Advice on renting a motorcycle in Switzerland?
October 1, 2004 3:42 PM   Subscribe

I will be at a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland next week. When the conference is over, I have a few days before I have to fly home. I think I'd like to rent a motorcycle and spend that time riding in the mountains. Does anyone have any recommendations for going about this? Should I try to rent the bike ahead of time, or just do it once I'm there? Can I expect to find a place that will rent bikes in Lausanne, or should I plan on going back to Geneva to get one?
posted by badstone to Travel & Transportation around Switzerland (8 answers total)

While in Lausanne, make sure to go to the Museum of the Insane

posted by leotrotsky at 4:38 PM on October 1, 2004 [1 favorite]

Take a day and go to Interlochen. That whole area is gorgeous.
posted by plinth at 7:44 PM on October 1, 2004

No idea if you have plans or where they were for, but I really recommend the area going through the states of Glarus and Zug. I spent the summer in Braunwald (town and lodging info), just up a mountain from Linthal and near Glarus. Braunwald itself can only be reached by funicular, and there are no cars in the entire village, except a couple electric things used for hauling things.

This is a super area, everyone's friendly, and the mountain roads are beautiful. Make sure to try the alpenkäse (alp-cheese), and the Glarus speciality cheese - a soft cheese flavored with pine. There's also a pizza-like substance known as a flammkuchen, which I hear is heaven, but never got to try.

If this is of any interest, feel free to drop me an email, or just look at the pictures...
posted by whatzit at 9:57 PM on October 1, 2004

I don't know if this will help or not.

the Art Brut stuff is very cool. Lausanne's old city is my fave in Europe, but I'm biased. Down the lake, east of both Geneve and Lausanne, is the Chateau the Chillon, in Montreux. It's an old castle built out in the lake a bit, and very interesting.

Roughly north of Montreux (I think, it's been years and years) is a mountain valley that leads to Champery, which has skiing and hiking. This time of the year the weather will be changing, and it won;t be good for skiing, but the hiking there can be unbelievable. It used to be off the beaten path, I have no idea if it still is.

While in Lausanne try some 'saucisson,' a loose-packed, stinky sausage that may try your palate but which can be sublime. I am also a huge fan of the white wine made throughout the northern coast of Lake Geneva; I believe the grapes are 'fendant' but I totally forget. On your way to Montreux (on a bike! that rocks!) pull into a little town and ask where "le cave" is, and you'll get directed to the municipal vintners. Ask for a small glass of the local, and savor it.

Buy me a bottle, and send it over! You can't get Valaisienne wine in the US, and I miss it.

Hope that helps.
posted by mwhybark at 1:04 AM on October 2, 2004


Chateau de Chillon.

posted by mwhybark at 1:05 AM on October 2, 2004

It is going to be rather cold. Take the swiss trains for touring.
posted by zaelic at 3:09 AM on October 2, 2004

I should clarify about the saucisson: it's spelled saussison, apparently. The variety I fondly recall may have been made with something like kraut inside it. It is an acquired taste.
posted by mwhybark at 11:55 AM on October 2, 2004

I thought about Europcar for motorcycle rental. If you go to their website reservation form and select "other vehicles" for the vehicle category you can theoretically rent a motorcycle. However, when trying this for each of their three Lausanne locations, I got a message saying the type of vehicle was unavailable. So maybe it would be worth calling their reservation center and asking where is the nearest location to Lausanne where you could rent a motorcycle? I got this phone number from the site: USA/Canada (1)
877 940 69 00 (English speaking line)
posted by hazyjane at 2:00 AM on October 4, 2004

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