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The best spots to watch Tour de France in Switzerland

This Saturday and Sunday July 9th and 10th, over 170 cyclists from all over the world will compete in the annual Tour de France competition, part of which will take place in Switzerland. This is where you can watch the event.

The best spots to watch Tour de France in Switzerland
The Swiss leg of the Tour de France passes through towns and mountains. Image by Gerry_spm from Pixabay

As the previous editions of the annual race have shown, spectators line up and cheer the cyclists almost everywhere along the route, so the “best” spot depends pretty much on where you live in relation to the Swiss route.

Cyclists will arrive from Dole (France) to Lausanne through the Bois d’Amont, La Vallée de Joux, the Col du Mollendruz, Cossonay, and Préverenges.

The start is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. and Lausanne should be reached four hours later, around 5:20 p.m.

For the next stage on July 10th, racers will depart from Aigle at 12:45 pm and cycle toward Vionnaz, Cully, Châtel-St-Denis, Bulle, Les Moulins, Les Mosses, Col de La Croix, and Morzine before crossing back into France.

This link has a map showing the Swiss leg of the tour.

These are some of the good viewing / cheering spots along the route:

In the Vallée de Joux, you can watch the cyclists whizz by in the villages of  Le Brassus, Le Sentier, Le Lieu, Le Séchey, Les Charbonnières, and Le Pont.

Cyclists race in the Vallée de Joux. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Lausanne

You can watch the competitors race by virtually anywhere along the nine-kilometre path — they will arrive from the La Vallée de Joux from the south, climbing up the Avenue d’Ouchy, then cross Place Saint-François and Pont Chauderon, then on to  the Avenue de Beaulieu, and finishing in front of the Pontaise Olympic stadium.

All these streets will provide good viewing opportunity.

Mountains

The first mountain stage will start on the Place du Marché in Aigle, where you can watch cyclists pass by as they climb toward mountain villages (see above), all of which provide good viewing for spectators.

Leaving Aigle, cyclists will climb on winding mountain roads. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Access

Unless you actually live in the vicinity of the route, keep in mind that you can’t access it by car as all the roads  be closed to traffic and you will have to park elsewhere.

If you are watching from any of the above mentioned mountain locations (Vionnaz, Cully, Châtel-St-Denis, Bulle, Les Moulins, Les Mosses, Col de La Croix, and Morzine), taking a bus up from Aigle is probably the smartest choice.

Additionally, on Saturday from noon, the Lausanne-Sud motorway, as well as the UNIL-EPFL, Malley and Maladière entrances and exits will be closed to traffic until 6 pm.

However, the A1 / A9 / A12 motorways will remain open in Vaud, Fribourg and Valais.

You can access the route(s) by public transport, which will be “reinforced” during La Tour de France.

For instance, in the Lausanne, the metro will run more frequently, and a temporary line, will link La Riponne to Oiseaux, making it easier to access the last kilometre of the route. More trains will also circulate on the two days as well, especially regional Vaud trains as well as the RegioExpress Genève – St-Maurice.

More information can be found here.

For the Fribourg leg the information is in this link.
 

 
 
 

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DISCOVER SWITZERLAND

The five most beautiful Swiss villages to discover by boat

Switzerland has beautiful villages and lakes which makes it a perfect country to discover and admire by boat. Here are five towns worth exploring from the water fronts.

The five most beautiful Swiss villages to discover by boat

Switzerland has 6 percent of Europe’s freshwater reserves, and to confirm this you only have to look at the huge number of lakes dotting the Confederation.

Each of these lakes possesses a unique flair, and to discover them to the fullest we recommend a boat tour, starting from these 5 beautiful villages, all members of the “The Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland” network.

1. Gersau – Lake Lucerne (SZ)

In the heart of Switzerland we find Lake Vierwaldstättersee, commonly called Lake Lucerne. Here, in a gentle green patch of land, lies the hamlet of Gersau. In ancient times this municipality was a tiny independent state, remaining the world’s smallest republic until 1817, when it was annexed to Canton Schwyz. This region enjoys a Mediterranean micro climate, so it is not surprising to find a rich vegetation of exotic flowers and plants.

Gersau swiss villages

(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

From Gersau it is possible to take an unforgettable boat tour on Lake Lucerne to other neighboring villages such as Beckenried and Kehrsiten or directly to the city of Lucerne.

Gersau swiss village

(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

2. Saint Saphorin – Lake Geneva (VD)

In the Lavaux region, one of Switzerland’s UNESCO sites, the charming old village of Saint-Saphorin can be found among the vineyards. A few houses gather compactly around the church of Saint Symphorien, which gave its name to the village, which was once called Glerula. The square in the old town invites tourists for a stop, perhaps to enjoy an excellent fish dish and sip a glass of local wine.

saint saphorin lake Geneva Swiss villages
(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

Saint-Saphorin overlooks Lake Geneva, the largest lake in all of Europe that bathes the Swiss and French coasts. From here it is possible to reach the cities of Vevey and Cully by boat and even go as far as Lausanne.

saint saphorin lake Geneva Swiss villages
(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

3. Ascona – Lake Maggiore (TI)

Ascona is one of the most popular and well-known destinations in Switzerland, thanks to its mild climate and Mediterranean atmosphere. The lakefront is full of restaurants and bars where to enjoy an aperitif, while in the old town center we find many boutiques, stores but also museums and exhibition centers of some importance.

Going up the hill we then reach Monte Verità: a fascinating place that once served as a meeting place for those who followed an alternative life away from the hectic daily routine.

ascona lake maggiore Swiss villages

(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

From Ascona it is possible to take beautiful boat tours on Lake Maggiore to nearby destinations such as S. Nazzaro in the Gambarogno or to the Brissago Islands, which are home to the only island botanical garden in all of Switzerland.

ascona lake maggiore swiss villages

(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

4. Erlach – Lake Biel (BE)

Erlach is a unique village overlooking Lake Biel. In the upper part of the town we find the old castle, which now houses a museum and school, and beautiful houses that gradually descend to the shores of the lake, creating a picture-postcard view. All around, the vineyard takes center stage, and there is no shortage of several wine cellars where wine tasting can take place.

Erlach lake Biel swiss villages

(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

Lake Biel possesses a strip of land that stretches from Erlach for several kilometers to the island of St. Peter (now in fact turned into a peninsula), which was home for some time to the well-known philosopher Rousseau. From Erlach it is possible to reach by boat the beautiful villages of Le Landeron and La Neuveville, both members of the same network of “The Most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland”.

erlach lake Biel swiss villages

(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

5. Grandson – Lake Neuchâtel (VD)

On the romantic Lake Neuchâtel, it is impossible not to notice from afar the small town of Grandson. Of great note are its colorful houses and the old St. Baptist Church, a national historic monument. Walking through the narrow lanes we will find ourselves in many small squares and nooks that are decorated and well-kept and all with jaw-dropping views of the lake. Grandson’s star is its immense 11th-century castle, which houses an outstanding collection of arms and armor.

grandson lake Neuchatel swiss villages

(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

Lake Neuchâtel is an ideal summer destination for cooling off in its clear waters. In Grandson, for example, there is certainly no shortage of lidos and green areas to relax. On board the boat you can take part in tours and discover the secrets of the lake’s preserved shores.

grandson lake neuchatel swiss villages

(Photo by Christian Guerra / @swissvillages)

You can find out more about these 5 villages and many others by downloading the official “Beaux Villages” app for iOS and Android.

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