The ideal trip for road bike enthusiasts

3 Cyclists on the Nufenen ascent. Valais Switzerland

Cycling holidays - Legendary Valais passes

With more than 2,000 km of signposted cycle paths, the Valais is a must-see destination for road bike enthusiasts. Fall in love with the numerous routes that criss-cross the splendid, varied landscapes, from vineyards, valleys, and gorges to Alpine passes. Set off on an exceptional adventure on the most beautiful routes in the Valais, conquering its legendary passes thanks to our program for a perfect trip for two-wheeler lovers. Each day, starting in Martigny, this star-shaped tour takes you from the vineyards of the Rhone Valley to its fabled summits.

Day 1

Up the Col de la Croix de Cœur

Your adventure begins in Martigny, in the Rhone valley, where you drop off your luggage for three nights in a comfortable hotel before getting on your bike for an initial run. Warm up on a flat stretch to Riddes before climbing up to the Croix de Coeur pass at 2,174 metres above sea level. Once there, stop for a snack or eat at the restaurant at the top of the pass.

Activities around Martigny

Continue your route towards Verbier. On reaching Le Châble, you may choose to extend the route with a round trip to Mauvoisin dam, the second largest dam in the Valais and the highest arch dam in Europe. Finally, head back down to Martigny and stock up on delicious local products to put in your bag for your next bike excursions. In the evening, discover Valaisan gastronomy in one of the Saveurs du Valais restaurants in the region.

Day 2

From Martigny to La Forclaz

Start this new day winding through the vineyards as you ascend the Petite Forclaz. Warm up your calves on a moderate 11% slope which allows you to gain altitude quickly. A little further up, on the road to Forclaz, look at the view of the Rhone valley and the peaks of the Val de Bagnes. Don't forget to activate your Strava application to view your time and measure yourself against the athletes in the Valais-Wallis community in this section.

Ascent to Emosson dam

Continue your route through fragrant larch forests before reaching the Emosson dam wall, which hosted the Tour de France fleet in 2016. Take the opportunity to visit the dam or to discover one of the region's must-sees, such as the famous dinosaur tracks or the spectacular VerticAlp installations.

Day 3

From vineyard to glacier

This 127-kilometer loop route is the highlight of your stay, taking you from the Rhone Valley to one of the Alps’ great giants, the Sanetsch pass, located at an altitude of 2,242 metres at the foot of the Tsanfleuron glacier. Stop after this intense ascent to enjoy the beauty of the landscape and take a few steps to observe the rock formations surrounding the glacier.

Between heritage and gastronomy

A cable car will take you to the Bernese side, after which you continue your route by climbing the Col du Pillon to reach the canton of Vaud. Your return to Martigny is via the Rhone Valley. Stop in St-Maurice on the way to visit the cultural treasures of this medieval village. Once you arrive in Martigny, quench your thirst with a well-deserved beer in a local brewery.

Day 4

From the Col des Planches to the Col du Lein

End your stay in style by adding a climb and two passes to your list of achievements. This last route takes you up to the Col des Planches, then on to the Col du Lein. Catch your breath at one of the refreshment stands open during the summer season before returning to the Rhone valley on your way down to Saxon, where apricots rule supreme in summer.

Apricots (Saxon)

The emblematic fruit of the canton, the Valais apricot is produced by sun-drenched orchards. With an attractive reddish-orange colour, a velvety skin and a sweet, acidic flavour, it is one of summer’s indulgent pleasures and is equally at home in both sweet and savoury recipes.

Things to do in the Rhone valley

As you’re just a few kilometres from Martigny, a city that has a lot to offer in terms of culture and gastronomy, take a stroll to discover the Fondation Gianadda, Barryland, the Morand distillery and the Fromathèque. If you feel like it, treat yourself to an additional loop as far as Sion. Take a look at the Valère Basilica and the Château de Tourbillon, the city’s emblems, before returning to Martigny along the banks of the Rhône.