Top 10 things to do on hot days

Valais is famous for its exceptionally sunny climate: the long summer days are ideal for scenic hikes and many other outdoor activities. During hot weather, Valais also offers a wide choice of excursions that provide a welcome opportunity to cool off – from visits to glaciers or dips in mountain lakes to walks in shady forests. Here are a few refreshing ideas for avoiding the heat while making the most of the summer!

Enjoy a dip in one of the Valais lakes

When temperatures begin to soar, nothing is more refreshing than a swim in one of the many mountain lakes of Valais. At most of the larger lakes, you can enjoy activities such as stand-up paddling or riding a pedalo. Spread out your towel on the lakeshore, perfect your tan and, when you start feeling hot, dive into the water: that perfect summer holiday feeling!

lake, mountains, valais, outdoor

Savour a picnic by the water

Take out your rucksack, fill it with delicious cured sausages and tasty cheeses from Valais, pop in your sunglasses and hat – and you’re all set for a walk along one of the “bisses” (the historical irrigation channels of Valais) or around a mountain lake. Choose a scenic spot for a picnic and enjoy the enchanting mountain scenery and the tranquillity of nature. If you fancy, dip your feet in the deliciously cool alpine water!

Lac Vert in summer, mountain lake in Champéry, Portes du Soleil, Valais

Stroll through a shady forest

In Valais, larches, Swiss stone pine trees and hazel trees are among the kings of the many forests. On a forest walk or bike ride, enjoy the cool shade provided by the trees as well as the fragrant scents that they release. From the floor of the Rhône valley up to the high alpine woodland, from the Pfyn/Finges nature reserve up to the centuries-old larches of Isérables, the exceptional diversity of Valais flora will enchant you.

Natural park Pfyn Finges in summer, Valais

Walk along or in a glacier

What could be more surreal than walking by a glacier in the middle of summer? If the day is set to be a scorcher, head up high – and admire one of these natural marvels from a mountaintop. The glaciers of Valais are easy to reach thanks to cable cars that are open all summer. Explore one of these mighty rivers of ice close up on a guided walk along its moraines; for the ultimate refreshing experience, visit one of the glacier grottos with their enchanting ephemeral sculptures of ice.

Cool off in a gorge or by a waterfall

Exploring caves or deep gorges via tunnels, gangways or suspended footbridges is an unforgettable experience. It also adds a delightfully refreshing element to a hike in the pristine natural landscapes of Valais. Feel the power of thundering waterfalls in dramatic gorges, tune in to the mesmerising sound of the cascades and enjoy the cool temperatures deep inside these geological marvels.

Durnand Gorge in Bovernier next to Martigny, Valais

Relax in a pool

If you are spending your summer holidays in Valais or if you would like to enjoy a relaxing weekend during the season, consider one of the thermal spas of Valais. Bathing in a sequence of pools of different temperatures is wonderfully refreshing, also in hot weather. Valais boasts several spas fed by hot spring water from deep under the mountains, along with a wide choice of indoor and outdoor pools, plus a variety of other water-based wellness facilities such as Kneipp hydrotherapy trails.

Thermal bath Brigerbad, Valais, summer

Go for a day’s summer skiing

No need for woollen hats or fleece tops to enjoy snow sports! In summer, the ski areas of Zermatt and Saas Fee offer skiers and snowboarders more than 40 kilometres of piste on their glaciers: an original way to evade a heatwave at an altitude of more than 3,500 metres!

Skiing in summer on the glacier in Zermatt, Valais

Head underground

Or how about escaping the heat by heading underground? The subterranean lake of Saint-Léonard, for example, lies in a cave with a year-round temperature of 15°C; a boat trip on the still waters is an enchanting experience. Alternatively explore some of the rich history of Valais on a visit to one of the canton’s many castles, forts and fortresses. Kilometres of tunnels deep inside the mountains offer a fascinating underground world to explore, sheltered from the heat and sunshine far above at ground level.

Explore the interior of one of our dams

If the heat outdoors is too much for you, try an indoor experience with a difference. Valais is home to some of the most impressive dams in Switzerland – even the world. A guided tour deep inside one of these colossal constructions, with their complex network of refreshingly cool tunnels, offers an intriguing insight into the worlds of engineering and green energy.

Visperterminen, Dam Gibidum, Valais

Try some water sports

Canyoning, windsurfing, rafting and water skiing are among water sports in Valais that promise high thrills on hot summer days. Brave the Rhône rapids on an inflatable dinghy; swim, dive and float your way down gorges carved by crystalline mountain torrents; or skim across a calm lake pulled by a water ski lift: action unlimited in the heart of the Alps!

Valais-Wallis Adventure, rafting, canyoning, tubing, Valais, Wallis