The San Bernardino Pass, Switzerland

San Bernardino road trips

The Swiss section of this pass road begins in French-speaking Martigny and ends in Italian-speaking San Bernardino, 35 miles away. The San Bernardino Pass is a driver’s dream road, providing some dramatic and striking Alpine scenes.

The road is dominated by castles and churches, gorges and sprawling bridges, bringing you face-to-face with some of Switzerland’s most breathtaking scenery. Most motorists use the pass road as a slow but scenic midsummer diversion on long drives that begin near Basel or Zurich and end in the Italian cities of Aosta or Milan.

Why San Bernardino is special

The pass provides some of the most dramatic driving of any Alpine crossing. It’s worth bearing in mind that this route has been used since the days of the Roman Empire, and was even traversed by Napoleon and his armies in 1800 to invade Italy. Also, you should note that the route is largely only passable during the summer months.

Part of the appeal of the San Bernardino Pass lies in the Domleschg – an area that boasts the greatest concentration of medieval fortresses and ruins in all of Europe. And then, of course, there’s the Alps and beautiful mountain villages and towns such as Splügen, Grono and Roveredo.

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