4

Gotthard Pass / Via Tremola


  26km

  970m

  medium

Start:  Airolo

Finish:  Andermatt

Country:  Switzerland

Route:  Point to Point

CLIMB:  Gotthard (2106m)



One of Central Switzerland's most classic passes also happens to be on cobblestones

While the Tour de Suisse is part of the UCI WorldTour, it does not have the same profile as the Giro d’Italia or the Tour de France. As a result, the Swiss Alps are not on every rider’s radar. But they should be, as this world class climb proves.

The south side of the Gotthard Pass, or Via Tremola in Italian, is one of the most unique passes in the Alps thanks to its top 5km of original road surface, in the form of cobblestones. But not only is the pass cobbled, and steep, but thanks to the Gotthard tunnel, it is not used by many cars. Besides a few motorbikes and curious tourists, cyclists will have the bumpy experience to themselves. Bumpy, but fun: this is not Paris-Roubaix. The road is well maintained and the cobbles are nice, square and mostly smooth. It’s never too steep, so riding on the cobbles is not hard either...it’s just a little bit slower, and nothing but pure fun. The Tremola also features some incredible sets of switchbacks.

The Pass can be ridden from a number of different routes, but the best experience comes from Airolo, which is arrived at in descent after climbing the Nufenen Pass, the second highest paved pass in Switzerland (2,478m), from Andermatt. Airolo is located in Ticino, the Italian speaking part of Switzerland.

The Central Alps, around Andermatt and Meiringen, include numerous monster passes such as the Susten, the Furka, the Grimsel and the Oberalp) which can be linked in all different forms.

ABOUT THE CLIMB

Stats and design by myCols



Average grade    7.6 %
Length                    11.8 km
Altitude start      1210 m
Altitude top         2105 m
Ascent                    895 m
Maximum             9 %

TIPS

Remember to visit one of the many cheese and sausage trucks on the Gotthard Pass. Make a purchase, sit in the sun, and do some people watching.

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Some of the most spectacular switchbacks you'll find in the Alps

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Swiss style cobblestones

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Starting the cobbled section, about 5km from the top


Interested in a guided trip?

Let us connect you to our network of guide services and tour operators. For more information about booking, contact: 


Info@alpsinsight.com


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Comments 4

  1. Just moved to Saint-Prex Switzerland and wanting to ride some of the classic routes this summer. I am 50 years old from California and ride 2 – 3 times a week (average ride 25 – 45 miles and 1500 to 4000 vertical). I would consider myself an average rider that rides entirely for pleasure not competition. Wanting to connect with some other riders and have some fun.

    1. Post
      Author

      Welcome to Switzerland John! As long as you like climbing, you’ll love to ride here. Here are a few online groups where you can connect with local cyclists:
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/520339991432220/ (Froidevaux bike shop in Morges – their Tuesday ride is a great way to meet local riders)
      https://www.strava.com/clubs/SwissCyclist
      https://www.strava.com/clubs/suisseromande (an incentive to learn French)
      https://www.strava.com/clubs/coldelacroix (the Alpes vaudoises are close to St Prex)

      If you’re looking for a local challenge, have a look at the UCI Gran Fondo Suisse: http://www.ucigranfondosuisse.ch

      I live in Gryon and my wife is from California. Let’s try and meet for a ride in the spring!

      Alain

  2. Hi, I am planning a cycle trip from The Netherlands to Rome. Is it possible to cycle the Gotthardpass around May 10 while it is still officially closed? Are there just some gates you can easily pass?

    If not, do you recommend a different route?

    Would like to hear from you.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Matthias, the pass will be closed and it typically does not open until June: https://www.alpen-paesse.ch/de/alpenpaesse/gotthardpass/ . I’m pretty sure that the gates can easily be trespassed by a cyclist but DON’T DO IT. In May you will have to walk several kilometres on each side in waist deep snow and the avalanche danger is high at this time of the year. You can die. I used to love riding on closed roads and brag about it until one day, a state road engineer posted a simple comment to one of my photos: if a road is closed, there is a reason. I got the message.
      As an alternative, I could suggest Simplon Pass. You’d have to enter the Rhone valley from Montreux and ride it up to Brig. It’s not the most exciting road but the landscapes are magnificent at the top and the pass is open all year round. There’s also a train that goes under Gotthard Pass.
      Have a safe ride, your trip sounds awesome!

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