Cycling routes

Cycling routes

Col du Sanetsch – Legendary Mountain Passes

This climb is one of the finest and most demanding in Valais. Starting in the Rhône Valley and culminating at 2,200 metres, this is an ascent that demands respect!

  • Difficulty

    difficult

  • Length

    24.2 km

  • Duration

    4:30 h

  • Show on map

Covering a total altitude difference of 1,800 metres, the Col du Sanetsch route is without doubt the most demanding climb in Valais. From the valley, you first cycle through the vineyards of the municipality of Savièse, then the larch and spruce forests of the municipality of Conthey, before passing through alpine pastures and finally reaching the magnificent Tsanfleuron glacier. At each bend, the road reveals another surprise, including rock faces, waterfalls and snow-capped peaks, as more and more stunning landscapes come into view. The route gradually takes you through narrow, shady gorges lined with cool, fragrant forests. After a few brief but welcome level sections, the climb picks up again with even more gusto, offering a view of the now-distant Rhône Valley. Once you've tackled a few hairpin bends and passed by a waterfall, you’ll gradually find yourself in a landscape of alpine meadows. Cycle through a tunnel carved into the rock and your determination will be rewarded with a close-up view of the limestone pavements of the Tsanfleuron glacier.

Turn-by-turn directions

The suggested route for climbing the Col du Sanetsch starts in Conthey and passes through the villages of Vuisse and Chandolin (Savièse) to avoid the traffic on the road through Erde (Conthey). Starting from Conthey, cross the bridge that leads to the left side of the Morge valley and follow the signs to the villages of Vuisse and Chandolin, then continue in the direction of the Col du Sanetsch. After a brief descent of one kilometre, climb towards the Pont du Diable to reach the Erde-Sanetsch road, which you follow all the way up to the summit of the Col du Sanetsch. There are Valais cycle signs throughout this legendary climb.

Start: Conthey (514 m)
Destination: Col du Sanetsch (2252 m)

Author's recommendation

From the Col du Sanetsch, head to Gsteig via a short cable car journey that makes for a unique and thrilling experience, then return to central Valais via the Col du Pillon with the wind at your back.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2253 m 512 m

  • Ascent

    1814 m

  • Descent

    75 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 6.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 6.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 6 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 6.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Regional trains on the Simplon Railway to Châteauneuf-Conthey or PostBus from Sion to Conthey.

Approach

Take the A9 motorway, then exit 25 to Conthey.

Parking

Parking available in the shopping area of Conthey.

Equipment

We recommend: bike in excellent working order, helmet, gloves and bell, clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof), food and drink.

Safety information

Strictly respect the Swiss traffic rules. Please note that you are running the tour at your own risk and all liability is refused. Please be considerate to plants and animals. For your own safety, wear an helmet every time you ride a bike.Emergency numbers: 144 Ambulance / 117 Police / 1414 Helicopter Rescue (Rega).

Literature

The tourist office in Sion has brochures and information material about road cycling in the region.

Brochures: Road Cycling Map

Maps

SwissTopo Maps 1:25'000: 1306 Sion / 1286 St-Léonard