E-biking the Emmental Cheese Route is a unique way to see a different part of Switzerland near Bern that’s off the beaten path from most travel itineraries. The Emmental Cheese Route is a picturesque ride through the rolling hills of the Emmental Valley, featuring a stop at a dairy farm in Affoltern to sample some freshly made Emmental Swiss Cheese.

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E-Biking in Switzerland

E-biking is a popular way to explore larger sections of Switzerland. While it’s possible to bike the Emmental Cheese route covered in this article, we opted for e-bikes to allow us to cover more ground in a shorter period of time.

An e-bike is a motorized bike that allows you to adjust the amount of power you use, so you can pedal like you’re on a normal bike or let the bike do most the work.

This is extremely helpful to give you a boost up the rolling hills in this region. We biked 35km in one day, and while it was still a good workout, we would’ve struggled to make it as far as we did in an afternoon on normal bikes.

The Emmental Cheese route has multiple charging stations that you can use to recharge the e-bikes. If you are doing the day trip you should be able to make it the entire ride without recharging.

A one-day e-bike rental costs $65 each (we promise its worth it!).

Overview: Emmental Cheese E-biking route

  • Location | starts in Burgdorf (20 minutes from Bern by train)
  • Distance | 35 – 78 km
  • Cost | $65 per person (bike rental)
  • Time | 3 – 6 hours
  • Epic-ness rating | 8
  • Difficulty | moderate

The Emmental Cheese Route is a self-guided e-biking tour of the Emmental Region departing from Burgdorf, Switzerland with multiple sights to see and places to stop along the way, including several dairy farms where you can learn all about how Emmental cheese is made.

How long is the Emmental Cheese Route?

There are route options that can be completed in either a one or two day trip:

  • 1 day | 35km loop
  • 2 day | 78km loop

We did the 35km route and it took us around 3.5 hours in total, including a 30-minute stop at the cheese dairy (not including travel to and from Burgdorf).

You may also find additional details about the route here.

What is the Emmental Valley?

The Emmental Valley is a region in the canton of Bern characterized by lush rolling green hills, cows grazing on vast farmland, and quintessential Swiss farmhouses decorated with colorful flowers.

The region is named after the Emme River and is known as the birthplace of Emmental Cheese, aka “Swiss Cheese.” While the Emmental Valley is often overlooked by most tourists, we think it’s definitely worth a visit.

The tranquil beauty of the Emmental Valley made this one of our favorite places in Switzerland.

What is Emmental Cheese?

Emmental Cheese is a fancy way of referring to what most people know as simply “Swiss Cheese.” However, the cheese here is the real deal – miles better than the Sargento, mass-produced slices we are used to in the States.

As you can imagine, the cheese gets its name from the Emmentaler region in which it is produced. Emmental cheese has a mild, buttery, and delicious taste.

You can purchase the cheese in a gradient of firmness, where the harder cheese has a stronger, sharper flavor and softer cheese has a milder flavor.

If you love cheese, you don’t want to miss the Emmental Cheese Route! But even if you aren’t a huge cheese fan, the beautiful scenery of the Emmental region still make this bike ride worth the trip.

When is the best time to go e-biking in Switzerland?

The best time to go e-biking in Switzerland is during the summer from June through September, when the weather is warm and the roads are clear of snow.

Attempting this ride in the winter, early spring or late fall could be dangerous due to icy roads

Do I need an e-bike?

No, this route can also certainly be done with a traditional bike, but the ride will be strenuous and you should plan on the trip taking significantly longer than with an e-bike.

Dairy Farm on the Emmental Cheese Route

Details: E-Biking the Emmental Cheese Route

Emmental Cheese Route app

The Emmental Cheese Route even has an app you can download on your phone to make your bike ride a breeze! The app provides everything you need to follow the route, including maps, detailed instructions, and a narrated tour guide pointing out all the stops.

You can download the app here.

Tip: Don’t forget to pack headphones so you can follow along with the Emmental Cheese Route audio guide as you bike.  

Getting to Burgdorf from Bern

The Emmental Cheese Route begins in the city of Burgdorf, located 25km from Bern. We recommend staying in Bern for this excursion – Burgdorf is only a quick a 15 minute train ride away.

If doing the one day trip, get an early start as the bike ride will take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours, depending on your fitness level and how long you spend at the stops along the way.

If you are just arriving in Bern, plan to hop back on a train to Burgdorf from the Bern station to start your bike ride early. If you are staying near the train station, drop off your bags at your hotel or Airbnb.

Alternatively, you can rent a locker space at the Bern Station to stash your belongings. Our AirBnb was on the opposite side of the city, so we opted to use the lockers to save us a little time.

The fee for a large locker at Bern Station for 6 hours was 9 CHF, which was worth the hassle and extra time saved.

Renting e-bikes

When you arrive in Burgdorf, pick up your e-bike rentals from the white building behind the train station. You can rent bikes upon arrival – there is no need to reserve bikes ahead of time. A one-day e-bike rental costs 58 CHF ($65) per person.

Learn more about renting bikes in Switzerland here.

Starting the ride

Once you’ve got your bikes, start the Emmenal Cheese Route App and follow along. You will start out biking through the streets of Burgdorf. As you leave the city, turn left from Metzgergasse onto Wynigenstrasse at the wooden bridge.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the bridge – we biked right past the turn and then got a little turned around. Once you reach Emme Bridge, turn left. From here the route is a loop that is relatively easy to follow.

You will bike past classic Swiss farmhouses, lush green rolling hills, grazing cows, and sprawling dairy farms.

Affolten Show Dairy Farms

Our favorite stop along the ride was the the Show Dairy in Affolten. Here you can walk to 4 different dairies and stop in several cheese shops and bakeries.

At Emmentaler Schaukäserei, the largest of the buildings in the square, you can even watch cheese being made. We recommend taking a break here and grabbing a slice (or two…) of fresh cheese from the cafe on the bottom floor.

We packed turkey sandwiches for lunch and spruced them up by adding a fresh slice of cheese. Sit outside and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding farmland while you eat.

Tip: you can order cheese freshly sliced off the block at the shop below the dairy factory here. To get a piece of about this size, ask for a 100 gram slice of cheese. Being less accustomed to using the metric system, we looked like fools when we asked for a 10 gram slice, which turns out to be the size of just a small sample.

The shop has a wide array of different types of cheese and offers free samples, so be sure to try a couple different types to find the one you like best!

The return ride

After exploring the dairy farms, continue through the parking lot to catch back onto the trail. After a few miles, you’ll pass by another dairy farm in Schaufelbuhl and continue riding through beautiful rolling hills of the Emmental hillside.

Towards the end of the ride, you’ll pass by Burgdorf castle on your left. Then you’ll retrace your steps back through Burgdorf and end where you started at the Burgdorf train station.

Tips for a great bike ride

Finally, we’ll leave you with a few tips to make your e-biking trip go smoothly:

  • Don’t forget to download the Emmental Cheese Route App ahead of time.
  • You may reserve e-bikes in advance here.
  • Pack headphones to listen to the audio guide as you bike.
  • Make sure you wear closed toed shoes for biking.
  • Pack plenty of water, snacks and lunch to keep you energized for a long ride.

Other useful resources

Planning a trip to Switzerland? We think you may enjoy the resources below, including can’t miss hikes and complete 7-day itinerary, packed full of adventure:

For all things Switzerland: Switzerland Travel Guide

If you are looking for something active to do in a lovely part of Switzerland that is off the beaten track, e-biking the Emmental Cheese Route is certainly the adventure for you! Please feel free to reach out with any questions – we loved this ride and are happy to help!

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