Leukerbad is widely known for its thermal spring water. On the well-designed thermal spring trek and thermal canyon walk, guests can experience the power of the healing water not in a swimming pool, but in the middle of the imposing Dala Gorge. Andy Varonier, winemaker and member of the local thermal spring guild, has always been fascinated by the gorge and its hot springs.
The thermal spa resort is located at 1,411 metres above sea level in the heart of the impressive Valais mountains, at the foot of the famous Gemmi Pass. However, this is not just a place for wellness fans. The wide range of summer and winter sports makes the perfect holiday mix.
Leukerbad is the largest thermal spa resort in the Alps. The Romans already knew and used the healing properties of hot springs. This is hardly surprising since Leukerbad has the richest thermal spa waters in Europe! The thermal waters make their presence felt throughout the village: You’ll find steaming fountains, baths and hotels dotted everywhere.
Wine and water
Andy Varonier is a third-generation winegrower in Varen. He is a volunteer in the Leukerbad thermal spring guild, which is dedicated to the preservation and rational use of thermal springs. It was founded on the third day of the third month of the third millennium at 3:03 a.m. in 2003, the UN International Year of Freshwater.
Marvel and learn.
The thermal spring trek and thermal canyon walk take you through Leukerbad and its surroundings in around two hours on an easy hike. If you have a head for heights, a detour through the Dala Gorge should not be missed. Signposts and information panels along the way provide information in German and French about Leukerbad’s most precious commodity: the water. The thermal spring guild built the walkway and makes sure it is well maintained. It is open to visitors from May to October.
Walking on water.
Things get exciting on the thermal spring trek that leads through the middle of the Dala Gorge. The walkway is almost 600 metres long and built about four metres above the riverbed where the wild Dala rushes past. The crowning glory is the suspension bridge that takes you to the waterfall, which has left its mark on the rock face for thousands of years.
The long journey of the healing waters.
The thermal spring water starts its journey by the Torrenthorn at the Wysse See and Schwarzsee lakes at approx. 2,300 to 3,000 metres above sea level. It enters the ground as precipitation and follows steep clefts in the rock to approx. 500 metres below sea level. Along the way it is enriched with calcium and sulphate through different layers of rock. Thanks to geothermal energy, the water rises to the surface again after more than 40 years and emerges from the ground in and around Leukerbad as warm healing water.
A culinary stopover
Hiking and sightseeing can be a hungry business. Nothing pleases growling stomachs more than a cosy mountain restaurant on the way back home. The Buljes serves traditional Valais cuisine with a modern twist. Hosts Carmen and Alfred Loretan attach great importance to regional and seasonal cuisine.
Published: May 2021