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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 ski 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 winter sports region. The most famous destination is Zermatt, the home of the Matterhorn and arguably of ...

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 ski 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 winter sports region. The most famous destination is Zermatt, the home of the Matterhorn and arguably of Switzerland’s best skiing. Between these major resorts and a dozen smaller ones, the Valais has more miles of ski slopes than any other region, and the high-altitude resorts have long seasons, and even summer skiing in a few spots. Excellent cross-country skiing is found in the valley. 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:

    Ski season is long — December to April