The Swiss Lakes Cycling

From $2088 per person

****# Based on 22 customer reviews
  • Perfect for families and first timers: effortless cycling, flexible routes, virtually traffic-free trails
  • Discover Roman remains, frescoed mediaeval squares, majestic chateaux
  • Postcard-pretty villages, chicwaterfront cafes, lakeside swimming
  • Distant Alpine views - Eiger, Mont Blanc, High Bernese Alps
  • Eclectic mix of accommodation from a coaching inn to a boutique hotel

What's included?

  • 8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 7 May '16 to 24 Sep '16
  • All buffet breakfasts and 4 evening meals included
  • Managed by Headwater appointed agent
  • Sustainability rating: 84%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Option to shorten routes

Excellent for...

The Swiss Lakes Cycling

Beautifully flat and unspoilt, the enticing Swiss Jura region on the French border is perfect for exploring on two wheels. Vineyards and chateaux in the east sweep down fertile hillsides to meet a trio of sparkling Swiss lakes: Neuchatel, Biel and Murtensee. Dedicated cycling paths will take you through a land of grand castles, Roman ruins, nature reserves, vineyards and waterfalls.

Families will love stopping for cool swims and ice creams in shady waterfront parks, while culture lovers will revel in highlights like the Roman city of Avenches (Aventicum) and the collection of castles and museums they'll pass pedalling effortlessly from one hotel to the next. En route, discover the picturesque sugar town of Aarberg, elegant Neuchatel's frescoed mansions, soothing hot spa baths in Yverdon-les-Bains and mediaeval arcaded streets in Murten.

Our selected hotels are an eclectic mix of old coaching inns, grand townhouses and stylish boutique accommodation on the Neuchatel waterfront. We have included evening meals in Aarberg and Murten and left dining choices in your hands in Neuchatel and Yverdon, so you can explore the many restaurant options on offer. The flexibility of this holiday is fantastic; all cycling days can be shortened, just by hopping on a local train, post bus or ferry with your bicycle, and we can even kit you out with an electric bike - the choice is yours.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Aarberg

Arrive at Christophe and Astrid Muller's half-timbered hotel in Aarberg. There's time to explore the pretty town before dinner.

Day 2 - Aarberg to Neuchatel 35km/22mi

Rumble across the 350-year-old covered bridge over Aarberg's old moat to reach Lake Biel before stopping off for lunch under shady poplars on St Petersinsel. Pass below Erlach's pretty castle, pausing perhaps at one of the chic cafes lining shimmering Lake Neuchatel below the Jura Mountains. Enjoy a drink on the hotel terrace this evening, watching streamlined yachts moor up for the night below you.

Day 3 - At Neuchatel

Famous for its 140 fountains and Louis XIV architecture, Neuchatel is a real pleasure to explore. You can see antique mechanical figures, the ancestors of Swiss watchmaking, in the local museum, or visit genuine craftsmen and antique timepieces at the watchmaking museum in nearby La Chaux-de-Fonds. For views to the Eiger and Mont Blanc, ride the funicular from La Coudre to Chaumont summit (1180m), or sail to Cudrefin on the opposite shore to pedal back along cycle trails through lakeside cornfields.

Day 4 - Neuchatel to Yverdon-les-Bains 42km/26.5mi

You can almost reach out to pick grapes as you sail through the sea of vines that cover Lake Neuchatel's western shore. Sample Jocelyn and Cinzia Vouga's zesty wines in Cortaillod, then after a short ascent through cool, fragrant pinewoods, pick a village cafe for lunch with distant Alpine views. Drop into Chateau de Grandson to see Greta Garbo's Rolls Royce before reaching Yverdon - a spa town where soothing hot springs await, and in whose mediaeval streets you will dine out for the next two nights.

Day 5 - At Yverdon-les-Bains

Quirky wooden sailors' huts and open parks line Yverdon's waterfront, and well-mapped and signposted cycling excursions lace local country lanes. Apart from lake or hot spa swimming, the town is packed with history - the marketplace is dominated by a C13 chateau. Visit the Swiss Fashion Museum housing 200 years of vintage clothing, browse 6,000 years of regional history in the Museum of Yverdon or appreciate artwork decorating the walls of the old town granary vaults!

Day 6 - Yverdon-les-Bains to Murten 21km/13.5mi or 49km/31mi

Look out for white egret, purple heron and honey buzzard as you coast through shady forest along Lake Neuchatel's eastern shore, much of it a protected nature reserve, linked by sun-dappled bike trails. Reach Estavayer's warren of tangled streets in time for lunch; you can shorten the day by hopping on the train here, or tackle Montmagny Hill. Spin down the other side for a splash in the Murtensee, then pedal into Murten village, so pretty it could be a mediaeval film set!

Day 7 - At Murten

Cycle around Murtensee today, stopping for lunch below the vines on Mont Vully, or cycle 10km to nearby Avenches, once the Roman city of Aventicum; packed with Roman ruins including an impressive amphitheatre, it makes a perfect day trip. Alternatively, hop on the train (36 mins) to Switzerland's UNESCO capital Bern, to explore miles of lauben, (mediaeval arcaded shops), visit Einstein's old home, and watch the animated puppets on the Zytglogge - the historic city clock.

Day 8 - Murten to Aarberg 26km/16.5mi

The area between Murten and Aarberg is known as the Grosse Moos, the market garden of Switzerland! Your route meanders between sleepy villages dotted amid immaculate fields of summer vegetables and sunflowers, cobwebbed with irrigation canals full of egret chasing turquoise dragonflies. Pick a comfortable spot for a picnic and admire views of the High Bernese Alps, then coast back into Aarberg's bustling town square for a final, atmospheric, al fresco dinner.

Day 9 - Leave Aarberg

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day and £18 per child per day. Please contact us on 1-800-567-6286 for further details.

Hotel Krone, Aarberg   (3 Star)

Hotel Krone, Aarberg

The Hotel Krone, also known as the Hotel Couronne (The Crown in English), is in the heart of this pretty village on the enormous oval town ‘square'. The building has been a hotel for several hundred years, as the creaking floorboards and old black and white photos on the corridor walls will attest.

The 25 bedrooms are on the second and third floors, corridors lined with black and white photos of Aarberg in the old days. Bedrooms are quite modern and spacious, many with sloping ceilings as the third floor is in the eaves. En suite bathrooms are white tile and chrome, and most rooms have views out onto the village square.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access

Hotel Beaulac, Neuchatel   (4 Star)

Hotel Beaulac, Neuchatel

The Hotel Beaulac is a modern waterfront building located directly on the Neuchatel marina, which has been carefully renovated with a range of fanciful and colourful furnishings in the lobby and with very elegant accessories in the restaurant, it makes the most of this position with massive floor to ceiling windows throughout the ground floor.

The 90 bedrooms have great views either over the city or Lac Neuchatel, and a wooden terrace runs along the front of the property so you can watch yachts sailing in to moor up for the night with a drink from the glass and chrome bar.

All rooms are equipped with high-speed and wireless internet, flat screen TVs, air conditioning, in-room safe and mini bar.

The hotel position is excellent for exploring Neuchatel. The Tourist Information Office is only 200m away and all the main sights are within walking distance. If you don't wish to eat in the hotel there are dozens of local options in the city centre just a stroll from the front door.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning

Hotel du Theatre, Yverdon-les-Bains   (3 Star)

Hotel du Theatre, Yverdon les Bains

The Hotel du Theatre is a typical C19 townhouse in Yverdon, a short bike ride from the lakeshore. It is located a stones throw from the Grand Benno Besson theatre in Yverdon (itself next to the station), and is handily placed just a 3 minute walk from the centre of the town.

Having been refurbished using natural stone and attractive lighting to create a very warm welcome!

The bedrooms are equipped with phones, flat screen TVs and are compact with en suite ‘wet room' style bathrooms. Breakfast can be taken inside or out as the lobby leads through to a stone terraced area at the back where guest enjoy relaxing on sunnier days.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Murtenhof and Krone, Murten   (3 Star)

Hotel Murtenhof and Krone, Murten

The Murtenhof and Krone Hotels are two enterprises that have been merged into one by the Joachim Family, long time hoteliers in Murten who have been in the village for generations.

Located in the centre of town on a high bluff overlooking the Murtensee, the hotel has incredible panoramic views from the breakfast room and the light and airy restaurant, and it is only one street back from the arcaded main street that bustles with cafes, shops and bars.

The charm of the hotels is immense - the buildings used to be grand patrician houses and are almost castle-like in some areas where low stone doorways lead up spiral corkscrew staircases. Public lounges are tastefully decorated with panelled wooden walls, comfortable antique furniture and wood floors and rugs.

The bedrooms are all different shapes and sizes, many with whitewashed stone walls and reproduction antique furniture. Rooms have minibar, telephones and TVs.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar

Nearby facilities:

  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Travel options

Transfers included from Zurich airport at 12:20, and back to Zurich airport at 12:00.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mr Lambert on 31/07/2016

No contact on arrival. Phoned after half hour when he then appeared. Luggage collection from 9am, but not guaranteed delivery befor 6pm. Can be a problem with small rack packs on bikes, particularly when conditions wet.

Reviewed by Mr O'Sullivan on 26/08/2015

Loved the Three Lake District (Swiss); charming towns/villages; beautiful scenery; easy to find good restaurants for lunch breaks; and Konditorei for delicious 'Kaffee und Kuchen'; very friendly people. We cycled on every suggested cycle for the rest days and also managed the optional 'testing hills'. Great advice from Rudi (in SwissTrails) about taking a train to Fleurier on rest day and cycling down the very scenic Areuse river gorge; and visiting the Vully wine region; good cycle paths and signposts in the area. August was perfect timing to see the market garden area near Murten. Last year we had to bring our own helmets on the Emilia Romagna cycle but SwissTrails can rpovide helmets. It would have saved luggage space if we had known that. We are already planning our next trip - maybe April in Catalonia.

Reviewed by Mr Betts on 20/08/2015

Our Swiss Lakes cycling holiday was a great experience and we enjoyed visiting the different towns around the lakes. We found the languages fascinating - one minute French , the next German! We didn't have the best of the weather unfortunately though - hot and humid at the start of the week and then dark clouds and rain at the end of the week, We took refuge on the train one day to avoid the bad weather.

Reviewed by Mrs Jones on 14/08/2015

Web site is good with lots of relevant information. Holiday was very enjoyable, hotels were good and well located within the applicable resorts or towns. Swiss Trails were very good, on time at airport, information provided very comprehensive and staff friendly and well informed. Bikes fine, no problems encountered. All in all a very enjoyable cycling holiday with some interesting places to visit en route or as day trips by train, boat or cycle.

Reviewed by Mr Herron on 11/08/2015

Overall enjoyable and interesting. We were unfortunate in that our last two days fell on Swiss National day and a Sunday so our planned trip to Bern while we were in Murten had to be abandoned. The food offered in the hotels was of a slightly disappointing standard compared to previous Headwater holidays we have been on and the extra charges in Hotel Beaulac for leaving bikes in their garage and the nightly tax came as surprise. Also the 'blue books' were either not heard of (Beaulac again) or hard to locate despite them being a very useful part of these holidays.

Reviewed by Mr Bradley on 08/07/2015

Check out the hotels more thoroughly ,menus, upgrades if any.

Reviewed by Dr Hammond on 05/07/2015

Excellent cycling holiday.Accurate cycle notes,friendly people.

Reviewed by Mrs Holman on 25/09/2014

This tour is far from flat but fortunately I had an e-bike which I can highly recommend but, my husband, who is a seasoned cyclist, found the two hills on day 5 taxing. The routes are all clearly marked and can be followed without the need to read copious notes and, more importantly, by and large, the tracks are dedicated cycle paths. Bliss! All the hotels are of a high standard, with the Krone at Murten being exceptional: the location, the views from the restaurant, the food and the staff were all excellent. We will certainly cycle again with Headwater and, most definitely with e-bikes.

Reviewed by Mr Harris on 22/09/2014

Apart from the stress of the late arrival of the transport in Zurich, everything else was as described. We enjoyed the cycling and we were fortunate with the weather. We particularly liked the Neuchatel hotel as we had a harbour view. Of the included evening meals, Aarberg was the best as they offered choice, but there was no choice at Murten, and the menu was not particularly to our taste, surprising given the general standard of the restaurant.

Reviewed by Mrs Giffin on 15/09/2014

Very enjoyable - well organised and very helpful people everywhere. we seldom rate things excellent!

Reviewed by Mrs Whiteley on 30/08/2014

Ebikes a lot of fun - still felt we got some exercise! Route maps and wriiten directions very comprehensive and accurate. Lovely choice and variety of hotels. Particularly liked the boutique-style Hotel du Theatre in Yverdon. Swiss Trails welcome talk very useful. Fantastic holiday enjoyed by all. Beautiful part of Switzerland - and it only rained once!

Reviewed by Mrs Davis on 28/08/2014

Cycling was excellent, but we took a bike computer which helped as some of the details were misleading and would have been a bit lost without it. First and last hotels were very dated, although clean the beds were not very inviting. Hotel Beaulac was pleasant. Hotel du Theatre was nice but location was not very nice and hardly any restaurants to choose from. Every wher was very smokey! Would make me think twice about booking with headwater again because of the varying standards of hotel.

Reviewed by Mrs Hepworth on 12/08/2014

We had a fantastic time. Really good for 11 and 9yr olds. True family activity. Rest day in between ideal. No one got bored.

Reviewed by Mrs Harper on 06/08/2014

The mix of one day cycling, one day off was a very good idea as it allowed us to not only give our bodies a rest but also explore the region and sight- see more than we would otherwise. Distances were just right and routes well thought out. Hotel locations and types were also well considered and varied. Itineries were carefully detailed and helpful. The bikes were immaculate and in excellent condition. My e-bike (first time user) was easy to use and wonderful, especially on hills, when flagging or if trying to keep up with sportier group members. We had a lot of fun, good food and fresh air.

Reviewed by Mrs Wheeler on 25/07/2014

Our holiday was wonderful. No complaints.

Reviewed by Mr Asbrey on 24/06/2014

This was at least the third cycling holiday we have had with Headwater. At last we found a flat route. Switzerland is such a pretty place and cycling around the lakes and meeting people from Switzerland with French and German backgrounds was a delight.The route was just challenging enough for us old people! The accommodation was always welcoming and of a very good standard.

Reviewed by Mr Munn on 22/09/2013

This was our 12th cycling holiday in 12 years with Headwater. It was well up to the standard that we have come to expect. We were a little unlucky with the weather but were well prepared with waterproofs, probably essential for this holiday in September. The cycling was easy, with very few climbs. Route marking was very clear and the roads and tracks were good. All of the hotels were very good - in Neuchatel we found ourselves in a mini suite with spectacular views over the lake and the Alps! The bikes provided by Swisstrails were very well maintained and we were pleased that we were provided with spare innertubes although fortunately they were not needed.

Reviewed by Mrs Hulme on 27/08/2013

Switzerland has excellent cycling routes. Hotels were all good and varied in style. Fantastic scenery without having to cycle up too many hills.

Reviewed by Mrs Sidders on 14/07/2013

A pleasant holiday, very good bikes and safe, interesting cycle routes.

Reviewed by Mr Ridger on 06/10/2012

We greatly enjoyed our Swiss cycling holiday. The variety of hotels was excellent - it was good to experience swiss hotels and modern hotels. The bikes were of good quality, and excellent to ride. The instructions and maps were very useful and we did not get lost once. The only disadvantages of this holiday was the 4 included meals are a set menu - so you have no choice what so ever - however my boyfriend does not eat fish and in one hotel they were extremely happy to make him something else. However if you are a fussy eater you should let the hotels know what you can/can't eat. And lastly Switzerland is extremely expensive to eat out - however if you are prepared for this is it fine. Overall the cycling, hotels, scenary was excellent. We had a fab holiday and would recommend it to friends and family.

Reviewed by Mrs Greenbank on 29/09/2012

Excellent hotels and lovely easy cycling. This is a part of Switzerland well worth a visit.

Reviewed by Mr Hails on 24/09/2012

A well organised with first class accommodation

Departure dates & prices

May 2016 departuresTour only 
May 7$2088
May 9$2088
May 11$2088
May 13$2088
May 15$2088
May 17$2088
May 19$2088
May 21$2088
May 23$2205
May 25$2205
May 27$2205
May 29$2205
May 31$2205
June 2016 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$2106
Jun 4$2106
Jun 6$2106
Jun 8$2106
Jun 10$2106
Jun 12$2106
Jun 14$2205
Jun 16$2205
Jun 18$2205
Jun 20$2205
Jun 22$2205
Jun 24$2205
Jun 26$2205
Jun 28$2205
Jun 30$2205
July 2016 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$2205
Jul 4$2205
Jul 6$2205
Jul 8$2205
Jul 10$2275
Jul 12$2275
Jul 14$2275
Jul 16$2275
Jul 18$2275
Jul 20$2275
Jul 22$2275
Jul 24$2275
Jul 26$2275
Jul 28$2275
Jul 30$2275
August 2016 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$2275
Aug 3$2275
Aug 5$2275
Aug 7$2275
Aug 9$2275
Aug 11$2275
Aug 13$2275
Aug 15$2275
Aug 17$2275
Aug 19$2275
Aug 21$2275
Aug 23$2275
Aug 25$2275
Aug 27$2205
Aug 29$2205
Aug 31$2205
September 2016 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$2106
Sep 4$2106
Sep 6$2106
Sep 8$2106
Sep 10$2106
Sep 12$2088
Sep 14$2088
Sep 16$2088
Sep 18$2088
Sep 20$2088
Sep 22$2088
Sep 24$2088

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed by Headwater appointed agent.


Every two days from 7 May '16 to 24 Sep '16, for 9 days (8 nights).


All buffet breakfasts and 4 evening meals included.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Zurich airport at 12:20, and back to Zurich airport at 12:00.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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  • IATA Registered
  • ABTA Member (No. W1593)
  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

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