Top tips for autumn
In autumn, as the Valais forests take on their finest colours, sunny days give way to fresher evenings. This is the season of good living, of sharing, of convivial gatherings around a bottle of wine or some Valais delicacies. Visitors and locals alike can take advantage of the mild sunshine thanks to a wide choice of open-air activities throughout the diverse landscapes of Valais. To make the most of this delightful season, we have chosen ten top tips for enjoying our autumn to the full.
1 - Taste the different Valais grape varieties thanks to the Valais Wine Pass
Autumn is the ideal season for visiting the vineyards of Valais and exploring the different grape varieties and the wines they produce. The Valais Wine Pass allows you to taste 10 different wines at a selection of cellars, wineries and wine bars: ideal for experiencing the exceptional wealth and diversity of the Valais winemaking scene.
2 - Visit the national folk music festival
Come and hear some 1,500 musicians play at a variety of public recitals and concerts during this much-loved Swiss festivity. Discover traditional and innovative interpretations of popular Swiss music, take part in the grand procession through the streets of the resort, and enjoy a wide range of gastronomic, wellness and other experiences in a scenic setting with glorious panoramic views. For four days, Crans-Montana will celebrate the joys of a musical tradition that brings the whole country together.
3 -Join winegrowers for the grape harvest at the annual “At the heart of the harvest”
Enjoy an insider’s experience of the grape harvest! “At the heart of the harvest” is an annual event during which winemakers open their vineyards to welcome visitors who would like to see the work that goes into cultivating the vines and help gather the fruit of a year’s labour. Discover the secrets of the grape varieties of Valais in an original way, along with the colourful traditions that surround the harvest.
4 - Tackle the top mountain bike trails
The “Breithorn Bike” trail is a scenic route in the wild Lötschental valley, suitable for beginners as well as confirmed riders thanks to its gently descending profile. Along the way it offers superb views of the Breithorn, from which it takes its name: one of several magnificent summits that frame the valley. After crossing the village of Weissenried, the trail follows the Lonza river as far as Wiler.
5 - Combine sports and gastronomy at the “Marathon of Flavours”:
The “Marathon of Flavours” is a gourmet sporting event that leads participants along the scenic Vineyard Trail between Sion and Salgesch, with five tasting stops along the way. Match invigorating exercise with mouth-watering rewards – and enjoy both to the full as you discover breathtaking landscapes along with select Valais wines and delicacies.
6 - 6. Gather the first chestnuts and enjoy a delicious “brisolée"
Stroll through the beautiful forests of sweet chestnut trees in Fully or Mörel, and gather ripe chestnuts freshly fallen from the branches. Take part in the Chestnut Festival in Fully, at which guests eat 10 tons of the fruit in 2 days. And visit one of the many restaurants that offer “brisolée”, a delicious local dish of roast chestnuts served with a variety of cheeses, dried meats and autumnal fruit.
7 - Discover Chamoson, home of Johannisberg
Chamoson is the largest winegrowing municipality in Valais, with more than 420 hectares of vineyards and about 50 wine cellars; the village at its heart is well worth a visit in autumn. Explore village and vineyards alike on a special gourmet walk. You’ll receive an “aperitif bag” before setting off along the local wine trail, which reveals glorious views of the Rhône valley. After lunch at the highest point of the trail, enjoy a guided visit of a wine cellar.
8 - Admire autumn colours on a walk
The “Tour du Lac de Tseuzier” is an example of an easy walk that families will love. The route starts at the Tseuzier dam and loops around the reservoir, leading between lake, forest and alpine pastures. Valais enjoys more sunshine and milder temperatures than other regions of Switzerland, so conditions are ideal in autumn for exploring nature at its most colourful
9 - See the “queens of the alpine pastures” as they return down to the valley
After spending summer high in the Valais mountains enjoying the lush grass and tasty flowers of the alpine pastures, the cows return back down to the valley between mid-September and mid-October. The descent, known locally as a “désalpe”, is a festive occasion, for which the herders adorn their cattle with flowers and ribbons. Witness one of these colourful processions for a delightful experience of local tradition to the sound of alphorns and cowbells, with a chance to taste delicious local produce and dishes.
10 - Cycle the Vineyard Trail
Explore the delightful landscapes of the Rhône valley as you cycle the 26 kilometres from Martigny to Saillon, passing through sunny vineyards and pretty winemaking villages. Along the way, stop to taste delicious local specialities at a range of producers. At the end, sooth your muscles in the blissfully relaxing thermal pools at Saillon’s spa, Les Bains de Saillon.