The Simplon, with well built roads on both sides, is tantamount to an expressway rather than a classic Alps pass road. If there would not be the mountains, the hairpin bends and the avalanche galleries. The Simplon can be crossed usually all year round and if there should be really too much snow on the road, you can take the car train roll-on, roll-off service from Domodossola to Brig through the mountain. This car transit is in the summer out of operation, but there are still plenty of trains taking this route to Milano to relieve the Gotthard route.
In Iselle, on the south side of the Simplon pass, the trains show up briefly with strange loud noises exiting the main tunnel before they escape in the next loop tunnel to further reduce altitude. Its worth to stop here, especially for the landscape.
Further up the pass road, the road becomes indeed narrower, but still allows rapid overtaking until you reach the Italian-Swiss border, separated by about two kilometers of nowhere land. Then you dive into the famous Gondo canyon. just half a mile when you have crossed the Swiss border. Tow serpentines behind the Swiss border, you’ll find a small parking lot with a little picnic area, where you can enjoy this view. This canyon, long time ago, was Napoleon’s most difficult way to pass with his troops.
From there on, the road is climbing faster. You ride through a very small village named Gabi, passing by the village Simplondorf, but actually, you really should not pass by Simplondorf on the wide highway, but ride through it. The village has several guesthouses that offer fantastic local food, at a low prices, with view to the mountains with pikes that have over three and a half thousand meters of altitude.
When you have finally reached the summit after crossing some avalanche galleries, you will be pleased with a wonderful view. If you come up from the South, from Italy, then you need to turn to the right to see the Monteleone and the Kaltwasser glacier. If you continue slowly crossing the pass plateau until you reach the descend, then the Bernese Alps open up as a panorama. Just incredible.
From here you can then easily and quickly ride down into the Valais. The road is two lanes wide in the lower third section and the pavement shows that this road is kept open the whole year. Down in Brig you then can turn right towards the Nufenen pass, Grimsel pass or Furka pass and turn left through the Valais valley down to Martigny and the Grand St. Bernard pass