The finest vantage points in Valais
Valais is blessed with countless landscapes of fairy-tale beauty. From the Rhône valley up to the majestic 4,000-metre peaks, the region will enchant you at every turn. Here’s our selection of top vantage points easily accessible during winter, where you can enjoy fabulous views of Valais. Whether you’re exploring on skis, snowshoes or just travelling by car, you’ll find scenery to suit every taste. The choice is yours!
Up on the ski pistes of Valais
The 2,000 km of ski pistes in Valais, with their glorious panoramic vistas, offer a sense of boundless freedom. Within this winter sports paradise, more than 40 ski areas boast many fine vantage points that reveal sublime views of vast expanses of immaculate snow framed by the majestic 4,000-metre peaks of Valais. The combination of modern facilities and authentic charm in Valais promises a delightful journey of discovery!
Restaurant Le Pas de Maimbré
The King of Valais to the east, and three sharp ridges forming a pyramid over to the south: the iconic peaks of the Bietschhorn and the Weisshorn adorn a string of sparkling summits on the horizon. Enjoy a sublime view of these mountains from the restaurant “Le Pas de Maimbré”, at an altitude of 2,362 m. This vantage point is also easily accessible to non-skiers and people with reduced mobility thanks to the gondolas of the Anzère ski area. Why not pause here for a while to enjoy the glorious views after a ski run or a snowshoe hike?
Restaurant Les Chottes
Located at the heart of the “4 Vallées”, a former mountain farm building has been converted stylishly into a welcoming restaurant. This is a popular stop for skiers and snowboarders crossing the winter sports area as well as the finish point for the scenic snowshoe trail of “Les Chottes”, which leads across the slopes from Veysonnaz. Here, surrounded by snow-covered alpine meadows, you’ll find a panoramic terrace offering superb views of the Rhône valley and its proud peaks. Hot tub enthusiasts are in for a rare treat, here in the heart of the Valais Alps – although they’ll need courage afterwards to climb out of the blissfully relaxing water and into the bracing mountain air!
Restaurant du Crêt du Midi
At the heart of the spacious snowy plateau of Vercorin, enjoy a snack or a leisurely meal up on the Crêt du Midi. The mountain restaurant at the summit overlooks the Rhône valley and offers views of many of the famous summits of Valais, including those of the Val d’Anniviers. Located within the Vercorin ski area and accessible by gondola, this panoramic viewpoint is open every day throughout the winter season.
Welcome to the Aletsch Arena! The region offers magnificent panoramic views taking in the finest 4,000-metre peaks of Valais as well as the Great Aletsch Glacier – the longest in the Alps, at 20 km. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the area boasts a wide variety of spectacular landscapes. Exploring is easy, thanks to a network of modern cable cars, gondolas and chairlifts that carry visitors of all ages up to the summits in comfort. Don’t miss the region’s three iconic view points – at Moosfluh, on the Bettmerhorn and on the Eggishorn – which showcase glorious views of the glacier to one side, and across the Rhône valley to the other. The View Point Explorer ticket offers non-skiers a convenient way to access them.
Crans-Montana – The “125 years” project
A destination in 12 letters: Crans-Montana. For more than 125 years, Crans-Montana has created wonderful memories for its guests – and now invites them to explore its own colourful history. Come and see the 12 giant letters erected throughout the region, from the valley up to the glacier: located at the 12 finest vantage points, they showcase the resort’s unique combination of attractions. You’ll discover entertaining stories, anecdotes and reminiscences on every excursion, all in an idyllic setting in the heart of Valais.
Along the roads of Valais
Valais may have more than 2,000 km of ski pistes, but it also boasts more than 4,000 km of road – which offer infinite possibilities for exploring the region on any trip. From Lake Geneva along the entire Rhône valley all the way to Upper Valais, every moment of a drive is a treat, simply watching the magnificent landscapes glide by. After a day’s skiing or on any journey, take time to stop, explore and admire the glorious panoramic views of Valais en route: a highlight of any trip!
Route de la Forclaz
From Martigny, a drive of about 15 kilometres takes you up to the Col de la Forclaz. The road to this pass, located at an altitude of 1,526 metres, initially leads through the Martigny vineyards. A first stop that you should not miss is located at the hairpin bend by the “Sur-le-Scex” restaurant high above Martigny, from which you enjoy sweeping views over the town. The route then continues climbing steadily through the snow-blanketed forest of pines and larch trees. Before you reach the pass, take advantage of the parking area at one of the last hairpin bends to admire the mesmerising view all the way up the Rhône valley and across to the highest summits of the nearby Val de Bagnes.
On a drive to Upper Valais, between the valley floor and the snow-capped mountains, stop at the “Rendez-vous” café. From this slightly elevated vantage point at the edge of a forest, you enjoy a superb view down the whole of central Valais. Between the majestic summits that frame the Rhône valley, you can make out the Pfyn/Finges pine forest. Further still, the historical castles of Valère and Tourbillon tower over the city of Sion, each perched on a rocky hilltop. Don’t miss this key stop for seeing central Valais and its magical spots from an unusual angle.
The Simplon Pass is one of Switzerland’s key alpine crossings, and the road over it – with its long, sweeping curves and elegant Ganter bridge – is one of the most dramatic of all. Close to the pass summit, at an altitude of 2,005 metres, the legendary hospice and its community of monks recall the legacy of Napoleon Bonaparte in the region. Opposite the hospice stands the Simplon’s emblem: an 8-metre-high statue of an eagle, proudly gazing out to the south, commemorating the Second World War. A fascinating region full of history, in a magnificent alpine setting.
As you step out over the void, you experience a giddy feeling of weightlessness. Yet on the panoramic observation platforms of Valais, you know you are completely safe: a thrilling mixture of sensations in a truly breathtaking setting. Suspended between sky and earth, the steel observation platform up on the Gemmi Pass projects beyond the edge of the towering cliffs of Leukerbad, promising sublime views. If you wish to come closer still to the stars, head up to the observation platform at Europe’s highest cable car station on the Klein Matterhorn, whose summit lies a record-breaking 3,883 metres above sea level.
The Gemmi panoramic viewing platform
The Gemmi panoramic viewing platform is located in a natural circus of dramatic cliffs and promises exceptional views. The platform projects from a rocky precipice: a good head for heights is needed, as visitors find themselves suspended over the void, 250 metres off the ground. From this giddy vantage point, Leukerbad way below looks like a model in miniature, beautifully framed by the mountains of Valais. The platform is located beside the sunny terrace of the Wildstrubel mountain restaurant; this is accessible by cable car direct from Leukerbad, or via a marked trail.
Klein Matterhorn, panoramic platform
The “Matterhorn glacier ride” up to the Klein Matterhorn is the world’s highest tri-cable cableway. The smooth, 9-minute ride in ultra-modern gondolas is exceptionally comfortable, as befits Zermatt. Take time to discover the secrets and story of the ride and the resort with the “3S cableway” audio guide. The Klein Matterhorn, whose summit lies 3,883 metres above sea level, is home to the highest panoramic platform in the Alps. At this altitude, you feel you could almost reach out and touch the magnificent 4,000-metre peaks with your fingertips.
The village of Nax stands at the entrance to the Val d’Hérens, perched on a clifftop. Locals call their community “Le Balcon du Ciel” – the balcony of the sky – and you can see why when you visit the Jausses viewpoint. The design suggests a large balcony or terrace high above the Rhône valley, with a view extending from the Val d’Hérens to Lower Valais. The celebrated cartographer and cleric Chanoine Berchtold used the location to produce the first maps of Valais. The pyramid of the “triangulation point” recalls the importance of the Nax outcrop in carrying out these measurements.