Bernina Pass and Maloja Pass

From Chiavenna to Tirano by motorbike from Lombardy to the magnificent Swiss passes of Maloja and Bernina, through the Engadine and St. Moritz

Maloja Pass and Bernina Pass in a route through the Engadine, accessible all year round. Variant on Livigno (in summer).

Our motorcycle itinerary starts from Chiavenna, a few kilometers north of Lake Como and Valtellina. At the same point where the road leading to Madesimo and the Spluga Pass starts, you turn right towards St. Moritz, a luxury mountain resort in the Engadine.

Altitude (meters above sea level)2.328 (bernina)
Length108 Km
connectionChiavenna - Tirano
Number of hairpin bends28
Winter closureAlways open - check in winter
Road conditions and notesExcellent conditions, beware of ice in winter

Content index

  1. Chiavenna
  2. Pass of the Maloja
  3. St. Moritz and the Engadine
  4. Pontresina
  5. Bernina Pass
  6. Forcola of Livigno
  7. Information and advice

THEitinerario It is practicable all year round or almost, for this reason we advise you to inform yourself, always before leaving, about the weather and snow conditions in winter. Usually the Forcola di Livigno remains closed for the winter season.

Chiavenna

The road surface is in excellent condition and as long as we are on Italy, let ours go BMW F750GS (the road version of the F850 GS) in its own dynamic riding mode. After the border we begin to dose the gas, because in Switzerland speeding can also become serious problems of a criminal nature… let's avoid. We insert the cruise control and we enjoy the soft and colorful landscape with the lush green that accompanies us towards the Pass of the Maloja.

maloja bernina engadin motorcycle
Passo del Maloja - Picture of F. Capone

Maloja Pass

After passing the municipalities of the Canton of Grisons of Bregaglia and Casaccia, the beauty begins, namely i 13 beautiful hairpin bends of the Passo del Maloja (or Maloggia) which seem to have been drawn with a compass. The road surface is excellent, among other things also in winter always open and practicable. The Swiss are very keen to keep it as a billiards table for the custom-built cars traveling to and from St. Moritz. We quickly climb up to an altitude of 1.815 meters above sea level and then stop on the spur of rock at the end of the pass from which to admire the Val Bregaglia just left.

maloja bernina engadin motorcycle
Lago di Sils - Engadina - Photo by F. Capone

Engadine

Here begins theEngadine. It is one of the highest inhabited valleys inEurope and it is 80 km long. The wind is often strong in this area and the two lakes by Sils e Silvaplana become a playground for those who practice sailing and kite sports. The jewel in the crown of the valley is the luxurious tourist resort of St.Moritz. In addition to having hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice, it is famous for the Cresta Run, a bobsleigh track for the world championships made of natural ice. Polo, cricket and even horse racing are held on the frozen lake in winter.

maloja bernina engadin motorcycle
St. Moritz and the lake seen from above - Photo by F. Capone

Pontresina

We pass the lake of San Maurizio and we turn right towards Pontresina. Here we begin to follow the tracks of the famous Bernina red train, the famous train that follows the Tirano-St. Moritz route all year round in a unique setting, that of Bernina lace with its 4.050 meters, its namesake pass and its splendid glacier.

maloja bernina engadin motorcycle
Lago Bianco del Passo Bernina - Photo by F. Capone

Bernina Pass

The curves are very sweet, the temptation to open the throttle of the BMW engine is strong, powerful and responsive as it is, especially at the bottom. But common sense saves us from a patrol stationed a few kilometers later. We then enjoy the magnificent landscape, colored by the snow still present and by White Lake. We then stop at the top of the pass, at an altitude of 2.330 meters, for a break and to enjoy the magnificent view of the valley, the glacier and begin the descent towards Tirano.

Forcola of Livigno

After a few kilometers of beautiful, wide and fast curves, you can turn left to Livigno, through the Forcola pass (or Forcola di Livigno) open only in summer. After Poschiavo you reach Tirano. Our tour ends here but from Tirano you don't want to stop by Pass of the Stelvio or Gavia Pass? This area is a real amusement park for us motorcyclists!

Useful Tips

If to go to Bormio diverted to Livigno, free port, petrol and many other items are much cheaper than in the rest of Italy. The 1816 craft brewery deserves a stop to eat the grilled cockerel.

Where you'll be