When it comes to travel and holidays, the global pandemic has really thrown something of a spanner in the works and many of us are choosing to stay closer to home for trips in 2020. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look to the future and dream up holidays of a lifetime slightly further afield in 2021 and beyond.
Cycling enthusiasts may want to put Switzerland at the very top of the list if they’re keen to get away from it all while seeing a country by bike. Why? Because many of the mountain roads that would have been used in this year’s UCI Road Cycling World Championships (sadly cancelled due to covid-19) have been resurfaced in preparation for the event… so they’re ripe and ready to be cycled on by one and all!
Verbier, one of the ski resorts that was due to host people for the championships, has some incredible cycling opportunities for you to discover. Upon leaving Verbier, you’ll be greeted with some incredible views of the Combins before you begin your descent towards Le Chable and Sembrancher.
On the way back up, you’ll make your way through the charming village of Orsieres, with a bit of a climb to take you up to the lake of Champex… some amazing cycling to be had!
Or what about putting your bike through its paces on some of the wonderful routes to be found in Vaud? 2020 was the first time that Vaud and Valais were to host the UCI Road World Championships, so seeing what this part of Switzerland has to offer could be a great way to begin your cycling holiday.
For an easy ride, you might like to try the Avenches Loop from Faoug, which should take around an hour to complete at just over ten miles in length. It’s a good choice for one and all, no matter your fitness levels, and most of the roads are paved so it’s quite easy going.
Or for something a little more challenging, there’s always Hafen in Cudrefin, the Mont Vully Loop from Delley-Portalban. You’ll need to be quite fit for this one and you may find you even need to push your bike at certain points, but highlights include the Plage de Portalban and the Auberge des Clefs… you’re sure to have a wonderful time.
And if you really want to make life a little difficult for yourself and see what your legs are capable of, what about climbing up the Petite Forclaz from Martigny, a legendary cycling route that will really have you puffing at the top.
This was to be the high point of the route for the world championships and will take you through stunning vineyards and villages Les Rappes and La Fontaine. Don’t be fooled by the beautiful scenery, however - the 400m ascent has an average gradient of 11 per cent and it represents a truly formidable challenge.
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