1 Rhone Route
1 Rhone Route

Cycling in Switzerland

etappe-0929

Rhone Route

Stage 3, Brig–Sierre

Route report
49 photos

VL_001_03_400_Gampel2_R_F_M.jpg
etappe-0929

Rhone Route

The main valley in the Valais widens, sun warms the dry mountain slopes. Between Leuk and Sierre an unruly part of the Rhone, and the Pfynwald, a nature reserve on a huge mound of glacier detritus; a motorway will be built here by 2020.
After one last look at the Stockalper Palace, we leave the cosy and traditional town of Brig with its rich history. Soon the birds fly fearlessly around our heads, darting from bushes and nearby cornfields. The noises from the road, railway and industry are barely noticeable from the other side of the Rhone, perfectly «soundproofed» by the trees and river. Unassuming from the outside but spectacular on the inside, Brigerbad is the largest open-air thermal spa in the Alps: probably not the worst way to soothe aching muscles…

The route continues comfortably through Lalden and Baltschieder. Lucky visitors will be able to see a farmer shearing his sheep. The typical black-nosed sheep are sheared twice a year, as their long hair makes them very sensitive to heat. Lovers of German literature will be most delighted to reach the next destination. Known as the «Rilke village», Raron is a beautiful place that has been lovingly spruced up. The world-famous poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) settled in Valais in 1921 and chose Raron’s castle hill as his final resting place.

Then suddenly, vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. The Valais Wine Trail begins in Leuk and covers 83 kilometres all the way to Martigny. Just after Leuk is also where the Pfynwald Nature Park begins. Switzerland’s largest pine forest, a patchwork of extreme drought and idyllic alluvial landscapes, forms a unique habitat for 470 plant varieties and 130 species of breeding birds. Here, the cycle path on the wide main road runs slightly uphill once again. Despite the noise of an occasional truck, passing cyclists can still take in a healthy dose of the «Pfynwald atmosphere» between Leuk and Sierre. The Rhone Route is also dotted with gravel pits and quarries for them to admire. No wonder, as Valais seems positively surrounded by rock and stone. The route soon reaches Sierre, once dubbed «the town of a hundred hills» by the Romans. The wine capital of Valais also forms the language border between French-speaking Lower Valais and German-speaking Upper Valais.
The main valley in the Valais widens, sun warms the dry mountain slopes. Between Leuk and Sierre an unruly part of the Rhone, and the Pfynwald, a nature reserve on a huge mound of glacier detritus; a motorway will be built here by 2020.
After one last look at the Stockalper Palace, we leave the cosy and traditional town of Brig with its rich history. Soon the birds fly fearlessly around our heads, darting from bushes and nearby cornfields. The noises from the road, railway and industry are barely noticeable from the other side of the Rhone, perfectly «soundproofed» by the trees and river. Unassuming from the outside but spectacular on the inside, Brigerbad is the largest open-air thermal spa in the Alps: probably not the worst way to soothe aching muscles…

The route continues comfortably through Lalden and Baltschieder. Lucky visitors will be able to see a farmer shearing his sheep. The typical black-nosed sheep are sheared twice a year, as their long hair makes them very sensitive to heat. Lovers of German literature will be most delighted to reach the next destination. Known as the «Rilke village», Raron is a beautiful place that has been lovingly spruced up. The world-famous poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) settled in Valais in 1921 and chose Raron’s castle hill as his final resting place.

Then suddenly, vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. The Valais Wine Trail begins in Leuk and covers 83 kilometres all the way to Martigny. Just after Leuk is also where the Pfynwald Nature Park begins. Switzerland’s largest pine forest, a patchwork of extreme drought and idyllic alluvial landscapes, forms a unique habitat for 470 plant varieties and 130 species of breeding birds. Here, the cycle path on the wide main road runs slightly uphill once again. Despite the noise of an occasional truck, passing cyclists can still take in a healthy dose of the «Pfynwald atmosphere» between Leuk and Sierre. The Rhone Route is also dotted with gravel pits and quarries for them to admire. No wonder, as Valais seems positively surrounded by rock and stone. The route soon reaches Sierre, once dubbed «the town of a hundred hills» by the Romans. The wine capital of Valais also forms the language border between French-speaking Lower Valais and German-speaking Upper Valais.
42 km
Asphalted: 35 km
Natural surface: 7 km
170 m | 320 m
easy

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Brig
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Hints

Hint
Beware: in good weather a strong wind blows up the valley in the afternoon in the Valais.

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Hint
Beware: motorway construction through the Pfynwald between Leuk and Sierre starting in 2015. Possible diversions, dusty temporary roads, sections blocked or no signalization.
Bypass Pfynwald
17
Bypass Pfynwald
Rail, bus, boat recommendation
Leuk–Sierre/Siders
or
Sierre/Siders–Leuk
Reason: Dangerous stretch, main road, metres in height saved Sierre/Siders–Leuk approx. 100m.
SBB Timetable

Hints

Biking in swiss parks
Between Susten and Sierre lies the Pfynwald, the heart of the Pfyn-Finges Nature Park. A huge pine forest occupies the valley floor through which the wild Rhone flows. The park stretches from the vineyards to the summit of the Weisshorn (4500 m).
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More …

Diversion, Visp
Duration
until the end of 2021
Reason
Construction & maintenance work
The route is being diverted. Please follow the local signposts. See map for details.
Data source: SwitzerlandMobility / Cantonal office
Diversion, Brigerbad
Duration
09.04.2021 - 18.06.2021
Reason
Rockfall
The route is being diverted. Please follow the local signposts. See map for details.
Data source: SwitzerlandMobility / Cantonal office

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Sierre/Siders
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Services

Accommodation

Hotel Ambassador
Hotel Ambassador
Brig
Hotel Europe
Hotel Europe
Brig
Hof Gentinetta
Hof Gentinetta
Visp
Visperhof
Visperhof
Visp
Hotel Alpenblick
Hotel Alpenblick
Zeneggen
Hotel Restaurant Bahnhof
Hotel Restaurant Bahnhof
Ausserberg
Hotel-Restaurant Ronalp
Hotel-Restaurant Ronalp
Bürchen
Hotel Alpenhof Unterbäch
Hotel Alpenhof Unterbäch
Unterbäch VS
Sporthotel Walliserhof
Sporthotel Walliserhof
Unterbäch
BnB & Bike Rental Eischoll
BnB & Bike Rental Eischoll
Eischoll
Hotel-Restaurant Relais Bayard
Hotel-Restaurant Relais Bayard
Susten
Schlosshotel Leuk
Schlosshotel Leuk
Leuk Stadt
B&B zum Schleif
B&B zum Schleif
Varen
Castel de Daval
Castel de Daval
Sierre
Hotel de la Poste
Hotel de la Poste
Sierre
Le gîte de Briey
Le gîte de Briey
Chalais
Chalet Diognysos bed + breakfast
Chalet Diognysos bed + breakfast
Crans-Montana
B & B La Forge de Diogne
B & B La Forge de Diogne
Crans-Montana
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Bookable offers

1 Rhone Route
1 Rhone Route
1 Rhone Route: Stroll Tour
1 Rhone Route: Stroll Tour
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Places

Brig
Brig
Visp / 'Rund um Visp'
Visp / 'Rund um Visp'
Ausserberg
Ausserberg
Bürchen and Unterbäch
Bürchen and Unterbäch
Raron
Raron
Gampel
Gampel
Leuk
Leuk
Sierre, Salgesch et environs
Sierre, Salgesch et environs
Vercorin
Vercorin
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Places of interest

Museum of the Swiss Guards
Museum of the Swiss Guards
Saffron - The Red Gold from the village
Saffron - The Red Gold from the village
Castle Kaspar Stockalper
Castle Kaspar Stockalper
The highest vineyards in Europe
The highest vineyards in Europe
Lufu-Trail
Lufu-Trail
Bridge over the Dalaschlucht
Bridge over the Dalaschlucht
Pfyn-Finges Nature Park
Pfyn-Finges Nature Park
Valais Wine and Vine Museum
Valais Wine and Vine Museum
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Swimming

Brigerbad - The open-air thermal complex
Brigerbad - The open-air thermal complex
Outdoor Swimming Pool Lac de Géronde
Outdoor Swimming Pool Lac de Géronde
"Guillamo" indoor swimming pool in Siders
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