St Bernard's Beginner Snowshoe


Beginners snowshoe experience, completing the famous pilgrimage to St Bernard's Hospice. Along the way, you'll also visit Barryland - home of the Grand St Bernard dog and have an opportunity for a Swiss sledge descent!


Day 1: Arrival & Introductions

You'll be collected by your guide at Martigny train station at 16:00 - a direct train ride from Geneva airport. From here we'll do group introductions and you'll have a chance to settle into the accommodation before dinner. All food, accommodation and specialist equipment is included on this trip.

The accommodation will be in mixed rooms with bathrooms and showers, bar and restaurant. We use various places depending on conditions. One place requires a 2km walk from the carpark, so pack light (you can leave things in the van).

Day 2: Snowshoe Journey & Optional Sledge Descent

On this day we'll head out from our base in a mountain valley, to a location that's fantastic for gaining snowshoe skills - learning how to move over the snow with ease. We'll also complete a small journey into the Swiss wilderness, with incredible mountain backdrops.

At the end of the day there is an optional sledge run for the more adventurous. The less adventurous can warm up with a Hot Chocolate or Hot Wine.

Day 3: St Bernard's Monastery and Dogs

An early start will see us on the trail to ascend the 5km, 450m up, the trail to the Grand Saint Bernard Monastery. Once there we will break for tea and food with the monks. Afterwards, we'll make a short journey across the Italian border, before returning back to Switzerland and descending back to the valley. Our final visit is Barryland, to see, and hopefully, pet the dogs. You are then dropped back at Martigny train station. Most people then return to Geneva by train (1h 50m) for an evening flight home.

Please note, this is a high mountain trail and in poor weather or avalanche conditions, another route may be chosen.


21 verified reviews

Rated 5.0

(Mar 2023)

Really enjoyed this trip and even though the time was short, we packed a lot in. Tom was a great host despite feeling a bit under the weather. Accommodation was lovely and staff friendly. Lucky to have good weather throughout. Barryland was amazing. Thank you so much.


(Dec 2022)

Absolutely fantastic! Tom is very thorough and patient. We had 2 amazing days with great views and different terrains that allowed us to practice snowshoeing in different situations. Thanks Tom ! We


(Dec 2022)

Loves the trip. The guide, Tom, is very experienced and looks out for you. He made sure that each of us are well taken care of, comfortable and confident with our heads, and feels engaged. Tom highlighted many interesting sights and stories along the way which enhanced the experience, learning about the landscape and wild lives around. Highly recommended to someone thinking of exploring the journey to St. Bernard monastery, or simply trying snow shoes hiking for the first time! And the bonus (if you are lucky), to taste some yummy home baked flapjack cakes.


This trip is very much aimed at beginner snowshoers for their first experience of walking in the snow. You'll need to be fit enough to walk in the mountains for up to 5 hours per day. If you have always wanted to visit the mountains in winter but don't want to ski this is an ideal trip for you. 

Included - Guide - Accommodation - Breakfast and dinner - Specialist equipment (snowshoes, poles, safety equipment) - Entry to Barryland Excluded - Flights - Airport transfers - Travel insurance - Sledging (20 CHF extra) - Lunches - Visa (if applicable)

We stay in a large shared room. There are showers. It is heated and comfortable with a restaurant and bar on site. Wifi and 4G are available.

Sledging is an optional extra, it also depends on the conditions of the slope. It costs 20 CHF but is a real thrill. We get the chairlift up and then head down at speed. If that's not your thing there is a bar/cafe to wait in whilst others take the plunge. It takes about an hour up and down. If you choose to sledge you are responsible for your own safety.

Yes. Depending on Availability. Double Room Suplement 50chf per trip. Single Room Supplement 100chf per trip. When you book the trip your dorm room is guranteed and if there is availability we can upgrade you to single/ double / twin room. Let us know what you need after you have booked. Availability is seldom a problem. You will pay locally for any upgrade.

The Grand Saint Bernard is a very special place. There may be an opportunity to attend a Latin Mass or space for reflection. Effort and the location certainly give you something to reflect on. 

Documents - Passport - Boarding pass for flights - Money (CHF) - Credit/Debit Card Sleeping - Sleeping bag liner (you can buy these from your host for 25 CHF). They are required in all Swiss budget accommodation. - Ear plugs Footwear - Trekking boots: 4 season waterproof, warm, lightweight - Lightweight shoe's for the evening (or you can borrow hut slippers) Clothing Please make sure that you have non-cotton clothing for trekking. - pair of synthetic under-top and bottom (long johns or similar) - comfortable shirt for the evening - hiking socks - spare underwear - fleece - light down or Primaloft jacket - waterproof jacket and trousers - hiking trousers. - comfortable trousers for the evening - sun hat, warm hat and waterproof gloves - buff or scarf Other - day bag: 35 - 45 litres - all your kit should fit into this bag. - travel towel - dry bag or liner - water bottle: At least 2L - sun protection: Sunglasses, sun cream and sun hat - personal medication - toiletries - electronics - headtorch, travel adapter, phone and charger Specialist equipment is included in the price of the trip (snowshoes, poles etc.)

You will get to meet the dogs at Barryland. 

It is up to you how close you get to them and what is allowed depends on the current health recomendations. 

They are gentle giants though. Soft as teddybears. 

Start: You'll meet your guide at Martigny Train station, at around 4 pm on day 1 of your itinerary. It's easily accessible from Zurich Airport (3 hours)/ Geneva airport with regular direct trains (1h 40 direct, 2h 10mins with a change).  

End: Your guide will drop you back off at the train station, on the final day of your iteinerary. We aim for 4.30pm. Leave plenty of time to return for your fligh or continue your experience with a day in Montreux or Geneva. If you choose to fly home that evening we recommend a flight after 830pm. 

Our normal group size for this trip is 7-12 people. You'll make friends with like-minded people.

The food is wholesome and of good quality. You will be served three-course dinners and buffet breakfasts. You will not go hungry. Vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free and gluten-free diets can be catered for with sufficient notice. For other diet requests or allergies, please be sure to let us know.

Due to the distances and ascents covered on this trip, it is geared towards adults. Therefore the minimum age for this trip is 18 years. However, those aged 16-18 years are welcome to attend in the company of a responsible adult. Please also be aware that accommodation is in mixed dormitories. Should you wish for someone younger to join the trip then please get in touch. We will deal with these requests on a case-by-case basis.

You'll hike from 1800m to 2500m. Altitude sickness is not normally an issue at this height.

It is traditional in mountain regions to tip the guide. It is appreciated and reflects how hard they work to make your trip a success. A suitable amount is 20-50 CHF per person. You can also review and name check those guides who have given you a particularly good experience.

You'll be in the swiss mountains, so there are endless opportunities! You can visit Geneva, Montreux or Lausanne. If you want to ski or do more snowshoeing then this would be a perfect opportunity. There are also some of the world's best train trips starting near here. Your host can advise. Your host will also happily extend your trip with ski instruction or further snowshoeing trips if you would like a longer trip. Ask them for details and prices. If you are on a pre-Christmas trip we highly recommend the Montreux Christmas Market, a market for young and old alike, full of Christmas buzz. Taking a train to the summit of the Roche de Naye. Or for the more adventurous, take a train, bus and cable car to walk between two summits on the Glacier 3000 Peak Walk. If you want to stay to go skiing or snowboarding we can put you in touch with our friends at various ski schools.

Not at all. You can get to us by train from Europe and Britain. Search for trains to Geneva. Here is a nice explanation. The train to Milan actually stops at Martigny too. There is also the Swiss Snow train from London. Just be careful if you have to connect in Paris, its two different stations, leave an hour +. Alternatively, you can drive if you are in a group, or are local. There is plenty of parking.

Watch this video of ski Sunday visiting the GSB. Although hopefully, we will have better weather for our ascent.

Yes. We would always recommend getting travel insurance well before your trip departure date. Even if you sprain an ankle you will need a helicopter pick-up, and without insurance this will be pricey. If you need to cancel last minute, you may be able to claim on insurance for the cost of the trip. Your travel insurance needs to include search and rescue, with hiking up to 3000m. We are sorry that we are unable to recommend insurance providers. Check the normal price comparison websites but be sure to select winter sports cover.

You can leave what you do not want during the days in the accommodation. Some of the accommodations we need to hike into, 2kms. On those occasions, you can leave what you don't need in the bus.

It varies. On ideal days it is cold and sunny but this is a mountain pass and we can have any of the 4 seasons. So come prepared. If there are snow storms we will need to adapt the itinerary.

Whilst we do everything we can to match this advertised itinerary, your safety is our number one concern. We can always get out and about and go snowshoeing but we may not be able to go to the Hospice as it can be a potentially dangerous route in poor weather or avalanche conditions. In such a situation your guide will choose another suitable and safe route.

Very easy, with trains 2 or 3 times an hour. Swiss trains are known for being efficient and this train ride offers some beautiful views along the way. We will pick you up at the train station. The train journey that most take, Geneva - Martigny is part of the magic of this trip. You can use the website sbb.ch to plan your trip.

Swiss Francs, CHF, available at cash points. You certainly need cash at the hospice but other places generally take bank cards.

We live and work in the environment and care deeply about it. This provider is in the process of joining the 1% for the planet scheme and volunteers regularly in mountain clean up operations. You are likely to hear about this during your trip. If you travel your entire journey by train, or offset your carbon your host will reward you with merchandise. Be sure to mention it to them. 

Your head guides are Louise and Tom

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run AlpsAdventures, based in Collombey Muraz.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!