Tectonic Arena Sardona


Knife-sharp and yellow: The seldom line along the rock face around the Piz Sardona marks the Glarus overthrust - a phenomenon of world interest. Here, older rock strata have edged their way above younger rocks.
Few places illustrate the history of the Alps as impressively as the UNESCO World Heritage Site between the Murgsee lake, Pizol and Martin's Hole near Elm. Unique formations bear witness to the awesome power of nature when the continents of Africa and Europe collided.

Clearly visible from a great distance: the distinctive notch around the Piz Sardona separates the 250-million-year-old Verrucano rock from the 35 to 50 million years “young” Flysch rock. Extraordinary is that ancient stone formations overlie those that are millions of years younger - which was long an enigma for geologists, and a fact so unique that led it to the addition of the Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008.

The Glarus overthrust, particularly attractive to discover around the Martin’s Hole, forms the heart of the 300 square meter Sarganserland- Walensee-Glarnerland Geopark.

Excursion tip:“Expedition Tschinglen”

The excursion begins on the gondola lift from Elm to the Tschinglen Alp – right through the awe-inspiring gorge. In the gondola you will hear an exciting audio guide about the history of the Tectonic Arena. The Alp is the departure point for an approx. 1 ½ hour circular hike to the Firstboden viewpoint. The panorama extends from Martinsloch across Martinsmad and Mittagshorn down to the deep-cut valley floor.

General info

  • Outdoor
  • Needed time: 4 to 8 hours (full day)
  • Experience Type: Nature, Education, Active

Booking Information

UNESCO World Heritage in Switzerland

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