A unique experience walking with St Bernards on the Great St Bernard Pass
By Ingrid Hoffman
You don’t have to be a serious hiker to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Swiss mountains. This summer, I found the perfect solution for families and people looking for a novel and easy way to go walking in the mountains.
The St. Bernard is the Swiss national dog and the Barry Foundation in Switzerland runs the oldest Saint Bernard kennel in the world.
Every year, the St Bernards from the Barry Foundation spend the summer in their place of origin on the Great St Bernard pass and visitors have the opportunity to accompany these wonderful dogs on a 1½ hour walk.
Our children are between the age of 10 and 14 years old and were not very keen on walking. However, when they realised they would be walking with St Bernards, they immediately were very enthusiastic! You can choose to do the easy or the athletic walk. We’re not experienced, but are in good health and quite sporty, so we chose to do the athletic walk. You need a little perseverance, but we found the walk very enjoyable and quite easy to do.
There’s a museum at the hospice and your entry fee is included in the price of the walk. You can find out everything about the history of the pass and the dogs and there’s an interesting exhibition about the vegetation and wildlife in these parts of the Alps.
Prices are €32 for adults and €5 for children. The walks are very popular so be sure you make a reservation in advance via the website.
Thank you to Your Holiday Planner member, Ingrid Hoffman, for sending in this review of this very special experience. To find out more, please visit the Barry Foundation’s website: www.fondation-barry.ch.