The 2016 Tour de France will kick off Switzerland Tourism’s upcoming road biking campaign and activities during its three-day detour to Switzerland from 18-20 July.
Director of Switzerland Tourism Australia and New Zealand, Mark Wettstein, says the road biking campaign has been in the works to be officially launched in the Spring of 2017; and Switzerland’s involvement in the 2016 Tour de France presents a perfect opportunity to inspire fans and cycling enthusiasts.
“There is no doubt that the Tour will highlight some of the country’s spectacular natural assets such as our lakes, mountains and passes as well as the infrastructure in place, especially our very efficient public transportation system and bike hotels,” says Mark. “Another major feature which cyclists will notice is the ease in combining road bike tours with other activities of interest including walks, culinary and wellness experiences or even historical discoveries within nature surrounds and cities.
“We are very excited that the Tour de France route through Switzerland will not only show off some the country’s most stunning locations, but equally important, encourage visitors and fans to personally experience the country and all that it has to offer.
On 18 July, the Tour will journey from Moirans-en-Montagne in the French Jura to the Swiss capital of Bern. Major attractions along this route include the impressive vertical rock arena at Creux du Van; the architectural and culturally rich town of Neuchâtel, the medieval town ofMurten; the tropical gardens of Papiliorama; and finally, the vibrant and historical city of Bern.
Following a day of rest, the Tour will continue on 20 July to cover 184 kilometres via Simmental, Saanenmöser, Col des Mosses and Col de la Forclaz heading towards Finhaut in the Lower Valais. The finish line is at the Emosson dam. Attractions along this final section of the Swiss route include the charming old town of Thun, the lush meadows of Simmen Valley, the luxurious and traffic free holiday town of Gstaad, and the fairy-tale like villages of Château-d’Oex, Saint-Maurice, Martigny and others.
“This is the third time that Switzerland is hosting part of the Tour de France – the first being in 1982 and second in 1997,” he says. “As such, Bern will be celebrating the occasion with a Tour de France party from Sunday to Wednesday. There will be a fan-village, live music, stalls and various festivities throughout the city and along the route.
“People will also be able to cycle on the original course of the Tour on the Sunday to get a feel of the race and be part of this incredible sport. Hopefully this will motivate them to embark on more road biking tours around the country.”