Switzerland is a motorcyclist’s dream destination: incredible alpine passes with breathtaking views make taking a spin here a wonderful experience. We present three of the most beautiful routes and tell you all about the best places to stop off and visit. We also provide invaluable advice on preparing for your next motorbike trip.
Motorcycle tours: Switzerland’s most beautiful passes for motorbikes
Planning a motorbike trip to Switzerland? Away to go: discover the most stunning passes for motorcycles with spectacular panoramas and magnificent mountain landscapes and find out how to ensure you’re perfectly prepared for your motorbike trip.
Furka Pass: Ride past the setting of a James Bond movie, the Rhone Glacier and the ice cave
Reaching 2,429 m above sea level, the Furka Pass is the fourth highest in Switzerland and connects canton Valais with canton Uri. From Gletsch, the 28 km long route through the pass winds its way skywards to the highest point from where it drops down into Hospental with lots of turns. The stunning views of the Rhone Glacier and the world-famous Belvédère Hotel never fail to impress. The Furka Pass went down in movie history in 1964 as the setting for the James Bond film “Goldfinger” starring Gert Fröbe and Sean Connery.
- Please bear in mind: the pass closes in winter from October until May
- Maximum gradient: 11%
- It’s well worth taking a little detour: The ice cave in the Rhone Glacier beneath the top of the Furka Pass, follow the sign for Belvédère (around 180 m off the Furka Pass road)
Grimsel Pass: Totensee and marmots included
The Grimsel Pass route starts off in Innertkirchen in the Haslital valley in canton Bern and ends in Goms in the municipality of Gletsch in canton Valais. The Grimsel Pass reaches an altitude of 2,165 m above sea level and is reached via a well-constructed, wide road. The pass was once a key link between Switzerland and Italy, but is today known for its attractions, such as the Totensee or the marmot park at the top of the pass.
- Please bear in mind: the pass closes in winter from October to May
- Maximum gradient: 11%
- It’s well worth stopping off here: There is a magnificent view of the Totensee from the terrace of the Hotel Grimsel Passhöhe. And anyone who enjoys watching marmots will be in their absolute element in the marmot park at the Hotel Alprösli Grimselpass. The Räterichsboden dam is also directly on the route
- A little detour is highly recommended: The panoramic road from Hotel Alpenrösli to the Oberaar dam and back to the top of the Grimsel Pass provides remarkable views of the glacial world
Klausen Pass: picturesque mountain pass road with the Berglistüber waterfalls and glacial lake
The Klausen Pass connects the towns of Altdorf in canton Uri and Linthal in canton Glarus on a 47 km long route, taking you up to an altitude of 1,952 m above sea level. From Altdorf the road goes through the picturesque Schächental valley up to the top of the pass from where you can reach Urnerboden and Linthal after lots of bends which are fun to ride. The Klausen Pass is surrounded by other passes and can be easily included in a more extensive motorcycle trip. The international Klausen Race for the “Great Mountain Prize of Switzerland” was also held in the Klausen Pass between 1922 and 1934. The route – with 136 turns, 57 of which are hairpin bends, and a 1,237 m climb in altitude – was seen as one of the most challenging mountain races in Europe. The Klausen Race memorial event has been held at irregular intervals since 1993.
- Please bear in mind: the pass closes in winter from early November until May
- Maximum gradient: 10%
- Taking a little detour is highly recommended: Visiting the Berglistüber waterfalls (a 5 minute walk from the car park) is a great idea
Well prepared: what to remember before your next motorbike trip
A quick checklist for every trip:
- Check the lights
- Check your tires for tread depth, damage and that the valve caps are on
- Check the brake lines and hoses are not leaking, look for signs of abrasion, check the brake pads for wear, the brake fluid level and brake performance
- Check the tension of the drive chain and make sure there’s enough lubricant
- Check the oil level
- Find out about the weather conditions
Do you have the right motorcycle insurance? With PostFinance motorcycle insurance you’ll soon be on your way, enjoying comprehensive cover on all your trips. Simply select between various pre-configured insurance policy options online or put your own package together for the cover you need. Great offer: although you only pay for nine months, you get cover for the full year.
Sources: ADAC, Blog motorrad-und-touren.ch, paesse.info, Reiseblog 2CoinsTRavel