St. Gotthard Cycling Arena: Susten (2224 m) – Grimsel (2165 m) – Furka (2436 m)
The tour starts in Andermatt and descends the Schöllenen Gorge to Göschenen followed by Wassen. At Wassen, it ascends the delightful Meien valley as it heads for the Susten Pass through awe-inspiring, rugged alpine scenery. Shortly after the pass, you are greeted by views of the Stein Glacier. No other route offers quite as much contrast as here in the Gotthard region.
From Innertkirchen, you pass the Gelmer Railway: Europe’s second-steepest funicular railway boasting a gradient of up to 106% leads to Lake Gelm. Follow the example of the railway and, passing Lake Grimsel, make the ascent to the Grimsel Pass where marmots keep watch. The impressive crystal grotto here is worth inspecting. Several hairpin bends take you down to Gletsch, which is on the Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway.
On arrival in the village, the route starts rising again towards the third pass. The Furka Pass road affords views of the fearsome hairpins of the Grimsel Pass you have just negotiated. On your way up you pass the Hotel Belvédère with its views of the majestic Rhone Glacier. The descent on the Canton Uri side of the Furka Pass takes you into James Bond country (film: Goldfinger), where you can savour the picturesque scenery as you negotiate the breathtaking pass road. The section back to Andermatt is relaxing, allowing for conversations about the day’s events.
Andermatt - Wassen - Susten - Innertkirchen - Grimsel - Gletsch - Furka - Realp - Andermatt
The tour can also be completed in two days with an overnight stay in Innertkirchen, Gletsch or Andermatt, depending on where you start and finish.
The tour can be completed in either direction and started anywhere along the route.
Roadworks are affecting the section between Andermatt and Göschenen in the Schöllenen Gorge until 2019, making cycling difficult. If ascending this section, you may be required to dismount at certain points. During the roadworks, bicycles are being transported on the railway free of charge.
The Furka section is narrow and bumpy in places.