Multiday passes for the Alps

By Janet Weigel
This item appears on page 14 of the January 2019 issue.

My husband, John, and I spent several weeks hiking in the Swiss, French and Italian Alps in June and July 2018. At each destination, we took advantage of a multiday travel pass in order to traverse the network of hiking trails via train, gondola, bus and on foot.

• While staying in Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, we purchased the 6-day Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland for 270 (near $306) per person. It enabled us to travel freely on the gondola from Grindelwald up to First Mountain and the First Cliff Walk, then take the train up to the Kleine Scheidegg and over to Mürren to begin many hikes, easily returning to our accommodations, which were within walking distance of the train.

This pass also covered our two days in Kandersteg in the Kander Valley, where we used gondolas to reach the starting points of two hikes.

• In Chamonix, France, the 3-day Mont Blanc MultiPass cost 74.80 ($85) per person for seniors 65 to 79 years of age. We used the pass to ride up the Aiguille du Midi to view Mont Blanc, Le Brévent and Les Grands Montets.

• Leaving France, we went to Zermatt, Switzerland, where we purchased a 3-day Peak Pass for CHF188 (near $189.50) each at the visitors' center, using it to see the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Trockener Steg, Schwarzsee and Riffelberg.

• Finally, we extensively used the Gardena Card (67 per adult for three days) to hike the many trails in the high meadows above Ortisei, northern Italy, our base in the Dolomites.

Our favorite hike was to Seceda in Puez-Odle Natural Park (a hiking area in summer and a skiing area in winter), where the cows grazing in the meadows commanded the best views. Because the weather changed frequently, we often revisited several areas during our stay.

If you plan on visiting these areas, do check out the substantial discounts available by using multiday travel cards.

San Diego, CA