Julier Pass or Passo del Giulio - Curves all year round

Julier Pass: the Alpine road open all year round and one of the most beautiful passes to do on a motorbike in Switzerland.

Swiss motorbike Julier Pass
Aerial view of the Julier Pass - Zoltan Major, Shutterstock

A few kilometers away from Italy by motorbike, in Switzerland we discover the Julier Pass or Passo del Giulio, one of the most beautiful and open all year round.

The pass connects L'engadina to the Oberhalbstein valley through a postcard scenery, with very few buildings and lots of curves to have fun on.

Altitude (meters above sea level)2.282
Length45 Km from Silvaplana
connectionSilvaplana - Tiefencastel
Number of hairpin bends25
Winter closurenone except heavy snowfalls
Road conditions and notesGreat - Beware of snow and ice in winter

Content index

  1. Departure from Chiavenna
  2. Il Passo
  3. La strada
  4. Map and information

Left Milan for the test of Bmw R 1250 R, we decide to "test" the Bavarian naked as a sport tourer, on the many curves of the Swiss cousins.

Chiavenna

Chiavenna, since the Middle Ages, it was a hub for commercial traffic directed towards the Switzerland and Germany. The historic center is clearly medieval in style, with pretty houses, narrow streets and historic buildings such as the famous Palazzo Vertemate Franchi, dating back to the second half of the 500th century.

From here we head towards the Swiss border and Sankt Moritz, in Engadine, passing through the Maloja, gorgeous and fun as ever (albeit too short). Before reaching the famous and luxurious ski resort (where the famous Bernina Express also arrives), a Silvaplana, turn left towards thusis.

Il Passo

The step, also said Julius Pass, placed at 2.284 meters above sea level, is on the border between the Rhine and Danube catchment areas. In fact, the Val Sursette is crossed by the Giulia stream. The pass is open all year round, being one of the key links between the Valley Engadine, Thusis, Chur and the Lichtenstein; for this reason the Swiss always keep it clean and passable, even in winter.

Swiss motorbike Julier Pass
Julier Pass, the descent towards Thusis - Fabio Capone

La strada

The climb begins immediately with a series of very soft switchbacks, and then stretches into a series of very long and wide curves. It does not present any difficulties during the warm seasons, but care must be taken in winter. Along the way we meet the small hamlets of Bivio, Molegns, Tinizong e Savognin, all surrounded by greenery and with a typical Swiss charm. But what will force you to stop often will be the magnificent Swiss landscape that you will find in front of you. Curve after curve you will have a lot of fun driving, but the beauty of this valley will be the real memory that will remain inside you, whether in summer, autumn or winter with snow.

Map and information

The short route ends in the town of Thusis, but not ours and your journey, which can continue to the Spluga Pass, to return to Italy or towardsAlbula Pass, to return to the Engadine and perhaps return to Italy from Bernina Pass.