Route 99: Section 6 – cycling Burgdorf to Willisau, Switzerland

Highlights: Burgdorf,  Willisau,

June 2020

Route 99:06; Burgdorf (539m) to Willisau (555m)

Stats from SwitzerlandMobility (https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/cycling-in-switzerland/routes/route/etappe-01437.html ) : length 63km, total elevation 1,250m in either direction.

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My Strava stats


I’m always happy to do a section of the Herzroute because I know that I will bike through idillic pastoral settings away from traffic.  
https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/experiences/route/heart-route-from-burgdorf-to-willisau-stage-613/

A plus is that the Herzroute (Heart-Route/ Route-du-Coeur) is conceived specifically for e-bikes, with several rest stops and battery charging stations positioned at strategic regular intervals. I don’t usually need to charge my ebike on-route but I enjoy these cool rest-areas nonetheless.

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Rest-area

This particular Section is in the heart of Switzerland and reaching it requires multiple train changes. So this time I opted for the 1-hour-plus car drive, though I felt guilty for the non-eco choice.

I parked in Steinhof (a suburb of Burgdorf), in one of the many streets where parking is free on Sundays. But then I lost a 1/2 hour around Burgdorf looking for the right direction towards Willsau.

Burgdorf (see 99:05is a charming village, with its medieval old town and imposing castle ( https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/ort-0363.html ). The small upper old town is a jewel of medieval architecture, with small shops and restaurants occupying pristine old palaces. The 13th century Burgdorf Castle, on a corner of the town, stands high on a hill above the lower-town and valley.

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Burgdorf

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Departing from the foothills of Burgdorf Castle I biked for several kilometers on a natural forested path along the Emme river. Indeed, a good part of this route is on natural surface so I would not recommend using bikes with thin tires.

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Emme river

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Left the Emme, the route climbs the rolling hills of the Emmental highlands with incredible panoramic views reaching the Jura and the Alps.

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Indeed, you bike mostly on hillcrests, alternating rolling pastures, wheat fields and wooded paths, at an elevation range between 600m and 800m. Only a few hamlets dot the way.


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A recommended rest-stop is in Affoltern im Emmental, at the site of a small touristic agglomerate in the middle of this pastoral landscape. I entered the Emmental Show Dairy to buy a variety of cheese and to see, from a glass these days, the production of Emmental. Here, you find also a Restaurant and a little kids park for a great family escapade.

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Reached the end of the route in Willisau (https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/ort-0385.html ), I entered this charming old town via one of its arched towers. Like many other Swiss German (or German Swiss?) small towns, the medieval center is a rectangle enclosed by two towers and traversed by a central road lined with shops and restaurants.

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Willisau

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Because shops are closed on Sunday, I could not taste the typical Willisauer Ringli biscuit, the local delicacy.

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