Published/updated on 05.11.2016 by GabrielleMerk | 26729 points | Date of Tour: 29.10.2016 | Favourite Entries (6)
The Anniviers Valley (Val d'Anniviers) in Canton Valais must surely be one of the more beautiful and yet lesser known side valleys of the Rhône Valley. The atmosphere here is very family-oriented and it is a place where Swiss people...
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The Anniviers Valley (Val d'Anniviers) in Canton Valais must surely be one of the more beautiful and yet lesser known side valleys of the Rhône Valley. The atmosphere here is very family-oriented and it is a place where Swiss people tend to holiday, and is less known among foreign visitors. The valley is dotted with quaint little villages with lovely chalets and old stalls dating back to the 15th century. The ski area at the back of the valley (Zinal) is training ground for the Swiss Ski Team.
The ride up into the valley is an experience in itself, as the bus from Sierre to Vissoie winds along a narrow road with several switchbacks and sections of road along incredibly steep ravines.
The High Trail from St. Luc to Zinal starts with a Funicular ride to Tignousa, and then a nice walk along an unpaved road, switching then to typical mountain trails with an uphill stretch to the Weisshorn Hotel (the hotel gets its name from the white rock in this area, of which boulders dot the hillsides). The Hotel is a family destination as this stretch is also called the "Planet Trail" with all kinds of information about our solar system.
Around the corner from the Hotel, before continuing on the trail South, there is a short side road over the rise which is worth taking to get a fantastic view of the "Tsa du Toûno", an upper plain ringed on all sides with hills and dominated by the peak called Le Toûno.
From the Hotel the rest of the tour to Zinal continues along very well-maintained and interesting trails, passing several impressive man-made avalanche dams, and always with most fantastic views of the 4000+ mountains Zinal Rothorn and Dent Blanche at the back of the valley. A special treat is if you do this tour in autumn, as the yellowing larches give the impression of a landscape on fire, and the tops of the mountains are already covered in snow, providing a brilliant contrast.
I would count this as one of the best hikes in Switzerland with one exception only: The final 400m descent into Zinal is very steep and hard on the knees, and requires about 40 minutes. On the plus side: the descent is through cool and lovely forests. And it's encouraging to remember that the athletes train here by running this steep stretch at full speed!
This easy hike starts in the village of St. Leonard in the Rhone Valley, and follows the Clavau irrigation channel toward the city of Sion (capital city of Canton Valais) with... more >>