Schweiz Mobil - Wanderland
Swiss Hiking Federation

Gotthardpass

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Hiking in Gotthardpass
ViaSuworow

ViaSuworow
Stage 1, Airolo–Gotthardpass
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ViaSuworow

ViaSuworow
Stage 2, Gotthardpass–Andermatt
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Trans Swiss Trail

Trans Swiss Trail
Stage 24, Passo del S. Gottardo–Airolo
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Trans Swiss Trail

Trans Swiss Trail
Stage 23, Andermatt–Passo del S. Gottardo
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Vier-Quellen-Weg

Vier-Quellen-Weg
Stage 2, Vermigelhütte–Gotthardpass
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Vier-Quellen-Weg

Vier-Quellen-Weg
Stage 3, Gotthardpass–Capanna Piansecco CAS
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ViaGottardo

ViaGottardo
Stage 10, Andermatt–Gotthardpass
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ViaGottardo

ViaGottardo
Stage 11, Gotthardpass–Airolo
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Cycling in Gotthardpass
North-South Route

North-South Route
Stage 5, Andermatt–Airolo
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Mountain biking in Gotthardpass
Gottardo Bike

Gottardo Bike
Stage 1, Andermatt–Airolo
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The Gotthard Pass is the most important north-south trans-Alpine route in Switzerland. The road over the pass, the rail tunnel, the motorway tunnel and (in a few years’ time) a new Rail Base Tunnel link northern and southern Europe, and connect northern Switzerland with the Ticino vacation region.
The Gotthard area is not only the meeting-point of Switzerland's four linguistic and cultural regions; it is also home to the sources of great rivers such as the Rhine, Rhone, Reuss and Ticino, making it the wellspring of Europe. The pass forms the watershed between the Mediterranean and the North Sea. A 60-km experience trail in the Göscheneralp Valley has «Worlds of Water» as its theme. It's worthwhile making a detour from Göschenen into the unspoiled natural environment of the valley at the foot of the Dammastock Glacier.

For a long time, the mighty granite peaks of the Gotthard Massif were wrongly supposed to be the highest elevation of the Alps. But the reason why even the Romans avoided the Gotthard route was not the pass itself, but the Schöllenen Gorge between Andermatt and Göschenen, which was reputed to be impassable. It was finally traversed when the first Devil's Bridge was built at the start of the 13th century, and the muleteer's trail was improved throughout its length. Muleteer trading on the Gotthard began to prosper, bringing affluence to this poverty-stricken region. The pass soon developed into one of the most important Alpine crossings of all.

The first road over the pass was finally opened in 1830, ushering in the stagecoach era. You can still relive the journey over the old pass road today in a faithful replica of the original coaches drawn by five horses. The road was followed in 1882 by the opening of the railway line all the way through the Gotthard, with its world-famous loop tunnels at Wassen and the 15 km Gotthard Rail Tunnel, whose construction cost 177 human lives. Great strategic importance was attached to the Gotthard mountains in the Second World War. A former fortress deep within the mountain, far removed from all daylight, is now the setting for the unique Hotel Claustra, a comfortable and modern hotel for seminars and events.

When the motorway tunnel started operating in 1980, the road over the pass lost much of its importance, but it is and will remain a popular destination for cyclists and tourists with cars. The ascent into the Hospen Valley starts from the northern side, where cosy inns invite travellers to linger awhile, just as they did in the days of the muleteer convoys. At the top of the pass (2109 meters above sea level) is the Gotthard Museum with exhibits about the development of the pass and of transit traffic. If you are not in a hurry, you can choose the historic Tremola road to take you down into the Ticino; its cobbled hairpin bends will eventually bring you to Airolo.

History is now being made again on the Gotthard: construction work is in full swing on the Rail Base Tunnel whose 57 km will one day make it the world's longest tunnel; it is likely to be completed in 2015.

Highlights

  • National Gotthard Museum on the pass, featuring the history of the pass and the Gotthard road, incorporating the Fortress Museum.
  • Historic Stagecoach (post coach): exclusive nostalgic journey by five-horse stagecoach across the Gotthard Pass.
  • Five Lakes hike: impressive four-hour circular hike from the Gotthard hospice.
  • La Claustra: an extraordinary hotel deep within the Gotthard massif, in the former Reduit fortress.
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Helpful hints

Andermatt Gotthard Tourismus
Gotthardstrasse 2
6490 Andermatt
Tel. +41 (0)41 888 71 00
Fax. +41 (0)41 888 71 01
info@andermatt.ch
www.andermatt.ch

Arrival and return Gotthardpass
SBB Timetable

Services
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Places of interest
Airolo, Ressiga–Madrano
Airolo, Ressiga–Madrano
Cheese factory Gottardo
Cheese factory Gottardo
Gotthard Pass trade route
Gotthard Pass trade route
Malle-poste historique
Malle-poste historique
Tremola road (Val Tremola)
Tremola road (Val Tremola)
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Accommodation
B&B Dotta
B&B Dotta
Airolo
B&B Motta
B&B Motta
Airolo
B&B Sport
B&B Sport
Airolo
Capanna Cadlimo CAS
Capanna Cadlimo CAS
Airolo
Hotel Forni
Hotel Forni
Airolo
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