My vote for the coolest cycling climb anywhere goes to the Gotthard Pass, or St. Gotthard Pass in Switzerland (Italian: Passo del San Gottardo, German: Gotthardpass). This 2,106-meter pass connects the German-speaking Andermatt in the north and the Italian-speaking Airolo in the south. One pass, same country, two languages. Yes, the caffè is better on the south side. There is also something else very special on the south side.
The Tremola road lies on the south side and is considered Switzerland’s longest street monument. This is because over 7 km of the climb are cobbled. That’s right, granite stones dating to 1827. The road is meticulously maintained and is much smoother than the cobbles of Belgium or northern France. But don’t get me wrong, at speed the Tramola is a rough, if not vibratory, experience. And going up the hill on cobbles is very watts-sapping.
Below there is a picture of road restoration work in action.
From Hospental (Andermatt side)
- Distance: 8.6 km
- Average gradient: 7.1%
- Ascent: 610 meters
- Distance: 12.7 km
- Average gradient: 7.3%
- Ascent: 932 meters
This is the whole point of riding this climb. Switchbacks and cobblestones!
To Ride or Not to Ride
Yes!! This is a five-star cool ride. It’s not the biggest or hardest but it is the most cobbled climb in the world and in a category of it’s own.