Stage 2

Zernez - Bormio

The queen stage overcomes two notable passes, the Ofen Pass, which is rather easy for the legs but outstanding in terms of scenery, and the Stelvio Pass, which takes your breath away in all respects and is one of the highest Alpine passes at 2757 metres. But first things first: From the start, the road leads into the Swiss National Park. For the first 25 kilometres there are no towns, only forests, mountains and alpine pastures. Like Alp Buffalora just before the Ofen Pass, whose lush cattle pastures between sparse larch forests would make any Western director go into raptures. Shortly after the alpine pasture, after about 20 kilometres and 800 metres in altitude, the Ofen Pass is finally reached at 2149 metres and the route descends quickly into the Münstertal to Santa Maria, where the road to the Umbrail Pass branches off. However, this is left on the right and the route continues out of the valley across the Italian border into South Tyrol. Until the lowest point is reached in Prad in the Vinschgau. This is where one of the most demanding and spectacular pass climbs in the Alps starts, the road that leads up over 48 hairpin bends to the Stilfser Joch. Behind Trafoi, the last small hamlet on the route, the tree line is soon surmounted and there is nothing but immense mountain scenery and panoramic views. Then the pass looks within reach, but there are still around 800 metres left of the total 1900 metres in altitude that this road climbs. The muscles start to burn, while the eyes suffer from sensory overload. Especially when, on the last few metres, bend follows bend and you could hop from one level to the last, because the steep mountain flank pushes the loops ever closer together. From the top, however, it's all downhill to Bormio. And the descent is just as winding and no less spectacular. Here the valley that the Braulio river has cut into the mountains is narrower. That's why the road had to be cut into the rock walls with several tunnels. However, Bormio is a little higher than Prad on the other side, so the destination is reached after only about 1500 metres of descent. Down in Bormio, over an espresso in the church square, there is perhaps a film playing in your head after this day. And it falls into the category of "great cinema". Maybe you'll treat yourself to a "Braulio", the herbal liqueur produced here. That would fit: After all, the last descent led along the river of the same name.

Pässe: Ofenpass, Stilfser Joch

StageRouteLevelKilometerAltitude difference
Stage 2Zernez - Bormio5101,812.758
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