Biking Down Gotthard Cross on Outdated Tremola Street

Biking Down Gotthard Cross on Outdated Tremola Street

Is it known as cycling if all you do is squeeze the brake and now not peddle? That’s what I stored pondering to myself all of the time as I used to be biking down the Gotthard Cross on outdated Tremola Street in Switzerland. Granted, I nonetheless needed to flip (there was once a whole lot of turning) and stay the motorbike upright as I traversed the serpentine cobblestone highway, so it should rely as cycling, I believed. Irrespective of if I name it cycling, it was once an immense quantity of a laugh. And the most productive section – someone can motorbike down Tremola Street – no coaching important!

No longer best was once it an journey that few folks tackle, however biking down the cross was once a experience thru historical past. It was once the easiest instance of taking the street much less traveled, which is one thing I at all times aspire to do once I commute. I will’t believe a greater strategy to revel in this ancient cross that connects the North and South of Switzerland over the Alps.

Biking and Mountain climbing Switzerland’s Alps and Lakes

I spent my first 4 days in Switzerland in a cloud…like a literal cloud. Swiss Alps? I don’t suppose there are any mountains right here – I couldn’t see the rest however thick clouds and rain for 4 days. That is by no means the state of affairs you wish to have when you’re in probably the most well-known and picturesque mountain levels on this planet. However you’ll be able to’t keep watch over Mom Nature; every now and then you simply must make the most productive of it.

Rigi Panoramic hike lake lucerne
Mountain climbing within the Clouds

Is Switzerland nonetheless wonderful when you’ll be able to’t see the Alps? Sure – it could be moody, however you’ll be able to nonetheless get out and benefit from the trails, the tradition, the cows, and the transportation nonetheless rocks! I used to be with a small workforce of writers traversing our manner from Zurich to Lugano (north to south) via mountain climbing and cycling. Because of the difficult climate we needed to trade a few of our mountain climbing round Lake Lucerne, however we had been nonetheless ready to get out and huff and puff our manner thru some lovely epic climbs.

Gotthard Pass Clouds

We arrived on the most sensible of the Gotthard cross via van after an afternoon of mountain climbing within the rain. As maximum passes pass – it was once lovely barren; now not a tree in sight, and due to the nasty climate – it had a mild dusting of snow, and was once relatively chilly. I used to be simply excited to get into our heat, at ease resort room and get wiped clean up after a difficult day outdoor within the parts.

Hospice St. Gotthard (in-built 1237) didn’t seem like a lot from the out of doors, however as soon as within, it was once surprising. This historic development had a fully fashionable internal, all manufactured from picket. And even supposing it regarded love it could be chilly and uncomfortable from the out of doors – it was once comfortable and comfy within. Actually the rooms form of gave the look of an enormous sauna.

Hospice St. Gotthard

I regarded out the outdated window in my room and noticed completely not anything however but any other cloud. It unquestionably didn’t really feel like we had been at 6,900 toes. within the Alps. My thoughts began wandering to the following morning – I didn’t know if I sought after to head down this cross on a motorbike within the rain and sleet – it felt overwhelming these days, so I went and had a lager and dinner as a substitute.

Proper sooner than I went to mattress, I regarded out the window one final time, and that’s once I noticed a faint gentle within the sky. What’s that? I put my glasses on, and discovered it was once a celebrity. Yippee! The clouds had dissipated and left us a transparent sky – , issues had been having a look up for tackling the famed Tremola Street the following day!

Gotthard Cross Historical past

Tremola Road Gotthard Pass
Picture courtesy of Switzerland Tourism – Ivo Scholz

The Gotthard Cross is incessantly known as the ‘King of the Mountain Passes’ because it was once probably the most hard and essential passes in Europe. It’s named for a chapel constructed on the most sensible in 1300 in honor of Saint Gotthard, a German bishop of Hildesheim. The cross connects northern (German-speaking) and southern (Italian-speaking) Switzerland. The advance within the house began in 1200 and has passed through many transportation adjustments during the centuries.

Tremolina Road by the numbers

The primitive trail was once first utilized by buyers transferring items from north to south of Europe. The primary ‘highway’ was once opened in 1830 and was once manufactured from cobblestones. The railway and educate tunnel was once opened in 1882. Subsequent, a freeway tunnel was once in-built 1930. Then the more recent highway tunnel opened in 1980. And in the end, the Gotthard Base tunnel for high-speed trains was once finished in 2016.

If you wish to be informed extra in regards to the transportation historical past, on the most sensible of the cross, throughout from the Hospice the place we stayed, is a museum that covers the historical past of the street, railroad/automobile tunnels, and area.

Tremola Street Biking Status

The direction is known for avid cyclists to overcome. It’s been stated that if this highway was once in France or Italy it will be probably the most well-known climbs in biking. The Tremola Street has been some of the levels of the Excursion de Suisse cycling race for 38 years.

Then again, it’s now not only for the pros, any bike owner can take it on. That is made imaginable due to the loss of site visitors on it, which makes it secure to experience for folks of all ranges. And if you wish to have a bit spice up, you’ll be able to simply hire an electrical motorbike to take on the cross.

Need extra adventurous, curvy roads – I drove the well-known Trollstigen highway in Norway – and it is also a wild experience!

4 Tactics to Get Over or Underneath the Gotthard Cross

  1. Pressure your self during the automobile tunnel. However be ready for large site visitors thru this fashionable direction connecting north and south Switzerland.
  2. Use the extra fashionable highway to force over the cross.
  3. Move via rapid educate during the railroad tunnel
  4. Take the Outdated Tremola Street via automobile or motorbike. This is the absolute slowest, however probably the most scenic. And the most productive section is that you simply’ll almost be on my own – there may be little or no site visitors in this direction – which makes it superb for cycling and making a whole lot of stops for footage!

Take the Cobblestones Much less Traveled

biking down gotthard pass

I did this experience originally of October, which is usually a little iffy for the elements at altitude. Then again, once I aroused from sleep, I pulled the curtains again from my resort room and there it was once – my outdated good friend the solar. It have been see you later since I had noticed him that I just about didn’t acknowledge him! However – his timing was once impeccable as I actually didn’t wish to experience down the cross within the rain and sleet we had the prior day. Even supposing it was once chilly on the most sensible, the solar was once out, the skies had been blue, and we had a really perfect day for this cycling journey!

We bundled up because it was once nonetheless cold at altitude, and as we were given nearer to beginning, the extra anxious I turned into. I regarded on the map of cobblestone switchbacks – it gave the look of a pile of spaghetti.
I had a just right motorbike with just right brakes; then again, the little cobblestones mixed with the hairpin turns stacked on most sensible of one another had me relatively focused on my talent to stick upright.

Able, Set, Brake! Cycling Down Gotthard Cross

I placed on my shades (one thing I believed I used to be by no means going to make use of in this commute!), my cycling gloves, and began peddling down the bumpy cobblestones. I possibly peddled 4 instances…after which I by no means needed to peddle once more. Gravity introduced me down the street, and the journey started.

Video of Biking Down Tremola Street on Gotthard Cross

In fact, I almost certainly made it 500 toes sooner than I ended to take footage! I had best noticed the street on GoogleMaps, and now seeing the serpentine turns in particular person on a sunny day within the mountains was once breathtaking.

No longer best had been the perspectives fantastic – however I used to be mesmerized via the superbly sq. little granite cobblestones. They had been laid in little arcs like a murals. The granite dates again to the early 1800s; I had by no means ridden over the rest so outdated. With 4+ miles of cobblestones, it is regarded as Switzerland’s longest highway monument.

There have been even sections the place they had been operating on changing the cobblestones. It was once like an enormous puzzle at the facet of a mountain. It made me marvel what number of cobblestones had been used to build the street – one thing I used to be by no means ready to search out a solution to.

However the only concept that persisted to roll thru my head and devour me was once, why aren’t extra folks using in this gorgeous cross? I best noticed 4 vehicles all of the experience down! Because of everybody being in a rush nowadays and the development of the fashionable rail and automobile tunnels, Tremola Street was once empty – which makes it the easiest cross to motorbike.

When we made it down the hairpin turns we persisted all of the strategy to Bellinzona the place we biked thru gorgeous farms and villages all of the strategy to the educate station. We had a complete day of cycling 43 miles (maximum of it downhill) into the Ticino canton the place the entirety turned into extra Italian. And the solar was once out all of the time!

How You’ll Cycle Down Outdated Tremola Street

Biking the Tremola Street is usually a part of an extended cycling excursion throughout Switzerland. I wasn’t ready to discover a corporate that simply took you to the highest along with your motorbike and mean you can motorbike down for the day. Then again, I believe you want to organize to try this via taking a bus to the highest along with your motorbike after which simply cycling down.

hairpin turn tremola road

The corporate I went with, Eurotreks, gives a 9-day self-guided direction that comes with cycling down the Gotthard Cross. I used to be actually proud of their motorcycles and the guides that we had so it’s a really perfect choice if you wish to see and motorbike extra of Switzerland.

The place to get the most productive picture of the Tremola Street

In fact, I took a lot of footage and movies on my experience down Tremola Street; then again, it’s onerous to get a just right inclusive view of the entire hairpin turns whilst at the highway. Ahead of you get started your descent from the highest, in short observe the principle highway in opposition to the south descent (Freeway 2) – about part a kilometer. Park on the lot at the left and also you’ll to find the easiest assessment shot of the hairpins you might be in search of. It’s even marked on Google Maps.

Tremola Road Photo Point
Picture courtesy Switzerland Tourism – Nico Schaerer

Let the entire others who’re in a rush take the tunnels during the Gotthard Cross, you’ll be able to take your time and wind your manner down the ancient cobblestones of Tremola Street. It can be the street much less traveled, however it’s one of the simplest ways to revel in the Gotthard Cross. Decelerate, squeeze the brakes, and take all of it in…that is the best way commute must be.


I used to be a visitor of Switzerland Tourism for this excursion, then again all evaluations expressed listed below are my very own.

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