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Road Cycling recommended route

Furka - Nufenen - Gothard passes

Road Cycling · Switzerland
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  • Furkapass
    / Furkapass
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / Nufenenpass
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / Gothardpass
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
m 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 80 60 40 20 km Hospental Oberwald VS, Dorf Hospental Airolo
This is one of the epic inner alpine pass days. Not for the faint hearted this tour has approximately 3000m of on the bike ascent over the three passes.
difficult
Distance 98 km
11:19 h
3,063 m
3,058 m
A big day in the mountains. This is the region where General Suvorov defeated Napoleon and where the Swiss military is reputed to have bored 100's of kilometers of tunnels in the mountains. The scenery on this tour is breathtaking with 3000m peaks and glaciers to be seen on every one of the three passes crossed over the course of the day.

There is a gentle warm up once leaving Hospental towards Realp, but after Realp there will be no flat road for a number of kilometers. The road quickly turns upwards and unrelentingly keeps ascending to the top of the pass at 2429m above sea level. The descent into Wallis is fast on a reasonable road surface. One tunnel after the Rheinquelle restaurant needs to be remembered on the descent as it is unlit and cobbled on the inside. When descending at speed it is possible to not realise that you are doing 80km/h on cobbles until it's too late.

In Ulrichen a left turn leads you up to the most difficult pass of the day. Nufenen 2478m above sea level is also the highest point of the tour. The descent into Ticino is very fast and on an old concrete slabbed road. This can be a litle unnerving for those less technically skilled on the bike. The end of the descent is a long false flat into Airolo before the climb of the Gothardpass begins.

The Gothard is a treat for diehard roadies who all want to ride the world famous Tremola cobbles at least once in their lives. Once the Gothard is conquered it's downhill all the way back to Hospental.

Profile picture of Dave O'Riordan
Author
Dave O'Riordan
Update: April 14, 2015
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2,480 m
Lowest point
1,150 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Blind unlit tunnel with cobblestones on the descent of Furka shortly after the Rhonequelle restaurant.

Tips and hints

For more of our favourite tours remember to check out www.swissalpineadventure.com - tours. 

Start

Hospental (1,499 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'686'394E 1'163'548N
DD
46.617606, 8.566550
DMS
46°37'03.4"N 8°33'59.6"E
UTM
32T 466812 5162762
w3w 
///patrolled.jump.breathing

Destination

Hospental

Turn-by-turn directions

Hospental to Realp, straight through the town and over the pass. Descend past Gletsch and down through Oberwald and Obergesteln to Ulrichen. Turn left in Ulrichen to get onto the Nufenpass. From Nufenen it's a direct descent to Airolo where you can follow signs for Gothardpass via the old Tremola road.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

There are trains to Hospental once an hour. For the return journey it is very quick to descend on the bike to Göschenen where there are more trains.

Parking

Parking is available in Andermatt and in Zum Dorf (the smallest town in Switzerand) just a little bit past Hospental towards Realp.

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'686'394E 1'163'548N
DD
46.617606, 8.566550
DMS
46°37'03.4"N 8°33'59.6"E
UTM
32T 466812 5162762
w3w 
///patrolled.jump.breathing
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
98 km
Duration
11:19 h
Ascent
3,063 m
Descent
3,058 m
Circular route Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights

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