Valais

Valais is a region in southern Switzerland that is often referred to as the country's hiking capital. It's not all about the hiking in this alpine region, however. Some of the best skiing in all of Europe can be had at the various Valais resorts, and when winter visitors aren't hitting the slopes, they can engage in any other number of activities. Heli skiing tours, which involve accessing hard to reach runs via helicopter, add to the options when it comes to skiing in Valais Switzerland, and you can do plenty of cross-country skiing in the region as well.

Regardless of the season, spending some time in Valais can be very rewarding. The region, which generally consists of the valley that rises up around the Rhone River, is incredibly scenic, so enjoying the views is part of the deal. Scores of major mountain peaks adorn the Valais region, and they include the famed Matterhorn. This famous peak stands at 14,465 feet tall and serves as the backdrop for one of the best all-around ski Valais destinations—Zermatt. In addition to world-class slopes, Zermatt offers a charming, car-free atmosphere, some excellent restaurants, and lively nightlife, thus catering to a wide range of people.

For those who wish to snowboard or ski Valais Switzerland, another top resort that is worth keeping in mind is Verbier. Hailed as the premier ski resort in the region, Verbier offers a wonderfully unpretentious environment that can help to make virtually anyone feel comfortable. Excellent restaurants complement the excellent slopes, and as is true of many other ski resorts in Switzerland, Verbier visitors can access other resorts in the area relatively easily.

Between Verbier and Zermatt, skiers and snowboarders won't want for challenging runs. Verbier, for example, attracts world-class athletes in good number with its more difficult slopes. If you're not up for the more challenging slopes, there are also beginner and intermediate slopes to choose from. You can also book lessons in hopes of improving your skills. This is also true over at Saas Fee, which is another popular snowboard and ski Valais destination.

These are the most renowned ski resorts in Valais, and regardless of which one you choose, a good time most likely awaits. Should you be interested, you can also consider the other ski resorts in the area. Lesser-known destinations such as Arolla and Bettmeralp are excellent alternatives to the larger and more renowned resorts, and there are many more like them spread throughout the region.

There are Valais hotels to fit a wide array of budgets, and regardless of which one you choose, breakfast is likely to be included in the rates. Often, you will also be able to include dinner in the rates to make things more convenient. As you might expect, the bulk of the Valais hotels have a relatively rustic appeal that fits in well with the mountain setting. Some, such as the Grand Hotel Zermatthof in Zermatt, offer numerous facilities to go with their comfortable rooms. Should you prefer a cheap hotel, it should at least have a restaurant.

When searching for Valais hotels, you might keep holiday packages in mind. Many a holiday package for the region includes hotel accommodations, and often times, discounts are part of the deal. As for other lodging options, booking a cozy chalet or a self-catering holiday apartment is also possible.

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