Gotthard pass

Gotthard Pass

There are multiple ways of traversing the Gotthard massif with roads, rail and tunnels.


The pass rose to prominence in the 13th century when the construction of the Devil's Bridge made it possible to cross the Schöllenen Gorge below Andermatt. After the mule track was extended, the pass became one of the most significant Alpine crossings. In 1882 a rail tunnel was opened and in 1980 a road tunnel - both were the longest tunnels of their time. In 2016 the Gotthard Base Tunnel opened. The original Tremola road also still exists. Today the route with its roads and tunnels constitutes the most important north-south connection in both Switzerland and Europe.


The Gotthard tunnel suffered a tragedy in 2001, just two years after the Mont Blanc one when eleven people were killed in a lorry accident. Concealed deep within the mountain – and top-secret until only a few years ago – lies a Swiss Army artillery fortification. Today it forms part of the Sasso San Gottardo Museum. An underground train, the Metro del Sasso, whisks you up to the fortifications.

Summit coordinates 46°33’22.5”N, 8°34’04.0”E
Summit Altitude 2106 metres
Distance 23 kilometres
Start Hospental 1493 metres
End Airolo 1175 metres
Opens June to mid-October

Swiss Passes