Three women wearing sunglasses and bicycle helmets standing in front of a landscape. ©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 unbekannt / ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

Explore thrilling racing bike routes


Women on two wheels

Gstaad has long been an insider destination for road cyclists – and that remains the case today. Whether you’re new to the sport or a veteran in the saddle, there are all kinds of routes to discover at different elevations. From flat terrain to demanding mountain passes, like the Col du Pillon or the Col des Mosses, there’s something for everyone, no matter how much of a challenge you’re up for.

Three keen local cyclists, Christa Cairoli, Cécile Kohler and Elisabeth Gyger, told us what road cycling in the region means for them.

For all of them, it’s clearly the trade-off between steep, sweaty ascents and enjoyably swift descents that makes the sport so special. Not to mention, of course, that the stunning scenery in this area, peppered with an array of different valleys and passes, makes cycling a truly appealing prospect. The three cyclists show what women are capable of, taking on lengthy circuits such as Gstaad – Col du Pillon – Montreux – Chatel St. Denis – Bulle – Montbovon – Gstaad.

They also take part in road cycling events like the La Reine – Strictly Female Cycling Festival. LA REINE – Strictly Female Cycling Festival

At this women-only cycling festival, attendees can join friendly road cycling trips on beautiful, quiet roads and take part in a wide range of workshops. La Reine celebrates the joy of cycling: alongside the chance to show off your sporting prowess, enjoyment and positivity are always at the heart of the event.

There’s a route for everyone! Register for the LA REINE – Strictly Female Cycling Festival here.

If La Reine isn’t quite right for you, we’ve got another suggestion. Join the regular trips offered by a local cycling meet-up for women or set up a women’s group yourself.

A portrait image of Christa Cairoli dressed in cycling gear by a lake.

Road cycling in the Gstaad region.

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 unbekannt / ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

Christa Cairoli

  • Works as a teacher
  • Cyclist for 15 years
  • Christa always takes her water bottle, a back-up cereal bar and emergency kit (suncream, medicine, cash in every currency...) with her on bike rides.

Christa started cycling with her two boys when they were very young. While their first trips saw them stay relatively close to home, they would go on to cover much longer distances on their road bikes.

Christa’s recommended route: 

Cécile Kohler

  • Works in construction
  • Cyclist since childhood
  • Cécile likes her cycle rides to include a challenging uphill stint

For Cécile, cycling is the perfect way to get some exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. She also finds her bike to be the perfect way to get from A to B, both day-to-day and when travelling.

Cécile’s recommended route:

A selfie of Cécile Kohler in cycling gear in front of a small mountain lake.

Road cycling in the Gstaad region.

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 unbekannt / Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus
A portrait image of Elisabeth Gyger in cycling gear.

Road cycling in the Gstaad region.

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 unbekannt / Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

Elisabeth Gyger

  • Works as a commercial clerk
  • Cyclist for almost 50 years
  • Lisa loves to take a break atop a mountain or hill to enjoy the view

For Elisabeth, the sport’s endurance-based nature and the opportunities it offers to enjoy nature are what make it so special – along with the fact that you can go cycling on your own or with others.

Elisabeth’s recommended route:

Tips from our expert, Patrick, if you’re looking to explore the region on two wheels:

  1. In this neck of the woods, you’re almost always gaining elevation. Start slow and short, then go quicker and for longer. Divide the entire route into sections that you find manageable.
  2. Make hopping on your bike a regular activity. It won’t get easier – but it will get more fun and you’ll get faster, too!
  3. Plan out your route or book a guide. Around here, it’s easy to add on a good few miles if you’re not paying attention.
  4. Make sure to have a spare inner tube and the most important tools with you at all times. And learn how to use them!
  5. Always have something to drink on hand. Personally, I’m partial to the delicious drinking water from one of our springs.
  6. And take an emergency snack. Otherwise, I prefer to get food from cafés, mountain inns or alpine huts.
  7. This is a really mountainous region. A compact crankset will give you a hand with conquering those gorgeous ascents.
  8. And, last but not least: don’t wear underwear under your cycling shorts! It’ll just rub.
A portrait image of Patrick Bauer on a bicycle, wearing a bicycle helmet and a backpack. The Gstaad promenade is visible behind him.

Tips from our expert, Patrick

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Toby Ryter / ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus / 2022