Umbrail Pass - Switzerland
Next to the Stelvio Pass in Italy is another scenic mountain pass, but this one is located in Switzerland, connecting Santa Maria in Val Müstair with Bormio in the Adda valley. I drove from the Stelvio Pass and onto the Umbrail Pass, but the better way to drive it from the Swiss side up.
From the charming little Swiss village of Santa Maria, the first stretch of the road is very similar to the north side of Stelvio, with dense forest and tight hairpin corners. The road here is narrow and can just fit two cars wide, if you’re lucky. Limited visibility around the corners also makes this drive even more challenging, but then it opens up to a long straight and a fantastic view.
The climb is spectacular, and the road includes more than 34 hairpin turns. The road is unprotected by guardrails and at places dangerous with vertical drops of hundreds of meters very close to the asphalt. As you approach the Stelvio Pass, look up and in front of you are the last hairpin bends on a mountain wall, and behind it is Italy. When you have reached the top of Umbrail Pass at 2,501m you can make a left turn, and drive up to the top of the Stelvio Pass, or you can make a right turn, and drive down on the south side of the Stelvio Pass to Bormio.
If you are visiting the Stelvio Pass I would recommend the Umbrail Pass as well, since it also happens to be the highest paved mountain pass in Switzerland.