I’m thinking about taking a day trip to the pass from Verbier this week. Any driving advice? Anything we should include in our trip? Short hikes?
The road to the pass is wide and easy up to the tunnel. Above that it does get narrower and there are steep drop offs - in many places without guard rails. In the mountains you need to know some extra rules of the road and in this case there are two important ones: The post bus has right of way (so you have to pull to the side, back up etc to facilitate its passing) if you see a round blue sign with a yellow post horn on it at the start of the pass. Second - cars going UPhill have priority over those coming downhill. Reason for this is that it is often harder to start a stalled car if you are going up, but not if you are going down.
On the way up you pass through Liddes. The laiterie there is Bagnes 4 and it has one of the best raclette cheeses in the whole Bagnes area!
The Hospice at the top of the pass, and the kennels, are both worth a visit.
There is a nice little hike you can take from the pass up behind the kennels.
What IS fun to do is to drive on down the Italian side - into the Val d'Aoste - and continue on to Courmayeur and maybe have lunch at a place called "la Maison". It is just above Courmayeur at a place called Entreves. The food there is rustic and delicious. Then you can either return to Verbier via the Mt Blanc tunnel, Chamonix (great views of the Mt Blanc) and the Montets and Forclaz passes OR go back down towards Aosta and take the Grand St Bernard tunnel back to the Valais. If you don't want to go up to Entreves then stop for lunch at the Croix Blanche in Etroubles on the way back up the St Bernard pass. They have a wonderful hors d'oeuvre table. If you do any of this check entrance requirements for Italy and be sure you have the right paperwork.Edited: 23 August 2021, 12:19