2436 m a.s.l. / Realp - Oberwald
The Furka region’s discovery as a travel paradise goes back to the 19th century and the growth of the Alpine tourism industry. Even today, the numerous historic hotel buildings along the route hark back to those times.
The Furka Pass is one of the most imposing Alpine crossings and at 2436 m a.s.l. the fourth highest pass in Switzerland. Its artfully laid-out roads – which played host to Sean Connery’s James Bond in Goldfinger – connect the Urseren valley with the Goms in canton Valais.
On the way to the top of the pass, you will even get the chance to see the Furka steam train, puffing along on its historic journey. Once at the top, a breathtaking view awaits. Towards the east, your glance sweeps across the Urseren valley and the St Gotthard Massif; to the west, it meets the 4,000 m peaks of the Valais and Bernese Alps. The pass offers a host of possibilities for hiking, climbing and Alpine touring. Flower experts will discover a diverse world of plants, and the area is equally rich in minerals.
At the Hotel Belvédère on the Valais side, about three kilometres beneath the summit of the Furka Pass, the view opens out on to the Rhone Glacier, which has lost a little of its spectacular size as a result of global warming. In 1850, the river of ice stretched down to the valley floor below. Today, the glacier’s tongue sits level with the Hotel Belvédère.
Furka Pass view towards Ursern valley
Furka Pass with road bike on the Valais side
Furka Pass with road bike towards Belvédère
Furka Pass view towards Rhone Glacier
Furka Pass view towards Grimsel Pass
Historic Gletsch settlement
Discover Gletsch, nestled in a wild mountain landscape shaped by the force of water. At the end of the 19th century, Gletsch was an important Alpine hub. With the arrival of the railway, the little village became internationally famous.