The route crosses 14 of the most beautiful alpine passes and traverses 6 cantons over its 390 mile length, climbing 23,600 metres, and is divided into 20 stages. The new passbook can be stamped at a series of 48 stations along the route with 38 unique stamp motifs, each reflecting natural and cultural highlights of the area.
The Passbook can be ordered free from the Switzerland Tourism Website, where you can also plan your trip and work out where to collect stamps along the way. The site lists 21 stamp stations that "can be access at any time" and details of how to apply for a completion certificate on collecting 38 stamps.
The navigation for the Via Alpina is extremely easy. Maps and a compass are essential on any mountain journey, however, the route marking is so regular, with many of the trails being highly defined and well used, that your map will probably remain unused throughout.
We visited some of the highlights of the Via Alpina last year, covering the sections from Meiringen to Griesalp here.