Hidden high in the Saane valley in the Bernese Oberland, Gstaad is the winter refuge for the beau monde. Its grand hotels, wooden chalets, and calm, boutique-laden streets form a pocket of Old World charm and refinement amidst some of Switzerland’s most imposing peaks. Joined by chairlifts, railways, and cable cars, the surrounding mountains are one of the Alps’ largest ski areas in winter – but skiing’s hardly the only draw. Besides top-notch restaurants and art galleries and the quiet elegance of the village, Gstaad is home to some exceptional cycling.
Moving to the central west of Switzerland and chances are most people have already had a taste of Emmental. The mild cheese full of holes that grocers around the world pass off as Swiss is an imitation of Emmentaler, the rich, almost sweet, and nutty cheese that has been produced in the Emme valley in central Switzerland for many centuries. Cottages and churches, copses of trees, and the odd castle spot the low hills where the cows that produce the raw milk that Emmentaler is made from graze. Those hills make the Emmental great cycling country. Surrounded by grandeur and silence save for the clanking of cowbells and the sweet hum of their bikes, Keir and Dave from CyclingTips take to the rolling hills of Gstaad and Emmental in this edition of Discover Switzerland.
For a more in-depth look at the region, including a stunning catalog of images, head on over to CyclingTips for the full article.
Imagery courtesy of Tim Bardsley-Smith. Video Courtesy of My Media Sydney