Time in Valais.
On Saturday in Crans-Montana, it’s all about the fastest time – notably in the women’s Downhill ski race. On Sunday, the world’s top female skiers then compete in the Alpine Combined. The same weekend, one of Switzerland’s best-loved cross-country ski races takes place in the Goms valley: the International Gommerlauf. At the end of April, ski mountaineers battle for personal bests, fastest times or even record times at the “Patrouille des Glaciers”. Valais also offers plenty of opportunities to take time for yourself, however. Enjoy some time out with top-class live music, for example: at the Rock The Pistes festival or at Zermatt Unplugged. No one is counting the time at the “Rallye du Gô” gastronomic walk in Anzère, meanwhile, or during the night-time fatbike rides in Zermatt. If you would like to see a lot in a short time, head over to the Aletsch Arena ski area and follow the Glacier Panorama Tour, which links the View Points overlooking the Great Aletsch Glacier, Europe’s longest. And if you don’t want to spend time changing trains on your journey to Valais, we recommend the new Verbier Express direct from airport to ski area.
Would you like to find out more about Valais? Don’t hesitate to contact us: we would be delighted to provide you with further information or organise interviews.
Fastest time I – Women’s FIS World Cup in Crans-Montana
After training sessions on Thursday and Friday, things get serious this coming Saturday (22 February) on the Mont Lachaux piste, when the world’s top female skiers compete in the Downhill. On the Sunday, they battle for precious hundredths of a second in the Alpine Combined, which consists of a Super-G and a Slalom. Alongside spectacular skiing, highlights of the weekend include a concert by “Oesch’s die Dritten” and an air show by the PC-7 team of the Swiss Air Force.
Fastest time II – International Gommerlauf
The 48th International Gommerlauf takes place on 22 and 23 February in the Goms (upper Rhone) valley. The popular cross-country ski race has a long history and is well-known beyond the country’s borders. The 2019 International Gommerlauf attracted about 2,000 competitors from 20 nations. About one quarter were women; the oldest participant was born in 1934.
Time off – Rock The Pistes festival and Zermatt Unplugged
Do you need some time out? How about a musical break? We recommend two major music events in Valais: the Rock The Pistes festival and Zermatt Unplugged.
Rock The Pistes festival – 15-21 March 2020
Pick up your skis or snowboard and head up to the pistes of the Portes du Soleil for a festival in an unrivalled setting! Gigs take place during the day at temporary stages scattered around the ski area and accessible only on skis or snowboard. The action continues after lifts close at après-ski concerts down in the resorts!
Zermatt Unplugged – 14-18 April 2020
Quiet, please! This acoustic music festival welcomes Swiss and international stars every year to an incomparable setting for performances reduced to their musical essence. Zermatt Unplugged is the only event of its kind, a taste of pure music in sight of the sparkling Matterhorn. In 2020, top acts include James Morrison, Cro, Jack Savoretti and Rea Garvey.
Without time measurement – “Rallye du Gô” and Fatbiking
Take time for some original and enjoyable experiences in the Valais winter. How about a gourmet walk, for example, or a night ride on a fatbike?
Rallye du Gô
Savour a variety of dishes and produce from the region at this popular gastronomic walk. On 7 March, about a dozen stands along the way serve food and drink in a magnificent setting. Illumination by torchlight gives the event a magical atmosphere.
Fatbike Night Ride Zermatt
Zermatt is offering night-time fatbike rides this winter involving a three-hour excursion on snow-covered trails in the dark, riding a bike with oversized wheels and wide rims. This activity takes place from December to mid-March.
Time optimisation – Glacier Panorama Tour in the Aletsch Arena
This winter, skiers and snowboarders can discover the most beautiful slopes and impressive views the Aletsch Arena has to offer – including the Great Aletsch Glacier, Europe’s longest – on the Glacier Panorama Tour. This self-guided circuit is offered by the Aletsch Arena ski lift company in partnership with Skiline.
Direct service – Verbier Express
A new “snow train” from Geneva airport to Le Châble launched in December; it will run every Saturday and Sunday morning until the end of the season. The train makes the same stops as an IR 90 service, allowing skiers from the Lake Geneva region to travel direct to Le Châble’s new railway station, a stone’s throw from the ski lifts to Verbier and Bruson, without the need to change in Martigny.
Did you know?
Tip 1Sleep in an igloo
Sleep like an Inuit: an experience with a difference! Visitors can now try this unusual accommodation at Crans-Montana. A village of igloos located on the Plaine Morte Glacier welcomes guests for a night out of this world, in a cocoon of snow and ice.Further information
Tip 2Snowshoe trails
The snowshoe trails invite you to discover Valais with all your senses. Surrounded by tranquil nature, you enjoy glorious panoramic views and pure mountain air as you feel the invigorating effects of outdoor exercise. And of course you develop a healthy appetite for the gastronomic treats along the way.Further information
What would winter be without tobogganing? Whatever your age, a toboggan ride down a snowy slope is guaranteed to get your pulse racing. The choice is wide, from traditional wooden toboggans to plastic sledges: fun and action are guaranteed, day or night.Further information
Valais in figures
• 34 ski areas
• 2000 kilometres of ski slopes
• 26 snow playgrounds
• 11 ski touring parks
• 300 sunny days a year
• 45 summits above 4,000 metres
• 8 AOP and IGP products
• 5 thermal spa resorts