Have you heard the latest news from Valais?
On 15 June, Switzerland reopened its borders with the EU and EFTA member states. Tourism activities in Valais have already been restarting steadily over the past few weeks. It is now high time for us to tell you about the latest news and developments in our region. We have divided them into categories: attractions, activities, moments of pure relaxation and theme trails. Under “Our tips”, below, a perfect weekend in Valais awaits: don’t miss it!
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.
The following facilities, either brand new or renovated, are waiting to be discovered from this summer in Valais:
Following renovation works, the underground lake of St-Léonard is reopening on 20 June 2020. The new entrance and reception area feature a souvenir shop, a café, a conference room and an information area with details about the cavern and its geology.
Bisse du Ro suspension footbridge
A new suspension footbridge near Crans-Montana offers a safe passage at a dramatic section of footpath along one of the most spectacular historical irrigation channels of Valais, the Bisse du Ro. The bridge is 120 metres long, passes 70 metres above the ground, and promises high thrills. The Bisse du Ro leads from the Tseuzier reservoir to Crans-Montana; hiking time: 3 hours 15 minutes.
After major renovation works, the Villa Cassel, situated on the panoramic ridge between the Great Aletsch Glacier and Riederalp, is reopening on 27 June 2020. The carbon-neutral building now houses a permanent exhibition on glaciers and climate change; the historical dining room is a gem.
Stockalperhof boutique hotel
This new boutique hotel takes its name from the Stockalper Palace, proud symbol of the town of Brig and inspiration for the hotel’s interiors. The rooms combine an atmosphere of quality, simple and modern, with tradition and contemporary history.
A new style for the Hotel Tenne
This welcoming hotel in Gluringen reopens in mid-August, with chalet-style decor and comfortable furnishings showcasing local materials. The brand-new restaurant will be larger, with spacious views taking in the Weisshorn.
Anniversary new look for the Glacier Express
To mark its 90th anniversary, the Glacier Express is putting fully renovated carriages into operation in both 1st and 2nd class. The design and technology of these carriages follows that of the Excellence Class of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn railway.
Visitors can also enjoy a range of new experiences:
Record-breaking zip wire, 4 Vallées
With a length of 1,400 metres and a height of up to 383 metres off the ground, the new zip wire above the resort of Verbier will be the longest and highest in the Alps. Due to be inaugurated in August 2020, it will start at the summit of the Mont Fort, the highest point of the 4 Vallées ski area.
Learn to pan for gold in Gondo
From this summer, visitors of all ages are invited to take part in a guided gold-panning experience in the Zwischbergental valley. The outing includes a visit to the former gold mines and ruins, a gold-panning session along the stream, a barbecue for the gold-seekers and hire of appropriate kit.
Gourmet walks in Hérémence
Discover some of the gastronomic highlights of Valais along a guided walk composed of encounters and exchanges, anecdotes and tastings. As you try some of the key products from the farms, the alpine pastures and the beehives, you will gain an understanding of the expertise of the artisan producers in the valley.
Moments of pure relaxation
Moments of pure relaxation
Perhaps you have had more time than usual these past few weeks for yourself and for relaxing, perhaps less; either way, nature promises a deep and unique kind of relaxation, always good for body and soul.
Les Mélèzes Relax Parc, Ovronnaz
“The Larches Relaxation Park” is a new area dedicated to relaxation and meditation, 100% natural, at an altitude of 1,960 metres. The zone occupies an idyllic clearing in the larch forest, carpeted with flowering alpenrose, and consists of five elements that invite you to pause, breathe deeply and bliss out: the pavilion of larches, massage chairs, a solar sauna, hammocks and two “islands of relaxation”.
Yoga festival, Aletsch Glacier
The first edition of the Mountain Glow Yoga Festival will take place from 3 to 6 September 2020 above Bettmeralp, beside the Great Aletsch Glacier. The festival consists of four days of yoga, meditation, workshops, conferences, concerts, ceremonies and walks among local wild flora in the company of the local herbalist, surrounded by pristine nature.
New theme trails
This summer, two new theme trails await visitors with a sense of curiosity:
The Saastal valley is the first holiday region in Valais to offer its own exciting Foxtrail adventure challenge, starting this summer. Visitors search for clues that will help them solve a sequence of puzzles along the route; as they proceed, they discover the highlights of Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund.
Medicinal Herbs Trail, Aletsch Arena
Ten information panels along the “forest promenade” in Bettmeralp offer a fascinating insight into the world of medicinal plants. Devised by a local student, Nina Brechbühl, the circular theme trail begins near the Baschweri adventure rope park and takes about an hour.
Did you know?
Tip 1A summer weekend in Valais
How can you choose from the countless possibilities that a weekend in Valais offers? We are here to help – and have even created a “perfect weekend” for you.Further information
Tip 2Treasure hunts
This summer, the certified “Family Destinations” of Valais once again invite you to go on a fun treasure hunt with all the family. Adventure seekers of all ages can follow a water trail thanks to a booklet containing maps, puzzles and amusing anecdotes that will help locate the treasure.Further information
Tip 3Hike up to mountain huts
A night in an alpine cabin offers a convivial communal experience in an exceptional setting – and a unique adventure. After a day’s hike, these mountain huts promise a welcome rest along with hearty cuisine. Accommodation options range from simple mountain refuges to large, ultra-modern facilities: discover the hikes that lead to these much-loved venues.Further information
Tip 4Apricot-based products
Velvety skin, sweet-and-sour flavour, orangey-red colouring and the taste of sunshine: the apricot, emblematic fruit of Valais, offers one of the gourmet pleasures of the summer season. Delicious eaten fresh, it also goes into making a range of other products – so that fans can enjoy all its flavour and goodness throughout the year.Further information
Meet three Valais hosts who welcome guests to their unique world.
Date of birth: 18 February 1962
Activity: Farmer and owner of the Godswärgjistubu
Godswärgjistubu: This country restaurant accommodating about 30 guests serves authentic, seasonal cuisine, also vegan and/or gluten-free. The venue opens exclusively on reservation, and has an uncompromising commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices.
Fredy and Magdalena Tscherrig
Activity: Guardians of the Turtmann mountain cabin
Turtmann mountain cabin: This Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) hut is located at an altitude of 2,519 metres at the far end of the Turtmann valley, and sleeps 74 guests. This is the starting point for scaling one of the highest peaks in Europe accessible via hiking trail: the Barrhorn, 3,610 metres above sea level.
Tip: don’t miss the Black Forest cake!
Valais in figures
• 300 days of sunshine a year
• 45 summits above 4,000 metres
• 8,000 km of hiking trails
• 65 Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) huts
• 40,000 hectares of natural parks
• 100 working “bisses” (historical irrigation channels)
• 8 AOP and IGP products
• 97% of Swiss abricot production
• 1,928 tons of Raclette AOP produced in 2019
• More than 50 grape varieties