Skeleton Tours ~ Tour Of A Fortnight

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“Murray’s Handbook For Travellers In Switzerland” offered alternative tours for those not able to follow the full 136 routes that Murray individually described.

“Tour Of A Fortnight” was the shortest, taking in the “carriage-roads, char-roads and bridle or foot-paths”. It’s a great way to experience the country on a short visit and can easily be reduced to 12 days, allowing you two days either side for travelling to and from the country.

 

 

149

Day 1 ~ Schaffhausen, Rhine Fall and Zurich.

 

[NB, Schaffhausen is just 40 mins by train from Zurich Airport; 1 hour 45 mins from Basel Airport; and 3 hours 45 mins from Geneva Airport]


 

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Day 2 ~ Righi

You should cut Route 15 short at Arth (50km) and then follow:

  • ROUTE 17 ~ Ascent Of The Rigi from Goldau

  • ROUTE 17 ~ Summit Of The Rigi

Returning down the mountain to stay at Arth or Goldau (Route 17).

 


 

Day 3 ~ Altdorf – St. Gothard and Andermatt

  • ROUTE 17 ~ Lucerne to Schwyz and Brunnen

cycling from either Arth or Goldau (depending where you stayed overnight), before switching to:

  • ROUTE 18 ~ The Lake Of Lucerne

Covering just the last 13km from Brunnen to Flüelen via Tellskapelle, before switching to the long climb in:

  • ROUTE 34 ~ The Pass of St. Gothard

Stopping at Andermatt after 40km.

 


 

 

Day 4 ~ Furka and Grimsel

  • ROUTE 34 ~ The Pass of St. Gothard

before doing the following 40km climb in reverse:

  • ROUTE 30 ~ Pass Of The Furka

Reaching the summit of the Grimsel and staying at the historic Grimsel Hospiz, both described in:

  • ROUTE 28 ~ Pass Of The Grimsel


 

 

Day 5 ~ Meiringen

  • ROUTE 28 ~ Pass Of The Grimsel

Whilst Meiringen itself is described in:

  • ROUTE 27 ~ Grindelwald to Meiringen

 


 

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Day 6 ~ Grindelwald

  • ROUTE 27 ~ Grindelwald to Meiringen

Whilst Grindelwald itself is described in:

  • ROUTE 27 ~ Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald

 


 

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Day 7 ~ Lauterbrunnen and Thun

  • ROUTE 27 ~ Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald by road

covers the paved 17km, mostly downhill, journey (in reverse) through pretty Alpine valley villages and allows you more time to explore Lauterbrunnen. Alternatively:

  • ROUTE 27 ~ Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald by the Wengern Alp

is possibly the most spectacular route within the entire “Murray’s Handbook For Travellers In Switzerland”.  You can pay to have your bags (and bikes) forwarded on from Grindelwald station to either Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken or Thun, which should help with the ascent of the tough 20km unpaved mountain bike route (in reverse), which climbs to Kleine Scheidegg (avoidable by train if you’ve dumped your bike), before dropping down to the car free mountain resort of Wengen and thence Lauterbrunnen, which is described in:

  • ROUTE 27 ~ Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen

Again, in reverse, you also follow this quick 15km descent down the mountain on paved roads to Interlaken, where you then join:

  • ROUTE 27 ~ Lake of Thun

Once more, in reverse, you follow the last 30km to Thun, the town described in detail on:

  • ROUTE 27 ~ Bern to Thun

 


 

Day 8 ~ Gemmi Pass and Leuk

  • ROUTE 38 ~ Pass of the Gemmi

Cycling the tough 35km climb from Thun to Kandersteg, you then need to pause the route and make a decision, based upon how long it’s taken you to get here so far.

There’s no way of cycling over the 7 hour Gemmi Pass hiking route, from Kandersteg to Leukerbad, so – presuming you have missed the deadline for forwarding your bike and bags from Kandersteg station to Leukerbad – you are left with a choice of how to complete the route:

  1. Store your bike and bags at Kandersteg station. Hike for 7 hours to Leukerbad + 1 hour to Leuk. Stay in either Leukerbad or Leuk (don’t forget your toothbrush) and catch a return train to Kandersteg and back in the morning to collect your bike.
  2. Get a hotel in Kandersteg and hike for 7 hours to Leukerbad + 1 hour to Leuk. Then get the last train back from Leuk, (usually around 21:40). The next morning, catch the train back to Leuk with your bike.
  3. Leave your bike and bags at Kandersteg station. Hike for 7 hours to Leukerbad + 1 hour to Leuk. Then get the train back to Kandersteg, (last one around 21:40). The next morning – or the same evening if you have time – catch the train back to Leuk with your bike.
  4. Mountain bikers can either cycle (and largely push) their bikes up the steep hiking path from Kandersteg to Sunnbüel, or travel with it on the cable car. Cycle off road to the Gemmi Pass cable car station and catch it down to Leukerbad, carrying your bike on board.
  5. Leave your bike and bags at Kandersteg station. Save 2 hours by getting the cable car to Sunnbüel and then a further 1 hour with the cable car down to Leukerbad. Get the bus to Leuk (40 minutes) and train to Kandersteg (1 hour 15 mins) to collect your bike.  Either stay in Kandersteg or catch the train back to Leuk with your bike, if you have time.
  6. Do as John Murray did, and hike all the way from Thun (sending your bike and bags ahead to Leukerbad from the station). At close to 70km, expect to take 16 hours (although easily reduced if you catch the buses, trains and cable cars along the route).

 

 


 

 

Day 9 ~ Martigny

  • ROUTE 59 ~ The Passage of the Simplon

 

 


 

Days 10 & 11 ~ Tête-Noire and Chamonix

  • ROUTE 116 ~ Chamonix to Martigny

He allows an extra day at Chamonix, possibly to explore Mont Blanc or the other mountains, which are described in detail on:

  • ROUTE 115 ~ Chamonix

Again, if you are pushed for time, you can cut this down to one day.

 


 

Day 12 ~ Geneva

  • ROUTE 115 ~ Geneva to Chamonix

The city of Geneva described in:

  • ROUTE 53 ~ Geneva

 


 

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Day 13 ~ Bern

  • ROUTE 56 ~ Geneva to Martigny

At Lausanne, you have two options to Bern, both followed in reverse. Either the tough 105km

  • ROUTE 42 ~ Bern to Lausanne via Fribourg

Which takes in the historic city of Fribourg after 70km, as described at

  • ROUTE 42 ~ Fribourg

Or the shorter, 100km, route via the castles at Avenches and Murten on the 

  • ROUTE 43 ~ Bern to Lausanne via Murten

The capital city of Bern is described in

  • ROUTE 24 ~ Bern

 


 

3

Day 14 ~ Basel

With the city of Basel being described at:

 

[NB, Basel is just 25 mins by bus or bike from Basel EuroAirport; 1 hour 30 mins by train from Zurich Airport; and 3 hours by train from Geneva Airport]

 


 

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