Gravel biking in the Alpes Vaudoises: our top picks

Gravel biking in the Alpes Vaudoises

September 1, 2023

Gravel biking is booming. So much so, in fact, that it’s not just a hype anymore: gravel has developed solid roots and will continue to grow.

Why? There are many reasons, and we all have our own. For me, it’s :

  • the chance to ride away from the ever-growing motorized traffic. I say this without animosity, because I’m part of the problem: I’m a motorist.
  • the adrenalin rush that comes from riding on a surface that’s less predictable than smooth-as-a-baby-bottom Swiss tarmac. As a road rider, the slightest skid takes me well beyond my comfort zone.
  • a type of riding less focused on pure performance. I find it hard to push my 400W (yeah, yeah) on climbs when I have to navigate between rocks and roots, so I start looking around and talking to fellow riders.
  • the pleasure of exploring new roads and paths, after decades on the tarmac. Hey, is it possible to link these two valleys by taking the path that appears as a dotted line on the map? Answer: yes, you just have to hike a little – or a lot. Dude, what an epic adventure!

I’m lucky enough to experience all this in my own garden. Well, its surroundings: the Alpes Vaudoises. Whenever I have a moment, I get out and explore the region, looking for secret trails and alternatives to my road rides. The Col de la Croix on gravel? Yes, it’s possible. Connecting the valley and the mountains without putting your wheels on the main road? Hold my beer.

This year, I’ve stepped up a notch: with Lillie, we’re creating a collection of gravel circuits in the Alpes Vaudoises, with the support of the local tourism board. First tangible result: a digital brochure with our 5 favorite loops. From 30 to 90 km and from 600m to over 3000m of D+: there’s something for every rider who loves the mountains, is fit enough and enjoys the occasional technical section. The quintessence of alpine gravel!

Click here to download the brochure: you’ll find maps, descriptions, photos, gpx files and tips. And that’s just the beginning – we’ve still got great surprises in store!


Follow me on Instagram and head over to the blog to read more cycling stories. Looking for inspiration on where to ride? Check out our favorite road and gravel loops.

Gravel biking in the Alpes Vaudoises

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