The Furka Pass is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps that reaches a high of nearly 2500 meters above sea level. Considered one of the best drives in Europe, it connects the town of Gletsch in Valais with the town of Realp in Uri. The pass may be best known as the site of a memorable car chase scene in the James Bond film, Goldfinger. A drive along the pass starts from Gletsch with a few tight switchbacks before turning into a long path along the rock face of the valley for about six kilometers, providing scenic views of the surrounding area. The road then gets steeper toward the top of the pass and the route down the other side is quite narrow and steep.
The pass also brings visitors within a few hundred meters of the Rhone Glacier, the source of the Rhone River. Stopping at the Hotel Belvedere, just short of the top of the pass, is a good opportunity to walk to the glacier, just two minutes from the hotel. Don’t miss the glacier grotto, an ice chamber that is built anew each year.
Before starting out, visitors may want to check out the short nature hike near Gletsch that provides information about the pre-glacier era. Also in Gletsch is the train station for the Furka steam train to Realp.
The Furka Pass is part of a three pass ride that includes the Furka, Grimsel and Susten Passes. Visitors can ride over the pass by car, mountain bike, motorbike or by the Alpine PostBus. There is also a steam train that runs from Gletsch to Realp.