"Welcome to the Heart of The Alps" Top 5 Page for this destination Switzerland by Tripack
Switzerland Travel Guide: 14,742 reviews and 44,528 photos
I live in the Swiss Alpine region. A sunny and snowy paradise named Valais ;-).
I concentrate my Swiss tips on my region in order to guide you in one of the most beautiful part of Switzerland.
Valais has several winter sports resorts of great fame, in particular Les Portes du Soleil, Verbier, Crans Montana, Zermatt or Saas Fee. Tourism plays a significant role in the local economy.
The Mattherhorn near Zermatt is one of the biggest touristic attractions in the Swiss mountains. Have a look to my travelogue on my ski session @ Zermatt : Incredible panorama on the Alps
But there are more beauties to discover in my region...
I often read on Swiss VT pages that my country is expensive. For this reason I try to focus on good value tips to help you to save your money and more enjoying the Swiss experience. Some examples (click on the underline link) :
***A good Swiss night : Where to sleep well for less.
***Shopping tip : Don't forget to ask for VAT global refund.
***Transportation tips : How to get cheaper train or flight tickets.
*** Snow tips : How to get cheaper ski pass (up to 10% discount).
The canton of Valais is a alpine region located in the south of Switzerland. On a total of 60 tops exceeding the altitude of 4'000m on the whole of the Alps, more the half (36 summits) are in Valais!
To its south lies Italy, to the southwest France. To the north the canton is bounded by the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Bern; the cantons of Uri and Ticino lie to its east.
The canton Valais joined the Confederation in 1815. It is crossed longitudinally by the Rhone over a 120 km length, between the Rhone Glacier (Furka Pass) next to the canton of Uri, in central Switzerland, and the mouth of this river in the lake Léman, close to the French border.
About 280'000 people live in Valais. They are predominantly French speaking. The eastern part of the canton Upper Valais (from Sierre), however, speaks German. The French speaking population makes up about two thirds of the total population. Our flag is red and white with 13 stars symbolizing the 13 districts of Valais.
Wine production and tourism are some of the main industries of the canton. The secondary industry is also developed: Monthey and Viège have significant chemical industries; Chippis close to Sierre has a significant aluminium factory.
Valais is also a very large exporter of electricity: hydroelectric power plants from the canton produce about a quarter of the Swiss electricity. The world’s tallest gravity dam is located at Grande Dixence.
The agriculture, which was a long time the principal activity of the canton, lost of its importance. The market gardenings (e.g. apricots and william pears) remain famous, but it is especially the culture of the vine which is remained significant. Valais is the largest wine canton. The vineyard, producing as well the white wines as red, is very diversified and more than 20 different type of vines are high there.
The state capital Sion and its hills surmounted from two medieval castles , Valère and Tourbillon.
A small airport is located at Sion, but the main routes of transport are rail and road. Both networks are extensive and benefit from tourism.
Because of the tourism there are many mountain railways and cable cars in the mountains. The scenic rail route across the Furka Pass originates in the canton of Valais.
Valais is famous for its mountains, but its wines are one of Switzerland’s best-kept secrets. Canton Valais not only has more 4'000 metre peaks than any other region of the Alps, it also boasts Switzerland’s largest winegrowing region, with 5'200 hectares of vineyards divided up into 22'000 separate properties.
More than 40 different grape varieties are grown in the region however Chasselas, Pinot Noir and Gamay account for 85 per cent of the total surface area of the vineyards. The main wines produced are Fendant (white wine made from 100 per cent Chasselas) and Dôle (red made mainly from Pinot Noir and Gamay). Old varieties unique to the Valais are making a comeback: Petite Arvine, Amigne, Humagne Rouge and Cornalin. The Valais village of Vispertermin has Europe’s highest vineyards, stretching up to 1'100 metres above sea level.
Ready for a Swiss ride... My fresh powder paradise in:
*** Zermatt My traditional opening or closing ski season...
*** Graubuenden area My discovery of Arosa - Brigels - Laax snowy arena...
*** Les Portes du Soleil My International skiing trip...
*** Verbier, my Off the Beaten Slope destination...
*** Villars-sur-Ollon, Sunny and Snowy Beach...
***Val d'Anniviers: Grimentz - Zinal Higher is better...
Never stop skiing ;-)
My traditionnal Swiss Happy birthday wish to my VT friends
- Pros:For nature lovers
- Cons:There is no light chocolate
- In a nutshell:Small is beautiful
Snowy and sunny unlimited pleasure around the Alps... What I like when skiing is that you could easily free your mind... more travel advice
An original idea for a nap... You can dine in a Siestahotels and then subsequently have a midday snooze in one of the... more travel advice
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