The finest panoramic excursions in Valais

The pleasure of an outing starts the moment you set off: the journey is part of the adventure, especially when you are travelling through the ever-changing landscapes of Valais. As you relax in your train, bus or cable car, you admire the vineyards and mountain summits, watercourses and idyllic villages as they pass before your eyes. Here is our selection of the finest excursions in Valais that combine scenic journeys, dramatic vantage points and interesting visits.

A ride on the Gornergrat Bahn

A ride on the Gornergrat Bahn

Europe’s highest open-air rack railway is the Gornergrat Bahn, which carries passengers from Zermatt through spectacular landscapes of deep gorge, larch forests and alpine meadows up to the Gornergrat ridge. Here you enjoy breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa massif, the Gorner Glacier and 29 summits higher than 4,000 metres.

High adventure with the Mont-Blanc Express and VerticAlp

High adventure with the Mont-Blanc Express and VerticAlp

Starting in Martigny, the route of the Mont-Blanc Express offers a fine chance to marvel at the deep Trient gorges, spanned by the impressive Gueuroz bridge. The train continues through Les Marécottes, where you can stop to visit the alpine zoo or take a dip in the natural rock swimming pool. When you reach Le Châtelard, take the funicular, one of the world’s steepest, up to Les Montuires, where you board a miniature panoramic train that will carry you to the foot of the Emosson dam. From here, ride the minifunicular to reach the spacious Emosson esplanade that looks out over the reservoir.

Mont-Blanc-Express, Valais, Switzerland

Cable car to the Grande Dixence dam

Cable car to the Grande Dixence dam

The bus ride from Sion up to the Grande Dixence dam offers an opportunity to admire the impressive church in Hérémence and see the natural rock pyramids of Euseigne. When you arrive at the foot of the world’s tallest gravity dam, a cable car will carry you up to the top of the dam. From here you can set off on a walk along the Ibex Trail, or enjoy a blast of adrenalin as you hurtle down the 700-metre zip line that runs alongside the wall of the dam.

Grande Dixence, Val d’Hérémence, Valais, Switzerland

Three panoramic View Points to admire the mightiest glacier in the Alps

Three panoramic View Points to admire the mightiest glacier in the Alps

In the Aletsch Arena holiday region, three dramatic vantage points offer thrilling views over the Great Aletsch Glacier. The rides up are mesmerising, too. From Mörel, ride a cable car and then a gondola up to Moosfluh; from Betten, ride a cable car and then a gondola up to the Bettmerhorn; or from Fiesch, ride a gondola and then a cable car up to the Eggishorn. Each “View Point” offers an awe-inspiring panorama taking in the largest glacier in the Alps and the surrounding peaks.

Great Aletsch Glacier, must-see sights in Valais, Valais, Switzerland

Fairy-tale ride in Grächen

Fairy-tale ride in Grächen

Board a gondola unlike any other: while you admire the glorious landscapes of the Grächen region, you explore an imaginary world during the whole ride up to Hannigalp. The gondolas have an audio system that allows you to listen to a much-loved story, with each cabin individually decorated to match: a fairy-tale experience that will delight passengers of all ages.

Graechen-Maerchenfahrt, Valais, Switzerland

To the top of the Gemmi Pass cliffs

To the top of the Gemmi Pass cliffs

From Leukerbad, a cable car carries you up to the Gemmi Pass. The ride up the steep mountainside is electrifying: you feel you could almost touch the cliffs. Up at the Gemmi Pass, an observation platform suspended 250 metres above the abyss offers superb views over Leukerbad way below and to the snow-capped Valais peaks on the far side of the Rhône valley.

Panorama from Gemmi Leukerbad Valais Wallis Schweiz Switzerland

360° views from Croix de Culet (Champéry)

360° views from Croix de Culet (Champéry)

The cable car from Champéry up to Croix de Culet promises a sensational ride with magnificent views of the surrounding peaks. The summit station provides an unrivalled vantage point for admiring the iconic serrated massif of the Dents du Midi and the Dents Blanches: marvel at the 360° views and perhaps stop to enjoy a delicious meal at the panoramic restaurant.

Croix-de-culet, Valais, Switzerland

An incomparable vantage point by the Plaine Morte Glacier.

An incomparable vantage point by the Plaine Morte Glacier

From Crans-Montana, a gondola carries you up to Les Violettes. From here, you take a Funitel cable car which brings you to a ridge just above the Plaine Morte Glacier. Admire the sweeping views of the Rhône valley and its side valleys, and try to pick out the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc among the string of snow-capped peaks lined up before you.

Plaine Morte, Valais, Switzerland

To the top of the Mont Fort

To the top of the Mont Fort

At an altitude of more than 3,300 metres, the Mont Fort is the highest point of the “4 Vallées” ski/holiday region and offers stunning panoramic views: from the 4,000-metre peaks of Valais, including the Matterhorn and Grand Combin, as far as Mont Blanc. From Nendaz (Siviez) or Verbier, ride up to the Col des Gentianes by cable car, and then glide over the Tortin Glacier in another cable car up to the Mont Fort. Thrill-seekers can test their nerves on Europe’s highest zip line, which runs from the Mont Fort all the way back down to the Col des Gentianes.

Mont-Fort, must-see sights in Valais, Valais, Switzerland

Hohsaas: View of 18 four-thousand-metre peaks

Hohsaas: View of 18 four-thousand-metre peaks

The cable car takes you from Saas-Grund via Kreuzboden up to Hohsaas at 3,200 m above sea level, where the view of 18 four-thousand-metre peaks awaits you. Your eyes will sweep from the highest mountain in Switzerland, the Dom, to the highest point in Switzerland, the Point Dufour.

To get to know the mountains better, we recommend the path of the 18 four-thousand-metre peaks. On this one-hour trail you will learn many interesting facts about the mountains of Saas.