Select detailed Travel Guides
Explore Germany: Valais

Valais

The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland, situated in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley. Paradoxically, it is also one of best-watered parts, having large amounts of snow and rain up on the highest peaks found in Switzerland. The canton of Valais is probably best known for the Matterhorn and ski resorts such as Zermatt and Verbier. It is composed of 13 districts (hence the 13 stars on the flag) and its capital is Sion.

Geography

The canton of Valais lies in the southwest of Switzerland. To its south lies Italy, to the southwest France. To the north the canton is bounded by the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Bern; the cantons of Uri and Ticino lie to its east.

The wide, glacial Rhône valley dominates the area. There are many side valleys which branch off the main valley. These vary from narrow and remote to reasonably populous and popular. At the head of the Mattertal valley lies Zermatt, a pretty tourist village dominated by views of the Matterhorn (4,478 m). Fifty of the mountains exceed 4,000 m with the highest, Monte Rosa, reaching 4,638 metres (15,217 ft), and there are numerous glaciers including several of the largest in the Alps.

The Rhône drains almost the entire canton and flows in the main valley from east to west down to Martigny, then in a right angle north to its mouth in Lake Geneva. After the small town of Saint-Maurice, the north-eastern banks of the river belong to the canton of Vaud. However two areas are located on the south side of the Alps and are drained by the Po river: the valley south of the Simplon Pass and the small area south of the Great St. Bernard Pass. The main valley is bounded by the Bernese Alps in the north and the Pennine Alps in the south. Other ranges situated partially in Valais are the Chablais Alps, the Mont Blanc Massif, the Urner Alps and the Lepontine Alps. Only about half of the total area is considered productive.

[ source: wikipedia ]

Popular Destinations - Valais

Ask a Local for special travel insider tips!

We make it easy for you to post your travel questions and get them answered by local residents and our property owners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This way you get unqiue travel tips, personalized to your needs. Just type in your destination in the search box and go to your desired destination guide. From there look for the "Ask a Local" box, type in your question and submit. Typically you'll get 2-3 responses within less than 24 hours.

Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!

Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!Register for our free monthly Germany travel newsletter and download as a gift this valuable eBook: "10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation" - written by Bettina Kraft, owner of the Live Like a German site.
[ + ] More Details