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Cycling in Switzerland

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Hiking in

Furkapass
Furka-Höhenweg
Furka-Höhenweg
Stage 2, Furkapass–Andermatt
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Furka-Höhenweg
Furka-Höhenweg
Stage 1, Oberwald–Furkapass
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Vier-Quellen-Weg
Vier-Quellen-Weg
Stage 5, Obergesteln–Furkapass, Belvédère
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Cycling in

Furkapass
Rhone Route
Rhone Route
Stage 1, Andermatt–Oberwald
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Obergoms
Furkapass

Furkapass

The Furka is one of the most impressive Alpine crossings in Switzerland. Countless tourists are attracted by the unique mountain panorama, the Rhone Glacier with its ice grotto, the attractive options for hiking, climbing and skiing tours, as well as the reopened steam railway.
The Furka Pass links Andermatt in the Canton of Uri with Gletsch in the Canton of Valais. At an altitude of 2431 meters above sea level, the Furka is one of the highest Alpine passes in Switzerland. The European watershed runs along the pass; the infant Rhone flows westwards towards the Mediterranean and on the other side, the Furka-Reuss drains towards the North Sea. The view encompasses the Urseren Valley and the Gotthard Massif, extending over the Valais Alps as far as the Matterhorn. This is one of the snowiest regions in Switzerland: the all-weather connection from Uri to the Valais has only existed since the opening of rail link to carry cars through the Furka Base Tunnel in 1982.

On the Valais side, the view from the Hotel Bélvèdere (2272 meters above sea level) embraces the Rhone Glacier, which has lost some of its spectacular size due to global warming: back in 1850, the ice stream extended well into the base of the valley, but now it is barely visible from the road over the pass. It is well worth hiking to the glacier and making a detour to the Glacier Grotto, an ice chamber which is freshly hollowed out from the glacier each year.

The Furka Pass never attained supra-regional importance in history. Together with the Oberalp Pass, it provided an east-west crossing within the Alps, helping the inhabitants of the Valais to emigrate and facilitating a variety of trading relations between the Valais, Uri and Graubunden.

In 1964, the hairpin bends on the Furka pass road earned their place in cinema history thanks to the James Bond film 'Goldfinger'. The road was built for strategic military reasons and was the longest pass road in Switzerland when it was opened in 1866. The starting points for crossing the pass are the villages of Realp in the Urseren Valley (1538 m) and Gletsch in the Obergoms region (1759 m), where the Grimsel pass road also branches off. Once the pass was opened, the post coaches started to serve the route and when the heyday of Alpine tourism arrived in the 19th century, the Furka region was discovered as a paradise for travellers. An astonishing number of hotels were built along the 43 km stretch from Hospental to Oberwald during this era, and many of them still exist today.

Traffic has increased constantly. Nowadays more than 250,000 people cross the pass each year on cycles or motorcycles, in private cars, in Alpine PostBuses or by historic steam train on the reopened rack-and-pinion railway section across the mountains. The glacier and its foothills with their varied species, and the unique world of Alpine granite with the Galenstock rising to 3586 meters, attract more hikers and climbers than ever, as well as ski tour and snowshoe enthusiasts in winter. An educational nature trail from Gletsch illustrates the variety of flora and the pioneer species in the area below the glacier. Those with an interest in mountain crystals can book an introduction to 'Strahlen', the original Swiss term for mineral prospecting, at the Hotel Tiefenau above Realp.

Highlights

  • Experience hands-on contact with the ice stream in the shimmering blue Ice Grotto in the Rhone Glacier.
  • Furka Steam Railway: nostalgic steam-powered rack-and-pinion railway between Realp, Furka and Gletsch in the Valais (operates in summer only)..
  • The top of the pass - at 2431 m, this is the highest pass connecting the west with the east .
  • 9-hole golf course in an Alpine setting at Realp.
The Furka is one of the most impressive Alpine crossings in Switzerland. Countless tourists are attracted by the unique mountain panorama, the Rhone Glacier with its ice grotto, the attractive options for hiking, climbing and skiing tours, as well as the reopened steam railway.
The Furka Pass links Andermatt in the Canton of Uri with Gletsch in the Canton of Valais. At an altitude of 2431 meters above sea level, the Furka is one of the highest Alpine passes in Switzerland. The European watershed runs along the pass; the infant Rhone flows westwards towards the Mediterranean and on the other side, the Furka-Reuss drains towards the North Sea. The view encompasses the Urseren Valley and the Gotthard Massif, extending over the Valais Alps as far as the Matterhorn. This is one of the snowiest regions in Switzerland: the all-weather connection from Uri to the Valais has only existed since the opening of rail link to carry cars through the Furka Base Tunnel in 1982.

On the Valais side, the view from the Hotel Bélvèdere (2272 meters above sea level) embraces the Rhone Glacier, which has lost some of its spectacular size due to global warming: back in 1850, the ice stream extended well into the base of the valley, but now it is barely visible from the road over the pass. It is well worth hiking to the glacier and making a detour to the Glacier Grotto, an ice chamber which is freshly hollowed out from the glacier each year.

The Furka Pass never attained supra-regional importance in history. Together with the Oberalp Pass, it provided an east-west crossing within the Alps, helping the inhabitants of the Valais to emigrate and facilitating a variety of trading relations between the Valais, Uri and Graubunden.

In 1964, the hairpin bends on the Furka pass road earned their place in cinema history thanks to the James Bond film 'Goldfinger'. The road was built for strategic military reasons and was the longest pass road in Switzerland when it was opened in 1866. The starting points for crossing the pass are the villages of Realp in the Urseren Valley (1538 m) and Gletsch in the Obergoms region (1759 m), where the Grimsel pass road also branches off. Once the pass was opened, the post coaches started to serve the route and when the heyday of Alpine tourism arrived in the 19th century, the Furka region was discovered as a paradise for travellers. An astonishing number of hotels were built along the 43 km stretch from Hospental to Oberwald during this era, and many of them still exist today.

Traffic has increased constantly. Nowadays more than 250,000 people cross the pass each year on cycles or motorcycles, in private cars, in Alpine PostBuses or by historic steam train on the reopened rack-and-pinion railway section across the mountains. The glacier and its foothills with their varied species, and the unique world of Alpine granite with the Galenstock rising to 3586 meters, attract more hikers and climbers than ever, as well as ski tour and snowshoe enthusiasts in winter. An educational nature trail from Gletsch illustrates the variety of flora and the pioneer species in the area below the glacier. Those with an interest in mountain crystals can book an introduction to 'Strahlen', the original Swiss term for mineral prospecting, at the Hotel Tiefenau above Realp.

Highlights

  • Experience hands-on contact with the ice stream in the shimmering blue Ice Grotto in the Rhone Glacier.
  • Furka Steam Railway: nostalgic steam-powered rack-and-pinion railway between Realp, Furka and Gletsch in the Valais (operates in summer only)..
  • The top of the pass - at 2431 m, this is the highest pass connecting the west with the east .
  • 9-hole golf course in an Alpine setting at Realp.

Arrival and return Furkapass

Adresse

Andermatt-Urserntal Tourismus GmbH
Gotthardstrasse 2
6490 Andermatt
Tel. +41 (0) 41 888 71 00
info@andermatt.ch
www.realp.ch

Services

Accommodation

Hotel Astoria
Hotel Astoria
Ulrichen
Hotel Furka
Hotel Furka
Oberwald
Hotel Nufenen
Hotel Nufenen
Ulrichen
Sport u.- Holiday-Camp
Sport u.- Holiday-Camp
Oberwald
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Places of interest

Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway
Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway
Obergesteln–Griespass
Obergesteln–Griespass
Rhone Glacier and Ice Grotto
Rhone Glacier and Ice Grotto
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Hiking in

Furkapass
Furka-Höhenweg
Furka-Höhenweg
Stage 2, Furkapass–Andermatt
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Furka-Höhenweg
Furka-Höhenweg
Stage 1, Oberwald–Furkapass
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Vier-Quellen-Weg
Vier-Quellen-Weg
Stage 5, Obergesteln–Furkapass, Belvédère
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Cycling in

Furkapass
Rhone Route
Rhone Route
Stage 1, Andermatt–Oberwald
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