Hikes

Hikes

Chemin du Vignoble: Venthône – Leuk (stage 4)

The final stage of the Chemin du Vignoble («Vineyard Trail») links French- and German-speaking Valais, and takes in medieval villages, a vast nature park and an innovative wine centre.

There are three versions of the Chemin du Vignoble («Vineyard Trail») through the main winegrowing villages of Valais: for motorists, for cyclists and for hikers. The 4-stage, 66-km hiking trail culminates in this dramatic walk along the wildest stretch of the entire lower Rhône valley. Because of the unstable geology, this stretch of the Rhône has never been tamed. The branching river, its stony islands and the vast pine forests on its southern banks – among the largest in the Alps – form the heart of the Pfyn-Finges Nature Park. This vast reserve, one of Switzerland’s biodiversity hotspots, stretches from the river up to mountaintops and glaciers, taking in the vineyards on the north bank – through which our trail leads. This leg of the Chemin du Vignoble is notable for another reason: it crosses the river Raspille, which marks the boundary between French- and German-speaking Valais. The atmosphere in French-speaking Venthône and Miège is quite different to that in German-speaking Salgesch, Varen and Leuk – which adds to the charm of this hike. Highlights along the way include the Espace Terroirs in Miège. This innovative visitor centre features an exhibition that explores the way soil and landscape affect vines and wines; there’s also a café-restaurant and a tasting venue with more than 50 wines. As well as glorious views, the hike promises a rich experience of local history – culminating in Leuk, home to many fine medieval buildings including an impressive castle imaginatively renovated by the leading Swiss architect Mario Botta, now a cultural venue with music, theatre and exhibitions. Leuk is also home to Switzerland’s oldest vine: a Cornalin planted in 1798 in the heart of the village.   Highlights: Glorious views of the untamed Rhône and vast pine forests of the Pfyn-Finges Nature Park Espace Terroirs in Miège – innovative wine visitor centre Experience of two languages, two cultures Historical village of Leuk, with medieval castle renovated by Mario Botta

Available offers

Valais vineyard trail on foot

Along this path you will discover homely wine taverns, typical wine villages and some of the steepes...
From 669 CHF

On the trace of wine

Fendant, Malvoisie or Heida are just a few of the most famous wines of the Valais. The grapes of these noble wines ripen in the plain between Martigny and Leuk, through which the Chemin du Vignoble passes. Along this path you will discover homely wine taverns, typical wine villages and some of the steepest vineyards in the world. Not only are the grapes that ripen along the Chemin du Vignoble unique - the walk itself is a real treat.

Attention: arrival only possible on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays! Please select the desired day below.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Martigny | Martigny – Saillon

Luggage drop-off in Martigny and bus ride to Branson to the starting point of the hike. Between Martigny and Saillon, you will find yourself in the land of Gamay and fascinating contrasts: at your feet the fully cultivated Rhone Valley, in the distance the glittering snowfields of Mont Blanc. The town of Fully is the capital of the Petite Arvine.

approx. 3.5 h / approx. 12 km / 420 m ascent / 370 m descent

Day 2: Saillon – Sion

Steep limestone walls tower imposingly over the debris cones at Chamoson. The vines have gravel underneath them and almost burn in the sun. Vétroz is the cradle of the rare grape variety Amigne. Enchanting vine terraces with ancient irrigation channels surround Sion. Guided tour of Sion with wine tasting.

approx. 6 h / approx. 20 km / 785 m ascent / 690 m descent

Day 3: Sion – Sierre

Vine terraces are among the steepest in the world. Easy hiking trail to the Coteaux de Sierre, the largest AOC area in Switzerland. Evening raclette tasting in the "Château de Villa".

approx. 5 h / approx. 18 km / 635 m ascent / 475 m descent

Day 4 : Sierre – Leuk | Departure

A quarter of the Valais Pinot Noir production comes from the Leuk, Varen and Salgesch region. The region is a paradise for nature lovers. Everywhere you can discover new and surprising things. Fantastic view from the hilltop church near Varen. Individual departure after arrival in Leuk.

approx. 4 h / approx. 14 km / 490 m ascent / 590 m descent

Tour characteristic

A wonderful hike through the vineyards of the Valais. The paths are well developed and easy to walk on. The sometimes long stages can be shortened without any problems by public transport. Basic fitness is nevertheless necessary. In summer it can get very hot in the Rhone valley.

What’s included:

  • 3 overnight stays incl. breakfast

  • Daily luggage transport

  • Valais Gourmet Package

  • Carefully elaborated route

  • Detailed tour documentation (1 x per room)

  • GPS-data available

  • Service Hotline

Not included :

  • Travelling by public transport on day 1

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price.

  • Costs for collecting luggage at the station. CHF 24.- per person.

Possibility of additional nights - booking after your payment (you will be contacted by our booking team):

  • Martigny: CHF 79.- (per person in double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 40.-

  • Susten: CHF 79.- (per person in double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 35.-

Cancellation conditions:

  • Up to 29 days before start of the trip: 20%

  • 28 – 15 days before start of the trip: 50%

  • 14 – 08 days before start of the trip: 70%

  • 07 – 1 days before start of the trip: 90%

  • 0 day before start of the trip / No–show: 100%

Availability

Once your booking is complete, we will check the availability of the chosen accommodation. A final confirmation will then be sent to you by email. If the service is no longer available on the date you have chosen, you will either be able to choose another date or you will receive a full refund.

Your accommodation in a click

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Turn-by-turn directions

The walk begins a short bus ride from Sierre, in the village of Venthône (bus stop «village»). The route is clearly signposted throughout.

In Miège, the Espace Terroirs lies a few metres to the right of the trail in the village centre. This is also the starting point for the «Sentier des Terroirs» (Geology and Grapes Trail), which loops between our route and the Sentier Viticole («Vineyards Trail»). The latter runs from Sierre to Salgesch, downhill from the Chemin du Vignoble, connecting the two sites of the Wine Museum of Valais.

In Varen, it is worth detouring about 200 m south to the hilltop church for a sensational view of the untamed Rhône. This village also has its own charming wine trail, the Pfyfoltruweg («Butterfly Trail»).

In Leuk, allow time to stroll around the village to admire the many historical buildings. On the way out of the village, about 100 m to the right of the trail, the beautifully decorated Ringackerkapelle is one of the finest baroque chapels in Valais.

 

Start: Venthône (810 m)
Destination: Leuk, railway station (623 m)

Author's recommendation

Especially in autumn, check for local events en route – such as guided walks and tastings, for example in Varen or Salgesch on weekends in September.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    832 m 622 m

  • Ascent

    306 m

  • Descent

    493 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 2.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 3.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 6 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Train to Sierre, then change onto bus for Venthône (bus stop «village»). At end of walk, take train from Leuk station. Find full timetable information at sbb.ch

Approach

A9 motorway, exit 29 («Sierre-Est»). Take the road towards Randogne, passing through Veyras before reaching Venthône.

 

Parking

Small car park north-east of Venthône village centre; larger car park (fee payable) at end of walk at Leuk railway station.

Equipment

We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click «Print» icon, to download)  

For certain walks:

  • Swimwear

Safety information

Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.

For all hikes:

  • Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on «Print» icon, top right of this page.
  • Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Close gates after passing through.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
  • Do not leave any waste in nature.

For mountain hikes:

  • Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
  • Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.

For high-altitude hikes:

  • Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.

Literature

The tourist office in Sierre or Leuk has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Maps

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1287 Sierre