, restaurants you have never heard of, and sites devoid of the usual tourist hoards.

And Switzerland is not afraid of lycra-clad travellers. Known for its efficient public transport and bonkers natural beauty this is one country that loves its cyclists. Ever stayed in a bike hotel? Well, these Swiss stays are geared (pun intended!) towards cyclists offering bike hire, bike assistance and cycling trails at their doorstep. They are usually run by mad-keen cyclists too, so you can get awesome advice for your trip.

More than two million visitors to Switzerland adding cycling to their itinerary, so don’t miss out and join them on a thoroughly scenic and enjoyable European holiday.


Go castle-hopping in Aargau

Switzerland Summer

How often do you get to park your bike in a castle? When you set off on two wheels through the northern canton of Aargau – home to the Aare River – you can ride your bike to the 17-century Schloss Bottstein, a bright-white castle with an internal courtyard that welcomes riders.

Take a break by the fountain and fill up your water bottle or laze around under the ample leafy trees. Then set off along the rolling green banks of the Aare for an afternoon of perfect cycling.

Cruising alongside the Aare will show you why cycling trips to Switzerland are on the rise and you will find other routes through the Alps that cut off traffic to give you a freer ride – this really is the best way to see Europe and the Swiss are the leaders in bike tourism.


Travel the Rhine Cycle Route

Switzerland Summer

Europe’s mighty Rhine River starts its journey in the Swiss Alps and you can cycle the route of the river and see the life and commerce that has sprung up around it. The river gives water to the wine-growers in Graubünden and the Rhine valley; it helped start the town of Chur, now the oldest city in Switzerland; and the bracing waters of the Rhine are perfect for a post-cycling dip to cool off.

Why not cheat a bit and see more? You can jump on and off trains here easily and that allows you to cover more ground, such as the historic town of Stein am Rein and its local restaurant tucked away in ancient alleyways.


Head into the Swiss National Park

Switzerland. get natural. With gentle support through the Lower Engadine, Graubuenden. Cyclists on e-bikes in the Val S-charl. Schweiz. ganz natuerlich. Mit sanfter Unterstuetzung durch das Unterengadin. Radfahrer auf Elektrobikes im Val S-charl. Suisse. tout naturellement. Avec un soutien douce a travers de la Basse-Engadine, Grisons. Des cyclistes sur des Cycles electriques dans le Val S-charl. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism - By-Line: Perret

If you fancy a longer rider how about taking a four-day trip across the Swiss National Park, where you might spot red deer, ibex or the cute marmot. The natural beauty here is without peer; soaring peaks, pristine rivers and alpine meadows. This is one for the nature lovers and don’t be put off by the hilly surrounds, the paths are an easy ride and an e-bike with a helpful little motor can take the edge of any climbs.

Another part of cycling’s appeal is it is an eco-friendly way to travel, so you are saving this pristine natural environment for other travellers – and the marmots!


Take it easy

Schweiz. ganz natuerlich. Tourenbiker Paar unterwegs auf dem Rheinschiff "Thurgau" kurz nach Stein am Rhein.

Cycle life: taking bikes on a boat in Stein am Rhein.

Cycling is big in Switzerland, so much so that they have a platform where cyclists can find out which mountain passes are closed off to motorists for their exclusive use – it’s called Ride the Alps. Check it out before you go.

For more information visit My Switzerland.

Would you like to cycle the Swiss Alps?

READ: Get more out of a guided tour of Switzerland

READ: 5 things you need to know before travelling to Switzerland

Written by Paul Chai, KarryOn contributor

This article is brought to you by My Switzerland: