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Swiss Passes - Switzerland's mountain pass roads

Furka Pass


The most famous of Swiss passes thanks to its role in the film ‘Goldfinger’.


The route of today's Furka pass was originally covered by the Rhône glacier - it wasn't until the Roman era that it was used for trade. In the 18th century, the pass was further developed as part of the Swiss National Redoubt, a defensive plan to prevent invasion.


From Realp a series of hairpins ascend to a plateau - these first corners are the location for the scene in Goldfinger where Tilly Masterson tries to shoot Auric Goldfinger. A commemorative sign was added in 2020 marking the life of Sean Connery. Hidden on the Furka are a series of military installations designed to defend against invasion in the 1880s and later the Nazi threat. A stable with colourful doors and windows is Fort Fuchsegg, a machine-gun bunker. Near the summit are three buildings of the former military camp Furkablik, built-in 1917, they are today a centre of scientific research and education. On the descent to Gletsch is the iconic Belvédère hotel. Overlooking the Belvédère is Fort Galenhütten, a gun emplacement that looks like a rocky outcrop.


Summit coordinates 46°34’21.0”N, 8°24’54.0”E
Summit Altitude 2436 metres
Distance 22 kilometres
Start Realp 1538 metres
End Gletsch 1757 metres
Opens June to mid-October

Further reading

The Belvédère hotel at sunrise
Belvédère hotel on the Furka pass at sunrise
The view towards Andermatt
The view towards Andermatt