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Tips and Advise for visiting Switzerland by Road to Travel Inc.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What to do in the Valais Region

The Valais Region is famous for its formidable peaks, glaciers, wines, skiing resorts and thermal springs. It is one of the most visited cantons in Switzerland for good reason: it has everything that makes the country such a great place to visit. Here is a quick pick of things to do in the Valais to whet your appetite and send you packing your suitcase.

Enjoy the outdoors

The region is not only home to the majestic Matterhorn but also other 44 peaks, all over 4000 metres high. The spectacular landscape makes it a dream destination for outdoors enthusiasts all year round. In winter, you can enjoy world-class skiing resorts with 2400 kilometers of slopes. In summer, hike more than 8,000 kilometers of marked walking and biking trails running past glaciers, mountain streams, beautiful lakes and verdant valleys.

Taste local wines

The Valais is Switzerland’s largest wine region with more than 20,000 winegrowers and 700 winemakers. You can taste excellent Pinot Noir, Chasselas, Gamay and other less-known local varieties in many independent wineries of the region that are open for tastings.

Take a relaxing soak

There are several year-round thermal resorts where you can relax, soak in mineral-rich waters and pamper yourself. Such resorts as Leukerbad, Ovronnaz, Brigerbad and many others offer hundreds of wellness treatments that can be combined with outdoors activities and gourmet dining.

See the glaciers

You don’t need to be an experienced alpinist to see the Swiss Alp’s most spectacular glaciers. Hop in a cable car that will take you to Klein Matterhorn where you can admire the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and visit an ice grotto inside the glacier. In the Upper Rhone Valley a cable car can take you up to the Bettmerhorn, one of the best locations to view the mighty Grosser Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps. 

Visit Alpine towns and villages

Travel through the region exploring picturesque mountain towns and villages, each with its unique architectural gems and traditions. Martigny has beautifully restored Roman temples and medieval churches. In Chandolin, one of the highest, continuously inhabited settlements in Europe, visitors admire charming traditional timber houses and spectacular vistas. In the tiny mountain-top village of Erschmatt you can learn how to make traditional Valaisan  rye bread from local grains. 

Photos via Flickr by: Matthias Burch, Jessica Gardner, Mark Goebel.

Natural wonders in Switzerland

Switzerland’s awe-inspiring natural beauty makes it a dream destination for anyone. Formidable mountain peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes, verdant valleys attract millions of visitors every year. Although almost every corner in Switzerland is breathtakingly beautiful, there are several very special natural wonders that stand out.

Aletsch Glacier
Aletsch Glacier

Europe’s longest glacier, this living reminder of the Ice Age is 23km long and 900m thick holding up to 27 billion tonnes of ice. You do not need to be an experienced alpinist to reach this natural wonder, just hop on a cable car in Bettmerhorn and be prepared to be awestruck by the glacier’s immensity. 

Rhine Falls

Located on the Upper Rhine, the Rhine Falls are the largest in Europe pushing more than 700,000 litres of water each second in the peak season from the height of 23 metres. You can stand on a platform nearby and hold your breath in awe watching the waters roar past you or, if you wish to get closer to this natural wonder, take a boat trip to the island in the middle of the falls.

Rhine Falls
Lauterbrunnen Valley

The ethereal beauty of this glacial valley in the heart of the Alps inspired J.R. Tolkien's Rivendell and Middle Earth. Flanked by sheer cliffs, the valley is only one kilometre wide but over three kilometres deep. It is famous for its 72 waterfalls cascading from the mountains. The most spectacular ones are the Staubbach Falls, the highest free-falling waterfall in Europe, and the Trümmelbach Falls that carved its way inside a mountain. 

Öeschinensee Lake
Oeschinensee Lake

Locals in Kandersteg will tell you that that Öeschinensee is the most beautiful lake in the Alps. Its turquoise waters reflect the steep, most over 3000m, snow-capped peaks that surround it. To get to the lake hop on the chairlift and then walk a few kilometres. The higher you climb the more arresting the views are.

Photos via Flickr by: Pierre-Alain Maire, Denis Costa, Bauke Karel.