The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opened this week in Switzerland, and it spans nearly one-third of a mile.
The bridge, nicknamed Europabruecke, spans more than 1,620 feet and hangs more than 275 feet above a ravine outside of the town of Randa. The new bridge is part of the Europaweg, an epic, 20.3-mile hiking trail that connects the villages of Zermatt and Grächen in the shadow of Dom, one of the tallest mountains in Switzerland.
According to a story on CNN Travel, the bridge offers hikers mind-bending views of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, and Bernese Alps.
The local tourism board said it replaced an older bridge that was damaged in 2010 by falling rocks.
When that old bridge went out, hikers were forced to tromp down one side of the Grabengufer ravine, cross at lower altitudes, then climb back up. That process took anywhere from three to four hours and included a total elevation change of about 3,000 feet. Now, with the new bridge, hikers can rest their hamstrings and quads and traverse the valley in about 15 minutes—provided they aren’t frozen by fear.
Yes, acrophobics, take note: The bridge certainly is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s a suspension bridge, it sags in the middle and can get wobbly in winds. It also looks straight down on the ravine; at times the ground is nearly 280 feet below.
The CNN story quotes Edith Zweifel, a spokesperson for the local tourism board, as saying that for those stricken with vertigo, the easiest ways to cross are with eyes closed or with friends in front and back.
The Europaweg, created in 1997, is a strenuous trek considered by many to be the most beautiful two-day hike in the Alps. The best time to do the hike is in summer—basically, right now. What are you waiting for?