"Of all the places I know, this is the dearest and most interesting to me", declared Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He thrice visited the Gotthard area the late 18th century.
The Ursern valley (canton Uri) at the foot of the Gotthard Pass is one of the most impressive upland valleys in Switzerland. Andermatt (1444 m) lies at the heart of Switzerland’s Alpine passes, and is the largest of the three villages in the valley; it's at the crossroads of the mountain passes from north to south and from east to west.The variety of tour options with the eight surrounding Alpine passes is unique worldwide.
Switzerland is considered the water tower of Europe - and in the holiday region of Andermatt you stand right in the middle. Four water sources spring from the Gotthard massif, namely the Rhine, Reuss, Ticino and Rhone, which carry seven percent of the alpine water in all four directions. The four-source path, an attractive and varied hike in five stages, connects the sources.
Eight Alpine passes
Thrilling moments around Andermatt: the Furka, Gotthard, Oberalp, Susten, Klausen, Lukmanier, Nufenen and Grimsel passes. A trip packed with experiences: traverse the passes by PostBus, car, motorbike, racing bike, mountain bike or rent a classic car, board the Glacier Express or a historic post coach, take the Furka steam railway or the Oberalp Openair Express.
Four Springs Trail in the Gotthard Massif
Signed mountain hiking route (85 km) taking in the sources of the Rhine, Reuss, Ticino and Rhone rivers. One-day stages, or a continuous 5-day hike with overnight accommodation options.
Well-signposted snowshoe trails and various winter hiking trails add to the long list of possible winter adventures too, not forgetting three different toboggan runs for rapid fun! And last but not least, cross-country skiers find 28 km of Classic & Skating trails in the Urserntal valley and another 12 km in Sedrun.
The Gotthard region is furthermore characterized by its cultural diversity and its well-documented history. Traces of this turbulent history can be found in the architecture, in the valley museum or in the legendary Schöllenen Gorge with the notorious Devil's Bridge, once established by the people as gateway from north to south over the mighty Gotthard.
For railway fans, Andermatt is an ideal place for taking a break or an excursion. From Göschenen station on the Gotthard line, the rack-and-pinion Schöllenenbahn climbs steeply up to Andermatt, where it meets the east-west route across the Alps of the Matterhorn-Gotthard line (with the Glacier Express), going towards either Valais or Grisons. Alternatively you can travel from Realp on the nostalgic "Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke". You have to book in advance for an exclusive nostalgia ride over the Gotthard Pass on a traditional post coach, drawn by a five-horse team.