Swiss Mountain Passes
Central Switzerland offers a concentration of mountain passes that may be unique in the Alps if not the world. From the village of Andermatt, it is possible to reach no less than 7 major passes that can be combined in a number of one-day loops.
One of them is the iconic Furka-Nufenen-Gothard loop. The Furka Pass is a 13-kilometre ascent to the summit at 2,429 metres. Along the way, you will stop at the famous “James Bond Street” sign, which reminds you that Agent 007 carried out one of his famous car chases in Goldfinger here. Shortly after the top, you will pass the Instagram famous Hotel Belvedere, not far from the Rhone Glacier.
The Nufenen Pass is the second highest paved pass in Switzerland with its 2,478 meters. It takes you to Ticino, the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. Make sure you stop for an espresso, because coffee is very average in the rest of Switzerland.
Last but not least: the Gotthard Pass (2,106 m). The fourth longest tunnel in the world swallows up most of the traffic, and what’s left of it takes the main road over the pass. Cyclists, on the other hand, climb the old road, called the Tremola. This road is unique in the Alps: it is cobbled on all 24 bends of its upper section. It’s enough to make you forget that you’ll soon have more than 3,000 metres of difference in altitude in your legs!
Other passes in the area include the Grimsel, the Susten, the Oberalp and the Lukmanier.
(Alain can also design a one day experience in central Switzerland.)