Panoramic hike through the Pfyn-Finges Nature Park, from the mountain village of Jeizinen along the sunny south-facing slopes of the Rhône valley to Leuk. Discover the village of Erschmatt with its rye centre, and the satellite ground station above Leuk.
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The hike begins in the mountain village of Jeizinen at an altitude of 1,500 m, accessible from Gampel by cable car. After about 20 minutes’ walk, you reach the historical hamlet of Engersch with its narrow main alley lined with charming wooden chalets. From here, the path descends steeply to Erschmatt. In the Undri Zälg area, you pass the gardens of the Erschmatt rye centre, where ancient varieties of cultivated plants and in particular rye are grown. Rye was once the main cereal cultivated in the mountain villages of Valais. Because it can withstand very cold temperatures, rye could be cultivated up to altitudes of 2,000 m in Valais. The rye was used to make Valais rye bread, which was baked in large village ovens that were lit just two or three times a year. This typical bread could be kept for several months. Another steep descent leads to the Feschel gorge, spanned by the Hohe Brücke (“High Bridge”) about 100 vertical metres above the foaming Feschelju river. Also known as the “Devil’s Bridge”, it was built in the 16th century and is the focus of legends similar to those surrounding its famous namesake in the Schöllenen gorge near the Gotthard. The hike continues via Obere Lichten to Brentjong, above Leuk, best known for its satellite ground station, visible from far away. In the 1970s, this station was regarded as a technological marvel. After its sale to an American company, many suspected it was used for spying. Today, alongside the current owner from Germany, the Swiss federal government also undertakes intelligence-gathering activities here. To finish the walk, you descend past vineyards to Leuk. As well as the historical and picturesque town centre, it is worth visiting the castle, restored by the famous Swiss architect Mario Botta. Highlights: The village of Erschmatt and its rye centre, with many activities relating to traditional Valais rye bread. The “Devil’s Bridge” across the Feschel gorge between Erschmatt and Leuk. The historical town of Leuk and the satellite ground station above.