Drivers, the Stelvio pass is a well-known terrific pass to drive, for the scenery and the driving.

What's another notable pass within a couple of hours?

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The only obvious ones to me are the Hahntennjoch and the San Bernadino pass.

Perhaps locals would know other Great Passes in that neck of the woods?

(Unfortunately I could not find a comprehensive "passes of Europe" map. Alert! User Relaxed has found just that.)

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    Pass Umbrail is very close, but I would go for the Pass Dal Fuorn (Ofenpass). – gerrit Aug 19 '14 at 15:40
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    It's not near the Stelvio Pass, but in the Romanian Carpathians you will find the Transfăgărășan, which replaced the Stelvio Pass as "the world's best road" in the opinion of Top Gear a few years back. – hippietrail Aug 28 '14 at 10:21
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    Wikipedia in German has a list of alpine passes, which can be superimposed on Google Maps. – Relaxed Aug 28 '14 at 10:22
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    @hippietrail - what a hell of a tip! dude surely you should click that in as an answer, for the sake of future generations?? – Fattie Aug 28 '14 at 11:52
  • @Relaxed -- PRICELESS. I spent hours looking for just that, goog maps with All Alpine Passes. Thank you! Surely that should be an answer for future generations. – Fattie Aug 28 '14 at 11:58

Stelvio pass is very close to Pass Umbrail. In fact you almost pass through Pass Umbrail when entering Stelvio from one direction.

Pass Umbrail connects to the Val Müstair, which, if you drive uphill, connects with the Pass dal Fuorn also know as the Ofenpass in German. This pass is in and around the beautiful Swiss National Park which has excellent day hiking.

Swiss National Park
Swiss National Park scenery near Pass dal Fuorn. Wikimedia Commons, Hansueli Krapf, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0

  • Totally awesome – Fattie Aug 19 '14 at 18:31
  • 100 for local knowledge. I think in a way "ofenpass" is the best general answer to this question! "It's another famous driving pass, near the Stelvio pass." Thanks again, everyone!!! – Fattie Sep 3 '14 at 9:59

Wikipedia in German has an extensive list of alpine passes. There are similar links in English and French but the German one can easily be superimposed on Open Street Maps, Google Maps or Bing Maps. You could use those maps to explore by yourself.

A few notable passes are:

  • The Iséran, Galibier, Umbrail and the Stelvio itself, because of their high altitude. The Col de l'Iséran is in the middle of the best preserved part of the French Alps (the Vanoise national park, the first national park created in France, together with the Gran Paradiso in Italy the largest protected area in Western Europe). See also Wikipedia's list of highest paved roads in the Alps.
  • The Brenner, historically one of the most important paths across the Alps, because of its relatively low altitude.
  • The col du Montgenèvre is quite far from the Stevio, less well-known and perhaps less spectacular but it is historically notable as one of the main passes used by the Romans (together with the Brenner). The Mont Cenis was also important.
  • The St. Gotthard, Great St. Bernard, Simplon, and Septimer are the most important passes in Switzerland.
  • It's like having a frickin' Professor on call! Unreal, both the link and historical outlook... – Fattie Aug 28 '14 at 15:02
  • +10 if I could for the links. Amazing research. Thank you very much. – Burhan Khalid Aug 31 '14 at 8:33
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    Although the Septimer is scenic, it is worth to point out that exploring it is going to be on foot or maybe mountainbike, as there is no car road connecting to it. – gerrit May 8 '15 at 17:50

A little bit further away (but still in the couple hours limit would be the Grimsel and the Furka pass roads.


The picture shows the view from the Grimsel pass road on the Furka pass road. If you cross the Grimsel, you will have quite a nice view on a lake and you can visit a fortress that's build there.

From there back to Italy (via Ticino), you could then drive over the Nufenen pass.


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