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The canton Valais (French), or Wallis (German) includes Switzerland’s largest wine region and her highest and most rugged mountains. In the French-speaking lower Valais are Martigny with its Roman ruins and excellent Pierre Gianadda art museum, and Sion with its twin castles and pretty old town, surrounded by picturesque vineyards. Also here are the Alpine resorts of Verbier and Crans-Montana and the thermal spa of Leukerbad. Farther up the Rhone Valley lie the German-speaking section and the town of Brig, a tourist hub for a vast mountain sports region. The most famous destination is Zermatt, a quaint traffic-free town on the slopes of the ...

The canton Valais (French), or Wallis (German) includes Switzerland’s largest wine region and her highest and most rugged mountains. In the French-speaking lower Valais are Martigny with its Roman ruins and excellent Pierre Gianadda art museum, and Sion with its twin castles and pretty old town, surrounded by picturesque vineyards. Also here are the Alpine resorts of Verbier and Crans-Montana and the thermal spa of Leukerbad. Farther up the Rhone Valley lie the German-speaking section and the town of Brig, a tourist hub for a vast mountain sports region. The most famous destination is Zermatt, a quaint traffic-free town on the slopes of the Matterhorn. Opportunities for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding are endless, on the spectacular slopes or amid the vineyards on the valley floor. The mountains are so high that you can ski during the summer in a few spots. The Valais claims to be the birthplace of fondue — cheese dishes are a particular specialty here, to be washed down with excellent local whites and rosés.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

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Charlie Morris for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Southwestern Switzerland, dividing the Pennine and Bernese Alps
  • Language: French, German
  • Currency: Swiss Franc
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May-September