Route 3: Section 5 – cycling Andermatt to Airolo, Switzerland

Highlights: Andermatt, Gotthard Pass, Tremola Road

Route 3: Section 5 (Andermatt 1437m–Airolo 1163m)

Stats from SwitzerlandMobility.ch (www.veloland.ch/en/routes/route/etappe-01649.html): 26km long, height difference Andermatt–Airolo 680m (950m in the opposite direction). Their site has the full profile.

It shares its path with Eurovelo 5

September 2019

Rain, rain, and…..rain. All over Switzerland! So where should I go?

In Andermatt, rain and snow appear to end around 11am and the route over the Gotthard Pass seems to be precipitation-free for the entire afternoon, all the way down to Airolo and then to Bellinzona. That’s it. That’s my destination !

And this is also my last high-mountain Route for 2019….. in a cold/cloudy September weather.

I skipped the first 4 km from Andermatt to Hospental because already biked as part of Route 1:01 in 2017.

From Hospental (1,492m) to the Gotthard Pass (2,107m) there’s a 600m ascent in 9km.

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About halfway, the route deviates into the old Tremola road, which then continues over the Pass all the way to Airolo. Tremola is an old mule road built in the 1800s and made up of granite cobblestones. As the name suggests, you “tremble” as you ride on it.

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Gotthard Pass has a few touristic buildings/museums and some small lakes but the visibility was bad and I could not appreciate the panorama.

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It’s a pity because this region is the sources of several rivers such as the Rhine, Rhone, Reuss and Ticino.

The weather up to the Pass was really awful, foggy and freezing. And so, with my fingers and toes frozen, I catapulted myself into the restaurant to warm up.

The downhill to Airolo (14km with a 1,000m drop) was slower than expected because of the bumpy road, but the sky had cleared and I could appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of Tremola , with its hairpin bends.

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And then, reached Airolo, I continued onto the next segment to Bellinzona.

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Links to Introduction and other Sections:

7 thoughts on “Route 3: Section 5 – cycling Andermatt to Airolo, Switzerland

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