Furka Pass (French: Le Col de la Furka), with an elevation of 2,429 metres (7,969 ft), is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps connecting Gletsch, Valais with Realp, Uri. The Furka Oberalp Bahn line through the Furka Tunnel bypasses the pass. The base tunnel opened in 1982 and replaced a tunnel at 2100 m.
The Furka Pass was used as a location in the James Bond film Goldfinger. One curve on the east side of the pass is even named “James Bond Strasse”. At the sign, there is a lookout point with a small parking area. Visitors can also park next to Hotel Belvédère, close to the top of the pass on the west side, and take the short walk to the Rhone Glacier Ice Grotto. The glacier moves 30-40 meters a year and the 100 m long tunnel and ice chamber can be visited from June when the road opens. Wikipedia
The Furka Pass is often considered great for several reasons, primarily due to its stunning natural beauty, historical significance, and its role in providing an exhilarating driving experience. Here are some reasons why the Furka Pass is often regarded as a remarkable location:
- Scenic Beauty: The Furka Pass is located in the Swiss Alps, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and picturesque landscapes. The winding road takes travelers through a range of natural wonders, making it a popular spot for photographers, tourists, and nature enthusiasts.
- Alpine Landscape: The pass is situated at an elevation of around 2,429 meters (7,969 feet) above sea level, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the majestic Alpine environment up close. The high-altitude surroundings and the changing scenery add to the pass’s allure.
- Historical Significance: The Furka Pass has historical importance due to its connection with the construction of the Furka Base Tunnel, which was an engineering marvel in its time. The pass was also featured in the James Bond movie “Goldfinger,” further adding to its fame.
- Driving Experience: For motorists and cyclists, the Furka Pass offers an exciting and challenging driving experience. The winding roads, hairpin turns, and varying gradients create a thrilling adventure for those who enjoy driving or riding through mountainous terrain.
- Tourist Attractions: Along the Furka Pass route, travelers can visit attractions like the Rhone Glacier, which is one of the sources of the Rhine River. The Glacier Express train also crosses the pass, allowing travelers to enjoy stunning views from the comfort of a train.
- Hiking and Outdoor Activities: The area around the Furka Pass offers opportunities for hiking, mountaineering, and other outdoor activities. There are various trails and paths that lead to breathtaking viewpoints and natural landmarks.
- Cultural Experience: Traveling through the Furka Pass allows visitors to immerse themselves in Swiss culture and architecture. There are often charming villages, chalets, and traditional Swiss elements that provide a unique cultural experience.
- Seasonal Variation: The Furka Pass is usually open only during the summer months due to heavy snowfall in winter. This adds to its allure, as it becomes a temporary destination accessible only for part of the year.
I personally prefer Susten Pass for its scenic road.
Visited in 2018, 2019, 2020..