Biking Down Gotthard Go on Previous Tremola Highway

Must read


Is it known as biking if all you do is squeeze the brake and never pedal? That’s what I saved considering to myself the complete time as I used to be biking down the Gotthard Go on previous Tremola Highway in Switzerland. Granted, I nonetheless needed to flip (there was a number of turning) and preserve the bike upright as I traversed the serpentine cobblestone street, so it should depend as biking, I believed. No matter if I name it biking, it was an immense quantity of enjoyable. And one of the best half – anybody can bike down Tremola Highway – no coaching essential!

Not solely was it an journey that few individuals tackle, however biking down the go was a trip by means of historical past. It was the proper instance of taking the street much less traveled, which is one thing I at all times aspire to do after I journey. I can’t think about a greater option to expertise this historic go that connects the North and South of Switzerland over the Alps.

Biking and Climbing Switzerland’s Alps and Lakes

I spent my first 4 days in Switzerland in a cloud…like a literal cloud. The Swiss Alps? I don’t suppose there are any mountains right here – I couldn’t see something however thick clouds and rain for 4 days. That is actually not the situation you need when you’re in one of the crucial well-known and picturesque mountain ranges on the planet. However you’ll be able to’t management Mom Nature; typically you simply must make one of the best of it.

Rigi Panoramic hike lake lucerne
Climbing within the Clouds

Is Switzerland nonetheless wonderful when you’ll be able to’t see the Alps? Sure – it is perhaps moody, however you’ll be able to nonetheless get out and benefit from the trails, the tradition, the cows, and the transportation nonetheless rocks! I used to be with a small group of writers traversing our means from Zurich to Lugano (north to south) by climbing and biking. Because of the difficult climate we needed to change a few of our climbing round Lake Lucerne, however we had been nonetheless in a position to get out and huff and puff our means by means of some fairly epic climbs.

Gotthard Pass Clouds

We arrived on the high of the Gotthard Go by van after a day of climbing within the rain. As most passes go – it was fairly barren; with not a tree in sight, and due to the nasty climate – it had a lightweight dusting of snow and was fairly chilly. I used to be simply excited to get into our heat, cozy lodge room and get cleaned up after a tough day open air within the parts.

See how I fared on my first bike tour in Basque Nation

Hospice St. Gotthard (in-built 1237) didn’t seem like a lot from the skin, however as soon as inside, it was gorgeous. This historic constructing had a very fashionable inside, all manufactured from wooden. And though it appeared prefer it is perhaps chilly and uncomfortable from the skin – it was cozy and comfy inside. Actually, the rooms kind of appeared like an enormous sauna.

Hospice St. Gotthard

I appeared out the previous window in my room and noticed completely nothing however one more cloud. It actually didn’t really feel like we had been at 6,900 ft. within the Alps. My thoughts began wandering towards the following morning – I didn’t know if I needed to go down this go on a motorbike within the rain and sleet – it felt overwhelming in the intervening time, so I went and had a beer and dinner as a substitute.

Proper earlier than I went to mattress, I appeared out the window one final time, and that’s after I noticed a faint mild within the sky. What’s that? I put my glasses on and realized it was a star. Yippee! The clouds had dissipated and left us a transparent sky – all of a sudden, issues had been wanting up for tackling the famed Tremola Highway the following day!

Gotthard Go Historical past

Tremola Road Gotthard Pass
Photograph courtesy of Switzerland Tourism – Ivo Scholz

The Gotthard Go is also known as the ‘King of the Mountain Passes’ because it was one of the crucial arduous and essential passes in Europe. It’s named for a chapel constructed on the high in 1300 in honor of Saint Gotthard, a German bishop of Hildesheim. The go connects northern (German-speaking) and southern (Italian-speaking) Switzerland. The event within the space began in 1200 and has undergone many transportation modifications by means of the centuries.

Tremolina Road by the numbers

The primitive path was first utilized by merchants shifting items from north to south of Europe. The primary ‘street’ was opened in 1830 and was manufactured from cobblestones. The railway and practice tunnel was opened in 1882. Subsequent, a freeway tunnel was in-built 1930. Then the newer street tunnel opened in 1980. And at last, the Gotthard Base tunnel for high-speed trains was accomplished in 2016.

If you wish to be taught extra in regards to the transportation historical past, on the high of the go, throughout from the Hospice the place we stayed, is a museum that covers the historical past of the street, railroad/automotive tunnels, and area.

Tremola Highway Biking Fame

The route is famous for avid cyclists to overcome. It has been stated that if this street was in France or Italy it will be one of the crucial well-known climbs in biking. The Tremola Highway has been one of many levels of the Tour de Suisse biking race for 38 years.

Nevertheless, it’s not only for the professionals, any bike owner can take it on. That is made potential due to the dearth of visitors on it, which makes it secure to trip for individuals of all ranges. And if you’d like a bit of increase, you’ll be able to simply lease an electrical bike to deal with the go.

Need extra adventurous, curvy roads – I drove the well-known Trollstigen street in Norway – and it is also a wild trip!

4 Methods to Get Over or Beneath the Gotthard Go

  1. Drive your self by means of the automotive tunnel. However be ready for enormous visitors by means of this in style route connecting north and south Switzerland.
  2. Use the extra fashionable street to drive over the go.
  3. Go by quick practice by means of the railroad tunnel
  4. Take the Previous Tremola Highway by automotive or bike. That is completely the slowest, however essentially the most scenic. And one of the best half is that you just’ll virtually be alone – there may be little or no visitors on this route – which makes it excellent for biking and making a number of stops for footage!

Take the Cobblestones Much less Traveled

biking down gotthard pass

I did this trip initially of October, which is usually a little iffy for the climate at altitude. Nevertheless, after I awakened, I pulled the curtains again from my lodge room, and there it was – my previous good friend the solar. It had been so lengthy since I had seen him that I practically didn’t acknowledge him! However – his timing was impeccable as I actually didn’t need to trip down the go within the rain and sleet we had the prior day. Although it was chilly on the high, the solar was out, the skies had been blue, and we had an ideal day for this biking journey!

We bundled up because it was nonetheless chilly at altitude, and as we bought nearer to beginning, the extra nervous I turned. I appeared on the map of cobblestone switchbacks – it appeared like a pile of spaghetti. I had a very good bike with good brakes; nevertheless, the little cobblestones mixed with the hairpin turns stacked on high of one another had me barely involved about my potential to remain upright.

Prepared, Set, Brake! Biking Down Gotthard Go

I placed on my sun shades (one thing I believed I used to be by no means going to make use of on this journey!), and my biking gloves, and began pedaling down the bumpy cobblestones. I perhaps pedaled 4 instances…after which I by no means needed to pedal once more. Gravity launched me down the street, and the journey started.

Video of Biking Down Tremola Highway on Gotthard Go

After all, I most likely made it 500 toes earlier than I ended to take footage! I had solely seen the street on Google Maps, and now seeing the serpentine turns in individual on a sunny day within the mountains was breathtaking.

Try 11 bike tour suggestions I realized as a rookie

Not solely had been the views unbelievable – however I used to be mesmerized by the peerlessly sq. little granite cobblestones. They had been laid in little arcs like a murals. The granite dates again to the early 1800s; I had by no means ridden over something so previous. With 4+ miles of cobblestones, it’s thought-about Switzerland’s longest street monument.

There have been even sections the place they had been engaged on changing the cobblestones. It was like an enormous puzzle on the aspect of a mountain. It made me marvel what number of cobblestones had been used to assemble the street – one thing I used to be by no means capable of finding a solution to.

However the one thought that continued to roll by means of my head and eat me was, why aren’t extra individuals driving on this lovely go? I solely noticed 4 automobiles the complete trip down! Because of everybody being in a rush today and the development of the fashionable rail and automotive tunnels, Tremola Highway was empty – which makes it the proper go to bike.

Examine biking for lobster – in Canada’s Prince Edward Islands!

After we made it down the hairpin turns we continued all the way in which to Bellinzona the place we biked by means of lovely farms and villages all the way in which to the practice station. We had a full day of biking 43 miles (most of it downhill) into the Ticino canton the place all of a sudden every thing turned extra Italian. And the solar was out the complete time!

How You’ll be able to Cycle Down Previous Tremola Highway

Biking the Tremola Highway is often a part of an extended biking tour throughout Switzerland. I wasn’t capable of finding an organization that simply took you to the highest together with your bike and allow you to trip down for the day. Nevertheless, I feel you could possibly prepare to try this by taking a bus to the highest together with your bike after which simply biking down.

hairpin turn tremola road

The corporate I went with, Eurotreks, affords a 9-day self-guided route that features biking down the Gotthard Go. I used to be actually proud of their bikes and the guides that we had so it’s an ideal possibility if you wish to see and bike extra of Switzerland.

The place to get one of the best picture of the Tremola Highway

After all, I took a lot of footage and movies on my trip down Tremola Highway; nevertheless, it’s laborious to get a very good inclusive view of the entire hairpin turns whereas on the street. Earlier than you begin your descent from the highest, briefly observe the principle street in the direction of the south descent (Freeway 2) – about half a kilometer. Park on the lot on the left and also you’ll discover the proper overview shot of the hairpins you’re on the lookout for. It’s even marked on Google Maps.

Tremola Road Photo Point
Photograph courtesy Switzerland Tourism – Nico Schaerer

Let the entire others who’re in a rush take the tunnels by means of the Gotthard Go, you’ll be able to take your time and wind your means down the historic cobblestones of Tremola Highway. It might be the street much less traveled, however it’s the easiest way to expertise the Gotthard Go. Decelerate, squeeze the brakes, and take all of it in…that is the way in which journey needs to be.


I used to be a visitor of Switzerland Tourism for this tour, nevertheless all opinions expressed listed here are my very own.



- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article