A Pocket Guide to Valais, Switzerland

The southerly Swiss canton of Valais has it all: wall-to-wall sunshine, spectacular natural beauty, wildlife, history, delicious cuisine and world-class wines. Ready for an adventure? Don’t miss our handy guide, which takes you from cosy cabin stays to the Aletsch Glacier – the largest in the Alps.

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Photo Credit: © Valais/Wallis Promotion - Pascal Gertschen

When it comes to natural beauty and sophisticated charm, few places on Earth can rival the Swiss canton of Valais - a supermodel of a region, boasting 300 days of sunshine a year, 8,000km of sublime hiking trails and no less than 45 majestic mountain summits towering to over 4000m. From leisurely ambles through fairy-tale forests to more challenging glacier climbs, it's a playground for outdoor enthusiasts at every level, but, also, being the nation's largest wine-making province, an oenophile's dream. Dotted with charming cafés and fine-dining spaces converted from ancient vineyard huts, the canton offers a wide array of culinary rewards at every turn. Combine your scenic daytime adventures with overnight stays in the cosy cabins and spa hotels that sit pretty among the peaks and you've got yourself a summer escape to remember.

Natural highs: plan your perfect Valais getaway

Photo Credit : © Gornergrat Bahn


3100 Hotel Kulmhotel Gornergrat

For an unbeatable location, the prize goes to the 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat, so-called because, at 3,100m above sea level, it's the highest crash pad in the Swiss Alps. All 22 rooms have glorious views over either the Matterhorn or the Monte Rosa massif and its glaciers. Fancy some stargazing? This lofty set-up is also home to the Gornergrat Observatory, a scientific research centre that has drawn astronomers for more than a century.


Gornergrat 3,100m, 3920 Zermatt

Photo Credit: © Hotel Waldhaus Bettmeralp


Waldhaus Holz100 Zimmer

The first thing you'll notice when you check into your room here is the uplifting scent of fresh wood. This innovative eco-initiative from Hotel Waldhaus, a charming family-run establishment on the fringes of a beautiful forest in Aletsch, comprises six swoon-worthy new "Holz100" rooms, all of which have been carefully crafted from sustainable, chemical-free pine, fir, larch and moon wood using dowels instead of toxic glue. If that sounds woo-woo, it is (according to ancient tradition, moon wood is harvested only during a specific lunar cycle), but the designers behind this concept insist that "the more original the wood processes, the better its effect on us humans". The result? A gorgeous, treehouse-like space in which to recharge.


3992 Bettmeralp, Switzerland

Photo Credit: © Hôtel Chalet Royal


Hôtel Chalet Royal, Veysonnaz

Located high in the mountains, overlooking the Rhône Valley and the vineyards of Valais, this hotel manages to be both majestic and cosy. Equipped with 56 bright rooms, all with their own balcony, Hôtel Chalet Royal bills itself as a bolthole that offers all the comfort of an internationally renowned hotel, while its unique soul makes for a standout stay. Be sure to make use of its picture-perfect outdoor Jacuzzi, mountain-facing sauna and hammam.


Route de Magrappé 49, 1993 Veysonnaz