Route 9: Section 3 – cycling Gstaad to Spiez, Switzerland

Highlights: Gstaad, Zweisimmen (church), Wimmis (Castle), Spiez (Castle)

Route 9- Section 3 (Gstaad 1050m-Spiez 628m)

Stats from SwitzerlandMobility.ch: 52 km (12 km unpaved). Height difference is G-S: 460m,  S-G: 900m. Their site has the full profile.

September 2016 (1-day trip)

Summary: Section 3 brought us from Gstaad in the Saanenland region, to the town of Spiez on the shore of lake Thun. Apart from an initial ascent of about 200m in height, the rest of the journey is an almost constant descent during the remaining 45 km, with just few gentle hills.

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Gstaad 
is one of the VIP alpine villages of Switzerland (see also 9:02). Its center harmoniously combines typical Swiss chalets, full of red and white flowers, with expensive restaurants and shops (there’s even Prada!). From luxury to farming, Gstaad is also impressive for the plenitude of cows (about 7,000 or 1 per inhabitant). The typical cow of this region is the Simmental cow. We were lucky to arrive during the descent of cows from high pastures, an age-old fall ritual during which the cows are walked through the village with bells and crowns of flowers.

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From Gstaad the route ascends for about 6km flanked by gentle and green mountains, sparsely dotted with chalets. The first 15km (paved) from Gstaad (1050m) to Zweisimmen (947m), are shared with the Mountain Bike Route #1 -Section 15 (Alpine Route).

In Zweisimmen we stopped to visit the beautiful St. Mary’s church built between 13th-15th century. Its murals were initially covered during the Reformation of the 16th century, but were then uncovered and restored in the mid-20th century.
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Past Zweisimmen, the route continues for several kilometers on an unpaved trail next to the local railroad and the small river Simme. Railroad and river, more or less close, will accompany us for the rest of the journey to Spiez/Lake Thun. The proximity to the rail tracks and stations may be convenient if one has to cut the trip short.
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A few kilometers before reaching Spiez, we passed by Wimmis (629m), with its 12th century castle perched on a hilltop. The castle is private and it opens to the public only once/month.
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Spiez (628m) is known for its picturesque small marina and views of the Castle, which are probably better appreciated from the lake. The castle is in fact right on the lake. It was built around the 12th century, while its church is from the 10th century. Spiez is also part of Route 8:03, where I added more details.

 

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Once again, we arrived too late in Spiez and couldn’t visit the castle. However, only a minuscule part of it is open to visitors and it is often used for exhibitions.
Links to Introduction & Other sections of Route 9:

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10 thoughts on “Route 9: Section 3 – cycling Gstaad to Spiez, Switzerland

  1. Good day,
    We did the route from Schonreid to Speiz and found ourselves on the hwy 2 times. We loved the ride and our planing to do it again 2022.
    If you wouldn’t mind I would greatly appreciate if you could assist with the 2 points.
    1. after ZweisSman we were on the highway until we found the gravel path along the river – did we take a wrong turn?
    2. before Wimmis we came up from the path and had to ride on the highway again until the cutoff to Spiez. Perhaps we should have stayed in the valley along the river to Spiez as you mention in your post.
    As I mentioned My husband and I loved our trip in 2019 that we have decided to cycle it again from Schonreid (above Gataad) to Spiez and day. any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you
    Kind regards
    Jan Kirsch

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