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Switzerland and Liechtenstein

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Discover
the Routes
du Bonheur of...

Pierre Berclaz
View all the Routes du Bonheur

Maître de maison of Les Sources des Alpes
I invite you to discover the landscapes of Switzerland at the controls of one of the most beautiful motorcycles in the world.

I invite you to discover the landscapes of Switzerland at the controls of one of the most beautiful motorcycles in the world. Imagine the roar of a Harley, gliding between high mountain pastures and Lake Geneva…

After spending several years abroad, in Jerusalem, Bali and Rome, my wife and I returned to our native Switzerland. I was born in Sierre and spent all my youth surrounded by impressive mountains. I remember that, as a child, we would have family picnics in the middle of this incredible scenery. I still recall the first time that I saw the Grande Dixence dam. Later, I went to a boarding school run by the Canons in Saint-Maurice, and then went on to hotel management school in Lausanne quite naturally. Switzerland is a peaceful and little-known country. I like to take to the road, to ride without knowing where I’m going. Just for the pleasure of the ride. It was in Jerusalem that I bought my first Harley Davidson, a V-Rod. When we arrived in Leukerbad, I bought myself a fully-customised Chopper-style Softail. I ride it whenever I get the chance, just for the pleasure of discovering Switzerland by Harley…

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a six-night stay from 1679 CHF*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
Step 1: 1 day, 1 night

Grand Hôtel du Lac

Romantic shores
Grand Hôtel du Lac
Opened in 1868, this hotel is ideally situated by the lake. Take a leisurely ride along Lake Geneva to reach this enormous building, brilliantly run by maître de maison Christopher Rudolph. The hotel has played host to many important figures and witnessed the events of the last century, both big and small. In 2007, it was given a complete makeover by the decorator Pierre-Yves Rochon. Today, the Grand Hôtel du Lac offers a level of comfort and refinement that is practically unparalleled. Just look at the elegant restaurant and the splendid view…

On the route...

Fondue at Café Tivoli

The route from Oron to Yverdon via Moudon is a very beautiful country road. After the Sainte-Croix Pass, enjoy the series of bends and the wide valleys.

Located in the little town of Châtel-Saint-Denis, this restaurant is known for its superb fondue. You can get fondue made from pure Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese, or half-and-half (the cheese is produced in the region). On fine days, the terrace becomes a meeting place, where locals, tourists and bikers sit and admire the scenery. You are sure of a warm welcome. Sarah Colliard took over the business from her parents in 2009, keeping the same recipes and adding her smile.

Café Tivoli

The Château de Grandson

This old fortress probably dates back to the 11th century. Known for having been at the centre of an illustrious battle between the soldiers of Charles the Bold and the Swiss army in 1476, the château has had a succession of unusual incarnations over the last two centuries. It housed a barracks, then a tobacco factory, before being (partially) converted into a car museum. Today, you can admire the impressive collection of weapons and armour as well as the collectable cars. Don’t miss Greta Garbo’s Rolls-Royce or Winston Churchill’s Austin Cambridge Saloon.

Château de Grandson

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : SOURCES

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Step 2 : 1 day, 1 night

Beau-Rivage Hotel

Tranquility and beauty between the lake, the mountains and a one-thousand-year-old city
Beau-Rivage Hotel
Recently renovated, this splendid mansion, built in 1862, boasts a superb location beside the Esplanade du Mont Blanc, where you can simultaneously enjoy Lake Neuchâtel and the view of the Alps. The owner and maître de maison, Thomas Maechler, has done an absolutely remarkable job. The restaurant is one of the most renowned in the Pays des Trois-Lacs. It also holds the largest selection of traditional absinthe in Switzerland, so wait a while before getting back on the road…

On the route...

The journey as far as Le Noirmont

You can continue the journey as far as Le Noirmont, where you will find not only the splendid Relais & Châteaux of Georges Wenger, but also a charming little bistro, right beside the lake. Here you are in the middle of nowhere, on the border between Switzerland and France. This is a place I’ve sworn to return to…

Georges Wenger Restaurant & Hôtel

Absinthe in Val-de-Travers

A dozen artisans in this small region continue to distil this famous plant, which is both bitter and highly scented. Banned from sale for almost a century (permission to distil it again was not granted until 2005), this drink has become an attraction once more. Tours including tastings are available, and there is the possibility of custom distilling according to old recipes. You are certain to see a sign advertising the "Green Fairy" at the side of the road.

CIMA Museum, Sainte-Croix

This little town, of less than 5000 inhabitants, is considered to be the world capital of music boxes. In 1875, the Paillard company employed more than 600 people here. CIMA (Centre International de Mécanique d’Art) houses a unique collection of these little boxes whose melodies have been lulling us to sleep since 1796. The automatons, music boxes and singing birds will take you straight back to childhood.

CIMA Museum

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : SOURCES

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Step 3 : 1 day, 1 night

Park Weggis

Amidst unspoilt nature, a perfect balance between relaxation and adventure
Park Weggis
A certain joie de vivre is in the air at the Park Hotel Weggis. This atmosphere is probably related to its maître de maison, Peter Kämpfer. The hotel opened its doors in 1875 (under another name), and behind the period facade you will find sleek and modern lines. In the heart of the Japanese garden, guests can enjoy individual spas, as well as deckchairs arranged beside the lake. Take a walk beside the swans before enjoying a meal at Annex, an excellent restaurant.

On the route...

The Gotthard Pass

This is one of Switzerland’s most impressive landscapes. Connecting the cantons of Uri and Ticino, the Gotthard Pass is accessible by road between June and October (depending on snowfall). From Andermatt, a relatively straight road leads to the little village of Hospental, before giving way to a succession of sharp bends and turns leading to the summit, the Hospice and the very beautiful high-altitude lake, located at a height of 2108 metres. Although the traffic may sometimes be heavy, the road remains superb. At the summit, the old cobblestone Gotthard road leads down to Airolo, 13 kilometres lower down the valley. A small museum depicts the history of the pass and the role it played in the creation of the Swiss Confederation, as well as its exceptional location between Switzerland and Italy.

Andermatt

Andermatt is the largest of three villages in the Urseren Valley. It is located at the intersection of roads leading to the Oberalp and Furka mountain passes. But above all it is the setting for a veritable parade of bikers, come to brave (or enjoy) the Gotthard Pass…

Swiss Museum of Transport

Opened in 1959, this surprising museum is devoted to transport in all its forms. Help yourself to a scooter to move around the various buildings, where you will discover the history of rail, road, air and sea transport in a fun and interactive way. A journey which takes in over 3000 objects, and about 20,000 m² of exhibition space.

Swiss Museum of Transport

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

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Step 4 : 1 day, 1 night

Villa Principe Leopoldo

The Ticino touch
Villa Principe Leopoldo
The last few bends herald your arrival in an exceptional place. The Villa Principe Leopoldo seems to be set on the hill of Oro. The lake and the Alps are before you and beautiful Lugano is on the doorstep. Built at the end of the 19th century, the villa was owned by the brother-in-law of Kaiser Wilhelm. Behind the arches, art deco and renaissance style mingle. The rooms are superb and the Kiso Spa is one of the finest in the country. Inspired by the area, the writer Hermann Hesse lived nearby.

On the route...

Moosalp restaurant, Törbel

Set at a height of 2048 metres, this mountain restaurant is one of the favourite meeting places for Harley Davidson fans. This might be because there is a table dedicated to the famous American motorcycle brand. In the kitchen, the owner, Amadé, prepares incredible "biker steaks", rösti and macaroni cheese. A place that is as simple as it is magical.

Moosalp restaurant

Route 560

Opt for route 560 which runs alongside the pretty Melezza river to reach the Simplon Pass from Locarno. You will go through the villages of Bernardo, Intragna and Malesco… in Italy, before returning to the Valais. Superb!

Simplon Pass

At an altitude of 2005 metres, the Simplon Pass is a biker’s dream. The location is splendid and the road is very fast. On 1 May every year, the pass is the setting for a blessing of motorcyclists. Several thousand bikers come together in a very festive atmosphere. And the priest is a biker too!

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : SOURCES

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Step 5 : 1 day, 1 night

Hôtel Les Sources des Alpes

Fresh air and spa treatments
Hôtel Les Sources des Alpes
Alexandre Dumas, Tolstoy, Picasso, Chaplin and Karajan all came here to enjoy the mountain air. Our hotel is an exclusive place, which, for over 160 years, has been delighting skiers, hikers and those who come to take the waters. The hotel has its own hot spring, where the water remains a steady 36°C all year round. My wife Joëlle and I have had the pleasure of living and working in this incredible place since 2009. What more could you ask for? A little Harley ride with the slopes of the Gemmi Pass for the backdrop…

On the route...

From Leukerbad

From Leukerbad, the road goes down towards Inden, through the village of Rumeling, before turning to the west. At this point you ride along a spectacular precipice. This stretch of road is as memorable as it is short.

Lac de Moiry restaurant

In this restaurant, the (local) cuisine holds its own against the incredible view of the turquoise waters of a high-altitude lake. You must try the toasted cheese, the Anniviers sausage cooked in marc of Dôle and the homemade apricot and rosemary tart… A little slice of paradise, less than fifteen minutes by Harley from the village of Grimentz (watch out for the post bus which connects the two!).

Lac de Moiry restaurant

Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny

More than just a foundation, this is a splendid space in the heart of the forest of Martigny which puts on very beautiful temporary exhibitions. You can discover works by Van Gogh, Manet, Degas, Modigliani, Gauguin, Picasso and many more. The permanent collections feature works by such varied artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Henry Moore, Bourdelle and Arman. It also houses the ten masterpieces of the Louis and Evelyn Franck Collection, a very nice Gallo-Roman museum and a collection of old cars. Classical music concerts are also held here, and Cecilia Bartoli is a regular visitor.

Fondation Pierre Gianadda

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : SOURCES

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Step 6 : 1 day, 1 night

Hôtel de la Cigogne

An enchanting stay in the heart of Geneva
Hôtel de la Cigogne
This is the only hotel on this trip which is in a town centre. La Cigogne is ideally situated in the heart of Geneva, between Lake Geneva and the old town. You can enjoy both the hustle and bustle of the little squares nearby and the calm which reigns inside the hotel. This is also the perfect place to do a last bit of shopping, with superb boutiques close by.

On the route...

Lake Geneva

Leave the motorway on the right and take the road which runs along the lake from Montreux to Geneva. The beauty of Lake Geneva is enhanced by the Alps, and this view is unique in the world.

The vineyards of Lavaux

This landscape is at once splendid and unexpected. Between Montreux and Lausanne, the terraced vineyards of Lavaux slope towards Lake Geneva, endowing the landscape with unique light and shading. After Vevey, take the vineyard road towards Chexbres. Stop off in this charming little village to visit the restaurant-lounge Le Deck, whose unobstructed view of the lake is spectacular. Cultivated since the 12th century, the vineyards were made a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2007. The white wine produced here is a real treat for the palate. Enjoy responsibly before continuing your journey…

La nuit des bains, Geneva

Since 1994, when MAMCO (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain) was opened, the Les Bains quarter has gradually transformed into an incredible laboratory of contemporary art. Take a stroll past the windows of the many galleries which have opened in this now-trendy area. Three times a year, the Les Bains neighbourhood association organises a special preview event involving all of these avant-garde galleries, known as "La nuit des bains".

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : SOURCES

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard