June 6, 2016

Klausen-Pass-Hero Take to the road in the Swiss Alps -- Flickr user Falk Lademann

There’s nothing I love more than an adventure holiday. From horse riding and camping to snowboarding and hiking, for me, adventure is the best way to explore a new place. When I lived in France, I enjoyed many exciting driving holidays, exploring the countryside and seeking out Europe’s most beautiful roads. In this instalment of my “take to the road” series, I’m taking a look at one of my favourites: Switzerland’s Klausen Pass.

A little bit about the road…

As you probably know, Switzerland is home to a large part of the Alps, an extensive mountain range which stretches across eight countries. While the Swiss Alps may be best-known as a prime spot for skiers and snow lovers, the Alps are also a delight during the summer months. The Klausen Pass runs directly through the Alps, from Linthal to Altdorf, passing through picturesque villages and past breath-taking scenery. Although closed from October to May, this 46-kilometre road is open all summer long. Explore these places along the way.



Beautiful Urnerboden.Flickr user Falk Lademann

From Linthal, the Klausen Pass snakes through the mountains, twisting and turning, before straightening out on the approach to Urnerboden. Urnerboden is the largest Alp and, some may say, the most spectacular. It has a wide plateau, with beautiful green grass and grazing cows, and small houses are dotted all around. I always stop by the village store to stock up on snacks, before spending a little time looking around. For the best views, take a walk by the pretty Fätschbäch stream, or ride the cable car to the top of the 2,000-meter-high Fisetengrat.

grazing cows

You’ll see cows grazing all along the Pass. Flickr user Falk Lademann

Klausen Pass Summit

A little further along the Pass from Urnerboden, you’ll reach the summit. Surrounded by towering mountains and offering amazing views, it’s the perfect place to take a break. Here you’ll find the Chlausenchappeli – a small chapel which is a great backdrop for a family photo – as well as a gift shop and a snack stand. When I drove along the Pass, it was just before lunchtime, so I only spent a moment soaking up the scenery before heading to the nearby Hotel Klausenpasshöhe for a bite to eat.


After feasting on some traditional Swiss cuisine, it’s back on the road to Bürglen. Bürglen is famous as the birthplace of Wilhelm (William) Tell, a Swiss folk hero from the 14th century. Although Tell is a fictional character, visitors to Bürglen can learn all about the legend at the Tell Museum. Like many of the other stops on the Pass, Bürglen is perfect for keen walkers. The Kapellenweg is a circular walk which passes many of Bürglen’s pretty chapels. It takes almost 4.5 hours, so come prepared with good hiking shoes, water and snacks.

Extra tips…

  • Stay the night: There are various hotels along the Klausen Pass, so you can stay the night and really take your time exploring. Try the 200-year-old Hotel Klausenpasshöhe at the summit or the Gasthaus Urnerboden, in Urnerboden.
  • Bring bikes: Thanks to its many climbs, twists and turns, the Klausen Pass is perfect for bike riding. Bring your bike and you’ll have a great time cycling amongst the beautiful scenery.

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