Switzerland: Walking on the longest suspension bridge in the world
Switzerland, what a beautiful country it is. The mountains, the lakes and did you know that -in the Valais- they have the longest suspension bridge in the world. The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in Randa.
Highly recommended to go, but don't be mistaken about the steep hike!
Preparing in advance
You know, you go out with a plan in your head. I had this vacation. We want a new picture above the fireplace. Now one wall in the living room is full of Canvas canvases from our 2011 trip in America, I want a photo of this year's trip in the same sepia color above the fireplace. Now I knew that at Remembrance on Linen, where these photos’re from, there is now a photo on canvas offer.
So my goal for this vacation was set. Taking a picture for Canvas! And Switzerland is the right place for that!
Summer vacation plans
Where do we go this summer vacation or go on vacation at all? Because a vacation at home is not bad at all, especially when you have also redecorated or are going to redecorate the backyard in the last few months. How about a hammock and hammock stand in the garden?
Or your own pool! For us too it was the question, do we go away or stay home from the moment we cancelled our trip to America. Since it was all uncertain for a long time anyway, we decided only a few days in advance that we would go to Switzerland. Deliberately we went to two campsites where we had been before.
Purely because here I knew what the campsite looked like and we didn't really feel the need to do much either. After all those months spent at home and in the backyard, we actually needed a change of scenery more than anything else.
See the most beautiful places
We left for the Valais. When you go here, be sure to also go to Zermatt. Here you can not only hike beautifully, but also see the Matterhorn.
Since we have been here before, we decided to stop in Randa two villages earlier this time. Here we hiked to the longest suspension bridge in the world.
The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge. The longest suspension bridge in the world
At 494 meters long, the Charles Kuonen Hängebrücke is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. The bridge was opened in July 2017 and runs at a height of 85 meters above the Grabengufer ravine near the Mattertal in the municipality of Randa in the Swiss canton of Valais. The bridge is only accessible to pedestrians.
This Hängebrücke should boost tourism in the area. Indeed, the area has suffered from declining visitor numbers, since in 2010 the brand new pedestrian bridge the Europabrücke was destroyed by falling boulders. The new bridge hangs quite a bit higher than this old one, so there is much less chance of impact from falling rocks.
The construction of the bridge took 2.5 months and has about 730.000 Swiss francs (650.000 euros) cost. About a ton of that was coughed up by a wealthy local resident, one Charles Kuonen, who was thus allowed to give his name to the structure. Neighboring municipalities paid the rest; they hope to benefit from the additional tourism the bridge should bring.
Inspired by the suspension bridges in Nepal
According to Swiss media, the new bridge was inspired by the suspension bridges in Nepal. That Asian country is dominated by the high mountains of the Himalayas. For locals in Nepal, suspension bridges are crucial infrastructure for transporting goods or visiting relatives.
In Switzerland, it is mostly tourists who enjoy the view from the bridge, during their hike.
Now you are not just at the Charles Kuonen Hängebrücke. You have to do something for this!
The walk is a 4-hour circular walk. Whereby the way to the suspension bridge is a long steep climb -you climb about 1000 meters in 2 hours to the suspension bridge- with beautiful viewpoints.
The longest suspension bridge in the world
We walked quite a bit and after half an hour of steep ascending and walking through the woods, we were at the suspension bridge. Then you have a moment of swallowing. I am certainly not afraid of heights, but you see the suspension bridge is its full length of 494 meters in front of you and look down quite a bit.
The entire walk across the bridge took about ten minutes.
The way back
Then walk down again quietly through the forests. This road is also steep, but doable. Personally, I thought it was a beautiful hike.
I love the mountain trails that run through the woods, which also gives you shade. Walking across the bridge was cool and frankly we expected to have to pay for this, but this was not the case. It was a beautiful hike, with great views and a bit of excitement.
Now the question of course is, which photo am I going to use for my canvas canvas? We have taken so many beautiful pictures here’so I'm going to continue to search quietly.
Practical Tips Charles Kuonen:
- Parking is available ( for a fee) in Randa near the station or at hotels that offer spots.
- Distance: the hike is a 8.7 kilometer round trip
- Lowest point: 1408 meters
- Highest point: 2267 meters
- Ascend: 999 meters
- Descent: 999 meters
- Duration: stated for the hike is 4 hours.
- At the junction where the hike begins it is wise to walk clockwise, both in terms of steepness of the route and having to pass on the bridge.
- The bridge is freely accessible.