Valais is not an artificially created leisure park. It is a home to many people, who continue actively to make their mark on this region, from north to south, with their traditions and customs. For example, cow fights have only recently become an iconic symbol of the Valaisian way of life. Of course Carnival also deserves a mention, although few of the dramatis personae from the Carnival past have survived to the present day. Among them are the empaillés and pelluches in Evolène, and the Tschäggättä in Lötschental.
Fancy a tour of artistic discovery in Valais? Then just look around you. At the Valais Art Museum in Sion you can follow in the footsteps of art history, viewing seminal works of art: paintings depicting life in Valais or inspired by the Valais landscape. If traditional art is more your thing, the Gianadda Foundation in Martigny will meet your needs.
Music & festivals
Valais was the site of the first open air music festival in Switzerland back in the 1970s, specifically the forest of Sapinhaut. This positive energy has never left the region. In the winter, as in the summer, you can feast your ears with the sound of Open Air Gampel, Zermatt Unplugged, Caprices Festival, Pulp Festival and the Festival des Cinq Continents. But Valais also has something to offer for lovers of classical music. The charm of the musical village of Ernen is irresistible. A visit to the festivals in Verbier, Crans-Montana and Zermatt is a must for lovers of classical music. The canton's capital city of Sion also offers a festival, which combines violins and voice in a wonderful way.
Music and festivalsSierre Blues
The must-see attraction of these benefits is increased fivefold by the beauty of the environment where they take place, nestled in the heart of the town of Sierre surrounded by lakes and mountains. A blues event not to be missed!Details about the festival
Music and festivalsOpen Air Gampel
Every year 80,000 spectators celebrate “across the Lötschberg” on the Valais valley during the third August weekend. “Gampel” is thus one of the largest Swiss open air events.Details about the festival
Music and festivalsVerbier Festival
The event offers everything that your heart desires, from the pomp of symphonic masterpieces to the intimacy of its solo recitals.Details about the festival
Music and festivalsZermatt Unplugged
Founded in 2007 by Thomas Sterchi and Marco Godat as a singer and songwriter festival, Zermatt Unplugged has increasingly developed into a meeting point for fans of unadulterated sounds.Details about the festival
Music and festivalsFestival Musikdorf Ernen
Experience the finest piano performances and new interpretations of baroque music. We also invite you to discover fabulous music at our chamber music festivals.Details about the festival
Music and festivalsCaprices Festival
Caprices hosts international stars for prestigious concerts. A torrid atmosphere will electrify Crans-Montana for crazy evenings until the early hours !Details about the festival
Set out on a discovery trail and learn how the various tribes made their mark on the identity of Valais. Sion was built over a necropolis which is one of the largest in Europe, going back to the early Stone Age. The Roman era left its mark on Martigny, and archaeologists have uncovered Roman arenas. An audio-visual collection is available at the Valais Media Library, where you can browse through the history of Valais. 2,000 years of history await you in Saint-Maurice, the main centre for religious cultural treasures. Reminders of the Middle Ages can be found throughout Valais: at Stockalper Castle in Brig, and at the Tourbillon and Valeria castles in Sion.
The art of dry-stone walling.
In perfect harmony with nature, 1,600 kilometres of dry-stone walls follow the curves of the Rhône valley, supporting the terraced vineyards that adorn the sunny slopes. These interconnecting walls are often hundreds of years old and form complex patterns; sturdy, long-lasting and eco-friendly, they protect the vineyards from flooding, prevent soil erosion and provide efficient drainage while promoting biodiversity. Throughout Valais, wine trails through the vineyards offer a chance to see the art of dry-stone wall construction close-up: an ancient expertise, passed from generation to generation, which has now been recognised by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity.