Driving to Andermatt and Locarno - hiking stops?

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Lauriesam
Lauriesam
8 posts
new member
May 25, 2018 - 9:43 PM

My husband and I are spending a week in Switzerland in August, our dates are firm and we are flying into and out of Zurich. My decision to drive is so we can find some nooks and crannies that I have not seen before. I lived in Zurich for four years and traveled quite a bit at that time but it was quite a while ago. So here is my plan, after the first two nights in Zurich we are going to drive to Andermatt. I think we can take our time driving down and and we are looking for some great places to stop along the way for a day hike. Any suggestions. Also, has anyone been to Andermatt? We will really only be there one day and hope to hike. Then I need some suggestions on the most scenic route to Locarno/Ancona for our next couple days. We look forward to being able to take our time and stop and take in the beautiful scenery. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks. Laurie

Arno
Arno
11263 posts
expert &
moderator
May 26, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Hi Laurie,

I'd hire the car after your stay in Zurich as it won't be useful in the city. Then on your way to Andermatt you can stop to see the Teufelsbrücke (Devil's Bridge) just before Andermatt.

map.search.ch/Andermat t?pos=688206,166839&z=40 96

On your way to Andermatt a stop at the Verzasca Dam might interest you.

map.search.ch/Andermat t?pos=708937,116965&z=20 48

Parking is quite limited at both places, so you may have a wait for a spot as August is high season. It will depend on the weather and arrival time. The bridge is very close to Andermatt though, so you can also walk over there.

For the drive to Locarno you will need to check the traffic reports very closely. Passing the Gotthard massif can easily take 3.5 hours by car in high season, while it only 20 minutes by high speed trains crossing the new tunnel. From Andermatt it makes sense to take the Gotthard pass road instead of the motorway tunnel. That road can be busy but I don't think it will get as busy as the motorway.

A much longer scenic route is Andermatt - Furka pass - Brig - Simplon pass - Domodossola - Malesco, then either straight to Locarno or via Cannobio if the direct route is still closed due to the landslide. Quite a lot of narrow curvy roads, so be prepared for that and take your time. A shorter alternative is Andermatt - Furka pass - Nufenen pass - Airolo - Bellinzona (you can stop there to see 1, 2 or 3 castles) - Locarno.

More details about driving: www.myswissalps.com/ca r/drivinginthemountain s.

Last modified on May 26, 2018 - 10:02 AM by Arno
Lauriesam
Lauriesam
8 posts
new member
May 26, 2018 - 11:12 AM

Hi Arno, Thank you for the information, that is exactly what I am looking for. I picked Andermatt for two reasons, 1. It looks about half way and isn’t the most popular/ touristy and 2. Great hotel there. Having said that I can see there is no easy way to get to Locarno, would you suggest a different place to stop instead of Locarno. We don’t want to go through the tunnels and really look forward to the mountain passes, but we don’t need to drive on all of them! Would you take a different route ?

Laurie

Lucas
Lucas
9206 posts
expert &
moderator
May 26, 2018 - 3:15 PM in reply to Lauriesam

Hi Laurie,

What is your overall itinerary?

There are only a couple routes to get to Locarno / Lugano. Are you thinking of not going to the Ticino region at all after Andermatt and looking for other ideas?

Lauriesam
Lauriesam
8 posts
new member
May 26, 2018 - 4:11 PM

We are definitely going to ascona, I want to visit Verscaca Tal.

Lucas
Lucas
9206 posts
expert &
moderator
May 27, 2018 - 7:22 AM in reply to Lauriesam

I'd take Arno's first suggestion then with the Gotthard Pass road. There aren't too many roads to get down there in any case. It is all mountain passes unless you take that tunnel :) It is a great drive!

Lauriesam
Lauriesam
8 posts
new member
May 27, 2018 - 10:49 AM in reply to Lucas

Lucas,

Thank you, I have been looking at the different passes and thought Gotthard but wasn’t sure. I heard the tunnel traffic can be very bad and frankly part of our plan was to drive over some of the mountain passes. We are in no hurry and want to enjoy the beauty of the alps at our leisure. Thank you for your advice. It is a short trip, but hopefully I will come back sooner next time and stay longer! Looking forward to speaking schwiterdeutche again!

Laurie

Lucas
Lucas
9206 posts
expert &
moderator
May 27, 2018 - 3:50 PM in reply to Lauriesam

It is an interesting language that's for sure.

Gnüss es!

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