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Passes in South Tyrol

The holiday destination of South Tyrol is known far and wide for its fantastic pass roads that wind their way up to lofty heights. While some passes are closed in winter, others are open all year round and are a highlight for every visitor to South Tyrol.

Stifserjoch Pass
Stifserjoch Pass

48 narrow bends take you up to the highest mountain pass of South Tyrol

rboehme /

The South Tyrolean passes are located either in the valley or in the mountains. In either case – whether mountain pass or valley pass – a pass signifies the transition to another valley or even to another region. A winding pass road is usually used for the crossing, which is located at the lowest point or an easily passable point of the saddle.

The 10 most famous passes in South Tyrol

Obersee on Staller Sattel
Obersee on Staller Sattel

The lake Obersee is located in the Austrian side.

Internet Consulting - Stefan Tolpeit

The South Tyrolean passes are among the most beautiful passes in the Alps in Italy. Here is an overview of the most beautiful pass roads:

  • Reschen Pass: between the Vinschgau Valley and the Oberinntal Valley in North Tyrol
  • Jaufen Pass: between the Passeiertal and Ratschingstal valleys
  • Stelvio Pass/Stilfser Joch: between the Vinschgau and the Valtellina valleys in Lombardy
  • Penser Joch Pass: between the Sarntal and the Wipptal valleys near Sterzing
  • Timmelsjoch Pass: between the Passeiertal and the Ötztal valleys in North Tyrol
  • Gardena Pass/Grödner Joch: between Corvara in Alta Badia and Wolkenstein in Gröden
  • Staller Sattel Pass: between the Antholz and the Defreggen valleys in East Tyrol
  • Gampen Pass: between the Etschtal and the Nonstal valleys
  • Mendel Pass: between the Überetsch and Nonstal valleys
  • Würzjoch Pass: between the Untermoital and the Lüsnertal valleys

Tips for travelling on the pass roads

The best time to travel over a pass in South Tyrol is definitely the summer season. Tight bends, difficult hairpin bends and steep climbs are easiest to negotiate when the weather is fine, as the slippery road surface can be particularly difficult for motorcyclists and cyclists.

The most important safety tips for travelling on mountain roads:

  • Check the weather forecast
  • Find out about the right of way rules
  • Reduce your speed
  • Choose a low gear
  • Use the entire width of your own lane

By car, motorbike or racing bike

Roadbiking in South Tyrol
Roadbiking in South Tyrol

The winding pass roads are an eldorado for passionate road cyclists.

IDM Südtirol-Alto Adige/Harald Wisthaler


Anna Omelchenko /

The passes in South Tyrol are particularly popular not only with car drivers, but also with motorcyclists and road bikers. The passes in the Dolomites, the Meran region, the Vinschgau valley and the Eisacktal Valley offer a fantastic panorama at the various rest stops, top viewpoints and inviting refreshment stops along the way.

Historically, the Alpine passes were important for trade and cultural transfer. It is therefore not surprising that festivals and traditions are usually very similar on one side of a pass and the other – even though they are usually located in a different region.