A long valley carved out by the Rhone in the heart of the Alps between towering peaks, with wild counter-valleys, the Valais is one of the country's most fascinating cantons. A paradise for winter sports and summer hiking, it is the sunniest canton in Switzerland and is also a delight for lovers of fine wines.
Aletsch Glacier
The Aletsch Glacier (in German Aletschgletscher) is the largest glacier in the Alps, with a length of about 23 km and a surface of more than 120 sq km. It is situated in the Eastern Alps of the canton of Valais.
A small village in Valais, above Sion, some 1,500 m (4,921 ft) above sea level. Facing south, it's a very popular destination as official weather statistics rank it as the sunniest place in Switzerland.
At the end of Val d'Hérens, high above Evolène, this village gave its name to a white pine high-altitude species that grows only in the Alps and in the Carpathians. A beautiful hiking and skiing area at the foot of wild glaciers.
A small village on the road to Zinal, opposite the Grimentz valley, untouched by the tourist influx of the two famous Val d'Anniviers destinations. If you love old-fashioned charm and tranquillity, this is a place to stop!
Clinging to the mountain slopes above the upper Rhone Valley, Bettmeralp is a car-free village, just like Saas Fee and Zermatt. You can get there by cable car... or on foot!
Highest inhabited part of Lötschental, 1540 m above the sea, this picturesque village and the neighboring hamlets are Swiss Heritage Sites, and the region is included in the Jungfrau-Aletsch protected area (UNESCO World Heritage site).
Last village before the Grand-Saint-Bernard mountain pass (and the tunnel) connecting Switzerland to Val d'Aoste (Italy).
Bouveret (Le)
This charming Valaisan village is situated at the mouth of the Rhone where it feeds into Lake Geneva. It is known for its beautiful beach and its amusement parks, the Aquaparc and the Swiss Vapeur Parc.
Brig / Brigue
Brig (in French Brigue) is the last town at the upper end of Valais, where very important railway lines meet, mainly the Geneva-Milano and the Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon lines.
Chalais lies at an altitude of 522 m at the foot of the southern slopes of the Rhône Valley, just a few kilometres from Sierre. It is the departure point for the cable car that climbs to the famous village of Vercorin.
The charming Valaisan resort of Champéry is nestled at the foot of the Dents du Midi and Dents Blanches massifs at an altitude of 1,050m.
Nice winter sports and summer hikes destination on the shore of the eponymous lake, 1,500 m above sea level.
This village in Val d'Anniviers has been the permanent home of the famous Swiss travel writer Ella Maillart until her death, and it now hosts a museum in her memory.
Chermignon d´En-Haut
There are in fact two Chermignons, one at an altitude of 920m, the other at 1100m, above the slopes of Sierre. Chermignon d'En-Haut can be spotted from afar thanks to the tall silhouette of its church tower. Since 2017, the two villages have been part of the municipality of Crans-Montana, a famous destination further up the mountain.
An important winter sports resort above Sierre, in Valais. Together with the neighboring village of Montana, it's the world-famous Crans-Montana destination.
This natural lake lies at an altitude of 2207m north of the Gemmi Pass, in the Valais part of the Bernese Alps. Its circumference of just over 4km is covered by a beautiful hiking trail.
A hamlet in the Municipality of Conthey, in the canton of Valais (Switzerland), located at 1,450 metres in an isolated valley on the south side of the Bernese Alps. One of the highlights of any Swiss trip!
A village in Val d'Hérens (Valais), famous for its natural sand pyramids topped with rocks. A quite strange sight!
A very typical village high in Val d'Hérens (Valais), the valley where cows are so aggressive that they fight each other... Every spring, such fights are publicly organized and the winner becomes the Queen of the Cows!
In the Goms Valley, at the foot of Eggishorn, a peak overlooking Aletschgletscher. Goms Valley stretches from Brig to 3 alpine passes connecting Wallis (Valais) to Tessin (Nufenen), Bern (Grimsel) and Uri (Furka). Great area for summer hikes and winter sports.
This small village hangs on the slopes of the Châtelard Hill, on the Sierre hillside. Situated on the sunny right bank of the Rhône Valley, it is part of the commune of Lens, and its winegrowers are renowned for their production of an emblematic Valais grape variety, Cornalin.
Fouly (La)
In Val Ferret, at 1,600 m altitude, a village set in a wild alpine setting. It is a family resort with a bewitching character, and one of the stopovers of the Mont Blanc tour. Winter sports and summer hikes of every level.
The Furka Pass, 2429 m over sea level, is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps, connecting the Goms Valley (Valais/Wallis), to Andermatt (Uri, Central Switzerland), along the Rhône Glacier. Scenes of Goldfinger, with Sean Connery as James Bond, were shot here.
Gemmi Pass
The Gemmi Pass, at an altitude of 2270m, is one of the few passes that once provided a link between the Valais and the Bernese Oberland. It has never been passable by car, and its side overlooking Leukerbad was long considered impassable. Nowadays, a cable car climbs it in both summer and winter.
The Gornergrat is, together with the Matterhorn, the big star of Zermatt. It is a summit ridge at 3133 m altitude offering breathtaking views of the glaciers and the highest peaks of the Alps.
The high mountain pass between Valais in Switzerland and Val d'Aoste in Italy. Home of the famous St-Bernard rescue dog, the one that has a keg around the neck!
Granges is a former municipality that has been part of Sierre since 1972, even though the village is more than 6km from the town. From its beautiful church nestling in the greenery, you can follow a path up to the ruins of its castle perched on a hill overlooking the Rhône plain.
A typical village in Val d'Anniviers (Anniviers Valley, above Sierre). Nice destination for winter sports and summer hikes. Dam and lake of Moiry are just a few km away, with a magnificent view of the glaciers and the Dent Blanche summit.
The Grimsel is a Swiss high mountain pass, 2,165 m above sea level, connecting the Haslital (upper valley of the Aar river, in Bernese Highland) to the Rhone Valley, in Valais. It is situated near the source of the Rhone River.
The village of Grône lies on the left bank of the Rhône, between Sion and Sierre, at the foot of Mont-Noble. The municipality stretches from the plains to the mountains, with two-thirds of its land covered in forest, and also includes around ten hamlets and most of the Réchy valley.
A small village overlooking the junction of the eponymous valley and the Val d'Hérens. At the top of the Val d'Hérémence is built the famous Grande Dixence Dam, tallest gravity dam in the world.
Built on a steep slope, this vertiginous village overlooking Riddes in the Rhône Valley has been secluded during centuries, until the construction of a cable car in 1942 and of a road in 1960.
Many mountain passes connect north and south of the Alps, but most are not accessible by car. Loetschberg Tunnel car shuttle train, between Kandersteg and Goppenstein, is the only connection open all year long between Bern and Valais.
One of the most remote alpine valleys of Switzerland, where during carnival week, in February, the dreadful figures of Tschäggätta, clad in furs and wearing grotesque masks, streak through the valley after dusk and invade the villages to hunt down and frighten anyone who is still out of home...
La Tzoumaz (Mayens-de-Riddes)
One of the villages of the 4 Vallées (4 Valleys) ski area (Veysonnaz, Thyon, Nendaz, La Tzoumaz, Verbier) and a good starting point for summer hikes.
Le Châble
Village in Val de Bagnes. End station of the train from Martigny, downhill station of the cable car to Verbier.
Nestling at an altitude of 1100 metres in a hollow on the Châtelard hill overlooked by the statue of Christ the King, Lens is an independent municipality in the western part of the Crans-Montana tourist region. The village preserves a rich and well-presented heritage and is definitely well worth a visit.
Les Haudères
Surrounded by summits peaking over 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above the sea, a village built where the valleys of Arolla and Ferpècle meet to form the Val d'Hérens (Hérens Valley).
Between Sierre and Gampel, a satellite communication station will catch your eye. It's the big ears of the Swiss Intelligence Service. Have a look to the left: you'll see the little city of Leuk, with its castle renovated by renowned architect Mario Botta.
Leuk's Baths (Loèche-les-Bains in French), at the foot of the Gemmi. The history of the springs dates back to the Roman times and the Gemmi Pass has been an important connection between Valais and Bern in past centuries.
Marécottes (Les)
Les Marécottes is a family resort situated in the Trient Valley, connecting Martigny in Valais and Chamonix in France. A very beautiful area with many attractions for kids and parents alike.
A Gallic-Roman town, Martigny is a favorite destination for gastronomy, congresses, fairs, and it's an important crossroads of the Alps, with mountain passes to France (Forclaz Pass to Chamonix) and Italy (Grand-Saint-Bernard Pass to Aosta).
Matterhorn / Cervin
Matterhorn... or, in French, Cervin... The most mythical summit of Switzerland, or even Europe! South of Zermatt, on the border between Switzerland and Italy, peaking at 4,478 m (14,691 ft) above the sea.
Along with Venthône and Veyras, Miège forms Noble-Contrée ('Noble Country'), a municipality above Sierre. Like its neighbours, it is a south-facing wine-growing village with beautiful views over the hillsides, the plain and the Valais Alps.
Miex, above the village of Vouvry, in Chablais, is the starting point for many beautiful hikes, especially to beautiful Lake Tanay.
Once a municipality in its own right, Montana played a major role in the development of the tourist destination known worldwide as Montana-Crans. Nowadays, it's a quiet little hamlet with charming village houses that bear witness to a past of farming and transhumance.
Heart and economic capital of the Chablais and gate to Val d'Illiez, Monthey is known for its festive character and love of culture.
One of the Swiss resorts of the Portes du Soleil (a ski area ranking among the largest in the world with 650 km of marked pistes and 200 lifts, spread over 14 valleys in France and Switzerland).
Just above Sierre, an old village that once served as a pied-à-terre for the inhabitants of the Val d'Anniviers, who moved between vineyards on the plains and livestock and agriculture in the mountains.
Situated in the upper Rhone Valley, 10 km north-east of Brig, the small village of Mörel is the departure point for the cable cars to Riederalp and the Hohfluh and Moosfluh viewpoints on the Aletsch Glacier.
Nendaz - Haute-Nendaz
One of the villages of the 4 Vallées (4 Valleys) ski area (Veysonnaz, Thyon, Nendaz, La Tzoumaz, Verbier) and a good starting point for summer hikes.
An old Valaisan hamlet, at the gates of Sierre, which once served as a pied-à-terre for the inhabitants of the Anniviers Valley (Val d'Anniviers) who practised transhumance between the vineyards of the plains and livestock and mountain agriculture.
Highest mountain pass with paved road in Switzerland, 2,478 m (8,130 ft) above the sea. It connects Ulrichen (Wallis/Valais) to Airolo (Ticino/Tessin). Open June-October.
Ollon (VS)
It bears the same name as a famous wine-growing village in the Chablais region of Vaud and, like it, nestles in the heart of the vineyards, but it is a pretty Valais village perched on the sunny slopes of the right bank of the Rhône, halfway between Saint-Léonard and Sierre.
10 km from the motorway, at the foot of the Muverans chain, the holiday resort of Ovronnaz enjoys a mild, tonic climate at an ideal altitude of 1,350 metres.
Pas de Morgins
Pas de Morgins (1,371 m above sea level) is a mountain pass in the Alps connecting Monthey in Switzerland and Abondance in France. It's a nice stop for a walk or just to rest a while, as you'll find there a beautiful little lake in an enchanting surrounding...
Pfynwald / Bois de Finges
The forest of Finges (Pfynwald in German) is one of the largest pine forests in Central Europe. It is located in the Rhône Valley and marks the border between the French-speaking and German-speaking parts of Valais. It is a nature reserve of national importance, home to an exceptional wealth of species.
Saas-Almagell is the last of the three villages lined up along the Saastal, the valley above which the famous destination of Saas Fee is perched.
Saas-Balen is the first of the three villages lined up along the Saastal, the valley above which the famous destination of Saas Fee is perched.
High above the Saastal, Saas Fee is like Zermatt a village without cars, at the foot of 13 mountains over 4,000 m above sea level.
When driving from Visp towards Zermatt, in Stalden the alpine valley divides in two: the right branch is the Mattertal, climbing to Zermatt and the Matterhorn, and the left branch is the Saastal, nicknamed Free Republic of Holidays.
A beautiful medieval village on a rocky hill in the middle of the wineyards of Valais, part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites, where was killed Farinet, a famous outlaw known as the Robin Hood of the Alps.
Saint-Gingolph (CH/F)
This village, on the Franco-Swiss border on the south bank of Lake Geneva, boasts the longest beach on the lake, in a unique setting at the mouth of the Morge river, connecting the French Haute-Savoie with the Swiss Valais.
Located in Valais, along the Rhone valley, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, St-Léonard is not only renowned for its subterranean lake, the largest in Europe, but also for its orchards and wineyards.
A small town at the border between Chablais (Rhône Lowlands) and Valais (Swiss Alps), with a prestigious abbey and mysterious fortresses.
Salgesch / Salquenen
Salgesch (Salquenen in French) is a wine-growing village on the language border to the east of Sierre and the Finges Woods (Pfynwald). It is an exceptional wine-growing region, producing some of Switzerland's finest vintages, which have won numerous international awards.
Sanetsch Pass, 2252m above sea level, connects Valais to Saanenland (Gstaad area). It's open only from June till September, but it's really worth the visit!
Sierre is the self-proclaimed wine capital of Switzerland, a well-deserved title, given that it boasts a Museum of Vines and Wine and a wine trail linking it to neighbouring Salquenen, another wine-growing Mecca.
Oldest town of Switzerland with some 7,000 year of history and capital of the Valais, Sion is rich of 4 castles, 4 museums and a beautiful historical center, but it is a modern city, with all facilities and much more.
Thyon - Les Collons
One of the villages of the 4 Vallées (4 Valleys) ski area (Veysonnaz, Thyon, Nendaz, La Tzoumaz, Verbier) and a good starting point for summer hikes.
Situated at 1,100 m over sea level, the peaceful village of Torgon overlooks the Rhône valley and offers a splendid panoramic view of the surrounding French and Swiss Alps.
A village in the Goms Valley (Vallée de Conches), above Fiesch. Start of the Nufenen (Novena) Pass connecting Wallis (Valais) to Ticino (Tessin).
This tiny hamlet just below Flanthey is, like its neighbour, part of the municipality of Lens. You can visit the Castle of Vaas, a beautiful mansion that has become the "House of the Cornalins", where you can learn all about this emblematic Valais grape variety.
Varen / Varonne
Situated between Salgesch and Leuk, Varen (Varonne in French) is a small wine-growing village whose vintages have nothing to envy those of its famous neighbour Salgesch, even if they are much less well-known.
Together with its neighbours Miège and Veyras, Venthône forms the Noble-Contrée ('Noble Country'), a municipality above Sierre. It is a wine-growing village with panoramic views of the Valais Alps, and some fine, well-preserved medieval buildings.
All the beauty and charm of a mountain village developed in harmony with its surroundings. More than 400 km of well-kept footpaths, and a ski area extending between 1,500 and 3,300 metres above sea level in a spectacular mountain landscape.
A typical village built on a plateau 1,320 m (4,330 ft) above the sea, overlooking the Rhône Valley above Sierre. Beautiful winter sports and summer hikes destination.
Together with its neighbours Venthône and Miège, Veyras forms the Noble-Contrée ('Noble Country'), a municipality located above Sierre. It is a village built on a south-facing plateau, ideal for growing vines, which has inspired many artists and delights the taste buds of lovers of fine wines.
One of the villages of the 4 Vallées (4 Valleys) ski area (Veysonnaz, Thyon, Nendaz, La Tzoumaz, Verbier) and a good starting point for summer hikes.
Visp / Viège
Visp (in French Viège) is a town in the German-speaking part of Valais, at the lower end of the Mattertal and Saastal valleys climbing to Zermatt and Saas Fee.
Probably the best known Swiss place in the whole world: situated at the foot of the Matterhorn (Cervin), the most picturesque mountain of Europe, it is an ideal starting point to discover the highest peaks of the Alps, some 4,000 m above sea level.
The last village in the Val d'Anniviers, just 24km from the Rhône plain but 1100m higher, Zinal lies at the foot of the majestic "Imperial Crown", the nickname given to the series of 4000m peaks that surround it. Although the village has become very popular with tourists, many of its old traditional "mayens" have been preserved.
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