- Apr 30, 2017
The Furka pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.431 m (7,976ft) above the sea level, located in one of the snowiest regions in Switzerland. It’s one of the world's most iconic, exhilarating and exciting drives, through the Swiss Alps. The pass was immortalized by the Aston DB5 / Ford Mustang car chase in James Bond's Goldfinger. It's one of the highest mountain roads of the Alps.
The pass links the Ursern valley in the canton of Uri with the municipality of Goms in the canton of Valais. It’s one of the highest paved roads in the country, and the road over the pass was built in 1867. As you drive along the pass's road, you may see the train that travels the Furka Pass chugging along through the mountainside, creating a picturesque scene for you to hold in your memory. Countless tourists are attracted by the unique mountain panorama, the Rhone Glacier with its ice grotto, the attractive options for hiking, climbing and skiing tours, as well as the reopened steam railway.
The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities. The road is very wide and perfectly surfaced. The second part of the climb includes much more straight forward road, but it's also less steep. Don’t forget your camera! The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. The Furka Pass also takes you within a few hundred meters of the Rhone Glacier, source of the Rhone river. Here you can park up and walk up to and actually inside the glacier itself. Travelers can actually walk through the glacier by booking a tour. Though the tunnel through the glacier is only 100 meters in length, you will want to make sure you dress warmly, because it doesn't take long for your body temperature to reach dangerous levels. Although the glacier has retreated dramatically in recent years, it still really is an incredible site, around 7km in length.
In 1964, the hairpin bends on the Furka pass earned their place in cinema history thanks to the James Bond film 'Goldfinger' in the scene in which Tilly Masterson attempts to snipe Goldfinger. It was filmed in front of the Rhone Glacier. If you want the full James Bond experience, you can even visit at the iconic petrol station in Andermatt where Bond and Tilly Masterson part ways following her failed attempt to assassinate Goldfinger – it’s now part of the Aurora Hotel. But you’ll probably look anything but Bond-style glamorous when tackling it: steep slopes, hairpin bends, switchbacks and sharp, blind curves make this a white-knuckle ride to all but the most experienced (or crazy) drivers. At least the road’s wide and perfectly surfaced – this is Switzerland, after all.
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