The 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.
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 http://www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm
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!
A great diversity of world-class wines. The landscape in the main valley is covered by vineyards.