10 things to see and do biking around Lake Zurich


Biking around Lake Zurich

It is perfectly possible to circumnavigate Lake Zurich by bike in one day


It’s about 90km around but you can cut about 25-30km by using the Seedam causeway rather than cycling around Obersee. The excellent Swiss railway runs down both sides of the lake which also gives lots of options, particularly if you want to spend time exploring.
 
  1. Zurich Altstadt
The old part of the city sits where the Limmat River flows into the lake, at its north-western end. There are several historic churches here though more spartan than elsewhere in Europe. The Romanesque Grossmünster contains a 15th century statue of Charlemagne in the crypt and its contemporary, but now more Gothic looking, Fraumünster was originally an abbey or convent for aristocratic women. The baroque St Peter’s is older than both and boasts the largest clock in Europe. For museum lovers, there’s the Art Gallery (Kunsthaus) and the Swiss National Museum, by the railway station.
 
  1. Seefeld parklands
Over the years, the Zurich suburbs have encroached down both the east and west sides of the lake. Fortunately, the areas immediately adjacent to the water are mostly parkland and the east shore in particular is very cycle friendly. The Quaianlagen stretches south and broadens at the elegant Chinese Garden. This ‘strip’ is perhaps the main outdoor recreational area for the city and on a sunny Sunday it Is a joy to see so many people out enjoying the lakeside.
 
  1. Lake Greifen
This smaller sibling to Lake Zurich is just a few kilometres east of the city and can be a pleasant day ride itself or an alternative route that is quieter and more rural than the Lake Zurich one. Many will find it more enjoyable riding and the bike paths are excellent. Lake Greifen is certainly more intimate and peaceful and although it looks like a diversion the route really is only a few kilometres longer. Also most of the shoreline is a nature conservation area.

 
Swiss countryside by bike   Rapperswil Castle
Swiss countryside   Rapperswil Castle
 
  1. Swiss countryside
You only need to be a few kilometres from the lake (north or south shore) to be riding through picture book Swiss countryside with lovely traditional buildings, houses, barns or even a combination of both! The countryside is gently undulating which means there is always more pretty scenery, a farm or village just over the hill or around the corner. More than likely your image of rural Switzerland includes cowbells - well it’s true! You don’t have to look (or listen) too hard to find the distinctive bells with their melodious tones. It certainly makes for an even more romantic and memorable countryside ride.
 
  1. Rapperswil
This gorgeous medieval town is about 40km south-east of Zurich on the narrowest part of the lake – the Seedamm causeway across the lake now includes a highway and railway line. Rapperswil is known as the rose city with several beautiful rose gardens that are best seen anytime between June and October. There is an early 17th century Capuchin monastery here and a much more modern university – both in beautiful lakeside settings. You can rent e-bikes from the tourist office although the compact foreshore area and old town are easy to get around with no shortage of cafés and restaurants to tempt you to stop.
 
  1. Rapperswil Castle
Dominating the old town of Rapperswil is the castle, the first incarnation of which dates from the 13th century. As well as being on hill, this is a peninsula with breath taking views in all directions. There has been much remodelling over the years with an 1870 restoration being the start of the castle’s life as a Polish National Museum which has continued almost uninterrupted ever since. Surprisingly the peninsula also houses a lovely deer park.
 
  1. Holzbrücke (Wooden Bridge)
The pedestrian only bridge crosses the lake to Hurden and is the latest incarnation of a neolithic bridge from around 1500 BC. There were long standing Roman and later Medieval wooden bridges, and in the Middle Ages the bridge was a key section of the pilgrim’s route to Santiago de Compostela. The completion in 1878 of the Seedamm causeway and road led to the bridge being demolished.
However, in 2001 it was reconstructed and is now the longest wooden bridge in Switzerland – no mean feat as wooden bridges aren’t uncommon. Cycling the bridge isn’t advisable or particularly safe although seemingly not prohibited.
 
Holzbrücke   Lakeside at Rapperswil
Holzbrücke   Lakeside at Rapperswil
 
  1. Obersee
The ‘upper’ lake is the section of Lake Zurich above the Rapperswil causeway. The Obersee shoreline is probably less accessible and certainly less developed (and therefore quieter) with a good bike path all around. There are also a couple of small towns on the edge of the lake, Schmerikon and Lachen. The main inflow is the Linth canal from Lake Wallen.
 
  1. Swimming in the lake
Weather dependant, going for a swim is a major attraction for both locals and tourists. There are lots of swimming places along the lakeside - closer to Zurich more facilities are available as paid swimming baths. These are even more common along the river and canals in the city itself – often turning into trendy bars at night.
However anywhere you can get down the lake easily is good for a swim and very refreshing on a hot day – usually with stunning views. Just watch out for boat traffic as it can get quite busy on the water.
 
  1. Ride alongside the Limmat
Through the city and heading north-west following the Limmat there is a great bike path and some lovely riverside views. The Limmat is the lifeblood of Zurich and flows quite quickly. You can keep going for a lovely day ride to Baden. On a hot day, it was surprising to see so many swimmers in the river on rubber rings being carried along with the flow downstream from the city.
 
 
It is perfectly possible to circumnavigate Lake Zurich by bike in one day. It’s about 90km around but you can cut about 25-30km by using the Seedam causeway rather than cycling around Obersee. The excellent Swiss railway runs down both sides of the lake which also gives lots of options, particularly if you want to spend time exploring. There is also a pretty good boat service – especially between Zurich and Rapperswil or you can just join a lake cruise.
 
Now check out these great bike tours in Switzerland for more inspiration and trips to take.

Advertisement

169 Result(s) found

Mittelland Route

0 Reviews
9 Day(s)
Easy
430 Km
avg 61 Km
Self-guided

The pleasant ride along the varied Mittelland Route is mostly on traffic-free paths, along lakes and rivers, through wide plains and peaceful valleys, towns and villages, industry and agricultural land. Surprising insight in to the fascinating everyd ...

View detail

Lugano Bike

0 Reviews
6 Day(s)
Moderate
109 Km
avg 27 Km
Self-guided

This is one of the best bike-tours in Switzerland. Narrow paths lead you along the flanks of Val Colla and over the back of Monte Tamaro.

You will ascend to dizzying heights, experience crashing downhills and c ...

View detail

Lakes Route Lake Geneva - Luzern

0 Reviews
7 Day(s)
Easy/Moderate
235 Km
avg 47 Km
Self-guided

The Lakes-Route deserves its name, because many lakes touch the Route from its beginning at the Lake Geneva to its goal at the Lake Lucerne. The Route leads through some of the outstanding touristic regions with great sounding names: Montreux, Gruyèr ...

View detail

Lakes Route Fribourg & Berner Oberland

0 Reviews
3 Day(s)
Moderate
145 Km
avg 48 Km
Self-guided

The Lakes-Route deserves its name, because many lakes touch the route from its beginning at  Lake Geneva to its goal at Lake Lucerne. The Route leads through some outstanding touristic regions with great sounding names: Montreux, Gruyères, Gstaa ...

View detail

Cycling Grisons Route

0 Reviews
7 Day(s)
Moderate
210 Km
avg 42 Km
Self-guided

The Tarasp Castle proudly watches over the Lower Engadine and marks the start of your cycle tour through the canton of Graubünden just after Scuol. You cross the Inn valley and climb up to the Albula Pass. The painted facades of houses turn each stag ...

View detail

Swiss National Park Bike-Marathon

0 Reviews
6 Day(s)
Moderate
136 Km
avg 34 Km
Self-guided

The bike marathon around the Swiss National Park is probably one of the most spectacular events in Switzerland. Athletes from all over the world spare no effort and cycle up to 140 kilometres in a few hours. The professionals have little time for the ...

View detail

Lake Geneva

0 Reviews
5 Day(s)
Easy/Moderate
110 Km
avg 22 Km
Self-guided

Lake Geneva is one of the most beautiful waters in Switzerland. Starting from the international small city of Geneva, you will sail along the lake shore. You will discover cosy lidos, seemingly endless vineyards and the charming stage towns of Montre ...

View detail

Lake Constance - Lago Maggiore

0 Reviews
8 Day(s)
Easy/Moderate
345 Km
avg 58 Km
Self-guided

Half of Europe is looking for the way towards south over the Gotthard Pass, while the old trade route over the Lukmanier has almost been forgotten. Swiss precision and quietness await you on the shores of Lake Conastance, that will lea ...

View detail

La Route Verte

0 Reviews
10 Day(s)
Mod/Advanced
470 Km
avg 59 Km
Self-guided

Some natural jewels can be found in the Swiss parks. The newly designed Route Verte leads you on almost traffic-free paths from the Regional Nature Park Schaffhausen with the world-famous Rhine Falls at the door to the 800-year-old lime tre ...

View detail

Jura South Foot

0 Reviews
7 Day(s)
Easy/Moderate
225 Km
avg 45 Km
Self-guided

If you want to travel quickly from Olten to Geneva, travel through the midlands. If you have time, choose the route along the Jura South Foot. Beautiful old towns lie along the wide arc of the Jura through Switzerland, and castles and palaces watch o ...

View detail

Jura Route

0 Reviews
8 Day(s)
Moderate
310 Km
avg 52 Km
Self-guided

The hilly ridges of the Jura stretch from Basel to Lake Geneva – the mysterious landscapes off the beaten track that fascinate every traveller. Anyone who thinks of the Jura dreams of fir forests, remote plateaus, grazing horses and spectacular ...

View detail

Jura Mountainbike

0 Reviews
11 Day(s)
Easy/Moderate
350 Km
avg 39 Km
Self-guided

The Jura Bike tour likes to show its teeth once in a while when riding from Basel to Nyon. If you thought the Jura hills were easy to conquer, you will soon learn otherwise on the steep climbs. But the sweaty strenuous sections are followed by dazzli ...

View detail

Inn Route Maloya Scuol

0 Reviews
6 Day(s)
Easy/Moderate
125 Km
avg 31 Km
Self-guided

After the valley wind of the Bergell has helped overcome the Maloja Pass, the air rushes down the Engadine. This so-called Maloja wind gives you the necessary thrust for a brisk ride on the coming cycling days. Gliders and kite surfers dance merrily ...

View detail

Hidden treasures at Upper Valais

0 Reviews
7 Day(s)
Moderate
360 Km
avg 72 Km
Self-guided

Impressive stone dams, breath-taking rides through passes and idyllic Walser villages – surrounded by the most beautiful and highest mountain peaks of the Swiss Alps, biking dreams come true in Wallis. Starting from Leuk, discover the Pfyn-Fing ...

View detail

Heart Route

0 Reviews
15 Day(s)
Mod/Advanced
730 Km
avg 52 Km
Self-guided

The Herzroute (Heart Route) leads through the most beautiful areas in Switzerland's Alpine foothills. The secluded trails, far from traffic noise and all hustle and bustle, are particularly appealing for exploring by electric bike. The route offe ...

View detail

Cycling Lake Constance

0 Reviews
7 Day(s)
Easy
250 Km
avg 50 Km
Self-guided

You will have to look around hard to find another classic cycle path that is as popular as Lake Constance. Three countries participate in the large lake in the heart of Europe. Austria, Germany and Switzerland add a special flair to the lake. This un ...

View detail

Mittelland Route for Families

0 Reviews
7 Day(s)
Easy
130 Km
avg 26 Km
Self-guided

The Mittelland Route is perfect for families. Almost car free bike paths lead along the Aare to the famous waters of the Three-Lakes-Country. On your way you will visit neat old towns, discover a stork village and jump into the clear w ...

View detail

Centre tour Lucerne

0 Reviews
7 Day(s)
Easy/Moderate
290 Km
avg 58 Km
Self-guided

Lucerne is known for the Lions-Monument, the mountain pasture Rigi and the Kappel-bridge. Still, the city has so much more to offer: picturesquely situated on the Lake of Lucerne this city is the gate to the heart of Switzerland, the homeland of Wilh ...

View detail

Centre tour Lago Maggiore

0 Reviews
6 Day(s)
Easy/Moderate
145 Km
avg 36 Km
Self-guided

The waters of Lago Maggiore are sparkling in the sun, couples roam down the Piazza Grande and palm trees grow on the lake promenade: when staying in Ticino, you could easily forget that you are still in Switzerland. When going on this tour you discov ...

View detail

Bike Central Switzerland

0 Reviews
6 Day(s)
Moderate
132 Km
avg 33 Km
Self-guided

The Rigi rises above Lake Lucerne to the north, while the two peaks of the Mythen watch over the Schwyz foothills to the east. This picturesque region is made for exploring on two wheels. Your bike tour through central Switzerland starts at the lake ...

View detail
     
  • 1
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  • 4
  •  
  • 5
  •  
  • 6
  •  
  • 7
  •  
  • 8
  •  
  • 9
  •  

Advertisement

Advertisement

Keep up with the latest

Get ideas and inspiration into your inbox twice a month