“Swiss cities remind me of the kid at high school who’s great at sports, has perfect hair, the best girlfriend, and the teachers all love him.“Rick Steves
Switzerland is the only country in the world we know of that has designated and marked inline skating routes. This country is dedicated to inline skating and biking. You won’t need a map or directions to follow the routes.
This inline skating and biking tour includes two distinct areas of Switzerland – the Rhine Valley and Lake Constance. There is also an overnight in the country of Liechtenstein. The Alpine Rhine Valley, known locally as the Alpenrhein, is the lush farming land that runs alongside the Rhine River on its way down from its source in the Alps. The area is mostly flat, slightly downhill in the direction we are skating/biking, and scenic. Granite mountains surround you on both sides of the valley.
Lake Constance, or the Bodensee, sits in the middle of three countries, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, with Liechtenstein right across the Rhine River. We can practically throw a stone to the other three countries and venture slightly over the border to spend a night in the capital of Liechtenstein!
Culture & Cuisine
One of the great things about Switzerland is that it is so international. The country has four official languages (German, French, Italian, and Romansch) and this is reflected in the Swiss attitudes and cuisine. The food is upscale, the hotels are clean and well run, and the people are extremely hospitable.
You probably know that Switzerland is known for its cheese. Varieties like Emmental, Gruyère, and Raclette are staples of Swiss cuisine. Cheese fondue and raclette, where cheese is melted and served with accompaniments, are beloved traditional dishes. Switzerland is also well known for its chocolate, world-famous for its quality and taste. Swiss chocolatiers produce a wide range of chocolates, from milk to dark, and it’s a must-try for visitors.
The Swiss embrace an outdoor lifestyle, with hiking, skiing, and mountaineering being popular activities. This love for the outdoors is deeply ingrained in the culture and has influenced fashion, design, and leisure activities.
It is the skating and biking that makes this tour what it is. We use one designated national skating route and three regional ones, picking and choosing the best options. The paths are mostly flat, almost entirely car-free or with very few cars, and generally smooth pavement. Plus, the routes use rural roads as well as bike paths. This means there is constantly something to view around the next turn. For bikers, you will have the choice of biking the skating paths (which make for easy riding) or taking longer rides up into the surrounding hillsides.
This tour is designed as an inline skating tour. It is open to all bikers and is especially suited to bicyclists looking to accompany an inline skater.
Setting Your Expectations
We believe this location is one of the best skating and biking locations in the world. Most of the paths are flat, smooth, and car-free. But any time you skate seven days in a row traveling from town to town, you will come across small hills, rough patches, and the occasional busy road. Overall, we think you will love it.
Private Tour Info
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- Dates: August 15 - 20, 2024
- Cost Per Person: $3,500
- Single Supplement: $900
- Activities: Skating & Bicycling
- Difficulty: Intermediate (Skating) or Easy (Biking)
- Guides: Aaron Rothfolk, Kris Lucky Keys
Other Info: -> The single supplement provides you with a double room for single occupancy.
-> Bike rental is an extra $250 for the tour or $375 for an e-bike. The bikes are comfort bikes, which are sufficient for this tour.
-> We are not able to rent bikes for skaters on an as-needed basis as we don't have the ability to transport bikes in our vehicles.
- Skate or bike along the Rhine River, one of Europe's most important that also creates the beautiful flat valley we enjoy on this tour
- Walk the ancient streets of Bad Ragaz, Werdenberg, and Altstätten, three of the lovely towns in which we stay
- Skate or bike along the Bodensee (Lake Constance) with hundreds of other cyclists, as the round-the-lake tour is the second most popular bicycle route in Europe
- Experience the fascinating Swiss culture in this region not known as much to North American travelers
- Stay a night in Liechtenstein, potentially adding a new country to your list!
We pick you up at 1:00 PM in Bad Ragaz, swanky spa town located in the upper Rhine River Valley and at the foot of the Alps. After introductions, we will skate and bicycle from our centrally-located hotel using a series of town bicycle paths, a paved trail on the Rhine River dike, and small farming roads. Our destination is the wine village of Malans, population 2,341. With five wineries located in town, you'll have the option to do a little tasting before skating, biking, or catching the van back. Distances: 11 or 22 kilometers
This morning we start with an optional morning three-mile hike in Bad Ragaz, getting us into the hills with a view of the valley and town below. We'll then skate and bicycle down the Rhein valley paralleling the Rhein River, utilizing mostly small farming and country roads without traffic. Distance: 22 kilometers
We keep moving down the Rhine Valley today, which means even while we meander left and right with the small roads and paths we are imperceptibly but distinctly skating and biking downhill. The interesting thing about the route we are on today is that it reveals much about real life in Switzerland: farmers in their fields, school kids shouting in their playground, families barbecuing in a local park, and old ladies shuffling home from the store with a bag of groceries. All this on paved, mostly flat, and mostly smooth roads and paths. Our destination today is Altstätten, a historic walled village. Distances: 15 or 30 kilometers
Today we finish our time in the Rhine Valley by skating and biking down to the town of St. Margrethen, where you have a choice. You can hop on a train to our hotel in Romanshorn or continue on the "marathon route" which was designed by the Swiss government to be flat, smooth, and few turns for those in training for a skate marathon. Either way, our destination is Romanshorn on the shores of Lake Constance. Tonight we sleep in an 800-year-old palace and can enjoy a drink while looking at sea birds gliding over the water. Distances: 14 or 32 kilometers
We skate and bicycle on the famous Bodensee bicycle route, a four-day tour around Lake Constance (the Bodensee in German) which is now the second most popular bicycle tour in Europe. You will never be on your own as we will be passed by and pass hundreds of cyclists. Today's route is an out (and back if you wish) route that parallels the lake the whole way but takes us through cute towns and past seaside cafes on our way to the city of Kreuzlingen. Distances: 15, 22, or 44 kilometers
On our final morning, we skate and bicycle the other direction along Lake Constance. We have saved one of the best stretches for last, as our path is smooth, straight, and totally free of cars. Our destination is the small town of Arbon, situated on the water, where you can enjoy a morning coffee with the sea breezes. After returning to the hotel, we'll shower, check out, and take the train back to Zurich or wherever your travels take you. Distances: 8.5 or 17 kilometers
NIGHT 1 >> HOTEL SCHLOSS RAGAZ / BAD RAGAZ
Bad Ragaz is a swanky resort town at the foot of the mountains and the Hotel Schloss (castle in English) Ragaz is a spa hotel just outside the center. We have rooms in the actual palace and you can choose to walk to one of the mineral bath spas for which the town is named if you wish.
NIGHT 2 >> HOTEL VADUZERHOF / LICHTENSTEIN
Situated in the heart of the Principality of Liechtenstein and only 5 minutes by car from the Swiss Rhine Valley motorway. In the more than 170-year-old building, you can spend the night steeped in history!
NIGHT 3 >> SONNE HOTEL / ALTSTÄTTEN
The Sonne Hotel is located steps from the historic center of Altstätten, which you can enter through the old town gate still standing. After skating all day and wandering around the village streets, you will appreciate the recently-remodeled sleeping rooms of the hotel and the outdoor terrace where you can sip one of the local wines.
NIGHTS 4 & 5 >> HOTEL SCHLOSS / ROMANSHORN
The Hotel Schloss, translated as Palace Hotel, is exactly what it offers: a 600-year-old palace recently renovated into a three-star hotel. Situated just above the Bodensee (Lake Constance) and right next to a church founded in 779 (making it over 1200 years old), you will have plenty of history at your doorstep. You will also appreciate the balconies overlooking the town and the terrace with winds blowing off the lake.Book this Tour
Arrival & Departure
- Two Zephyr guides, with a third guide added if necessary.
- Double occupancy lodging is included. If you are traveling solo, we will match you with another traveler of the same gender. However, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
- All of your dinners and breakfasts are included. Gratuity for these meals is also included. In general, we leave lunches open so that you have time to explore and enjoy the local flavors en route.
- All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day except for the occasional optional transport by local train.
- NOT INCLUDED Bicycle rental, beverages, desserts, lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses, and travel to and from the destination.
The average high temperature in July is a pleasant 74 degrees. It does rain in the area all year long, with the summer months often seeing the wettest days, so be prepared!
This is an intermediate, fairly easy tour. For inline skaters, any time you plan to skate through Europe for seven days in a row there will be some rough spots, small hills, and other obstacles. You should be comfortable on your skates, competent in braking, and able to easily skate six or eight miles at a time. For bikers, since our route selection is designed with skaters in mind you will find this tour very manageable, with few hills, smooth riding, and low or no traffic. If you are a cyclist looking for more mileage, there is plenty to be had and we will provide suggestions for that each day.
Extending Your Stay
There is so much to do in Switzerland and you are so close to other countries it is hard to choose! One option would be to fly into Zurich and out of another airport; Munich, Milan, and Geneva are all relatively close by train. We can also highly suggest spending time in the Alps. You could easily arrive at Bad Ragaz early and spend a few days hiking from there.
Type of Person Who Will Enjoy This Tour
All inline skaters of intermediate level and above and bikers of any level will enjoy this tour! We do have the ability to take bicyclists as well but this is primarily for those participating with skaters.
Changes to Your Itinerary
While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.
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