With an elevation of elevation of 2.005m (6,578ft), driving the scenic iconic Alpine Simplon Pass is beautiful drive for everyone. Located in the canton of Valais, the Simplon Pass is one of the stunning Swiss Alpine passes open to the public.
This location has unobstructed views, stunning waterfalls when the snow is melting and an overall beautiful charm of nature. It has a special charm like you drive into a whole new world, where you may even spot some local wildlife.
Read on to see our experience driving at the Simplon Pass during early Summer and get inspired to drive this beautiful location yourself!
About Simplon Pass
The route was once used by smugglers and mercenaries up until the 17th century, as the narrow Gondo Gorge was considered impassable, even by Roman Era architects. We see the best suggested months to visit are from March to October, but check local openings of the pass incase of bad weather.
The Simplon Pass has numerous hiking routes, with it even often open in winter for some snowy explorations. These hiking routes lead up to many of the local mountains, such as Wasenhorn, Hubschhorn, Breithorn (Simplon) and Monte Leone. There is also a lake called Rotelsee with elevation 2,028 m (6,654 ft), which is very pretty all year round to see.
The Simplon Tunnel through the mountains here was built near the pass only in the early 20th century to carry rail traffic between the two countries. Opened officially in 1906, it is a 20 km (12 miles) long tunnel.
There is also the Simplon Tunnel Train that you can take your car on (which we also enjoyed!).
TIP: When visiting, check if the pass is open and it’s conditions at the following site!
We love visiting the Valais canton, such as our wintery weekend experience to Zermatt
Our Drive Over The Simplon Pass
We really enjoyed the drive, which we visited during early Summer with a sunny day. From the photos you can still see the snow at the peaks of the local mountains.
We decided to drive the route from Ticino, taking the beautiful scenic route through the Centovalli valley. Which you can also do with the train to Domodossola. It’s a one lane valley route through cute mountain villages such as Intragna and Folsogno.
Once we arrived at the Pass, it was not too busy and we didn’t have any traffic or issues. We loved that there are many areas to stop at along the road, with the landscape being very picturesque. You will want to stop everywhere!
For a bite to eat, we love stopping at the Alpine Pass restaurants. They always have the best views with great seating. There is usually one place at each pass to get refreshments. Such as a hotdog we bought at the San Gottardo Pass!
We stopped at Hotel Monte-Leone, which has a beautiful backdrop of the mountains. You can buy warm drinks, snacks and even souvenirs here. We had a warm drink and enjoyed the early Summer sunshine.
Tip: Make sure to check the stone monument depicting an eagle, the symbol of the 11th Alpine Brigade of the Swiss Army. The monument is nine meters high and located not far from the hotel, so you can’t miss it!
We wanted to stay longer for a little hike, but we had some other plans exploring and couldn’t stay too long. Though its a scenic pass that we definitely want to hear back!