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How long to drive interlaken to lugano?

Hi all - we are driving from interlaken to lugano via gottard pass. Any idea how long it takes? Does the tunnel handle traffic in both directions. Also, did you travel up to Stans or via sustenpass? Thanks!

Posted by
16941 posts

viamichelin gives 3 hours via the Sustenpass.

Posted by
28145 posts

yes the tunnel goes both ways.

be sure to check is Susten Pass is open.

I've been that way once but only once. I always take the Brunig Pass to Stans, then south again. Will you stop for the magic views along the way or shoot straight through blindfolded? It will make a difference.

Via Michelin tends to be a tad optimistic.

Posted by
18 posts

On the way to interlaken, we plan on going over Gotthard (not through the tunnel) and then thru susten pass. We have lots of time then. On the way back, we plan to shoot up to Stans and then down to Gotthard tunnel and go thru the tunnel. We have to catch a train in Lugano so we will be time constrained. Thanks for your help!

Posted by
28145 posts

don't plan on "shooting" up to Stans, or over the Susten Pass for that matter. Although the road between Interlaken and Luzern is on the maps as an Autobahn, and for the drive a Vignette is compulsory, almost the entire length of the journey is one lane each way with a solid white line down the middle - which means no passing. The areas where the white line is broken are very short and traffic the other way makes passing impossible. The Brunig pass is no piece of cake for drivers, including corkscrew tunnels and plenty of hairpin turns - and is quite steep.

The Susten Pass is even steeper and slower.

Budget plenty of time, either way.

Driving in Lugano can be "interesting" because of the steepness and plethora of one-way roads. Budget plenty of time to find your destination.

Posted by
28145 posts

The middle of Interlaken to Stans - I would figure an hour without stops, and in good weather, and with no delays.

Stans to Lugano - I'd plan, for myself, on 2 hours, without stops, in good weather, and with no delays.

Posted by
139 posts

Just to reinforce - we drove Interlaken to Lucerne (then on to Konstanz) a couple of weeks ago and the drive was definitely slower than the GPS thought it was going to be - we were behind a tour bus and it seemed to take forever. It was a good reason to pull over after awhile and take pictures though.

It was also humorous to see the route on the GPS because there were times that we appeared to be driving in small circles because the road was circling upward - in a tunnel. Getting through the tunnels also took long enough (several times) that the GPS had to reacquire the satellites.

The road is a broad two lane so there isn't a problem driving, but it does involve significant altitude change - the car had a mileage indicator and half the time it was reading 6 miles to the gallon and half the time it was reading 999 miles to the gallon. :-)

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks - we are leaning towards going through Susten pass both ways as they both appear to be equivalent time wise. We'll go over Gotthard on the way to Interlaken and then through Gotthard tunnel on the way back. Should be an adventure! Thanks for all the help.