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Great Drives in Europe: San Bernardino Pass

San Bernardino Pass, Swiss Alps
(6,778 feet or 2,066 metres at its summit)

This route (in use for thousands of years, and named after Saint Bernardino of Siena) is on the eastern side of the western Alps, and connects the Hinterrhein and Mesolina (Misox) valleys between Thusis (in the canton of Graub√ľnden in south-east Switzerland) and Bellinzona (further south, in the canton of Ticino).

Driving the route from the south is recommended.

The road, just over 30 km (about 19 miles) long, passes through wild moorland (with water pools and rocks, also waterfalls) and wooded areas.

The highest point of the pass is close to the holiday resort of San Bernardino, in an area rich in diverse plant life. The high mountain lake of Lago Moesola is also an attractive sight. As you drive northwards, at the outset the gradients are gradual, but increase in severity once San Bernardino has been passed.

The road is only open during the summer months.


Fun to drive, and offering superb views, but needs to treated with due respect!

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