Tour du Val d’Anniviers: Pontis - Chandolin - St-Luc (stage 1)
Panoramic hike high above the lower Val d’Anniviers taking in an idyllic hamlet and two of the valley’s most charming villages.
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This dramatic hike scales the wooded slopes at the entrance to the wild Val d’Anniviers to reach a sequence of delightful hamlets and villages. Either finish at Chandolin or continue to St-Luc: both are served by postal buses. The approach to the start of the hike is an adventure in itself: by postal bus along switchback bends above deep gorges. Starting at a remote bus stop, the trail climbs the valley’s steep, wooded mountainsides via the idyllic hamlet of Soussillon, revealing ever more spectacular views. At Chandolin, the trail levels off for the second half of the hike: a panoramic trail to St-Luc. Each of these historical villages has its own unique charm. Perched on exceptionally sunny, south-facing slopes at an altitude of 1,956 m, Chandolin is one of the highest villages in Europe inhabited year-round. The pioneering photographer, writer and journalist Ella Maillart – one of the great women travellers of the 20th century – spent her final years here; a former chapel houses a permanent exhibition. Other attractions include a wildlife museum, a working watermill, a historical trail, and 4 botanical trails (guide available at the tourist office). St-Luc is also famous for its clear skies – hence the astronomical observatory, open to the public, near the top station of the funicular. Attractions in the village include a planetarium in a converted 19th-century barn; a cluster of working 18th-century watermills; a historical trail; and the « Chemin du Pain » (« Bread Trail »For centuries, locals have grown hardy rye to make bread, which they baked 3 or 4 times a year in communal ovens. Today, visitors can join workshops at which they prepare and bake their own Valais rye bread – in authentic traditional style. Highlights Variety of terrain: dramatic gorges, climb through woodland, panoramic high trail Chandolin – one of Europe’s highest villages inhabited year-round St-Luc – picturesque village, historical trails, working watermills, planetarium