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A Beautiful Mountain Drive – Maloja Pass, Switzerland

I can’t remember where exactly I first saw photos of Maloja Pass in Switzerland, but I was impressed. The deep valleys & high peaks make for very dramatic scenery. And though I really enjoy traveling on trains in Europe, sometimes they just won’t do the trick.

We needed to make our way from Lake Como to the Dolomites & instead of taking a train, we continued on in the rental car we picked up in Milan when we flew into the airport there. And since I wanted to drive over Maloja Pass, we didn’t end up taking the most direct route to the Dolomites, but a very slow, hilly one that would take us all day.

We started from our B&B in Trezzone on the northern shores of Lake Como. Not too far from there, we crossed into Switzerland. The border checkpoint was pretty easy – we just handed over our passports for a quick inspection and off we went.

Italian - Swiss Border Checkpoint

Soon we saw signs for Maloja Pass.

Maloja Pass in Switzerland

These steep jagged peaks are my favorite kind (as opposed to more rounded gently-sloping mountains).

Maloja Pass in Switzerland

I’d never seen such a cute little hole drilled into the rock. I think in the US they probably would’ve just blasted the whole thing so nothing remained.

Rock tunnel Maloja Pass in Switzerland

The first set of curves are nice and open.

Maloja Pass in Switzerland


Town along Maloja Pass in Switzerland

And then right before you reach the summit, the curves tighten up into hairpins.

Motorhome & Switchbacks along Maloja Pass in Switzerland

This parking lot sits on top of the hairpin curves you see in the photo above. You can park, get out and stretch your legs.

Parking lot at Summit of Maloja Pass in Switzerland

A very pretty location for a hotel, if you ask me.

Hotel at Summit of Maloja Pass in Switzerland

Here’s a view looking west, back towards the road we just came up.

View back towards Italy at Summit of Maloja Pass in Switzerland

To Go or No

I really enjoyed this leg of the drive. With the greenery and jagged peaks, what’s not to like? And unlike some scarier mountain roads I’ve been on, this one is super well-maintained and trafficked so it’s not sketchy at all. And if you’re headed to St. Moritz, this might be one of the routes you take because if you continue on the same road, you’ll arrive in St. Moritz in about 15-20 minutes..


Here’s a map of our driving route with Maloja Pass highlighted in purple there on the left. (You can click on the Google map to see it in a larger window.)

Map of driving route from Lake Como to the Dolomites, Italy via Switzerland

Happy & safe travels!

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  1. St Moritz, Switzerland - Passing Through | Photo Travel Site :: Travels with Kim - February 6, 2012

    […] coming up Maloja Pass from the west, we passed through St. Moritz, Switzerland. I just love the color of Lake St. Moritz, […]

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