Want to save up to £340 on your summer holiday ,this year? then look no further. The mountains have always been good value in the summer when it’s not as busy as during the winter season, but over the last few years more and more resorts have set up schemes which enable you to get the most out of your holiday. There are various cards, some of which are free and some you need to pay for, but how do you decide which one is best?
To help you decide we have done a roundup of the ones on offer on our resorts and studied them to see what savings they really do represent and come up with our own Top 10 .
Some resorts (such as Zell am See, Kaprun and the Oetztal valley) offer a free card if you are staying with their partner accommodations – in others you have to pay. Each resort has different age bands too so if you are travelling with children this will be a key factor in how much you can save. So here they are (in no particular order)
- Portes du Soleil Multipass (Morzine, France)
This pass is available at a price of 2€ per person per day through participating accommodations . There is also a one off key card charge of 1.50€ per card. The card gives the user free access to the lifts for hiking (not for mountain biking) free entrance to the pools and lakes ( does not include Aquariaz in Avoriaz), free use of tennis courts, local buses and free entrance to the ice rink. There are also discounts of 10% with various suppliers of rafting, the fantasticable, canyon and the summer sledging.
Saturday arrive and go for a swim in the indoor /outdoor pool in Morzine
Sunday rafting and game of tennis
Monday Spend the day at the swimming Lake in Montriond
Tuesday - Canyoning
Wednesday A day hiking in the mountains using the lifts
Thursday Adventure park and Ice skating
Friday Summer sledging and swimming
Saturday departure day
Price would have been 553.80€ for 2 adults and 2 children and with the card costs 428€ so there is a saving of 125.80€
2 Mont Blanc Multipass (Chamonix, France)
This card is payable and is for using the lifts. It is available in various durations – either as consecutive or non consecutive days and includes the following:
Aiguille du midi (must book in advance if you want to go up after 9am), Bossons chairlift, buy one, get one free on the summer sledge,reduced rate on the tourist train in Chamonix, step into the Void (access guaranteed before 9am), access to high altitutde pool in Courmayeur and 50% off liftpass prices (not Funivie Skyway Montebianco). Also 40% off Jardins des Cimes in Pass
There is a one off smart card charge of 2€ pp. Family pass for 3 consecutive days would cost 280.80€ and on the following programme would save you 111.60€
Day1 Aiguille de midi and Step into the Void
Day2 Montenevers train tio the Mer De Glace and Ice caves and 2 runs on the summer sledge each
Day3 Brevent lift for hiking and walk back down
3.Premium Card ( Alped’Huez, France)
The premium card gives free access to over 20 activities at the Palais de Sports as well as free entrance to the Outdoor pool in resort. It is possible to buy a premium card with lifts included for a supplement
Saturday arrive in resort . Swim in the outdoor pool
Sunday Summer sledging and ice skating, swim at the end of the day
Monday mountain biking for one day Swim at the end of the day
Tuesday rafting in the Venosc valley
Wednesday Mini golf, tennis, adventure trail and Climbing wall
Thursday Day hiking in the mountains, take the lifts up and walk around the lake – take a picnic
Friday Archery, tennis and Swimming pool
Saturday Departure day
The cost of this for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) for a 6 day premium pass with lifts is 224€ and with the card you would save 100€ on the above programme .
4.Oetztal Premium Card (Oetztal Valley, Austria)
There are 2 different cards available in the Oetztal valley – the premium card is free of charge for anyone at a participating accommodation If you aren't you aren’t you can buy the Oetztal card, which offers the same benefits. If you are staying in one of the accommodations your pass will be valid for your stay. If you are buying a pass then there are 3,7 or 10 day passes.
Included is one daily uphill/downhill ride on the lifts, 1 admission per stay to the lake area at Area 47 ,1 entrance to the Aquadome per stay, 1 daily entrance to the fun park, 1 daily play of either minigolf or pitpat, 1 day of bike hire per stay (supplements payable for e bikes or downhill bikes), 1 daily entrance to one of the lakes or pools, 1 daily return on a bus for hiking.
So an example week might look like this:
Saturday – arrive and settle in. Game of crazy golf or PitPat and/ or a swim
Sunday - Pool or lake and a game of crazy golf
Monday – Bike hire for a day
Tuesday - Area 47 for a day by the lake
Wednesday – Archery taster followed by pool/lae visit
Thursday - Hiking using the mountain lifts
Friday – Aquadome and a game of Pitpat
Saturday – departure day
A family (2 adults and 2 children) would save 344.80€ if staying at a partner accommodation and would still save 116.80€ if they had to buy the cards. You could book one of the discounted activities at Area 47 (ie; rafting) and get 10% off plus another day at the lake there. (top tip – it’s quieter on a week day and often the activities are cheaper).
5.Summer card (Zell am See/Kaprun, Austria)
This pass is only available if you are staying at participating accommodations – we have indicated these on our website so you can see if the hotel/apartments you are looking at include this. It is not possible to purchase this card.
The card includes a return trip on the Schmitten cable car in Zell am See and one on the Kitzsteinhorn in Kaprun. (use of lifts for glacier skiing not included) It also includes a boat trip on the lake and access to the Lido and the indoor pool in Zell am See. You can also visit the following free of charge Zell am see town museum, Krimml waterfalls, Kitzloch Gorge, the wildlife and leisure park, National park worlds in Mittersill, The tourist mine in Leogang and both Vorderkaser gorge and Seisenberg gorge
Saturday arrive and go for a swim in the indoor pool
Sunday Swimming in the lake
Monday take the lift up the Schmittenhohe and hike back down (self or guided)
Tuesday Visit the wildlife and leisure park
Wednesday take the lift to 3000m in Kaprun to visit the Top of Salzburg” .Boat trip on the lake at Zell am See
Thursday visit National park world in the morning and Krimml waterfalls
Friday -city express lift up to the dragons fire adventure and play frisbee golf
Saturday departure day
At a participating accom for 1 wk a family of 4 would save approx 402.40€.
6.Schladming-Dachstein Summer card
Another card which is free if you are staying with one of the partner accommodations (of which there are over 1000!) Valid from 1pm on your arrival day and including your departure day this card lets you try lots of activities free of charge and gives discounts on others.
Free activities include access to indoor and outdoor pools, lakes, mountain lifts, adventure parks, guided hikes, laser biathlon, introductions to archery, Nordic walking, kayaking, climbing and kids horse riding . On top of this there are discounts off rafting, canyoning, via ferrata, archery, ziplining, hydrospeeding , llama and alpaca treks and much mor
Saturday arrive and go for a swim in the Schladming Adventure pool
Sunday Minigolf and laser biathlon followed by ziplining
Monday Take the mountain lift up to the Planai adventure park
Tuesday intro to paragliding followed by intro to kayaking
Wednesday adventure pool (haus in ennstal) and a game of Pitpat
Thursday Dachstein glacier lift and walk across the suspension bridge and try the Sky walk (option of guided hike)
Friday taster ride on an Icelandic horse,then a lake swimwith slides in Lassing
Saturday departure day
Based on a family of 4 this saves over 370€ - you would just need to pay for ziplining and the planai adventure park (these are discounted rather than free- costs for 2 adults and 2 kids is 104€ for ziplining and 64€ for adventure park)
7. Silvretta Card, Paznaun Valley –Ischgl/Galtur/Kappl , Austria
This card is free of charge if you are staying in the Paznaun valley and includes free use of all the open mountain lifts, bus transportation from Landeck to Bielerhohe, free entrance to indoor and outdoor pools in Ischgl and Galtur and also to the swimming lake in See and free use of the Silvretta High Alpine road.
There are many free guided hikes organize and they are helpfully divided into 3 categories – demanding, less demanding and suitable for prams. The tourist office organizes a weekly programme of activities at reasonable prices too and indicate if they are suitable for families all together, small children, adults only or kids from 11 to 16 (parent free)
Saturday arrive and settle into your hotel – go for a swim
Sunday water park . evening introduction to the weekly events , lantern hike
Monday half day guided hike in Galtur or a GPS treasure hunt
Tuesday alpine cooking (families) or mountain biking (teens )
Wednesday sunrise hike or fishing/bbq/disc golf (for teens – parent free zone)
Thursday family rafting
Saturday departure day
There are free hiking options each day, but this is an example programme with other activities – For a family with younger children this programme would cost 396€ - and with older teens who might prefer the treasure hunt.mountain biking and fishing then it would cost 456€. We estimate savings of at least 100€ if the family uses the pools/waterpark and some of the mountain lifts.
8. Lowealpin card, Saalfelden/Leogang, Austria
This card is free of charge from partner hotels and gives you one free return on the Asitz cable car each day or with the Saalbach Hinterglemm cable cars, unlimited free lifts up to the summer toboggan in Saalfelden , free entrance to the swimming lakes and open air pools, free guided hikes, one free entrance to the mining museum per stay, free use of the Saalfelden City bus (lines 61 and 62), one free entrance to the castle , a free herbal workshop and a hiking taxi trip up to 5 km with participating taxi companies.
Saturday arrive and go for a swim in the lake
Sunday guided mountain hike
Monday swimming at the pool
Tuesday visit to the mining museum
Wednesday Leogang cable car up to the senses park
Thursday guided hike
Friday swimming in the lake or pool and summer tobogganing
Saturday departure day
A family of 4 would make savings of around 154€
9. Free access card, Villars, Switzerland
From May to October, the resorts Villars-Gryon-Les Diablerets offer you the possibility to personalise your program by selecting from a large range of more than 35 activities and facilities. This offer includes the use of every kind of alpine transports (gondolas, trains, buses), the access to the sports infrastructures (the brand new swimming pool, ice rink, minigolfs), the practice of mud bike, archery, paddling, tennis on twelve outdoor courts, treetop adventure park at the bottom of the glacier, an indoor adventure park dedicated to children and even an initiation to golfing facing Mont Blanc. The hikers will enjoy a total of more than 550km of trails, meanwhile mountain bike lovers will hurtle down the 135km trails specially prepared for them.
The Free Access Card is free of charge to anyone spending a night in Villars, Gryon or les Diablerets (in a hotel as well as in an apartment). A daily pass will only cost CHF 12.-, while the season pass will be CHF 65.- knowing it will last from the 25th May to the 22nd October. Special offer for the families: it’s free for all children up to 9 years old.
Saturday Arrive and go for a swim at the Centre des Sports
Sunday take the mountain lifts up and go for a hike and picnic in the mountains
Monday train to minigolf , small electric go karts, and playground in Gryon . Back for a swim in the outdoor or indoor pool
Tuesday tennis and trottin‘herbe (grass scooters)
Wednesday For’emotions trail – high ropes course
Thursday Friday Golf practice at the driving range or golf centre and ice skating 46chf
Friday – mountain hike using lifts or bus to Les Diablerets and try archery or the indoor adventure park at the sports centre – or adventure parc and mini golf
Saturday departure day
The cards are valued at 65chf for anyone not staying in resort so there is a saving of at least 260chf
10.The Dolomeetcard, Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
There are various prices for this card – public price and then a reduced price for anyone with a Guestcard and each one has a high season and low season price.
Once you have a Dolomeet card you can use the summer lifts, the local transport and many activities free of charge as well as free access to many of the local museums and castles.
Saturday arrive and go for a swim
Sunday take the lifts up into the mountains – hike and picnic
Monday mountain biking still need to hire bikes and guide
Tuesday adventure park in the morning, ice skating in Pinzolo in the afternoon
Wednesday cultural day – visit one of the castles or museums included
Thursday river rafting in Dimaro
Friday take the 5 Laghi lift for a hike. Val Rendena spa in the afternoon.
Saturday departure day
There are also offers for families so the card is free for children under 13 for each paying adult. 30% discount for children 13 to 16yrs. 50% off for children under 13 if not with a paying adult.
The cards cost 90€ for 6 days in high season (30 July to 26 August) and 81€ in low season (17 june to 29 July and then 27 August to 17 September) If you have a guest card from your hotel these are reduced to 55€ and 50€
This cost for this would be over 700€ without the card – a family of 4 with 2 paying adults and 1 x child of 10 and one of 14 would save at least 100€ during high season without a guest card or at least 250€ if they had a guest card. There is also a 3 day card available.