February 15th 2013
 - TOP Alpen-Sites




period opened


from - to


GPS - coordinates

the whole year


Pfunds (A) - Mals (I)


N 46°50´12”  E 010°30´30”



detailed pass road map  detailed pass road map

picture collection  picture collection

Googlemaps pass road map  Google Maps map

Reschen dam lake

The Reschen pass, Alpine crossing in the country triangle of Switzerland/Austria/Italy is with its height of 1,508 m one of the lowest crossings of the Alps at all and is chosen by many travelers as a welcome alternative to the Brenner pass. Coming from the Inn Valley it can be entered out of the Engadine county, the Swiss side, via a very nice small country road up from the small town of Martina, or from Austria via Landeck and the city of Pfunds. As already mentioned we are here in the border triangle of Switzerland, Austria and Italy. You will also find in this triangle the duty free zone of Samnaun, which you can access by branching off left from the Inntal between Martina and the border crossing to Austria.

The Reschenpass or Passo di Resia starts, if you ride up from Landeck, behind the village of Pfunds and after crossing the Inn river. From here on, the road climbs steadily upward on the right rock wall of the Inn valley (seen in the downsstreeam direction) and winds through several tunnels and  avalanche galleries. It is worth to stop on the half way after the bridge and turn into a small rest parking lot to get a view down into the Inn Valley. After a short  rest you will shortly reach the Fort Nauders, before the road reaches out from the rock mass, the green plateau of Nauders.

the famous chruch tower in Reschen lakeTwo more serpentines and the road then runs relatively unspectacular to  the high level plateau of Nauders on the outskirts of Nauders until it hits the road coming up from from Martina in Switzerland. About 4km behind Nauders we reach the former border crossing between Austria and Italy. The current picture of this place is not very nice, since the old customs buildings are empty and no more maintained. A little doom and gloom is spreading. Therefore we leave this place usually quickly since also the gift shops mainly carry only silly goods from China and Taiwan.

Just half a mile further on we reach the pass summit and soon the  cute little village Resia to the underlying Reschensee lake. Here a  complete community was resettled in politically controversial circumstances and had to give the space for a lake with a dam to fulfill the former Italian energy policy. Today, only the church tower stands out from the dam.

We leave the village Reschen and follow the pass road further downhill as it continues on the  left bank until we hit in a very short distance toll parking lot. Here  you will find the whole story of Lake Resia vividly illustrated in a small glass pavilion and there is sometimes the possibility to walk on a small dike around the church tower. But this depends on the water level in the lake. It pays itself even in the holiday month of August to take a quick stop, especially since it has dedicated parking  lots for motorbikes. The Reschen Pass road then follows the dam by some avalanche galleries, and then falls down in gentle curves into the Vinschgau county to South Tyrol. Interesting to see are then the two wind turbine  prototypes from the company Leitner in Sterzing which here use the  warm, rising wind blowing up from the Vinschgau.

It is not really recommended to cross the Reschen pass during the summer time to further ride through the Vinschgau to Merano. At this time you will join the jamming club of the endless caravan of tourists, campers, buses, and cars, all heading down into the Vinschgau valley. You should avoid the months of July and August riding the Vinschgau. In the months of May and September however, the Vinschgau Valley is almost empty. If you ride the Reschen  pass in the context of a round trip then you can take a right either onto the Stelvio pass and continue to travel the Umbrail or Ofen pass and mainly avoid the Vinschgau bottleneck. In You simply take a right exit to Malles Venosta on a small street and crosse through nice little Italian villages with narrow streets to shortly enter into the Val Mustair or to the Stelvio pass.

Recommended regional links about Reschenpass - Passo di Résia