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

Bike rest on kramgasse in Bern, Switzerland. Photo via Wikimedia Commons:Daniel Schwen
5/5 (6 ratings)

Aare Trail

Switzerland Bike Tours

Cycle along the Aare River Path

  • 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.

    Want to see more bike tours in Switzerland?

  • 2019

    9-Day Tour:
    Season A:   £ 845 $ 1,872 994 $ 1498 NOK 9360 kr 8640 $ 1,123 Season B:   £ 929 $ 2,060 1094 $ 1648 NOK 10302 kr 9509 $ 1,236 Season C:   £ 972 $ 2,155 1144 $ 1724 NOK 10773 kr 9944 $ 1,293 Season D:   £ 1014 $ 2,249 1194 $ 1799 NOK 11244 kr 10379 $ 1,349 Single Supplement:   £ 204 $ 452 240 $ 362 NOK 2260 kr 2086 $ 271

    Season A: April 13 to April 17 + April 22 to April 26 + May 5 to May 17+ October 6 to October 13, 2019
    Season B: April 18 to April 21 + April 27 to May 4 + May 18 to May 24 + September 15 to October 5, 2019
    Season C: May 25 to June 7 + June 23 to July 12 + August 25 to September 14, 2019
    Season D: June 8 to June 22 + July 13 to August 24, 2019

     

    6-Day Tour:
    Season A: £ 590 $ 1,307 694 $ 1046 NOK 6535 kr 6032 $ 784 Season B: £ 649 $ 1,439 764 $ 1151 NOK 7194 kr 6641 $ 863 Season C: £ 675 $ 1,495 794 $ 1196 NOK 7477 kr 6902 $ 897   Single Supplement: £ 136 $ 301 160 $ 241 NOK 1507 kr 1391 $ 181

    Season A: April 13 to May 24 + September 15 to October 13, 2019
    Season B: May 25 to June 7 + June 23 to July 12 + August 25 to September 14, 2019
    Season C: June 8 to June 22 + July 13 to August 24, 2019

    extra options

    2019

    Electric Bike Rental  £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113 Return Transfer (9-day tour only) £ 81 $ 179 95 $ 143 NOK 895 kr 826 $ 107

    Extra night in Interlaken  £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113 Single Supplement  £ 34 $ 75 40 $ 60 NOK 377 kr 348 $ 45 Extra night Constance  £ 55 $ 122 65 $ 98 NOK 612 kr 565 $ 73 ​Single supplement  £ 21 $ 47 25 $ 38 NOK 235 kr 217 $ 28 Extra night Zurich:  £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113 ​Single supplement  £ 34 $ 75 40 $ 60 NOK 377 kr 348 $ 45 Extra night other places:  £ 157 $ 348 185 $ 279 NOK 1742 kr 1608 $ 209 ​Single supplement  £ 17 $ 38 20 $ 30 NOK 188 kr 174 $ 23

    Children's bicycles available: £ 34 $ 75 40 $ 60 NOK 377 kr 348 $ 45

    please note

    Child discount on request

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Zurich or Bern airports

    Local Travel

    From Zurich Airport, take the a train to Interlaken. Total trip time is approx. 2.5 hours. From Bern Airport, take a bus to Belp and then a train to Interlaken. Total trip is 1.5 hours.

    Climate

    Average high temp. in °F for Bern is approximately April 54º, May 64º, June 70º, July 75º, August 75º, September 68º, and October 57º.

    Remarks

    Tour can easily be accustomed to your life (i.e. daily mileages, overnight towns)!
    Child and Electric bikes also available for this tour.


Where You’ll Stay

3 star level hotels accommodations including breakfast

What’s Included

  • Overnight accommodations in 3 star level hotels for 5 or 8 nights
  • Breakfast
  • Hybrid touring 27 speed bicycle
  • Luggage transport
  • Route descriptions & maps (1 x room)
  • Emergency service hotline
  • GPS tracks
  • Additional for the 9-Day tour included is:
  • Boat trip Interlaken to Thun (9-day tour only)
  • Boat trip to the Rhine Falls rock (9-day tour only)
  • Entrance to Rosgartenmuseum Konstanz, including 1 coffee (9-day tour only)

What’s Not Included

  • Remaining meals
  • Public transportation
  • Helmets are not available
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
  • City tax, if applicable (to be paid at each hotel) approximately €2 per night

Extra Stay

Extra nights possible

TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillEasy
Length6–9 days
From694 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Dates

2019

Arrivals daily from April 13 to October 13, 2019

Skill Level

The route mostly follows well maintained cycle paths and 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, 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. You may choose to enjoy these views from a trip on a rack-and-pinion train.

DAY 2: Interlaken - Thun - Bern, 22 miles (35 km) + boat trip
You start the day with a pleasant two hour boat ride across Thun Lake. Sit back and relax and watch the countryside slowly slide by. From Thun, you cycle to Berne, a simple route and well suited for acclimatizing to the days to come. Goethe thought Berne to be Switzerland's most beautiful town and though 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 Switzerland, is the watch metropolis of the world. Rolex, Omega, and Tissot, among others, all have their home here. Biel's old town has many fountains fed by Roman wells as well as 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)
Today's route is short so that you have enough time to spend in the old town or on the lake at the beach. Solothurn is the capital of the canton of the same name and is considered to be Switzerland's most beautiful Baroque town. The number eleven has particular significance here: there are 11churches and chapels, 11 fountains, 11 towers and 11 steps.

DAY 5: Solothurn - Aarau, 37 miles (60 km)
The River Aare, which has by now increased considerably in size, is what shapes the landscape here. Villages, fields and a magnificent castle are on your way to Aarau, which still bears features dating back to the 16th century and from when the town was once the capital of the Helvetic Republic. Walk through the town - and keep looking up! This town is famous for its lovely gables. Be inspired by their painted scenes.

DAY 6: Aarau - Waldshut-Tiengen, 31 miles (50 km) 
Crossing into Germnay, you cycle along the Aare to Brugg, through the southern Black Forest. A visit to Habsburg Castle is recommended, the castle is the seat of the dynasty of the same name which once achieved the position of a true world power. Passing the "water castle" through which about half of the volume of Switzerland's water flows, you cycle on, via Koblenz, to where the Aare flows into the Rhine. The last section takes you to Waldshut-Tiengen, home to many medieval gates and towers, and is vibrant with rustic charm.

DAY 7: Waldshut-Tiengen - Schaffhausen, 40 miles (65 km) + Boat Trip to Rhine Falls
Back again to Switzerland, you cycle up the Rhine, passing Rheinau Abbey, which is situated idyllically on an island in the river. The closer you get to the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen, the louder the roar of the water gets. Enjoy a boat trip that takes you to the rocks of the Falls and experience the roaring mass of water all around you. In Schaffhausen, discover the 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, 31 miles (50 km)
From Schaffhausen, the last bike ride will lead you through pretty fishing villages to Constance. 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.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Tour Reviews

  • Gail A. 2 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    The Aare Trail tour was lovely! A very nice balance of urban and rural, city and village, streetscapes and countryside. Switzerland is a breathtaking country, with pristine rivers and lakes and mountains always in view. This route gave us some time in the Berner Oberland region before starting our ride to experience the Alps up close in the high country. Then, Bern is an interesting mix of natural beauty, history and government. As we worked our way further north, the Rhein River became our companion as we cycled through farm fields. The sound of cowbells was ever present. Bicycle travel provided us the perfect pace to immerse ourselves in our surroundings. Traveling through the countryside and villages along the Aare River let us interact with locals in a way that we couldn't have if we'd limited ourselves to staying in the major cities. The hotels varied from romantic boutique to modern and sleek. Very clean and with fast wifi. Breakfasts were provided at each and Read more… featured traditional pastries, meats and cheeses, muesli and local fresh yogurt. Most days, we stopped in grocery stores for our lunch, eaten picnic-style. Opportunities to dine al fresco are absolutely everywhere. I would suggest either obtaining cell phone data or using GPS to aid in more easily finding hotels at the end of the day, as the level of detail on the provided maps and street signage are limited. However, the trail signage is excellent. Though we had no guide, it was very easy to find and follow the trails throughout our tour. Similarly, our lack of language skills did not present a problem as English speakers are everywhere. The bikes (one regular and one e-bike) performed very well and were present upon our arrival. The luggage transport was very good. I would suggest keeping a bathing suit with you, as opportunities to swim in the rivers, lakes and swimming pools along this route are everywhere!

  • Manuel Pena 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    Wow. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who wants to do something out of the ordinary. Our tour started on June 3rd, and I selected the 6 day tour for my son and I and it was just the right amount of length. By the end of the last leg we were just about beat. This was an easy ride, but if you don't bike much I would recommend the E-bikes to give you a little boost along the way. The standard bike's that were given to us were in excellent condition and we had no issues throughout the trip. All of the hotels we stayed in were adequate for what was needed and were in great locations in relation to the sites of each town. Each time we arrived at our hotel we would ask the attendant for a good place to eat and they always had great recommendations. I would recommend that you ask each hotel if they have a garage to store the bike and if they don't that you definitely lock them up and remove ALL of the saddle bags from the bikes and keep the bags stored in Read more… your room for the night. Unfortunately, one of our saddle bags was stolen over night. Aside from that small incident, my son and I had a great time biking through Switzerland. Now, I'm looking forward to my next trip with my other children.

  • Evan C. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    As with my trip last year, this trip was a smooth operation. Only a few navigation problems which are part of the adventure. I'll be looking forward to another ride next year. Many thanks.

  • Marlene Z. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Most memorable part: Having lunch on our balcony at Hotel Bellevue in Interlaken facing the Alps and the beautiful blue river roaring past our hotel.

  • Will L. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    My wife and I have just returned from a fantastic cycling trip along the Aare and Rhine Rivers in Switzerland. The organization of our trip was great, bikes, luggage transfer and hotels. We were particularly pleased to stay each night either in or near to the old centre of each city. Thanks Tripsite.

  • K. Whittaker 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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, Read more… the locations, and the Aare River were all great!!

    • Richard 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      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 5 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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 7 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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 Read more… 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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