Col du Sanetsch, Switzerland

By Anthony Walker Wallis 20 September 2019

At 26km in length, and with a difference in altitude of 1690m, this road should be compared to the mighty Stelvio. But with less traffic. 

The Col du Sanetsch is the climb that has everything.

It all starts in the flat valley floor before the road starts threading its way through the neat vineyards. A series of tight switchbacks as the trees disperse, and it becomes more alpine meadows; with cows and the famous Swiss cowbells encouraging you to the top. What was once a glacier is now rock and scree, it’s worth stopping for a breather to appreciate the scenery.

Three dark tunnels impressively cut into the rock, and have to be navigated before the final push to the summit at 2,252 m (and the Tsanfleuron glacier). Enjoy a well-deserved coffee in the mountain refuge before the small cable car down to the village of Gsteig. (There is no road down which means fewer cars).

From here, a gentile 6 km climb up to Col du Pillon, between Gstaad and Les Diablerets. With a Glacier 3,000 m high above, you’ll take to a long descent back down to the valley floor, and a return to the surrounding vineyards of the Rhone Valley.

The loop is, without doubt, one of the best in Switzerland and is regularly named in top five climbs lists.


  • Tsanfleuron Glacier and the Lac de Sanetsch.
  • A Cable Car can take you to the other side of the valley where you will reach Gsteig bei Gstaad in the canton of Bern. Make sure you check it is operating! 20chf
  • You can see five famous Swiss mountain peaks over 4,000 m called: Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, Dent-Blanche, Matterhorn and Dent d’Hérens.
  • L’Auberge du Sanetsch for a coffee or lunch.

About Kudos Cycling

Kudos Cycling is the premier cycling experience brand in Switzerland. Offering world-class performance training camps, and bespoke guided holidays.

Created to enable us to share the finest cycling experiences the region has to offer, whilst giving the best on and off the road cycling training. All this, alongside expert sports scientists and Swiss Olympic facilities.

Depending on your ability, goals and time available, we can design a bespoke package to suit you. Whether that’s a day cycling with a professional cyclist or a full exploration on gravel roads. You can be sure that you’ll have an unforgettable experience, this is peak-to-peak perfection.

Total distance: 123.85 km
Max elevation: 2207 m
Total climbing: 3154 m
Total time: 09:03:21