Plan your winter holidays now for wonderful experiences in Valais.
Winter officially begins on 21 December 2020, but our winter holiday season here begins well before. It is high time to start thinking about your next holiday on snow. In Valais, there is much more to this season than just skiing. Pristine snow and blissful tranquillity promise countless different experiences for outdoor enthusiasts, while foodies can discover a mouth-watering range of local specialities. Families enjoy a wide variety of facilities and services tailored to their needs; culture lovers are spoilt for choice, while devotees of wellness are guaranteed pure relaxation. We also recommend you browse our press pack for winter 2020/21. Packed with useful information, it includes details of new developments and attractions, surprising facts about Valais, an inspiring variety of activity ideas, and portraits of some of the people who help make this such a fascinating region. Meet Géraldine Bestenheider-Patterson, for example – director of the Hôtel de l’Étrier, home of “La crèche de Bibi” – and Anne-Françoise & Claude Buchs, proprietors of the Grand Hôtel Bella Tola.
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.
Winter walking trails
Winter walking trails for outdoor enthusiasts
In Valais, you can enjoy many ways of exploring the region even without donning a pair of skis. For example, you can experience the Val d’Hérens in an original way on a walk through the traditional villages of La Sage and Villa. Along the route, 15 poems and watercolours by Francine Carrillo, a local artist and poet, add a touch of colour to your walk. Four holiday destinations – Saas-Fee, Zermatt, Visperterminen and the Lötschental valley – are offering around 10 new marked winter walking trails this winter.
Would you like to enjoy the fresh mountain air and glorious scenery of Valais for a few days? Join our “Winter Nature Experience” press trip from 8 to 12 March 2021 and explore the holiday destinations of Leukerbad and Brig-Simplon. Thermal spas, wine-tasting, Raclette and snowshoeing are all on the programme. Curious? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Delicious local specialities
Delicious local specialities for foodies
If there is one season that lends itself to cooking delicious hot meals at home, it’s winter. From fondue with dried-meat crumble to Valais cordon bleu and the traditional savoury Tarte saviésanne, try our tasty recipes that showcase Valais produce. These dishes are best enjoyed with a good local wine. We recommend the fine wines certified with the Valais brand, from Fendant and Petite Arvine to Cornalin and Humagne rouge: just take your pick. Cheers and Bon appétit!
Family treasure hunts
Set off in search of treasure with all the family! The Saas valley now also offers a winter treasure hunt, which allows participants to discover hidden faces of Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund in an original way. Pick up a treasure map and search for clues and solve puzzles as you follow a trail through the sparkling winter world of the family destination. Four treasure hunts are accessible year-round in Valais, along which visitors of all ages can explore the many different facets of water in the mountains: our “blue gold”.
Museums, exhibitions and galleries for culture lovers
For you, do holidays mean culture? Visitors to the Valais are often surprised by the number of top-quality cultural attractions. Many resorts and destinations offer free cultural activities. Some organise themed tours, such as Hérémence with its village tour between past and present. Certain museums also offer free access to the public – including the Musée de Bagnes, the Champéry open-air museum, the Espace Ella Maillart in Chandolin and the Vieux Greniers of Val d’Illiez. Museums Night in November, meanwhile, offers free admission to the exhibitions in about 30 Valais cultural venues. You’re spoilt for choice!
Hotels perfect for “cocooning”
Imagine a cocoon of wellbeing in which the main activity is living for the moment: the sweet art of doing nothing. Certain hotels have all the ingredients that make them perfect for “cocooning”. This winter, the SchlossHotel in Zermatt is opening a spa offering treatments using CBD (cannabidiol) derived from the hemp plant. The first relaxation centre of its kind in Switzerland will allow guests to benefit from the calming, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects of CBD through different treatments as well as in its herbal sauna. The time has finally come: relax, let yourself be pampered, forget everyday stresses and find new energy in a tranquil setting.
Did you know?
Tip 1Snowshoe walk at the Simplon Pass
The wild and beautiful Simplon region is well worth exploring in winter. A circular snowshoeing trail offers varied views and guaranteed snow thanks to its high altitude at 2,000 m. As you walk, you enjoy 360° views of the surrounding mountains. The vistas extend from the Fletschhorn in the south to the Bernese Alps in the north and the Aletsch region with its famous glacier, listed as a World Heritage Site. You’re guaranteed to be far from the crowds!Further information
Tip 2Wine visits in winter
Between the grape harvest and the beginning of spring, the vineyards observe a winter break. But it is still possible to explore the winemaking world of Valais through a range of activities: vineyard walks, cellar visits, wine tastings, gastronomic tours and other wine experiences are possible year-round. For example, the Valais Wine Pass gives you the opportunity to taste ten different glasses of wine (1dl) in partner institutions. Or take advantage of one of the many offers such as “A journey for the senses”: a walk through the vineyards from Sierre to Salgesch including a wine tasting, a Raclette meal and a visit to the Wine Museum.Further information
Tip 3Free activities and attractions for families
The wide variety of activities and attractions in Valais includes many free deals for families. For example, in some resorts, children can take part in free outdoor activities under certain conditions. When it comes to culture, the resorts also have something to suit every taste. Discover our selection of free activities to make your holiday even more fun for you and your children.Further information
Meet two local personalities who will make your stay even more comfortable.
Date of birth: 14 June 1976
Activity: Director of the Hôtel de l’Étrier in Crans-Montana
Note: The resort of Crans-Montana boasts the “Family Destination” quality label. From December to April, children are welcomed to the resort’s tourist crèche: “La crèche de Bibi”.
Claude und Anne-Françoise Buchs
Date of birth: 8 April 1963 (Claude) and 18 November 1964 (Anne-Françoise)
From: Sion (Claude); Vex & Saint-Luc (Anne-Françoise)
Activity: Proprietors of the Grand Hôtel Bella Tola in St-Luc
Note: One of the hotel’s two restaurants, “Chez Ida”, offers a menu rated 13 Gault&Millau points for the past three years.
Valais in figures
• 300 days of sunshine a year
• 45 summits above 4,000 metres
• 55 grape varieties
• 1/3 of Switzerland’s vineyards
• 3,000 km of dry-stone walls
• 8 AOP and IGP products
• 56 typical products with the Valais brand label
• 1,928 tons of Raclette AOP produced in 2019
• 5 thermal spa resorts
• 8 family resorts with the “Family Destination” label