Andermatt and around
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If you’re travelling south by train, you’re likely to miss the small town of ANDERMATT, surrounded by the high Alps on all sides, since it lies beyond the entrance to the Gotthard Tunnel at Göschenen. This once-great staging post for four major Alpine crossings is now even bypassed by the motorway, which plunges into its own tunnel, also at Göschenen. However, as the hub of many long-distance hiking routes, Andermatt still sees plenty of visitors in the short Alpine summer (June–Sept), and equal numbers in the winter skiing season, with red and black runs galore off the nearby Gemsstock summit (2963m), and an abundance of cross-country routes. The Gemsstock is also the best summer viewpoint in the area, since the town is too close to the valley sides to offer any panoramas of its own. Beware that Andermatt also serves as the Swiss Army’s principal Alpine training centre – you may find an over-preponderance of military types around and about, and it’s prudent to check with the tourist office that your chosen route is open to civilians before you set off on any long-distance hikes.

The high passes all round offer possibilities for spectacular round-trip driving tours – you can follow the route from Andermatt over the Gotthard, Nufenen and Furka passes by postbus twice a day in summer; or it’s equally possible to strike out with your own transport over the Susten, Grimsel and Furka passes, with an intermediate stop for lunch in Meiringen. To the east, the Oberalp Pass leads on to Disentis/Mustér in Graubünden.

Andermatt practicalities
Andermatt’s train station is 400m north of the town centre; turn left outside for the tourist office, in the same building as the postbus booking centre (July–Sept & Dec–March Mon–Sat 9am–noon & 2–5.30pm; rest of year Mon–Fri same times; 041/887 14 54, www.andermatt.ch). Aside from Lager Zgraggen (041/887 16 58, fax 872 02 41, wapimmo@tic.ch – turn right from the station), with dorms from Fr.18, Andermatt’s rather pricey accommodation is clustered around the picturesque main Gotthardstrasse, which can get nastily crowded in summer: Sonne, at no. 76 (041/887 12 26, fax 887 06 26), is a cosy old wooden place, while the Drei Könige & Post, at no. 69 (041/887 00 01, fax 887 16 66, hotel@3koenige.ch, www.3koenige.ch), has modern, comfortable rooms. Eating and drinking is a hotel affair, with plenty of choice up and down the main street.

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