Maloja Pass is a curvy road in the Swiss Alps

Maloja Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1,819m (5,967ft) above sea level, located in the canton of Graubünden, in Switzerland.

Maloja Pass

Where is Maloja Pass?

The pass is situated in the Swiss Alps, on the southeastern part of the country, right next to the Italian border.

When was Maloja Pass built?

It’s probable that Maloja Pass was already used in pre-Roman times; the Romans built a fully-fledged road over it, which crumbled in tune with the Roman Empire. The pass was never of primary importance and only gained a lot of traffic in the 19th century, connecting Northern Italy to the Engadin. The first road through the summit was built in 1827-28. The road tunnels through the San Bernardino in 1967 and the Gotthard in 1980 brought an end to the transit of goods over Maloja Pass.

How long is Maloja Pass?

The road to the summit, also known as Passo del Maloja and Malojapass, is totally paved but very curvy. It’s called Route 3. The pass is 23.8 km (14.78 miles) long, running north-south from Silvaplana (a municipality in the Maloja Region in the canton of Graubünden) to Bregaglia (a municipality in the Maloja Region in the canton of Grisons).

Is Maloja Pass difficult?

The road features a few steep sections (up to 11%) and tight hairpins that require concentration, especially if you meet a truck coming the other way. The pass is sometimes called ‘the pass that never was’ due to its geographical peculiarity. It is an experience not for the fainthearted with lots of hairpin bends. Not recommended for the easily motion sick. Starting at Casaccia, the ascent is 5.13 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 357 meters. The average percentage is 7%, and the maximum slope is 11%.

Is Maloja Pass open?

The pass is usually open all year round, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Winter tires are obligatory for the whole winter period. However, after a snowfall, the road may be closed for a couple of hours or for an entire day. Even if open, the road might be covered with snow—winter tires or chains would help.

How long does it take to drive Maloja Pass?

Plan about 30 minutes to complete the drive without any stop. The drive offers stunning views of Lake Sils (Silsersee) and Lake Silvaplana (Silvaplanersee). Maloja pass is very close to the famous St. Moritz resort. You can have a very pleasant drive from there to Maloja as well.
Image credit: Depositphotos