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SWITZERLAND BY RAIL - REGIONS

The Valais - Rhone Valley

Valais (Wallis)
Valais Metterhorn SnowyThe Valais – Valley in English and Wallis in German is the part French and part german speaking region to the east of Lake Geneva, brodering France and Italy acros the high southern Alps from Europe’s highest mountain, Mt Blanc, to its most famous and recognizable, the Matterhorn. The Valais essentially means the watershed for the Rhone River as is flow between the middle Alps ranges of the Jungfrau and the southern range. The largest city of the region is the capital, Sion, with Aigle with its Wine Museum, Martigny, the gateway to the St Bernard Pass and Mt Blanc, Sierre with its wine trails and Crans Montana, the baths of Leukerbad, the Stockalper Castle of Brig and high mountain adventures of Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn and Gornergrat.

Alps Valai above ZermattIn summetime, glorious balmly sunlight bathes the valley greenery. Water gurgles from pond to pond in pine forests and vineyards while cool breezes drift down from the glaciers. The Alps highest mountain peaks seem to reach the heavens. The meadows of Crans-Montana and mineral baths of Leukerbad, and high Alpine hiking trail. The Rhone River flows like a blue-green ribbon, fed by the tributaries from steep valley gorges. The river flows past mountain villages of sun-scorched houses, past towns where ancient history and modern impulses combine, past orchards and vineyards, until it flows into Lake Geneva. In winter, ski from the highest platform in the Alps at Glacier Paradise where some powder runs are close to 4,000 metres above sea level, with the Matterhorn ever present.. Cross-country ski trails and toboggan runs down valleys and across the hills. An ice crystal landscape, with snow-bound woods under brilliant winter-blue skies dotted by age-blackened wooden houses – ancient treasures lovingly preserved and still in use. Go from a downhill run to a steaming thermal bath and end the day with a traditional cheese Raclette.

 

 


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