Are you looking for a memorable drive through the twists and turns of mountains? Then you must visit and do one of the most scenic drives in the world. It is every cyclist & bikers dream. Every Petrol heads dream. Yes, we are talking about the most adventurous and second-highest elevated pass in Europe, the Stelvio Pass. The Stelvio Pass is situated at a height of 2758m above sea level near Bormio, in Italy. The thrill to rush through these windy roads that are sometimes exposed and unsecured over those twists and turns is simply unimaginable. Even though people make a beeline here just for the thrill of those windy roads, there are more interesting attractions around here which every family and friends should visit.
Best Time To Visit Stelvio Pass
Although you can visit any time of the year to enjoy the surroundings of the pass, the Stelvio Pass is actually opened only in the summer. May to October is the time when the pass is opened, and that is the only time when you will notice the temperature above zero degrees.
Not just winters, summer is also cold here. You will be surprised to hear that even in the month of summer, there is skiing happening here. So, now you know why the pass is closed in winter, right? It is highly recommended that one visits Stelvio Pass in the months of June/July.
About Stelvio Pass
Find below the information about budget, currency exchange, and the activities that one can do when in Stelvio Pass. From Bormio, once you continue driving through SS38 highway, you will end up entering into the pass. Driving through those 48 bends on the slopes of the Stelvio Pass is the main adventure of this place. Be it in your car, or you cycle, We are sure it is going to be once in a lifetime experience for you.
1. Budget For The Trip
Accommodation around Bormio should cost around 120 to 150 Euro per night for a family of 2 kids. If you prefer to cook and eat, many options for studio apartments are also easily available at similar costs. Train tickets from Milan to Tirano costs less than 15 euro per head. So, the whole budget for the trip of 3 days in Stelvio Pass will be around 700-800 Euros excluding the flight tickets.
2. Currency Exchanges
Italy uses the Euro currency and so make sure you exchange some euros before entering Italy. Because the exchange rates at the airports are astonishingly high. Most places in Italy accept credit cards without any additional charges or fees.
You can even have a couple of cappuccinos and some brioche and still pay with the plastics. So, keep your international credit card ready for paying at the hotels and restaurants.
3. Things To Do
Find below the activities that one can be a part of when planning to visit the beautiful Stelvio Pass.
- Driving: Stelvio Pass, on the SS38, is the highest paved mountain pass in the Alps. The climb from the Bormio side is more tame than the other side through the Trafoi town. There are innumerable 180 degrees steep turns that keep your adrenaline in rush always. Extreme care and attention are needed to drive on this pass, especially when you see those high-end bikers zoom passing your car.
- Skiing: The Stelvio Pass is at such an altitude that you will find snow even in the month of summer. No wonder thousands rush to this place in summer for skiing under the bright sun. The summer skiing tradition dates back to the early 1930s when the first courses of alpine skiing were established. The glacier here is an ideal place for learning to ski. Today we have around 20 km of slopes on the pass that is covered by 6 different lifts.
Places To Visit Near Stelvio Pass
Here is a list of all the places that one visits near the Stelvio Pass. All of these places have something exciting hidden in the lap. Take a look!
Once you descend the Stelvio pass on the other side, lies the hamlet of Trafoi in the region where the mighty Ortles mountain rises. The natural scenery around the town is a welcome scene for you after the windy drives on the pass.
- Tre Cascate (Three Waterfalls): Once you park your car in Trafoi, head straight to Trial number 9 through the nearby forest. Cross the small bridge over the chilled water glacier and continue to hike through the mountain. The climb starts easy and slowly will turn out to be a challenging one. If you successfully make it through the climb, you will be gifted with a mesmerizing view of waterfalls. Further, if you continue, you can pass behind the falls, experience the chilled water splashing on your body. Even though they are named as 3 waterfalls, in reality, they are only 2 parallel waterfalls next to next. But the effect we see shows it as three different waterfalls, and hence the name.
- Skiing: In winter, Trafoi offers an excellent opportunity to not just ski, but also the snowshoeing and sleigh ride with the horse. The family ski area on the Ortles mountain offers an astonishingly beautiful panorama of the mountain.
Bormio is the nearest town suitable for staying when you visit Stelvio Pass. It is much more than just ski resorts. Bormio has the hot springs that date back thousands of years. Just a few kilometers from the center, Bormio opens the doors for anyone who loves to enjoy the natural hot thermal waters of the Alta Valtellina.
- Thermal Bath: Bormio thermal baths are open all through the year, and it’s an ideal place for relaxing after the whole day of skiing on the mountain. There are three thermal baths in Bormio – Bormio Terme, QC Bagni Vecchi (Old Bath), and QC Bagni Nuovo (New Bath). The Bormio Terme is situated in the center of Bormio and has both indoor and outdoor water slides for families and children. Bagni Vecchi is the oldest thermal complex where you can enjoy the experience of the ancient history of hot springs. My recommendation to the romantic couples is to try this relaxing, rejuvenating one without fail. Bagni Nuovo is most recent, started in 1836. This place is full of perfumes, lights, and shades of green nature. Jupiter’s bath with purifying qualities is something you must never miss when you are here.
Livigno, known as the “Little Tibet” of the Alps, is the city in Italy that has a special tax status as a duty-free area. Surprised? But yes, it is true that this city does not attract Italian VAT taxes. But of course, they have to pay the Income-tax. Justification? It is the incentive for the people living here since the place is too difficult to reach and also due to the history of poverty in this area.
- Skiing: Livigno is also famous for budget-friendly ski resorts which are often overlooked by tourists. The Mottolino parks and slopes in Livigno offer a great opportunity for snowboarding. The remoteness and difficulty in accessing this area make it the best place for skiing lovers due to fewer crowds.
- Shopping: The special status of duty-free shopping here makes it an ideal place for shopping for living people. Buying from here means a minimum saving of 22%+ which is the VAT in Italy. So, get ready to grab those big brands of Perfume, watches, etc.
How To Reach Stelvio Pass
Stelvio Pass is the highest pass in Italy. Bormio is the nearest town where you can plan your stay. To reach here, the nearest Airport is in Milan (Malpensa, Linate or Bergamo). From here, one can get to the Milan Central station and get on to the train that leaves for Tirano, which is 30 KMs from Bormio.
It is recommended that you pick your accommodation in Bormio, the closest possible town to reach the pass. Staying close to the Stelvio Pass has a big advantage of avoiding crazy traffic by starting early and reaching the Pass before everyone else.
If you are driving, you can reach the Stelvio Pass from both Italy and Switzerland. Keep in mind that even in summer, there is a possibility to see snow on the roads. So, make sure you plan accordingly and get the winter tires for your car. For your own safety, snow chains are a must when you pass through this pass.
As you can see, a visit to Stelvio Pass is not just for the adventures of driving and skiing, but also helps you to return with tons of souvenirs. That too, at a much cheaper cost. What stops you from starting your trip? Get ready to hit glide on those windy roads and the slopes of the mountain in this summer trip to Italy. Buon Viaggio!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Stelvio Pass
A. Italy can be visited with a Schengen visa. So, depending on your passport, you may have direct entry or need to apply for a Schengen visa.
A. Stelvio Pass opens in summer, June/July is the best time to visit.
A. Yes, very well. If you are not interested in Skiing, you can always go trekking and hiking in those mountains and waterfalls.
A. Yes. Apart from Milan, Italy, Innsbruck, and Swiss is also another option to reach the Stelvio Pass.
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