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We got the spontaneous idea of driving through the Stelvio Pass during a trip from Poland to Spain we made in 2022. More route details can be found HERE, Part One of our trip around Europe in a campervan - CLICK HERE

There is no doubt that this pass is a mecca for auto & motorcycle enthusiasts, cyclists, and those who love mountain scenery.

I recommend this route only to experienced drivers keen to keep a cool head, especially if the drive begins in Trafoi and ends in Bormio. This is the Stelvio Pass's most demanding climb.

 

Stelvio Pass key parameters:

  • Altitude: 2758m, making it the highest hard-surfaced mountain road in the Eastern Alps, the second highest in the Alps, and one of the highest roads in the world!
     
  • The curves: There are 48 hairpin turns, and they are numbered on the northern section, the famous North Face
     
  • Length of the drive: 35 km of spectacular views! Assuming the distance from Trafoi to Bormio

 

The route

We started our ride from the campsite in Trafoi at about 9 am to avoid traffic jams.

The first few turns gave us a foretaste of what awaited us much higher up, as the navigation showed sharp zigzags...

Before the real climbing started, there were a couple of ascents above forest level. It was quite a challenge to travel it with a 6-meter campervan. We had to take turns as wide as possible during steep, sharp turns, so it was essential to check if we had enough space to make it so.

 

We had one stressful situation when we got stuck on a sharp curve. We started to sway, trying to get out of the hole because the rear wheel hung over a broken drainpipe and collapsed tarmac. Oncoming vehicles from the opposite direction did not make it any easier to get out of the trap because they had nowhere to go back...

Fortunately, after a few minutes, we managed it carefully, and with stunning views of alpine glaciers, turn after turn, we headed upwards.

Finally, we reached the top... It was a moment of rest for us and the car. We admired the Queen of the Alpine Passes and the masterpiece of road architecture. Happy we made it so high! We took some photos and started the descent towards Bormio.


I made a video so you can take a peek at the route and see how beautiful it is :) Hope you enjoy it as much as we did :)

 

A few of my insights you may find useful

  • Only go there if you feel comfortable behind the wheel!
  • If you have any concerns about the technical condition of your vehicle, choose a different route!
  • The most demanding is the pass on the Trafoi side - the famous North Face.
  • If you drive a camper van or RV through the North Face, please remember that turning back from the route is almost impossible.
  • Get on the route as early as possible to avoid traffic, especially in summer and on weekends when the Stelvio Pass is busy.
  • The turns aren't as sharp as on Bormio's side, and climbing is much easier.
  • Due to altitude, a rapid change in pressure can cause dizziness.

 

Was it worth it?

It's one of those experiences that stays in mind for a long time, and I'm happy we had the opportunity to drive with a van, the second-highest route in the Alps.

 

Stelvio Pass is open during the summer months.
You can check the conditions on the route on the official website CLICK HERE.

Un Saludo:)!

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About the Author

Dora Mandora - passionate about technology, photography, travel, sport and healthy living. Professionally: web & graphic designer and photographer. With camera in hand explores the Iberian Peninsula's southern reaches.

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