Discover Switzerland’s sunniest region on a holiday in Valais. Nestled in the south west of the country in the heart of Europe, Valais enjoys a climate that some describe as positively Mediterranean, with 300 days of sunshine a year on the valleys, vineyards and vast mountain ranges that make up the region. Valais is bordered by Italy to the south and France to the west, with the broad Rhone river valley flowing through the middle, surrounded by over 40 huge peaks. Some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world bring visitors flocking to the resorts of Valais in winter. And in summer, it’s a haven for nature lovers, families and those just looking for a perfectly laid-back holiday.
A Getaway under the MatterhornValais is home to one of the most recognisable landmarks in Switzerland – the majestic Matterhorn mountain. The pyramid-shaped peak has been a symbol of the country since the late 19th century when it was first successfully climbed. Since then the Matterhorn has become the focus for alpine mountaineering and tourists, and climbers still come from all over the world to see and take on the challenge of this iconic mountain.
The characterful, car-free resort of Zermatt is the closest town to the Matterhorn, and it’s filled with a whole host of places to stay for a full holiday or quick weekend getaway. To get the best views of the Matterhorn – without having to be a pro-mountaineer – take the cable car from Zermatt up to neighbouring mountain of Klein Matterhorn. The views from the top will be an unforgettable part of your holiday in Valais.
Valais: A Winter Holiday HotspotWherever you decide to holiday in Valais, you’ll be able to get out on the piste on nearly 1,500 miles of slopes and guaranteed snow. All the fashionable resorts – Verbier, Leukerbad and Crans-Montana – are well connected to the slopes via cable cars, funicular railways and chair lifts. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner or seasoned pro, visiting with children or as part of a group of friends, there’s skiing, snowboarding and all manner of other fun snow activities to please everyone. Amazingly, even at the height of summer you can get out on the snow, high up on the glacier pistes of Valais near Saas Fee and Zermatt. You might even bump into some of the international sports teams who use it as their summer training ground.
So Much to Do in ValaisTop of many visitors’ lists when they’re on holiday in Valais is making the most of the great outdoors. A lot of places claim to have truly spectacular views and jaw-dropping landscapes to explore, but within minutes of arriving in Valais, you’ll see it’s true. Hiking trails lead you through mountain passes and tranquil alpine meadows, past lakes and streams, traditional towns and secluded valleys. When you’re ready for a break, be sure to try some of the local specialities including fondue, chocolate, honey and wine. The recipe for a very special holiday in Valais.