There are two possibilities to enter the Penserjoch pass road from the South. Both are beautiful, on different ways. If you take the route from Bolzano, you will pass the famous Runkelstein castle, which sits on a steep rock in the middle of the canyon entry in a fantastic rocky landscape. The road follows north the river Torrente in uncounted curves and innumerable rock tunnels up to the pass summit. The second entrance can be made across the Ritten mountain. A very narrow country road runs with many curves and serpentines along the steep cliffs down into Sarntal valley. Both roads meet at the valley ground at a small wooden fast-food station, where you can have French fries with Tyrolean sausage.
From here the road continues valley upward until you reach a plateau. We always recommend to ride the Penserjoch pass road from the south, if possible in the morning. Then the sun stand is low and the shadows transform the valley into a high-contrast picture scenery. Approaching the village Sarntheim (ital. Sarentino) the valley opens up to a small plateau. This country side is meager and shows little vegetation. Steep rocks pile up to the sky and the road continues to lead up through green meadows.
At the end of the Sarntal valley, the pass road takes a light right curve and bends into the Pensertal valley where it gains now above the timber line at height. The road surface is terrific with endless grip, the curves clear and even the serpentines are easy to tackle. Pure riding fun. When reaching the summit you will find a country guesthouse that offers local specialities for a good price ratio and you can enjoy a 360 degree panoramic view back down to the Pensertal valley and in the opposite direction into the Eisacktal valley.
The road from the pass summit down to Sterzing leads most of the time through a large forest. From time to time however a gap opens with parking possibility. Here you should not simply pass by, but make a break and enjoy the view into the Eisacktal valley. A magnificent mountain world. From Sterzing you may take left either across the Jaufenpass or the Brennero pass, or take a right into the Eisacktal back to Bolzano or take a left down the road in the Eisacktal valley at Waidbruck towards the central dolomites with its famous Sella rock. Lots of beautiful options.