switzerland-07

Switzerland 🇨🇭

DOWNLOAD THE GPX TRACK

By downloading this GPX track you agree to these conditions - READ HERE
The trail has been put up by country based volunteers. The accuracy of the trail is not guaranteed, nor are the GPS co-ordinates. We do not represent or warrant that materials in the site or the services are accurate, complete, reliable, current or error-free. We cannot represent or warrant that the site or its servers are free of viruses or other harmful components. If you stray onto private land, apologise and get back onto the byway or trail. These trails can be shut or permanently closed at short notice under local law. Do not ride trails beyond your capability. If unsure, get off your bike and walk the trail first. Trail riding alone, especially on trails you do not know is really unwise. Wear the proper safety kit. Many country trails are rarely maintained. You will find ruts, holes, floods, treacherous surfaces and the occasional booby trap hazard deliberately placed by people who do not like motorcycles using trails. When you use the trails, you are on your own. You exercise your judgement in your own skills and your own navigation. All we can do is show you where some of the trails are, but this can change at a moment's notice.

Practical tips for trails you do not know;

1: Ride in at least a pair. If you fall with a motorcycle pinning you down to cold and damp earth, in the Europe we do not have to worry about being eaten by exotic carnivores (usually!) but exposure, hypothermia and shock can do a very effective job of killing you. Do not rely on the trails having a regular through flow of users to come to your aid;

2: If your riding companion cannot pick your bike up off you then get a lighter bike, a stronger riding companion or ride in a bigger group;

3: Trails can vary immensely. A vehicular right of way can be a rocky or muddy scramble;

4: Adventure bikes – especially on adventure tyres – can struggle with some trails. Do not just bowl into trails because they are on a map – they can be horribly technical and totally unsuitable for even fairly competent riders on light machines or experienced riders on bigger machines;

5: Stop for horses and kill your engines to let equestrians pass. A horse spooking at a bike revving will be likely to result in criminal charges if the police get involved and a motorcycle is a lot easier to control than a horse;

6: On the trails there will be free running dogs. Do your best to be nice to them;

7: Mobile phone coverage can be patchy on the trails. Do not rely on calling an ambulance – if you’ve got stuck, the emergency services are going to get just as stuck trying to retrieve you. That is if you can raise them by telephone;

8: Finally, obey the golden rule, which is don’t be a dick by unnecessarily annoying other country side users or letting ego outstrip talent.

ROUTE INFO

1Length of TET in country
560km
2Expected time to cover TET in country
2-3 days
3Best time of year to ride TET in country
June to October is best.

Check for seasonal road closures while planning your trip. Passes and roads at higher altitude might be closed until mid-June or beginning in late October. Due to our numerous microclimates in the alps snowfall might occur at any time of the year. You can find useful information about current road conditions and closures in the following link: https://www.alpen-paesse.ch/en/
4Entry point into country
TET Switzerland‘s entry point for riders coming from north is in Lucelle at the Swiss-French border.
5Exit point from country
TET Switzerland‘s southern exit point is at Simplon pass where it easily connects to TET Italy.
6Language(s)
German, French, Italian, Romansh
7Currency
Swiss Francs (CHF).

Most shops, petrol stations, restaurants or campgrounds will accept Euros – often they return change in Swiss Francs though.
8Emergency telephone number
National emergency numbers are:

144 (Ambulance)

117 (Police)

140 (bike assistance / towing service)

163 (road/traffic information)

1414 (air rescue)

112 as an international emergency is being adapted in Switzerland.

Please note: In most cases, air rescue by helicopter is the fastest way to get immediate help in Switzerland (especially in remote mountain areas). Consider though that it might come with immense costs if your insurance doesn't cover such a service. An easy way to get full coverage is by making a donation to the Swiss Air Rescue called REGA.

You can find more information here: https://www.rega.ch/en/home.aspx
9Drive on the...
Right
10Laws regarding wild camping
Generally, wild camping is not forbidden in Switzerland. However, in some cantons or regions local restrictions might apply to Swiss National Parks, Swiss game or wildlife reserves, nature reserves or designated wildlife areas during the protection period. An overview of areas banned from wild camping is listed here:

http://www.alternatives-wandern.ch/biwak/biwakverbote.htm

A very useful guide to wild camping in Switzerland is available here:

English:

https://www.sac-cas.ch/fileadmin/Umwelt/Naturverträglicher_Bergsport/Campieren___Biwakieren/SAC-Camping-Bivouacking.pdf German:

https://www.sac-cas.ch/fileadmin/Umwelt/Naturverträglicher_Bergsport/Campieren___Biwakieren/SAC-umwelt-campieren-biwakieren-flyer-2018.pdf French:

https://www.sac-cas.ch/fileadmin/Umwelt/Naturverträglicher_Bergsport/Campieren___Biwakieren/SAC-Camper-Bivouaquer.pdf Italian:

https://www.sac-cas.ch/fileadmin/Umwelt/Naturverträglicher_Bergsport/Campieren___Biwakieren/SAC-Campeggio-Bivacco.pdf Campfires:

During Summer or Winter when precipitation is rather low, making an open fire might be temporarily prohibited in order to prevent wildfires. Please check the current situation on the Meteo Suisse web page where all hazards and warnings are released on a daily basis: https://www.meteoswiss.admin.ch/
11Trail riding and the law
According to the so-called “Forest Law” it is forbidden to ride in Swiss forests even - if there is no explicit sign. Unfortunately, in Switzerland anything except forests happens to be mountains, natural reserves, farmland, lakes, inhabited or industrial areas or simply paved roads. There are exceptions of which some are included in TET Switzerland. Some of them require a day-permit which can be purchased at the local tourist office or simply at pay machines located at the trailheads (check POIs included in the GPX file).
12Bike events on or near the TET
Ace Cafe Lucerne has gatherings and events every weekend. If you happen to stay in the region (Section 2) a visit is totally worth it. More information here: http://www.acecafeluzern.ch

Also check the POIs included in the GPX file: there are a number of restaurants and lodges along the trail. Many of these are well-known bike-meets and you'll probably bump into fellow riders there.

ROUTE OVERVIEW

While many people choose a straight line to ride through Switzerland, TET Switzerland aims to provide an alternative route using mostly minor backcountry roads, off-pavement trails and a couple of classic alpine passes as well. Since finding legal off-pavement trails in the country is not easy, we have started mapping these. All are 100% legal and can be combined to form a route through Switzerland that relates to the idea of TET – celebrating lightweight motorcycle adventure and the rich experience of exploring off the beaten track routes, hidden valleys, scenic landscapes as well as Switzerland's plurilingual cultures and borders.

It's a work in progress and thanks to everybody's help by the time we hope to add more off-pavement trails to TET Switzerland. If you know any legal trails that should be included in TET Switzerland, please contact me at: CH@transeurotrail.org

Section 1:

When entering the country from north you will first cross the Jura mountains – one of Switzerland's less populated areas. Situated on the French border the local language is French and you might also find that from a cultural and culinary angle this region also relates alot to its neighbouring country. As soon as you pass Lake Neuchatel and Lake Biel, the population grows and so does urbanisation. There are quite a few towns and villages along this stretch before entering the Bernese backcountry where you also enter Switzerland’s German-speaking part. Here the Gurnigel Pass welcomes you with scenic rides and stunning views.

Section 2:

Starting close to the city of Thun, Section 2 leads you straight into the Emmental valley – best known for its huge Emmental cheeses – check out the POIs for the opportunity to buy some of this genuine product. The next part on TET Switzerland is called Entlebuch. Being part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, it's an area with plenty of minor roads and passes – one of these leading you to the lake of Sarnen where you enter Switzerland's most central region. In fact, Switzerland's geographic centre is one of the POIs included in TET Switzerland and even though it’s mainly a paved road, the ride up there is totally worthwhile for its endless views and the Aelggialp Lodge located at the top of the trail. From here the trail leads you on a short gravel stretch to the top of the historic Brünig Pass and on to one of our classic alpine passes: Susten Pass. At its end, Section 2 reaches Andermatt, located just at the bottom of Oberalp Pass and Gotthard Pass (currently, there are a couple of construction sites around Andermatt – be patient & careful when riding).

Section 3:

Starting at the Tourist Office in Andermatt, Section 3 is waiting with two fantastic off-pavement trails: the Unteralp Vallley and the Tätschstrasse. Both trails require the purchase of a day-permit (please check the POIs included in the GPX file):

- Unteralptal near Andermatt: Permit (12,- CHF) can be purchased at the Tourist Office in front of the railway station in Andermatt

- Tätschstrasse above Realp at the Furkaroad: Permit (7,-) can be purchased at a vending machine standing at the trailhead (coins only!)

Due to the exposed topographical location of both trails, regular maintenance by the local rangers is required – so the fee is a fair solution to contribute to their work and is absolutely worth it for the surrounding alpine landscape and views over the Gotthard region. At the top of Unteralp Valley the Vermigels-lodge offers a nice opportunity to spend a night in the mountains. Another option is the campground in Andermatt (check POIs) or wild camping along the Tätschstrasse (be careful riding the last part of this trail since it becomes quite washed out towards its end, check POI). Once you've arrived at the top of Furkapass – another Swiss alpine classic – you take the road down to the Rhone valley and the Simplon Pass connecting TET Switzerland to TET Italy. This last bit is another stretch that is quite dense in terms of population and traffic. I'll be working on this part in order to find some alternatives that avoid staying too much on the main road in the middle of the valley.

Technically speaking and from a trail riding point of view, TET Switzerland is rather "light" trail compared to TETs in other countries. However, all sections include routes that climb to high altitudes (some over 2000m) and even if all the trails included are fairly easy to ride in dry weather conditions this might drastically change when rain or snowfall is encountered. So keep an eye on the weather forecast and check with the local tourist offices or lodges for more information.


WHAT NOT TO MISS

Along with the breathtaking views you will experience when riding TET Switzerland there are a number of mountain lodges on the trail (tagged as POIs in the GPX file). A night in one of these lodges is a fantastic experience and besides being surrounded by peaks, lakes and waterfalls usually, the caretaker will prepare you a warm and regional meal.

As an alternative to lodges and given the fact that wild camping is widely accepted in Switzerland (especially above the tree line in the mountains) a night out watching the stars is an absolute must!


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