Panoramic hike high above Crans-Montana featuring views of 4,000-metre peaks, attractive mountain restaurants and the fascinating Colombire eco-museum.
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The name of this hike neatly encapsulates its star attraction: panoramic views of the Rhône valley and the glittering 4,000-metre peaks on the far side. Walkers also enjoy a clear view down the Val d’Anniviers opposite, majestically framed by five 4,000-metre summits, with the Matterhorn in the background. Starting point is the Cry d’Er gondola summit station, with its popular restaurant and panoramic sun terrace. The first section of trail is roughly level, and leads to the Cabane des Violettes (2,208 m), run by a mountain guide. The traditional, seasonal Valais cuisine is simple but excellent: the Michelin-starred chef also runs one of the top gourmet restaurants in Crans-Montana. From here the trail sweeps around to the slopes of the Petit Mont Bonvin to begin its long descent to Montana, passing by Aminona. One of the most delightful sections follows part of the Bisse du Tsittoret, an irrigation channel built in the 15th century. This takes its water from the river La Tièche, just to the east – which downstream becomes the Raspille, linguistic border of Valais. Our trail follows the bisse downstream as far as Colombire, a mountain hamlet that has found new life as an eco-museum. Housed in lovingly restored old barns, the venue explores traditional life on the high pastures, including the intricate ballet of seasonal cultivation at various altitudes that allowed local people to meet the needs of their families and animals throughout the year. The friendly restaurant, with sun terrace, serves local specialities. The complex has also won acclaim for its innovative programme of activities year-round, from guided visits to yoga walks and workshops covering subjects from traditional woodworking and cabin-building to cheese-making and identifying edible alpine plants. Highlights: Exhilarating hike offering panoramic views of the Rhône valley and 4,000-metre peaks Choice of welcoming mountain restaurants en route Fascinating eco-museum exploring traditional life on the high pastures