For over 30 years I’ve been taking groups into the gondolas high in the Alps. Whether filled with skiers in the winter or hikers in the summer, there’s a happy energy in that glass-and-steel bubble of mountain joy–especially when the Swiss Alps are out in all their glory. The Schilthornbahn takes us effortlessly (in four stages) to the 10,000-foot summit of the Schilthorn in the Berner Oberland. For about $50 per person (there’s a double discount for the group rate and for an early morning departure) we ride up and down. Sure that’s a lot of money. But when you’re surrounded by cut-glass peaks and breathing fresh mountain air, it’s one of Europe’s great deals. From a value point of view, remember that–all over the Alps–early lifts are discounted and, because of weather patterns, the early birds enjoy the crispest views. The lesson: Pay less and see more by ascending early.
If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.