- ANDERMATT -
- ANDERMATT -
In October 2019, the Piloti crew (and our Piloti Team member, Tobias Henreich: @tobiashenreich) took an unforgettable road trip through Switzerland, from the city of Zurich to the small, mountainous town of Andermatt. Located in the heart of Switzerland’s mountain passes, Andermatt is a famous haven for drivers, and served as our home base the for five incredible days, as we explored some of the most exhilarating roads in the world.
After flying into Zurich, our first order of business was to check in on our rental cars – a Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe with yellow calipers, and the show-stealing GT2 RS. We decided to have them delivered directly to our hotel in Andermatt to save mileage and instead elected to make the first leg of our journey in two economy cars.
We quickly learned that Google Maps struggled with the roads out of Zurich, but after a few double backs, we were well on our way to Andermatt (for the return journey, we used the navigation system in the Cayenne, which was much easier to follow!).
The journey to Andermatt was uneventful but beautiful – filled with breathtaking sights along the way, like Lake Zug – and a series of thrilling switchbacks as we made our way up the mountain side to the village of Andermatt. After checking in to our hotel, the Radisson Blu (which has one of the best breakfast buffets we’ve ever seen!), we realized that we took a chance visiting Andermatt in October. October is in between the summer and winter peak seasons, so there was little traffic, but be aware that the weather is unpredictable this time of year and can result in road closures.
Luckily, we were able to experience Andermatt and the surrounding roads with relative freedom. While there were tons of roads to explore, we chose the three most popular for our road trip adventures. We started with Furka Pass (about half an hour away from Andermatt), the iconic location that 007 fans will know was featured in the 1964 Bond film, Goldfinger. The road to Furka Pass was one of the most exhilarating, for good reason – it’s mostly free of guard rails – and because it’s home to the famous Hotel Belvedere. While the hotel is now closed, drivers can visit the café and gift shop across the street to pick up some Swiss chocolate as souvenir. Two tips for our fans – don’t forget to bring cash (the café does not accept cards) and drones are banned from Furka Pass, so you’ll have to get your sights in from the ground (don’t worry, they’re still spectacular).
Day Two was on to Gotthard Pass – and it was our favorite drive of the trip. While the pass was closed down due to construction on Day One, we were able to enjoy it for the rest of the trip. A similar distance from Furka Pass but in the opposite direction, Gotthard Pass features a series of snake-like hairpin turns, made from small cobblestones but perfectly maintained. We do recommend caution driving down the Pass, as the turns are quite angular – we avoided taking the GT2 RS because we didn’t want to bottom out. For drone-lovers looking for a view of the pass, drive up Highway 2 – there are several pull-off points where you can look down and admire the spectacular view of Gotthard Pass.
Day Three we spent at the perhaps lesser known, but equally beautiful, Oberalp Pass. Here, we were able to test out the performance start on the Cayenne on the straight away, and experienced all four seasons in one place! Another tip for drone flyers – the region is mostly drone-safe, but there is a restricted air space in the mountains surrounding Oberalp Pass. It doesn’t eliminate flying entirely, but make sure that you keep an eye on the zone limits.
Our trip to Andermatt was truly extraordinary and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to check it off of our driving bucket list. Filled with some of the most incredible roads that we have ever experienced, we could have easily spent two weeks in this scenic town, but it was a bit too expensive to extend our stay this time around. However, if you have the chance to make the trip, we absolutely recommend it - and certainly hope to be back some day. Until next time, happy adventuring!