Is This the Most Scenic Cycling Route in the World?

Is This the Most Scenic Cycling Route in the World?

On the outskirts of Bern, Switzerland’s historic capital, lies a captivating realm for cyclists to explore, where verdant hills meet fairy-tale forests on a 64km path that takes in charming farm shops, daisy-dappled picnic spots, rustic fire pits and traditional country inns – all rich in the myths and legends that have long drawn curious trekkers from far and wide.

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are plenty of ways to take in Switzerland‘s glorious landscapes, but few
modes as rewarding as doing so on two wheels. If you’re dreaming of
such a venture this summer – a wholesome, culture-steeped, fresh
air-charged voyage, taken at your own pace – then let it be the
nation’s Gantrisch Legend Route – arguably the most
scenic cycling loop on Earth. We’ve put together an insider’s
itinerary, pulling together the sights you can’t miss with some of
the region’s lesser-known pit stops.

Joy ride: explore the Gantrisch Legend Route by bike


Your first stop, a 12-minute ride from the Gantrisch Legend
Route’s Burgistein welcome station, is the legendary site of
Wattenwil, where you’ll find a wooden post displaying a QR code.
Scan it to hear the story, narrated by locals, of the distinctive
Chatz u Muus (cat and mouse) rock formation that peers over from
the Walalp ridge above. Take your time to explore the surrounding
forest and stop for a picnic at the quiet clearing of Grundmoos,
complete with a fire pit and fountain. Later, bed down at the cosy
farmhouse, a family-run abode that dates back 250
years. Offering panoramic views over the Bernese Oberland, its
dining room is the place to enjoy tasty traditional regional


Pedal through the flower-strewn municipality of Riggisberg and
you’ll find a fine selection of farm shops and eateries to linger
at. We recommend picking up a fresh morning croissant from the
jovial Bäckerei-Konditorei Ernst café, before stocking up on the
famed handmade Gantrisch-Züngli chocolates at the nearby Bäckerei Steiner bakery.
Next, it’s on to the medieval Riggisberg Castle, to lay down a rug
and nibble on your goodies by the splendid garden pond. Also on the
grounds is the
shop, where you can buy everything from colourful
handblown glass to tea and spices, all made at the castle’s on-site
workshops. Then, spend the night like the lord and lady once did in
one of just four guest rooms at the beautiful B&B at Riggisberg Castle (ask
for the Himmelbettzimmer room).


Discover the curious tale of Chrigeli Christen, the region’s
first pedlar, at the historic site of Rüschegg, then make a
pilgrimage to
Restaurant Caroline
, beloved by locals for its homemade pizza,
and play a round of mini golf by the garden’s babbling brook. In
the mood for a picnic? Swing by the Mühlihofladen farm shop for
some fresh bread and condiments (its speciality Züpfe braided loaf
is sold here every Saturday), then cycle to the Rütiplötsch fire
pit to devour your feast in this cool forest setting under the


Another mythical yarn awaits at Riffenmatt’s Der Fadenknäuel
(“the ball of thread”) site, where you’ll learn the fate of the two
dwarves captured here in the dense forest many centuries ago, and
the secrets they harboured. Pause to admire the Horbühl Pass, which
drops into the Selital region. Then, end your day at Gasthof Löwen Riffenmatt – a
sixth-generation, family-run country inn where hosts Regula and
Roger Aebischer, members of the esteemed Guild of Established
Gastronomes, dish up an ever-changing array of seasonal


The pretty village of Schwarzenburg, found in the heart of the
Gantrisch region, is peppered with lopsided alleyways that lead to
quirky shops, handsome inns and idyllic outdoor picnic spots. King
among these al fresco dining destinations is the Flüeli grill and
BBQ area, on the banks of the Dorfbach stream – source your
supplies from Schwarzenburg’s well-stocked Birena organic shop. Prefer to eat inside?
Park your bike and head to the rustic Gasthof Bühl country inn, for
local meat served on a hot stone. For a unique night’s rest, check
into the nearby Breitenackern
organic farm, where you can sleep in the romantic garden house, or
even in its fairy light-decorated barn.


Steer your wheels to these 12th-century monastery ruins for a
photo with the resident “headless monk”, and learn the tale of how
he came to be. Cheese lovers won’t want to miss a visit to the
Bergkäserei Oberbütschel REK AG
dairy, where master
cheesemakers process regional milk into the finest Gantrisch alpine
varieties. For something sweet, dine on the terrace at the scenic
Panorama Restaurant
, home to dessert world champion Rolf Mürner. Lay your head
at the charming B&B Bären
, which offers majestic views over the mountain
ranges from the balconies of its tastefully decorated rooms.

The Lowdown

To discover more about Bern and the Gantrisch Legend Route,
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