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The best of Swiss Alps mountain passes

When touring Alps, a must – ride is definitely a famous Swiss trio. Susten, Grimsel and Furka passes. In case you approach it from Italian sideand moreover if you have passed the ultimate Stelvio pass and beautiful mystical Gavia pass (it's definitely one of my favourite passes), for me for some reason incredibly breath taking and full of adventurous spirit brought by its amazing sceneries and rocky formations combined in a perfect pace with the curves, you will be reaching picturesque Andermatt in the valley below Oberalp pass.  This is definitely one of the most beautiful Alpine routes, a motorcycle ride is a must there. It is very popular and for non-bikers there is an Alpine train called Glacier Express that passes all the way between the breath-taking Alpine passes and glaciers. 

Oberalp pass – hit the sunset 

Try to make it during summer and hit the road across Oberalp towards Andermatt in the late afternoon in order to ride towards Andermatt in the sunset. You will be heading west and after “Italian job” over Stelvio and Gavia, Oberalp will gently introduce you to the Swiss Alps welcoming you to the beautiful Andermatt that will be your starting point next morning for the glorious trio! 

Susten pass – rock & roll 

Susten pass is a Swiss mountain pass at foot of the Gotthard mountain massive between Wassen and InnertkirchenDeparting Andermatt the route towards Susten already announces “rock & roll”. Big rocks formations with water passing over it after the tunnel already announce Susten nature. Rocky scenery impressively “hits” you and dominates when starting it from AndermattThe spectacular mountain pass of almost 46 kilometres / 30 miles road length offers endless photo opportunities of which 26 are bridges and tunnels hewn into the rock massif. Travelling on the pass from east to west it starts off with a stunning tunnel-bridge-tunnel combination and just gets better and better behind every curve. The road reaches peak on 2260 meter / 7414 ft above sea level. It provides you some of a breath-taking sights such as rocky tunnels or a “sky view” to the tunnels and road that is in front and beneath you. Take a break, don’t push it and take your time to enjoy the views too. You will have enough time to pass all three of the passes in a day and still have relaxing time in the afternoon.  

Grimsel pass – green rock  

At the end of the pass, just before the Innertkirchen you will be reaching believe it or not a picturesque small  graveyard in the valley and a sheep in a village you can have a chat with if you felt too long alone up in the hills. Get ready for the 2nd step of the journey.  

After passing marvellous Susten pass and enjoying the tunnel-rock-curves exchange and the rocky formations that surround you, you will be switching to the next exciting must ride pass – Grimsel. 

You will be amazed by its green rock hills and lakes that are exchanging all the way. Hydroelectric power stations, high-voltage power cables and lofty dams typify the landscape on the northern side of the Grimsel, which has become the 'Electricity Pass'. The Räterichbodensee and Grimselsee reservoirs, with capacities of over 100 million cubic meters, are the most striking visual features. They are complemented by a vast system of underground power plants, storage basins and pressure tunnels extending all the way down into the valley. Annual energy production totals an average of 2350 GWh, sufficient to meet the needs of a million people.  At the top of the pass you can enjoy the magnificent view to the reservoir lakes and damn. Just across the very top passing over the other side, there is a lake at the top, called Totesee (Lake of Dead) at the 2165m altitude, which got its name during the Napoleonic wars. On the Valaisian side one travels on a well-constructed road with many long bends down to Gletsch in Obergoms (1759m). Here one has a fine panoramic view of the Rhone Glacier and the Furka Pass road. In the huge Grand Hotel Glacier du Rhône in Gletsch one can still enjoy the early 19th century atmosphere of the Alpine Passes’ heyday. Gletsch is also the starting point of the Furka Steam Railway. Starting your descent from Gletsch you will be reaching one of the most beautiful views in Swiss Alps, the part that is connecting the Grimsel and Furka, with the view down to the valley to the curvy road that is waiting for you ahead on your way to the 3rd jewel of Swiss Alps – famous Furka pass!  

Furka pass – “The view” and famous James Bond street 

Yes! Here we are. Just upfront the magnificent Furka pass. Approaching it seems like you are heading towards steep wall and the hill in front of you with a curvy road and full of hairpins announces you a thrill and excitement. Down in the valley you can see the Rhone glacier river running from the top of the mountain and you can see the waterfall up high and far in the rocks. It’s the glacier you can visit once you reach the very top (you can enter the ice cave in a short tour you can book in the office and shop on the top). The famous Belvedere hotel (James Bond Goldfinger was filmed here) is standing at the very top curve and many tourists and riders are keen in taking a photo there. It used to be a huge attraction in the past as the glacier was present all the way down to the valley. Unfortunately, the glacier is melting and slowly disappearing through the years making its the attraction less popular so less and less people decide to stay in the hotel which eventually closed and it is not likely it will reopen again. However, Furka is the most famous Swiss Alps mountain pass and it’s a must for every motorcycle rider.  Passing down, you will be riding the famous James Bond Street (you will see the sign aside of the road), the scenes of James Bond have been shot there. You can see many of the James Bond style cars passing Furka. On the way down you can hit Gotthard pass or the fast route that passes nearby. Certainly, we reccomend you to go Gotthard pass if you have time and continue your way down to magnificent north Italian glacier lakes (Maggiore, Como, Iseo and Garda). Have a great ride!


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