Route 4 (Alpine Panorama Route): Section 8 – cycling Montbovon to Aigle, Switzerland

Highlights: Lac de l’Hongrin (and Dam; 1,255m), Aigle Castle

Overview of the entire Route 4 (Alpine Panorama Route): Route 4 crosses Switzerland NE to SW, from St. Margrethen to Aigle via alpine landscapes, passes, and gorges. As the name of the route implies, the route may be quite strenuous at times. (Cycling in Switzerland) gives the total length of Route 4 as 485km.

Route 4-Section 8 (end of route) (Montbovon 797m-Aigle415m)

Stats from 52 km (0 km unpaved). Height difference is M-A: 900m,  A-M: 1350m. Their site has the full profile.

The first 16 km from Montbovon are all uphill and can be taxing both on the rider and on the battery. However, the ride is much more difficult if departing from Aigle, with an initial steep ascent for several kms.

September 2016 (1-day trip)

This part has an AMAZING panorama! The first 15km of the Section 8 (from Montbovon) are in a true alpine setting, passing through forests and often in the shade. The entire route is paved but the section in the forest is in very poor conditions. This first part is also quite unfrequented and lonely; no people, no villages, just cows for several kilometers. There is no possibility of getting fresh water either. Also, I did not have phone service for the first 35km, although not all phone carriers may be off here.


At about 17km from Montbovon, one passes through a small rocky tunnel that opens with the impressive view of the Hongrin Dam (at 1,255m). The artificial Hongrin Lake, created by the dam, is a picturesque blue-green  water reservoir for the production of electricity . Biking around this area is extremely peaceful, and the silence is interrupted only by the bells of grazing cattle.



Hongrin Lake
Hongrin Lake


After about 35km, I arrived in full view of the eastern end of Lake Geneva.
From this point onward (last 15 km), one starts a thrilling descent, often steep, to Aigle (I can only imagine how difficult it must be coming up this way!). Various villages are on this side of the route. Aigle (415m) sits at the foot of the alps, at the entrance of the Rhone valley and about 10km from Lake Geneva.
Unfortunately, during the descent, the 12th century Castle of Aigle is hidden from view. One has to bike eastward to the opposite side of the town to have a gorgeous view of the castle in the midst of the vineyards.  The Castle contains a wine and vineyard museum, and only this part is open to the public.


is the end of Route 4 and its train station has major connections to everywhere one needs to go.