Obersaxen is a German-speaking Walser settlement consisting of 28 hamlets, spread across a sunny terrace 12 km long, at heights of between 1100 m and 1400 m. The deep gorges in this area prevented people from attending church services in the central hamlet of Meierhof, so 15 Baroque chapels were built in the “outposts” of Obersaxen (in the Val Lumnezia there are even 32 more). Today, a Walser Trail and a Chapels Trail tell the exciting history of the settlement.
Ilanz, the "first town on the Rhine", is just a few kilometres above the spectacular Rhine Gorge – the "Grand Canyon of Switzerland" – and is the starting point for rafting adventures on the wild waters of the Rhine. In the local Surselva museum in Ilanz you can learn more about life in olden times and agriculture in this holiday region.
The unspoilt, primeval Val Lumnezia (Lugnez, "Valley of Light") which branches off to the south from Ilanz is the longest side valley of the Anterior Rhine, extending beneath the mighty silhouette of Piz Terri (3159 m). At the far end of the valley, the Diesrut Pass (2428 m) leads up to the barren Greina plateau and then over the Greina Pass into the Blenio valley in Ticino.
In the charming scenery of this region, there are countless opportunities for hiking and a number of interesting themed walks. A hikers’ bus brings walkers to the starting point for their excursion. For mountain bikers, there is a network of marked routes in this region. Hikers and bikers in the Val Lumnezia can recover from a strenuous day with a swim in the lake at Davos Munts near Vattiz. For excursions, the Valser valley with its new thermal baths, the holiday region of Flims, the monastery at Disentis or the town of Chur are all within easy reach.
In the snow-assured skiing area between Piz Mundaun (2064 m) and Piz Sezner (2310 m), winter sports fans will find 17 lifts and 120 km of slopes, mostly easy or average, at heights of from 1200 m to 2300 m. The joys of winter can also be experienced by non-skiers on 85 km of winter walks and numerous sledging runs.
- The Rhine Gorge near Ilanz – the unspoilt landscape of the "Grand Canyon of Switzerland" offers a thrilling ride in an inflatable boat and impressive viewing points.
- Greina plateau – the unspoilt alpine Greina plateau, a natural landscape of national importance, became well-known when there were protests throughout the country against a proposed power station there and the project was eventually cancelled.
- Obersaxen Walser Trail – informative themed walk about the history and life of the wandering Walser people.
- Chapels Trail - 12 pretty chapels, some beautifully painted, on the Obersaxen plateau.
- Piz Mundaun – family skiing area, linking the two holiday areas of Obersaxen and Val Lumnezia.
- Hill climb in Obersaxen – a motorbiking event where you have to climb a virtually impregnable cliff face (June).
- OpenAir Lumnezia – a family-friendly traditional festival with marquees, surrounded by a stunning mountain backdrop (July).
- Opera Viva Obersaxen – selected operas performed in the hamlet of Meierhof (July).