The top summer photo spots in Valais
Do you love photography? An endless variety of mountain lakes, majestic summits, natural phenomena and even dramatic man-made structures makes Valais an inspiring destination for enthusiasts. Discover the top summer spots to photograph for your Instagram account and create lasting memories of your trip to Valais. On your marks, get set, shoot!
Would you like to take a magical photograph of the Matterhorn? Head up to the Riffelsee, just a 10-minute walk from the Rotenboden stop on the Gornergrat cog railway line. You can admire the reflection of the impressive east face of the Matterhorn in the lake: an unforgettable sight! Early in the morning and at dusk, there is usually no breeze, so the surface of the water is completely still – the moment to get out your camera.
3,000 kilometres of dry-stone walls adorn the terraced vineyards of Valais. The most dramatic reach a height of almost 20 metres. They form an integral part of the Valais landscape, and bear witness to expertise that has been handed down over generations. Admire them during a walk along the “Bisse de Clavau” historical irrigation channel above Sion, for example; along the “Cep à la Cime” (“Vineyard to Summit”) trail in Chamoson; or along the “Chemin du Vignoble” (“Vineyard Trail”) from Martigny to Leuk. This unique aspect of Valais heritage promises delightful pictures.
Great Aletsch Glacier
The Great Aletsch Glacier is the largest in the Alps. Photograph it from high up – from the official “view points” of Moosfluh, Bettmerhorn or Eggishorn, which reveal all its majesty. This mighty river of ice extends for 23 kilometres from its upper reaches by the Jungfrau, at an altitude of 4,000 metres, to the Massa gorges, at nearly 2,500 metres. In 2001, this spectacular mountain landscape was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Pyramids of Euseigne
The pyramids of Euseigne represent one of the most remarkable geological curiosities in the Alps. The main road up the Val d’Hérens takes you direct to these fascinating rock formations, up to 15 metres high. These were created at the end of the last glaciation, known as the Würm, which took place 80,000 to 10,000 years ago. The nearby Pyramids Path lets you approach the structures close-up and photograph them from different angles.
Sunrise on the Mont Fort
Glorious colours and a panoramic view to take your breath away: sunrise up on the Mont Fort has everything you need to take sublime photos. Here, at an altitude of 3,300 metres, you enjoy a 360° view of the finest summits of the Alps. The Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, Grand Combin and even Mont Blanc parade majestically before you as the first rays of sunshine appear. Simply magical!
Lac de Derborence
The lake of Derborence was formed following two colossal rock slides in the 18th Century. Today, it is part of the nature reserve of the Derborence valley: a fascinating site for botanists and geologists, and heaven for nature lovers. Take time to stroll gently around the lake and be inspired by the beauty of the surroundings. In autumn, especially, when the larch trees turn golden, visitors can take truly enchanting photos here.
Built in 1882, the Hotel Belvédère is a striking sight, with its stone walls and green shutters. It stands at an altitude of 2,200 metres at the foot of the Rhône Glacier and its ice grotto, in one of the hairpin bends of the legendary Furka Pass road. The building has been abandoned for several years, but has lost none of its atmospheric charm. The proof: this is probably the most photographed hotel in Valais.
With a height of 148 metres, the dramatic Moiry dam dominates the wild valley beyond Grimentz. Although not the most impressive dam in Valais, this is still one of the key sights of the whole Val d’Anniviers, and makes for striking photos – notably on a hike. Take the path that climbs towards the summit of the Sasseneire and enjoy a sweeping view of the reservoir’s turquoise waters.
Goms suspension footbridge
Known locally as the “Goms Bridge”, the suspension footbridge across the river Rhône near Ernen spans the Lamma gorge, linking the villages of Fürgangen and Mühlebach. Measuring 280 metres in length, it is open all year: visit it as part of a winter walk, for example, or a summer bike ride. The perspective offered by the suspension bridge, made of larch timber, lets you give a “drone effect” to a photograph taken with a standard camera.
Lac de Taney
Looking for a little corner of paradise to add to your photo album? Head for the Lac de Taney, a small mountain lake framed by the striking summits of Les Jumelles and Le Grammont, at the heart of the Chablais region of Valais. You can reach this peaceful lake on a hike of about three hours from Vouvry, or about one hour from the final stop on the bus route to Miex. Photograph the idyllic lake from different angles on a walk along the path around its shores.