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LEISURE TIME

Climate

Valais has a microclimate which is dry and very sunny: more than 300 days of sun per year. The landscape is stunningly beautiful. The slopes on the river Rhône’s right hand side consist of a variety of vineyards in terraces and the slopes on the left hand site border with big forests.

The dale is covered with various fruit tree plantations (apricot trees, apple trees, pear trees etc) as well as of fruit and vegetable cultivation, for instance asparagus and strawberries. Citrus trees, fig-trees and kiwi bushes grow in this climate.

In order to see photos on vegetable cultivation in Fully, a small village outside the town of Martigny, see the homepage of TrekEarth,
www.trekearth.com/gallery/Europe/Switzerland/photo681506.htm.

If you want to see beautiful photos taken in the mountains by Christian Delèze, click www.trekearth.com/members/CDez.

Excursions

There are numerous possibilities in Valais to go strolling in nature, make day trips or long walks, ride a mountain bike etc. There are well defined walking tracks which are easy for beginners, but also long walking tours which are maintained all year. It is also possible to sleep over night in a cottage both in winter and summer time.

For more information, see the following homepages:

www.valaistourism.ch/en/welcome.cfm Valais Tourism
www.martignytourism.ch/Tourist Office in Martigny
www.walkingswitzerland.com/ Walking Switzerland
www.cicerone.co.uk/ Cicerone – Guide for walkers, trekkers, mountaineers, climbers and cyclists
www.valais-decouverte.ch VTT Excursions

Skiing

Valais has a great many ski resorts with a good reputation, for example Verbier, Crans-Montana, Nendaz and Zermatt. There is a huge skiing area with 212 ski resorts (skiing in prepared pists, off-pist skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboard, skating, sleigh tours “peau de phoque” – putting seal skin under the skis in order to be able to climb hillsides which one later descends on ski, “raquettes” – climbing a hillside wearing shoes onto which one attaches something similar to a smaller tennis racket in order not to sink into the snow, summer skiing etc).

For further information, please see

www.valaistourism.ch/en/welcome.cfm? Valais Tourism
se.bergfex.com/wallis/ Bergfex on all skiing areas in Valais
www.skiresorts-test.com/ski-resorts/crans-montana.html Skiresort Crans-Montana
www.verbiersportplus.ch/index.php?lang_id=3# Verbier and Les 4 Vallées www.zermatt.ch/index.e.html Matterhorn Ski Paradise

Wellness

There are a number of natural warm springs in Valais. One of many big hydropathic establishments with warm spring water is Saillon-les-Bains, situated in the Bas-Valais. This establishment offers both covered and open-air swimming-baths. It is possible to use the open-air swimming-baths during winter time. The warm, thermal water is very healthy for the human body. Saillon-les-Bains also offers fitness, sauna, massage and aerobics.

For further information, see www.thermalp.ch/index_en.php.

In Haut-Valais there is a similar establishment, Leukerbad, see www.leukerbad.ch/en/

Would you like to enjoy natural warm spring water in a ski resort with a fantastic view, we recommend a visit to Les Bains d’Ovronnaz, www.thermalp.ch/index_en.php.

For information from Valais Tourisme Office, see www.matterhornstate.com/en/Valais-WellnessVS.html.

Golf

According to some experts, Valais has become ”a golfer’s paradise”. There are many fantastic golf courses, for example Leuk, Verbier (at 1,500 metres altitude), Sion, Sierre and Matterhorn (at 1,400 metres altitude). The golf course of Crans-Montana (situated at 1,500 metres altitude) is a part of the “European Tour” and counts as one of the 5 most prestigious golf courses in Europe.

For further information, please see

www.valaistourism.ch/en/Valais-GolfVS.html Valais Tourism
www.sierre-salgesch.ch/en/Activities/Summer/Golf/ Golf Course of Sierre
www.golfcrans.ch/_model.php?ref=800 Golf Course of Crans – in French
www.golf-travelguide.com/en/voyages/promosuisse.asp Golf and Vacation
www.cransmontana.ch/ Crans-Montana Ski & Golf

Culture

The nearby surroundings offer many possibilities for an active leisure time. One can for example play tennis, ride horses, ride various kinds of bikes, go jogging etc. If you are interested in cultural activities and music, you can go up into the mountains and listen to Swiss people playing their typical Alp horns. There you can also watch when cows fight each other (!), which is something very typical for Switzerland.

There are possibilities to visit a number of musical festivals for classical music with very high international standard. Many fantastic museums are situated just around the corner, out of which one is the museum Giannadda in Martigny – world famous for its art expositions (van Gogh, Paul Klee, Picasso and others) and its beautiful outdoor sculpture park (Joan Miró, Henry Moore, André Raboud and others).

For further information, see

www.gianadda.ch/wq_pages/en/expositions/index.php www.martignytourism.ch/martigny/switzerland/office-tourism/culture.html.

Wine and gastronomy

Valais is famous for its high class gastronomy and its exquisite wines. You find restaurants where the food gets a top rate everywhere – in small villages on the countryside as well as in the towns. There are food delights for all tastes, everything from traditional Swiss food to first class gastronomy with an international touch.

When it comes to wines, this canton has many specialities which you should discover. Among others can be mentioned le Fendant, la petite Arvine, le Pino Noir, le Cornalin and l’Humagne Rouge.

For further information on gastronomy, see

www.valaistourism.ch/en/Valais-GastroVS.html Valais Tourism  www.swisswine.ch/english/regio/VS/intro.asp. Swiss wine
www.sierre-salgesch.ch/en/Local-life/Wining-and-dining/ Wining and dining in Sierre-Salgesch

For more information on Valais and the Swiss Alps as well as for a photo gallery with beautiful photos, visit the homepage for tourism in the French speaking cantons of Switzerland, TourismeSuisse.com, www.tourismesuisse.com/valais/home/f_a_1_0_0-tourisme.html (in French).

Please also see www.slowtrav.com/switzerland/planning/mountain_towns.htm (Slow travel Switzerland).

Copyright © Padeg - Copyright photos © Christian Delèze