Are you trying to plan your ski trip but can't decide where to go? Valais is a dreamlike destination, and a good alternative to places like Tyrol if you've already been to this part of Austria. This canton is located in the southwestern area of Switzerland, and spreads across the Rhone Valley. It is the dividing separation between the Pennine Alps and Bernese Alps and is just 100 kilometres from Geneva and Bern. Valais is best known for its chalets in ski resorts Verbier and Zermat, and the Matterhorn, and it is a excellent ski destination in winter, as the Rhone Valley ensures that the slopes and landscapes are enthralling and thrilling and the conditions are perfect. Valais holiday villas and chalets ensure that people are never far from the ski slopes and runs. If you're a big fan of wooshing down the slopes but want to try somewhere a bit different and less well-known, another option is Mariborsko Pohorje in Lower Styria, Slovenia.
Most Valais holiday villas and rental cottages can be found in the numerous mountain villages and the Rhone Valley, where vineyards are abundant. After a hard day skiing in one of the region's famous and chic resorts, nothing gives more pleasure than sipping a glass of white wine accompanied with the local melted cheese delicacy, raclette, in the privacy of your own rental property or chalet. However, this region has a lot more to offer than just ski-slopes. A visit to Martigny will introduce you the main art centres of Switzerland, while Sion is the hub for museums and mediaeval castles looming over the horizon. If you want to ease your aching muscles before returning to your Valais holiday villa, visit the thermal baths of Leukerbad. This area lies on the border right next to the Alps region in France, so you can travel over the border to experience a different culture with ease.
The Matterhorn is a major attraction for holidaymakers here, and there are many Valais villas that provide easy access to the mountain. While the canton is surrounded by over 50 mountain peaks, this is undoubtedly the most impressive, standing at a height of around 4,410 metres. In addition, Valais also houses the largest glacier in the country, and this glacier is the main water source to the tributaries that flow into the Rhone River. The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise located in Zermatt offers 17 kilometres of expert piste, including a black section. While skiing is the most popular activity for winter sports lovers here, hiking is another activity that nature lovers will enjoy. Many Valais holiday homes put you in close proximity to the numerous mountain trails, which are not only well maintained, but also well marked. Some of the mountain trails were paths that once led from Italy, and are hence known as Roman roads. Walking along the irrigation channels, referred to as bisses, is an opportunity to admire the view of the surrounding landscape, which is beautiful and lush.
Other attractions in Valais that should not be missed are the Simplon Pass and the Great St. Bernard Pass, the third highest in Switzerland which goes all the way to Valle d'Aosta in Italy. While these passes were used by Gauls and Celts 500 years ago to enter Valais, today there are tunnels and highways that allow much easier access to Italy. People have to cross the Great St. Bernard Pass to reach the ski-resort of Verbier, where numerous Valais cottages, apartments and other lettings are available to book, providing easy access to 10 kilometers of ski slopes running from Les Attelas to Verbier. The people of Valais follow Roman Catholicism and this is evident from the numerous monasteries, churches and abbeys dotting the villages in the canton. All these religious places are worth a visit just to admire their architecture and style; this is no longer just a ski destination. It is an all-year round tourist destination, but its growth has not affected the natural beauty and tranquility of this alpine canton.
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