Tour de la falaise de St-Maurice
A contrasting and scenic loop below and above the cliffs that tower above St. Maurice, leading past nationally important cultural sites and historical fortifications.
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The narrowest stretch of the lower Rhône valley is by the ancient town of St-Maurice, strategically located between towering cliffs and the fast-flowing river. This scenic trail follows the foot of the cliffs before climbing to the plateau above, revealing a balcony view of the Rhône valley. The trail then crosses the plateau in the opposite direction, before twisting back down through the woods at the northern end of the town. The final stretch of the walk leads past some hidden secrets. “La Grotte aux Fées” (“Fairies’ Grotto”) was Switzerland’s first cave complex to open to the public, more than 150 years ago. A 500-metre passageway leads to a subterranean lake and waterfall. A doorway in the side of the tunnel, meanwhile, leads to an underground artillery fort, one of three excavated in the cliffs on either side of the river. The Fort de Cindey regularly hosts guided tours of a complex that remained top-secret until abandoned in 1995. A little further downhill, a castle stands guard over the narrowest point in the valley; built between the 15th and 17th centuries, it now houses a museum that celebrates the art of the graphic novel. The final stretch of the walk leads past the jewel of St-Maurice’s crown: its abbey, founded more than 1,500 years ago and home to a priceless treasury. Highlights: Towering cliffs – dramatic backdrop to start of walk La Grotte aux Fées – underground caves, lake and waterfall Military fortifications – guided tours of tunnel networks, gun emplacements Abbey of St-Maurice – 1,500 years of history, priceless treasury