+ === Lower part of Valais ===
+ * At Martigny, visit the Gianadda museum ([http://www.gianadda.ch/]) : sculptures and paintings, history of the city (especially when the region was part of the Roman empire)
+ * Near Martigny (Vernayaz) : the "Pissevache" cascade and the "Gorges du Trient" ([http://www.swisscastles.ch/aviation/Valais/pissevache.html] - [http://www.trientnature.ch/])
+ * If you happen to be in Valais during Carnival, don't miss the carnivals of Sion and Monthey
+ === Middle part of Valais ===
+ * At Sion, the basilic of Valère on top of a hill with the oldest organ in Europe. On the opposite hill, the ruins of the Castle of Tourbillon, very nice view on the city and the valley.
Revision as of 20:27, 9 April 2006
Valais is exactly that: a long, narrow, L-shaped valley which was cut by glaciers between two alpine mountain ranges. The main cities in the region are along the river Rhone which cuts through the bottom of the valley, between its source at the Rhone glacier in the east and its temporary destination of Lake Geneva in the west. The main tourist resorts and many small villages are in the side valleys to the north or the south.
Valais offers an amazing diversity of landscapes. Within a few kilometers there are the highest glaciers and mountains of the Alps and almost subtropical places where even almond and pomegranate trees grow.
Some of the best spring skiing in the world is available in the Valais, at prices which although high beat the equivalent offerings in Colorado.
Upper Valais -- German speaking, eastern part of Valais
Lower Valais -- French speaking, western part of Valais
Martigny - old roman town at the bend in the valley, museums and great views
Verbier - first class ski destination with lots of English and Australian visitors throughout the ski season
Sion - the political center of the Valais
Brig - the center of Swiss-German speaking Valais, Stockalper castle
Visp - the second major Swiss-German speaking town, important centre of industry
Zermatt - the Matterhorn, skiing, glaciers, views
Saas-Fee - possibly the best place in the world to snowboard
The St. Bernard Pass - a pass to Italy, origin of the Bernhardine rescue dogs
Les 4 Vallées - A single lift ticket covers this huge ski area in French speaking Valais
Simplon - a high mountain village and a pass through the mountains to Italy
Turtmann - a nice little village with traditional houses with several theme walking trails.
The language divide between French and German speaking Switzerland runs through the Valais, with French spoken in the west of the canton, and German at the eastern end.
Swiss railways (SBB) in the main valley. Buses in the side valley. Many cable cars in the mountains.
For timetables see
The train from Brig to Zermatt is run by a private company and is very expensive, if you don't have a travel pass that is also valid for this company!
Lower part of Valais
At Martigny, visit the Gianadda museum (
) : sculptures and paintings, history of the city (especially when the region was part of the Roman empire)
Near Martigny (Vernayaz) : the "Pissevache" cascade and the "Gorges du Trient" (
 - )
If you happen to be in Valais during Carnival, don't miss the carnivals of Sion and Monthey
Middle part of Valais
At Sion, the basilic of Valère on top of a hill with the oldest organ in Europe. On the opposite hill, the ruins of the Castle of Tourbillon, very nice view on the city and the valley.
Fondue - Melt Swiss cheese in a pot, dipped with pieces of bread on a fork. There are some variants :
tomatoes mixed with cheese
chocolate instead of cheese
using vegetables (carrots) instead of bread
Raclette - Another fancy of melt cheese, with potatoes and gherkins
Cholera - Pastry made of potatoes, apples, onions and cheese
Brisolée - hot chestnuts with butter, bread, thin slices of dry-cured and smoked meat
A great diversity of world-class wines. The landscape in the main valley is covered by vineyards.