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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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... 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.
Miex, above the village of Vouvry, in Chablais, is the starting point for many beautiful hikes, especially to beautiful Lake Tanay.
Heart and economic capital of the Chablais and gate to Val d'Illiez, Monthey is known for its festive character and love of culture.
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.
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.
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...
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
Situated at the linguistic border of Valais/Wallis, just East of Sierre and Pfyn Forest, Salquenen, or Salgesch in German, is a winegrowers village where you'll find some of the best Swiss wines. Really.
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, between Sion and Salgesch, is the self-proclaimed Swiss Wine Capital. And this little town deserves the mention, as it hosts the Valais Museum of Wine and Winegrowing, in Castle of Villa, a must-visit!
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.
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.
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.
Viège / Visp
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.
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