Umbrail Pass - Switzerland
Starting from charming Swiss village Santa Maria Val Mustair is the swiss Umbrail Pass
Next to Stelvio Pass in Italy is another scenic mountain pass, but this one is located in Switzerland. The drive up on Umbrail Pass starts from the charming little Swiss village Santa Maria Val Mustair. The first stretch of the road is very similar to the north side of Stelvio, with dense forest and tight hairpin corners. If two wide cars meet you might very well find yourself reversing as close to the side of the road as you possibly can, to free up enough space so the other car can pass. Limited visibility around the corners makes this drive even more challenging, but then it opens up to a long straight and a fantastic view.
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 2,501 m you can make a left turn, and drive up to the top of Stelvio Pass, or you can make a right turn, and drive down on Stelvio Pass to Bormio instead.
Umbrail Pass is a nice drive throughout the season it stays open, usually from June to end of October. Drive it in the summer and you might pass by cows grazing in the fields, creating a very idyllic Swiss postcard landscape. Or postpone your journey to late October and you might find yourself cruising through winter wonderland with tons of snow, a landscape that especially on a sunny day will without a doubt wow you.
If you are already planning a trip to Stelvio Pass you might regret it later if you do not test drive Umbrail Pass as well, since it also happens to be the highest paved mountain pass in Switzerland. It might mean you end up driving a loop just to be able to experience them both, but if what you are driving is a dream it just means you will have twice as much fun!
Map link: goo.gl/maps/Kv9j2AAuE352