The Bernina Pass by bike
The Bernina Pass has an altitude of 2,323 m a.s.l. It is a Swiss pass that connects the Poschiavo valley with the Engadine.
To reach the Bernina Pass, as an alternative to the racing bicycle, you can use the famous Bernina red train, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site , which climbs the slopes of the mountain starting from Tirano, passes by Ospizio Bernina and reaches the very famous and exclusive St. Moritz.
Ascent to the Bernina Pass from Tirano.
The ascent to the Bernina Pass starts from Tirano (440 m a.s.l.) and has a length of 34 km, in an enchanting valley with spectacular views of the Bernina glacier.
The first stretch of road is very demanding, with steep slopes up to Poschiavo Lake. You pedal easily (even on secondary roads and cycle paths) to the village of Poschiavo. Then the climb resumes, very long and demanding, until you reach the pass.
The average gradient of the climb is 7.5%, the maximum gradient is 9.5% for a total height difference of over 1890 m.
Ascent to the Bernina Pass from the Maloja Pass.
Another ascent towards the Bernina, with a much longer duration is the route that first climbs from Chiavenna to the Maloria Pass.
It starts from Lake Como, near Colico and via a quiet cycle path you get to Chiavenna. At this point you enter Swiss territory and the road begins to climb up to the Maloja Pass after about thirty kilometers and 1500 m in altitude.
The last kilometers of this pass are very characteristic, where a series of switchbacks follow each other on the rather impervious and steep side.
Then a plain of about twenty kilometers opens up, where the road caresses Lake Sils, Lake Silvaplana and finally Lake Sankt Moritz.
The panorama is very pleasant, in full Swiss style, where the villages, woods and cycle paths create splendid postcards.
You continue to climb up to Passo Bernina, very often accompanied by the Bernina Express red train, in about 21 km and 600 m in altitude.
To return to Italy, you can go down to Val Poschiavo and return to the Bel Paese from Tirano.
A more demanding alternative is to return to Italy from the Passo della Forcola which leads to Livigno and then via the Passo del Foscagno can easily reach Bormio.