Simplon pass is a 2005 meters mountain pass which connects Switzerland and Italy. It is a very well established mountain pass with restaurants and hotels, with rich history and huge peaks all around it.
It is a hiking paradise and a great place for mountain adventure.
Even if you are just simply crossing Switzerland, take a detour and visit Simplon pass as it offers a great alpine drive and exclusive views to the mountains and valleys. On the road, especially when you cross the mountain pass to Italy, you will find many beautiful small villages and other places to do a hike or simply have a delicious cup of coffee.
Let us dive in and explore what can we do and find on the Simplon pass.
How to get to Simplon Pass?
Simplon Pass is situated in the south of Switzerland, in Valais canton. Valais canton is one of the most mountainous cantons in Switzerland and have such beauties as Zermatt or Saas-Fee. It is a skiing paradise in winter and a hiking wonderland in summer.
Simplon pass is a bit further than Saas Fee on the road and you will have to reach the city of Brig (the biggest city in the area) and take a turn to the right and go up and up till you reach the height of 2005 meters where Simplon Pass is situated.
The distances from biggest cities in Switzerland to Simplon Pass:
From Basel – 227 km, 3h 30 minutes drive.
From Zürich – 200 km, 3h drive.
From Geneva – 232 km, 3h drive.
The closer you get to your final destination on the top, the more gorgeous are the mountains, so the all way up to Simlon Pass is very beautiful and stunning.
Simplon Pass is as well reachable by public transport. From the biggest cities you will start a trip with a train, but later on (in Brig) you will have to change to a bus connection. From Brig it is around 40 minutes drive to the top.
Please have a look at all the timetables and tickets right here: Swiss public transport. As a final destination put: Simplon Pass, not Simplon Dorf (it is a village a bit further from the pass).
Simplon Pass opening times
Even though the pass is at 2005 meters altitude, Simplon Pass is open all year round, which is rather a very nice exception in Switzerland, but of course the best time to enjoy it would be summer as there are many possibilities to hike around.
In winter time it is possible to do snowshoeing tours, ice climbing or even snow kiting.
You can find a lot of useful information about it right here: Simplon pass winter activities.
As well, if you simply want to go to Italy, it is one of the most picturesque options, as this road is free and there are no tunnel taxes or anything else.
Simplon Pass weather
Weather at such altitude can be tricky and very fast changing. So if you are going to spend more time there and do some hiking, take good hiking shoes and a rain jacket.
Temperatures in summer can be very mild, in winter – freezing.
In mid July temperatures get to 20 degrees by Celsius (68°F)
In mid January temperatures get to -14 degrees by Celsius (6.8°F).
Mid autumn and mid spring temperatures vary from 0 to 8 degrees by Celsius (32-47°F).
Simplon Pass webcam
What really helps to plan the trip is the webcams, which Switzerland has plenty of in the mountains.
Webcams help to see for example if it is fogy or raining at the exact time. Fog can sometimes ruin the whole experience, because you can literally see just one meter in front of you, so it is better to avoid such weather. On the other hand – fog can go away in minutes and be changed by sunny weather in no time.
You can find Simplon Pass webcams right here: Simplon Pass webcam.
What to do on Simplon Pass?
What is very cool on Simplon pass – you can find a small village on the top, of course with a hotel, restaurant and some other nice buildings.
What else can you find there: there is a huge parking lot and as well very nice and cozy public toilets (which is always a plus).
On the top of the top of the mountain pass you will find a majestic eagle sculpture which is a statue for the II World war casualties, specifically for the mountain brigade.
From the statue very wide views of the whole mountain pass opens up and you can see many hiking routes all around. It is a perfect spot to start your hiking adventure.
On the top you can find a huge hospice of Simplon which is working all year round and accept guests in this historical building. This is the biggest building on the Simplon Pass and attract many visitor all year round.
You can find more information about the hospice right here: Simplon hospice.
Spend a night on Simplon pass
Right on the mountain pass you will find couple more smaller hotels which have multiple rooms and as well small restaurants. So it is a perfect place to spend a weekend.
There are two hotels right on the Simplon pass, so there will be no need to travel any further.
The hotels are: Simplon Blick and Monte Leone. They have double rooms and private rooms, so it is as well perfect for families. They serve breakfast and there’s a chance to get food all day long.
It is a perfect combo: long hike and then a night at 2000 meters altitude, what can really be better?
Hiking on Simplon pass
Needless to say – it is a hiking paradise. There are trail on each side to each direction to multiple valleys and peaks.
If you do not have plenty of time, just behind the Simplon Hospice is a very nice Alps lake called Rotelsee.
There are multiple peaks already visible from Simplon pass which you can reach in hour or two: Tochuhorn, Hübschhorn, Spitzhorli and many others.
As the altitude is pretty high and weather conditions can change in minute, be sure to take good shoes, some food, water and a rain jacket on any hike you want to undertake. It can be sun shining in the beginning of the hike, but it can change in minutes and heave rain with wind is not uncommon weather over there.
Old hospital and Barralhaus
Two historical buildings are visible just couple of minutes (by car) away from the top of the Simplon Pass.
You can see them from a parking lot or you can drive right to them.
As the mountain pass got its first frequent visitors in the 17th century (trading route) and got even more visited during the times of Napoleon, it was only natural to build a hospital there.
The view from the top to the hospital looks like straight from the history books. It has that medieval aura all over the place.
Just 9 kilometres away from the Simplon Pass is a very cozy little village called Simplon.
With its old architecture and stone covered roofs it looks like a Swiss fairy tale village.
With a population just over 300 people and a location at 1476 meters – it is a place to relax, recover and breath in the air of the Swiss Alps.
It has couple of hotels, few restaurants, bakery and a great cheese place where you can get local cheese: Simplon cheese.
Once you are in Simplon Dorf, do not forget to visit the local tourism center to find out the best hiking trails and all other activities you could do there, tourism center is at this address: Alter Gasthof, 3907 Simplon.
Zwischbergen is the last small settlement on the way to Italy, the border is right next to the church of this village.
There you can have a cup of coffee in a restaurant which has a perfect view to the waterfall right in front of it.
The village as well has an old Kirche St. Marco (St. Mark Church).
If you have more time, you can go up the mountains straight from Zwischbergen – you will have to take a turn to the right right before the border. There is a very narrow alpine road up to a mountain restaurant and even goes up to the place called Furggu.
The drive is one of the most fun in Switzerland with a very narrow road and luckily very few cars. On the end of the road you will not really find many houses, but a perfect untouched nature to hike.
I have personally spend there couple of hours hiking around – it was completely calm with amazing views to the mountains.
Simplon Pass conclusion
The mountain pass in the south of Switzerland is really worth visiting as it has plenty of activities not only in summer time, but as well in winter which is rather an exception.
It is a perfect destination if you are simply traveling to Italy or you are looking for another weekend trip.
It has a perfect alpine drive, many activities on the top and as well some nice villages on the road which enriches the whole experience.
If you have any questions about Simplon Pass, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
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