Hike to the glacier viewpoint from Bellwald
High-altitude hike for a view of the second-longest glacier in the Alps – and over the Goms valley and the 4,000-metre peaks of Valais. Scenic ride to hike starting point by chairlift.
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The Fiescher Glacier is the second-longest in the Alps, at nearly 15 km. It is one of the jewels of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of “Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch”, which protects the most glaciated region in the Alps. The reserve is home to nine peaks above 4,000 m including the mighty Finsteraarhorn (4,273 m), which towers high above the glacier. This exhilarating hike climbs the slopes above Bellwald to a vantage point that reveals an impressive view up the river of ice. From here, the trail returns to the starting point via another path a couple of hundred metres higher, showcasing spectacular views of the upper Rhône valley. A leisurely chairlift ride from Bellwald brings walkers up to the starting point of the hike at Richenen. This is a popular sport for families with its friendly mountain restaurant, lake and adventure trail for young children. Stations include a play ship by the lake, a tree house, slide, musical instruments, tests of skill and a research station that encourages young guests to get to know the local flora and fauna. Walkers should also allow time to explore the village of Bellwald, one of the oldest and best-preserved in Valais, located on one of the sunniest patches of mountainside in the Goms valley. Life here changed little for centuries until the cable car up from Fürgangen railway station opened in 1956. The car-free village centre, with its ancient houses, sun-bronzed wooden stables and baroque church, is full of historical charm. Families, especially, appreciate the tranquillity: no wonder the village has won the coveted “Family Destination” label of the Swiss Tourism Federation. Highlights: Sunny, high-level hike with sweeping views of the upper Rhône valley View of the second-longest glacier in the Alps, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch Scenic chairlift ride to hike starting point: restaurant and children’s adventure play trail