Bernina Pass

Driving the scenic Bernina Pass, a Road Through History

Passo del Bernina is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.332m (7,650ft) above the sea level, located in the canton of Graubünden, in Switzerland, near the Italian border. It’s one of the most famous Alpine roads of Switzerland.

Can you drive the Bernina Pass?

Tucked away in the eastern part of the country, the road to the summit, also known as Berninapass, is totally paved. It’s called Hauptstrasse 29. The building of the road began in 1842 and was completed in 1865. The pass has been in use since the Middle Ages when people would take to the markets their horse-drawn carts filled with goods to sell.

How long is the Bernina Pass?

The pass is 53.3 km (33.11 miles) long, running north-south from St. Moritz, in Switzerland’s Engadin valley, to Tirano, in the Italian Province of Sondrio. The pass suffers from heavy traffic, and endless tour buses. An important attraction on this mountain is the Bernina Express – the highest long-distance railway in the Alps (reaching 2.253m), and crosses the road on the north side (twice). The road to the summit is pretty steep hitting a 10.4% of maximum slope through some of the ramps.

Is Passo del Bernina open?

Set high in the Bernina Range of the Alps, access to the pass is typically open all year round since 1965, but winter weather may cause restrictions and closures due to dangerous weather conditions.

How long does it take to drive Bernina Pass?

The drive offers travelers breathtaking views running through some of the most picturesque scenery in the country. To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 1 and 1.5 hours. The road winds at the foot of majestic Alpine peaks and the drive takes travelers past lakes and windswept terrain. By traveling from northwestern St. Moritz toward Val Paschiavo, visitors will see the Lago Bianco - "White Lake" - on their right for most of the length of the pass.