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Conquer the Alps—by Bike
Michael Holtz has created a journey that takes in some of the highest peaks of the Swiss Alps, by bicycle. You'll ascend to the top of the Oberalp Pass and Julier Pass, among other iconic sites in the Swiss Alps, but there's also plenty of time to experience St. Moritz, Andermatt, and other stops along the way. Don't be intimidated if you aren't a serious cyclist—the Smart Flyer team will customize this trip according to your biking abilities and your time pedaling with be as strenuous, or not, as you like. Your trip will end just over the border in Italy, where you'll get to experience the country's lakes before heading home.
  • Original swiss bike olympic.jpg?1430766748?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / J. Donatsch
    Day 1
    Lausanne
    You will be met upon your arrival in Geneva, and taken to the beautiful lakeside city of Lausanne. You will be set up with your bike in preparation for the next day's ride. Afterwards you can visit the Olympic Museum—Lausanne is the home of the International Olympic Committee.
  • Original swiss bike montreux.jpg?1430767482?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 2
    From Lausanne to Crans Montana
    The second day, and first day of cycling, takes us around the northeastern shore of Lake Geneva, an area of outstanding natural beauty and a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will pass through the historic town of Montreux and then after another 30 miles of riding through the orchards and vineyards of the Rhone Valley we will reach the base of Crans Montana, the only serious ascent of the day.
  • Original swiss biking furkapass.jpg?1430773143?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 3
    From Crans Montana to Andermatt
    The third day will take us deep into the Alps. After descending from Crans Montana, we will continue up the Rhone Valley, using quiet sideroads and bicycle paths wherever possible. After some 25 miles, the gradient increases for a true Alpine cycling experinece, with almost 30 miles of continuous climbing to the summit of the Furkapass at 7,959 feet. From the summit, a short descent brings us to the charming village of Andermatt, where we will spend the night.
  • Original swiss biking st moritz.jpg?1430769006?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Robert Boesch
    Day 4
    From Andermatt to St. Moritz
    This will be the toughest days of the week, taking in two iconic passes of the Swiss Alps: the Oberalp Pass and the Julier Pass. The climb to the Oberalp Pass begins after leaving Andermatt until reaching 6,713 feey. A 30-mile descent follows before a short climb to Films, followed by a short descent and then climb to Julier Pass. Our marathon day ends with a fast ride down to St. Moritz.
  • Original swiss bike day 5.jpg?1430773090?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 5
    From St. Moritz to Bormio, Italy
    The fifth day is an easy ride, from St. Moritz to Bormio and the base of Mt. Stelvio. You'll cross the border into Italy at the Passo del Bernina after a relatively easy 11-mile climb. At the end of the day, an exhilirating 12-mile descent will bring us to Bormio.
  • Original swiss bike day 6.jpg?1430774887?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Roland Gerth
    Day 6
    Ride to the Top of Two of Europe's Highest Passes
    This day will likely be a highlight of your trip, as we climb up and over the Passo dello Stelvio, the highest pass in Italy, just a few hundred meters from the Swiss border. We'll descend the other side which has a number of photo opportunities, and then loop around the bottom of the valley before returning over the Passo Umbrail, the highest pass in Switzerland.
  • Day 7
    Transfer to Bellagio and Visit the Madonna del Ghisallo
    On our final day we will transfer to Bellagio, perhaps the most beautiful town in the Italian lakes. Your last ride of the week will be a short pilgrimage to the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of cycling. The week will end with a celebratory meal in Bellagio and a transfer to Milan Malpensa the following morning for your flight home.