Across to the Rhone Valley to the South Ramp of the Lötschberg train
Sightings of the "Flower of Light" (Colchicum Vernum)
One of the streets of Ergisch
View of the church in Ergisch
View across the Turtmann Valley from Ergisch to Unterems and the Rhone Valley
Unterbäch – Eischoll – Ifil Alp – Ergisch
Published/updated on 24.04.2016 by GabrielleMerk | 12373 points | Tour Date: 19.04.2016 | Favourite Entries (2)
The small community of Eischoll in Canton Valais boasts to be the official home of the rare Spring Meadow Saffron Flower (Colchicum Vernum), nicknamed "Flower of Light" (very similar to the Autumn Crocus). Although the flower is found in other parts of Southern Europe, it is only in the Canton of Valais where there are a few meadows where this flower grows in Switzerland. Shortly after the snows melt (anywhere between February and April) the flowers spring up near the village of Eischoll in vast quantities, creating an image of a purple/pink carpet across the meadows.
The hope of seeing this spectacle of nature brings many tourists to this area. Our visit to the fields near Eischoll mid-April might have been a bit too late this year, because although we had sightings of individual flowers, we seem to have missed the fully blooming meadows, which is a real shame. It probably pays to call ahead.
But this easy 8 km walk can be done anytime after the snow melts and still offers great panorama views up and down the Rhone valley, and walks through quaint Valais villages.
Although the famous meadows are between Eischoll and Ergisch we chose to start in Unterbäch to see if there were some flowers along that stretch. Plus part of the trail there is along the old Haltsuon irrigation channel with indications of some remains of ancient wooden troughs. From Turtig in the Rhone Valley are two cable cars up to Unterbäch and Eischoll, and if one is in revision, there is a shuttle bus at the top between the two villages.
The first of the famous meadows is just outside and above the town of Eischoll, but we found a few flowers on the Ifil Alp, which is closer to Ergisch. When the meadows are fully in bloom there is a suggested round tour from Eischoll with a lower trail through more meadows and an upper trail through the forest. We chose the forest trail on this day in the hope of finding the flowers at a higher altitude.
Instead of looping back to Eischoll we walked on to Ergisch, a pretty village with a bus schuttle back to Turtmann in the valley bottom.