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Motorcycle Tour Through the Swiss Plateau
The Swiss Plateau, which lies between Lake Constance and Lake Geneva, is home to the majority of the Swiss population. The landscape here is hilly rather than mountainous. It is reminiscent of the Mittelgebirge region in Germany in various ways including some wonderfully twisty roads. They may be less spectacular than those up in the high mountains, but on the other hand the choice of roads that are rewarding to see and to ride is considerably greater.
From Bern through the Emmental valley to Lucerne
To the north-east of Bern (3) lies the town of Burgdorf on the Emme. The River Emme? Exactly, this is the river whose valley is the source of probably Switzerland's most famous cheese. In the hills surrounding Emmental anyone who loves driving along windy lanes will find themselves in seventh heaven. The very first stage after Affoltern is a delight both in terms of the riding and the scenery. If you have always wanted to know why the cheese is full of holes, then you should be sure to visit the Emmental Show Dairy in Affoltern.
Now, after Affoltern, there is the option of taking the main road to Sumiswald and on to Langnau. However, your tour will be a lot more exciting if you embark on the adventure of the small white roads. After Langnau several routes, including the one via Wasen, cross the Lüderenalp, and motorcyclists are rewarded with exhilarating bends and breathtaking views. If, however, you take the main road (Hauptstrasse 10) west from Langnau for just a few kilometres, it will bring you to the Entlebuch region.
The valley and surrounding hills here have been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Craggy rock formations known as "karst" and extensive moorland make the Entlebuch region unique.
Tip for fans of hairpin bends: Ride from Schüpfheim over the Glaubenbielen Pass to Lake Sarnen then back over the Glaubenberg Pass to Entlebuch. Both these passes give a touring motorcyclist a foretaste of what awaits them on the "proper" Alpine passes. It's not much further from Entlebuch to Lucerne on the Vierwaldstättersee, which we know as Lake Lucerne. If there is any such thing as a historical heart of Switzerland, then it is here by this lake. This is the setting for the legend of the national hero William Tell, and is where, as tradition has it, the "Rütli Oath" was sworn, giving birth to Switzerland as a country. However, this belongs with a different stage of the Grand Tour.
- Top image: Wildhaus Pass: On the road to Liechtenstein: leisurely swinging round the bends through the picturesque Swiss countryside. © Schweiz Tourismus/Nico Schaerer
- Image 2: The Tremola, Switzerland's longest architectural monument. The alpine pass-road at the south end of St Gotthard in the Canton of Tessin. © Switzerland Tourism By-line: swiss-image.ch/Roland Gerth
1 Maps note
To ensure you are able to try out our touring suggestions for yourself, the gpx downloads provided here offer a large number of intermediate destinations. This means they have a high data volume and cannot be directly represented on every sat nav system. To modify this, you can import these gpx files into the routing program suitable for your sat nav, and then divide them into portions digestible for the device. The final file size is then dependent upon the sat nav model and the accompanying software version. If you do not have routing software, this file can also be edited in the standard online routing systems. They offer the appropriate conversion tools for virtually all devices on the market.