Passage through the Aare Gorge in Switzerland

Gorges de l'Aar, Suisse

Visit the Aare Gorge, in the heart of the cliffs and the Swiss river

The Aare Gorge(German: Aareschlucht ) is a narrow gorge cut through a massive limestone rock mass in the Hasli valley near the town of Meiringen, Switzerland. The gorges were formed at the end of the last Ice Age, around 10,000 years ago, when torrential waters from melting glaciers eroded a deep, narrow chasm through the limestone mountain, the « Kirchet ». For thousands of years, the waters of the Aare continued to erode the limestone, further sculpting the gorge and giving it a greenish hue. The gorge is around 1,400 metres long, and only a few metres wide at its base. The impressive cliffs are up to 200 metres deep.

Since 1889, the gorge has been open to the public via steel footbridges built along the base of the cliff. At times, the passageway passes through tunnels cut into the cliff face. These walkways are very easy to walk on. Before this passage was built, the only way was through the dangerous river torrent, and many brave souls actually made the journey through the water. They told of large snakes and monsters. Since then, the gorge has been a popular tourist attraction.

Nearby are the famous Reichenbach Falls, where the legendary Sherlock Holmes is supposed to have died alongside the evil genius Professor Moriarty.

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Walking time through the gorge from the west entrance to the east entrance (or vice versa) is around 40 minutes. The round trip takes 1h30. You can return to the outside of the gorge via the road and a signposted path, or take the Reichenbach funicular from the east station.

The Aare Gorge is open from April to the end of October at the west entrance, and from May to mid-October at the east entrance. The price is 7.50 Swiss francs for an adult.

How do I get to the Aare Gorge from Meiringen?

Photo and info sources: 1, 2