Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 19356
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by Vorpal »

One-way hire into another country often includes fees that are not necessarily clear up front.

I once did a one-way hire from Austria into Italy, and when I dropped the car off, they attempted to charge me 700 Euros for the privilege. When I explained that I had not been told of any drop-off fees in advance, they showed me the small print that said 'fees may be added for...' I was attempting to talk them down to a more reasonable fee, when my boss (who was local) called me & I explained why I was stood there arguing, he talked to the hire car agent & explained that they were going to apply a more reasonable fee, or they were coming off Fiat's preferred supplier list. :lol: I don't think my boss could actually have done that, but it did the trick.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
glucas
Posts: 97
Joined: 11 Mar 2021, 10:17am

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by glucas »

st599_uk wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 11:20am Beware of the problems of entering Switzerland in a car.
Switzerland is in Schengen but not in the Customs Union - the car will be classed as a temporary import which requires paperwork and there's a strict rule on who can import it, who can export it and how long it can stay.
You may be better off handing it over at an airport like Geneva which has a number of EU tourists booking cars there (an EU citizen can't drive a non-EU registered car in the EU, so there's a ready uptake of EU vehicles at the hire desks).

The route we were planning on taking (until Covid prevented us) was Eurostar to Brussels, Brussels to Cologne, Cologne to Basel.

https://www.seat61.com/Switzerland.htm# ... a-brussels

One new option to look at is Lufthansa - many domestic "flights" in Germany to Lufthansa's hub in Frankfurt have been replaced by point-to-point non-stop train journeys. By next year, you should be able to buy a direct non-stop ticket from Cologne to Frankfurt Airport and Frankfurt Airport to Basel: https://www.railjournal.com/news/db-and ... ress-rail/
Thanks for this - food for thought. On the former point, Jonathan's idea would mean that I would drop off the car at Mulhouse, so this I believe would not be an issue.

On the latter point that is interesting, as Lufthansa used to have a good reputation as a bike carrier - or so I read, although they did change their bike policy recently - from what I can glean. If they do non-stop tickets from major hubs, I would need to know if bikes were allowed on those direct trains though.
glucas
Posts: 97
Joined: 11 Mar 2021, 10:17am

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by glucas »

Vorpal wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 11:33am One-way hire into another country often includes fees that are not necessarily clear up front.

I once did a one-way hire from Austria into Italy, and when I dropped the car off, they attempted to charge me 700 Euros for the privilege. When I explained that I had not been told of any drop-off fees in advance, they showed me the small print that said 'fees may be added for...' I was attempting to talk them down to a more reasonable fee, when my boss (who was local) called me & I explained why I was stood there arguing, he talked to the hire car agent & explained that they were going to apply a more reasonable fee, or they were coming off Fiat's preferred supplier list. :lol: I don't think my boss could actually have done that, but it did the trick.
Thanks for that word of warning! If I do this I will double check the fees!
Jdsk
Posts: 11130
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by Jdsk »

And there are muskrats in the canal between Mulhouse and Basel!

: - )

Jonathan
pal
Posts: 398
Joined: 22 Mar 2008, 11:49am

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by pal »

In the process of planning Eurovelo 15 for next July which starts at Andermatt. I will probably start at Andermatt and do a 14 day tour up to Koblenz on the way back up the Rhine before heading home.

The problem is getting the bike to Andermatt!
Earlier this month I came back from Andermatt to the UK overland. My route was very much (I suspect) not the most efficient, but it was fun and (even in covid times) pretty stress-free: I rode down to Flüelen, then took the boat to Luzern, then got a train to Basel, where I picked up the ICE to Hannover; from Hannover, I took the train to Amersfoort, where I spent the night. The next day, I cycled over to IJmuiden for the ferry back home to Newcastle. (Obv this could easily be tweaked for other Dutch ferry ports, and to increase or decrease the amount of cycling involved.)

(If I'd been pushed for time, then I could of course have taken the train from Andermatt to Basel -- and if I were doing the journey in reverse, with the uphill to Andermatt, I would have been even more likely to do that! That service, which runs between Zurich and Hamburg, has lots of bike spaces. It also stops at Frankfurt airport, if you were thinking of pursuing the fly/train option; my experience of flying with a bike with Lufthansa has always been good.)

I think I read somewhere that next summer the Nightjet sleeper service from Amsterdam to Munich is going to start carrying bikes, which will be very useful if it happens. (The new speedy EC trains from Munich to Zurich take bikes, with a reservation, and once you're in Zurich then getting up to Andermatt is -- relatively -- straightforward!)
simonhill
Posts: 3815
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by simonhill »

glucas wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 10:19am Hi All,

In the process of planning Eurovelo 15 for next July which starts at Andermatt. I will probably start at Andermatt and do a 14 day tour up to Koblenz on the way back up the Rhine before heading home.

The problem is getting the bike to Andermatt!

The other option is to fly to Zurich or Geneva. But this involves packing the bike in a box and then negotiating the airline policies on bikes - worrying about weight limits, reserving the bike etc.

Money is not really the issue to be honest. I would happily pay up to £400 return to get me and the bike there and back, but I was wondering what the most convenient way of getting the bike there would be.

Does anybody have any thoughts on this? Probably a topic that's been broached before!

Thanks for any replies.

Graham
Unless you don't want to fly, I certainly wouldn't disregard it as a simple one stop solution. You could fly from Stansted or Luton to a number of places (Easyjet, Ryanair, Wiz, etc). A ticket would be about £30 - £50 a bike is £45 - £60 and 15kgs luggage is £20. Budget airlines have a specific charge for bikes, with a weight limit of 32kgs, so no hassle once booked and paid for, providing it is correctly packed. On non budget carriers it may be included in your luggage, but this can cause problems and disputes. Get a cardboard box from your LBS for free and pack the bike in it. Bin the box after unpacking.

I flew out to Basel a couple of years ago and then cycled home. Did the same to Bordeaux the next year.
glucas
Posts: 97
Joined: 11 Mar 2021, 10:17am

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by glucas »

pal wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 12:22pm
In the process of planning Eurovelo 15 for next July which starts at Andermatt. I will probably start at Andermatt and do a 14 day tour up to Koblenz on the way back up the Rhine before heading home.

The problem is getting the bike to Andermatt!
Earlier this month I came back from Andermatt to the UK overland. My route was very much (I suspect) not the most efficient, but it was fun and (even in covid times) pretty stress-free: I rode down to Flüelen, then took the boat to Luzern, then got a train to Basel, where I picked up the ICE to Hannover; from Hannover, I took the train to Amersfoort, where I spent the night. The next day, I cycled over to IJmuiden for the ferry back home to Newcastle. (Obv this could easily be tweaked for other Dutch ferry ports, and to increase or decrease the amount of cycling involved.)

(If I'd been pushed for time, then I could of course have taken the train from Andermatt to Basel -- and if I were doing the journey in reverse, with the uphill to Andermatt, I would have been even more likely to do that! That service, which runs between Zurich and Hamburg, has lots of bike spaces. It also stops at Frankfurt airport, if you were thinking of pursuing the fly/train option; my experience of flying with a bike with Lufthansa has always been good.)

I think I read somewhere that next summer the Nightjet sleeper service from Amsterdam to Munich is going to start carrying bikes, which will be very useful if it happens. (The new speedy EC trains from Munich to Zurich take bikes, with a reservation, and once you're in Zurich then getting up to Andermatt is -- relatively -- straightforward!)
Thanks for this Pal. It's real food for thought. There is an appeal in going from Hamburg to Zurich - if it's non stop. I could potentially drive to Hamburg from the Hook of Holland and then leave the car and take the train.
glucas
Posts: 97
Joined: 11 Mar 2021, 10:17am

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by glucas »

simonhill wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 4:51pm
glucas wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 10:19am Hi All,

In the process of planning Eurovelo 15 for next July which starts at Andermatt. I will probably start at Andermatt and do a 14 day tour up to Koblenz on the way back up the Rhine before heading home.

The problem is getting the bike to Andermatt!

The other option is to fly to Zurich or Geneva. But this involves packing the bike in a box and then negotiating the airline policies on bikes - worrying about weight limits, reserving the bike etc.

Money is not really the issue to be honest. I would happily pay up to £400 return to get me and the bike there and back, but I was wondering what the most convenient way of getting the bike there would be.

Does anybody have any thoughts on this? Probably a topic that's been broached before!

Thanks for any replies.

Graham
Unless you don't want to fly, I certainly wouldn't disregard it as a simple one stop solution. You could fly from Stansted or Luton to a number of places (Easyjet, Ryanair, Wiz, etc). A ticket would be about £30 - £50 a bike is £45 - £60 and 15kgs luggage is £20. Budget airlines have a specific charge for bikes, with a weight limit of 32kgs, so no hassle once booked and paid for, providing it is correctly packed. On non budget carriers it may be included in your luggage, but this can cause problems and disputes. Get a cardboard box from your LBS for free and pack the bike in it. Bin the box after unpacking.

I flew out to Basel a couple of years ago and then cycled home. Did the same to Bordeaux the next year.
Thanks Simon. I do have 2 canyon cardboard boxes - so it's doable. Probably the least hassle option once one gets the bike packed!
MrsHJ
Posts: 865
Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 1:03pm
Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by MrsHJ »

I was in Oberwald (next to Andermatt) a couple of weeks ago for the EV17. The train up from Geneva was very easy- it’s an inter regional, train up to Brig and then the glacier express to Andermatt- no need to pre book anything but please note the bike costs 14CHF on top of your ticket. You can book on the SBB Swiss rail app and use E tickets.

Getting to Geneva though is more of the challenge- I flew but totally respect a preference not to do so. If you can take a ferry then you can use TER services across France- they’re free and uncomplicated for bikes. TGV is more complex and needs prebooking but is a lot faster.
Last edited by MrsHJ on 26 Sep 2021, 10:54am, edited 3 times in total.
MrsHJ
Posts: 865
Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 1:03pm
Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by MrsHJ »

glucas wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 10:19am Hi All,

In the process of planning Eurovelo 15 for next July which starts at Andermatt. I will probably start at Andermatt and do a 14 day tour up to Koblenz on the way back up the Rhine before heading home.

The problem is getting the bike to Andermatt!

Thanks for any replies.

Graham
Graham- I see you are considering flights so an update- I flew easy jet Bristol to Geneva and back from Nice - got home yesterday and paid for basic flights about £50 each way plus a bag (I use a rucksack protector) which takes my panniers etc plus the bike which was £45 each way. I stayed the night at an airport hotel and got the Brig train the next morning.

NB I use the cycling UK bags (essentially a clear plastic mattress bag) plus bubble wrap when flying- I find they’re fine but my bike is mature and I’m starting to plan a new one. You take the pedals off, turn the handlebar to the side take the front wheel off and I use a spacer for the front forks. Let the tyres down, I then secure the wheel to protect the rear mech with lots of tape and bubble wrap any delicate bits. Then bag it and secure the bag (you don’t want any flaps or lose sections) with lots of tape.
Geneva airport has an area you can put the bikes back together (I think it might be one of those airports with a cycle pump although I’ve never found it) and it’s easy to cycle or walk out of and the train station is under the airport. Bikes arrive with pushchairs and skis at the W far end of the baggage hall (furthest to the right). I always collect my bag first and then go to where the bikes arrive to unpack the bike and get it usable. Another option is to get a taxi to a hotel and reassemble it there.
glucas
Posts: 97
Joined: 11 Mar 2021, 10:17am

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by glucas »

MrsHJ wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 9:12am
glucas wrote: 23 Sep 2021, 10:19am Hi All,

In the process of planning Eurovelo 15 for next July which starts at Andermatt. I will probably start at Andermatt and do a 14 day tour up to Koblenz on the way back up the Rhine before heading home.

The problem is getting the bike to Andermatt!

Thanks for any replies.

Graham
Graham- I see you are considering flights so an update- I flew easy jet Bristol to Geneva and back from Nice - got home yesterday and paid for basic flights about £50 each way plus a bag (I use a rucksack protector) which takes my panniers etc plus the bike which was £45 each way. I stayed the night at an airport hotel and got the Brig train the next morning.

NB I use the cycling UK bags (essentially a clear plastic mattress bag) plus bubble wrap when flying- I find they’re fine but my bike is mature and I’m starting to plan a new one. You take the pedals off, turn the handlebar to the side take the front wheel off and I use a spacer for the front forks. Let the tyres down, I then secure the wheel to protect the rear mech with lots of tape and bubble wrap any delicate bits. Then bag it and secure the bag (you don’t want any flaps or lose sections) with lots of tape.
Geneva airport has an area you can put the bikes back together (I think it might be one of those airports with a cycle pump although I’ve never found it) and it’s easy to cycle or walk out of and the train station is under the airport. Bikes arrive with pushchairs and skis at the W far end of the baggage hall (furthest to the right). I always collect my bag first and then go to where the bikes arrive to unpack the bike and get it usable. Another option is to get a taxi to a hotel and reassemble it there.
Thanks for this MrsHJ. It's really useful information. I am erring on the side of flying because of time constraints. Positive experiences in terms of bike booking in and packing/reassembly are reassuring to hear. I am near Stansted and Luton airports so it makes sense.
st599_uk
Posts: 583
Joined: 4 Nov 2018, 8:59pm

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by st599_uk »

Geneva airport is a very good option and have staff on hand to deal with any Customs or import issues, but Geneva can be eye-wateringly expensive. A taxi to the area near the main station will cost £40+ (for a 12 min drive). (Restaurants can be similar)

As you're exiting the baggage reclaim, you can get a free 90 min ticket from a machine - you can then take your bike on the train for free. On the lower ground floor (same level as train station) there's a small supermarket.

Alternatively, there's a pedestrian bridge opposite the bus stops, once over that it's an easy ride in to town - go towards Grand Sacconex, then down past Nations (the UN/Red Cross area) to get the full experience.
A novice learning...
“the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
glucas
Posts: 97
Joined: 11 Mar 2021, 10:17am

Re: Eurovelo 15 - Andermatt

Post by glucas »

Thanks for the info. Sounds like it would be best to just hop straight on the train!
Post Reply