Route, Stage 1Mendrisio – Lugano - Bellinzona – Airolo – Gotthard – Furka – Grimsel – Susten – Altdorf
- Length: 260km
- Duration (50km/h): 5.25h
- Furka Pass, 2431m
- Susten Pass, 2224m
- Grimsel Pass, 2165m
- Gotthard Pass, 2108m
The first stop is in Lugano, the largest city in the Ticino Vacation Region, or in Bellinzona, the Ticinese capital. Dominated by castles, Bellinzona is ideally located at the narrow section of a valley with access to the Alpine passes of Gotthard, San Bernardino and Lukmanier.
The next highlight of the tour is the arrival on the Gotthard Pass. The area around the Gotthard Mountain is Europe’s “Water Palace”. It is here, in the center of the Alps, that the large rivers originate: Rhine, Rhone, Reuss and Ticino (a tributary to the Po). A 60-kilometer nature trail in the Göscheneralptal (Alpine Valley of Göschen) is dedicated to the theme “Water Worlds”.
The tour continues via the Hospen Valley and Realp to the Furka Pass, which links the Urner Land with Canton Valais. On the Valaisian leg of the tour, you will have a wonderful view of the Rhone Glacier at Hotel Bélvèdere, three kilometers below the summit of the Furka Pass. A side trip to the Glacier Grotto, an ice chamber cut into the glacier every year, is always worth your while.
After the glacier, the journey continues over the Grimsel Pass to the Hasli Valley. The pass road takes motorbikers through a wild, sparsely grown mountain region dominated by granite rocks and imposing power plants. At Innertkirchen in the Bernese Oberland, the Grimsel Pass Road meets the Susten Pass Road, the link back to the Reuss Valley in Urner Land. The last leg of the first stage of the tour takes you from Wassen to Altdorf near the Urner Lake.
The careful planning of a tour will ensure that you also derive the maximum pleasure and enjoyment from it. Please take the time to contact the local information centre and enquire about route and weather conditions before setting off. Your intended trail may be fully or partially closed, depending on the time of year and weather conditions.