Highlights: Axenstrasse, Stans, Lucerne
Route 3: Section 3 (Lucerne 434m–Flüelen 434m)
Stats from SwitzerlandMobility.ch ( https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/veloland/routes/etappe-01651.html ): 50km, height difference 440m in either direction. It shares its path with 9:06 (from Luzern to Stansstad), 4:04 (from Stansstad to Flüelen), and Eurovelo 5.
This Section travels the entirety of Lake Lucern, and it includes a crossing by boat!
Lake Lucerne is probably the most beautiful Lake in Switzerland, made up of several narrow arms that give a fjord-like appearance.
When I arrived in Flüelen after the morning descent from Andermatt (3:04) I found out that the scenic lake road Axenstrasse was still closed for the first 7 km due to a mud slide. I thus took the train and rejoined the road in the charming village of Sisikon.
Sisikon, on the shores of Urnersee (part of Lake Lucerne), has also magnificent views of the opposite prealpine mountains.
Of interest in the area between Fluelen and Sisikon, along a natural path on the lake, is the Tell Chapel, in memory of William Tell. However, I was running very late and could not go there.
The panoramic lake route continues to Gersau with really splendid scenery but horrible traffic and no dedicated bike lane. Indeed I biked this entire part on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road. This is the most dangerous road I’ve been in Switzerland!
Before Gersau, there’s a respite in the tourist village of Brunnen, at the northern end of Urnersee, a busy lake resort with charming architecture and crowed even on Sundays.
And then this Section crosses the lake at Gersau to reach Beckenried via a 20-minute car-ferry (https://www.autofaehre.ch/). Here I had just missed the departing boat so I had to wait another hour until 6:30pm.
I reached the opposite shore in dimming sunlight and I started looking for a train station along the route to return home. This led me to discover Stans (https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/ort-080.html ). It is actually the capital of Canton Nidwalden, and one can feel its important status throughout history by the well maintained baroque buildings and squares.
Its old center includes an old church complex with an ancient cemetery and a Roman bell tower. In the summer it is full of tourists ascending the Stanserhorn peak (1898m), with its rotating restaurant and spectacular panoramic views.
But unfortunately I had waisted way too much time in sightseeing along the Schöllenen Gorge and Devil’s Bridge during the previous Section. It was getting really late to reach Lucerne, another 20km away, with darkness creeping on me . So a good compromise was taking the train at Stans, just before Stansstad, where Route 3:03 merges with Route 9:06 up to Lucerne. This way Stansstad-Lucerne will be covered another time while biking Route 9:06.
So at the end I did only 25 km of this section (but a total of 65km for the day)
Although, I did not reach the superb city of Lucerne on this day, more information can be found in my previous trip along Section 3:02, which I biked exactly 1 year ago.
Links to Introduction and other Sections :
- BIKING THROUGH SWITZERLAND (with an electric bike)
- Route 3 (North-South): Section 1 (Basel-Aarau)
- Route 3: Section 2 (Aarau–Lucerne)
- Route 3: Section 4 (Flüelen–Andermatt)
- Route 3: Section 5 (Andermatt–Airolo)
- Route 3: Section 6 (Airolo–Bellinzona)
- Route 3: Section 7 (Bellinzona–Agno)
- Route 3: Section 8-end (Agno–Chiasso)