Via Francigena

Day 36 – Lausanne to Aigle: cycling in the land of lakes, castles, and vineyards

The stage


47km by bicycle – Sunday 25 July

Rain or no rain? That was the big question for today’s stage by bicycle! Last night we had a lot of rain and thunderstorms coming over the city of Lausanne and predictions for our day cycling to Aigle weren’t much sunnier. When we set off with our little group of cyclists around 10 AM in the morning, luckily the sky cleared up a bit and some shy sunshine decided to come through.

Starting point today was the beautiful cathedral of Lausanne, and from there we rolled down towards the Lausanne harbour at the Lac Leman. For those of you who have never been to Lausanne and think it’s flat because the city is situated next to a lake (this was my assumption initially), I can already tell you that this is not really the case: Lausanne is very hilly and some very steep descents challenged us before we reached the lake. The first couple of kms were very flat and we fully enjoyed the beautiful views and fresh breeze. At Bourg-en-Lavaux the suggested road for cyclists took us up on the hill where we cycled straight through the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Lavaux terraced vineyards. The only thing coming out of our mouthes was “wow”. This area is so beautiful that it’s difficult to put to words. The many different shades of green were the perfect backdrop for our photos and videos and we made many little stops to immortalize our passage here. We all were a tiny bit sad when we had to descend again towards Rivaz, where shortly after “disaster” struck again.

Marie, our blogger from Geneva and who’s bicycle chain broke down yesterday, lost the pedal of her bicycle 5 km before our arrival to the first meeting point of today: Vevey. We tried putting the pedal back on the bicycle, but the problem appeared more serious than we could handle and she had to cycle the last couple of kms without a pedal. Upon arrival to Vevey we were very warmly welcomed by several town representatives among which Vincent Imhof, who offered us a guided tour at the St. Martin church. After this cultural visit, our initial plan was to have our picnic-lunch at the stairs of the church, but instead we were invited to eat our lunch at the wine cellar of the Confrérie des Vignerons de Vevey where we were offered a super tasty glass of white and red wine. After this super hospitality in Vevey, we set off again for the second half of our cycling adventure today.

We made a stop at the Freddie Mercury statue in Montreux, where we also visited the free exhibition “Queen – The Studio Experience” (highly recommended!). We continued cycling along the lake until we reached the magnificent Chillon castle in Villeneuve. This is also where we left the Lac Leman behind us and started making our way through the valley that eventually leads to the start of the climb to the Great St. Bernard Pass. End destination of today was Aigle, a gorgeous little town in the Vaud Canton. Our stay here was organized by the Aigle Tourisme office and their availability and hospitality were truly heartwarming. We went on a guided visit of the town and its fairytale-like castle, and after a satisfying dinner in the center of town we retired to our beds.

Cycling along the Lac Leman
The Lavaux vineyards area
Visiting the Queen The Studio Experience in Montreux
The beautiful Chillon castle
Heartwarming hospitality in Aigle and the visit to its castle

Myra Stals, Social Media Manager (EAVF)
Arianna Izzi, RTR Ambassador
Marie Faidi-Timmerman, RTR Ambassador
Luca Bruschi, Director (EAVF)
Andrea Ciotti, videomaker