The pretty little old town of Visp in the Rhone Valley is one of the most important cultural and wine-growing centres in the Valais. With the opening of the Lötschberg base tunnel, Visp became a new railway hub for visits to the central and upper Valais, and excursions to Saas-Fee, Zermatt, Leukerbad and the Aletsch Glacier. Its wide range of accommodation including hotels, holiday apartments, group accommodation, mountain huts and two camp sites makes it a perfect place to stay, away from the bustle of the big resorts.
With 500 km of hiking trails, the Visp region is primarily hiking country in summer, but there are also a wide range of tracks for bikers. Because of the dry, almost desert-like climate on the sunny mountain slopes of the Rhone Valley, an extensive network of irrigation channels was built centuries ago by farmers of the region. This is why the area is so fertile today. Discover the 28 different flowers used for making Bach flower therapies along a special themed trail in Eggerberg; then visit the wild, romantic Turtmann Valley, where you can watch tasty mountain cheese being made the traditional way in the show cheese dairy.
The ‘Rund um Visp’ ski region comprises two main ski resorts: the Augstbord region and the head of the Vispertal, including Visperterminen. 28 ski- and chairlifts ascend from these high plateaus to 2540 m. The carousel of ski resorts made up of Bürchen/Törbel and Unterbäch with Eischoll revolves around the Augstbordhorn, and a free ski bus runs between them. Those in search of peace and quiet should make for the slopes of Gspon, reached by cableway from Stalden or Staldenried.
One ski pass gives access to all these ski regions, where you will also find snow-boarding, carving, cross-country skiing and winter hiking trails as well as prepared sledge runs. Every resort also has marked snowshoe trails offering three levels of difficulty. There is also an indoor ice-rink in Visp while Bürchen, Raron and Visperterminen have natural outdoor rinks.
- Old town of Visp: Visp is the centre of the region and has a pretty little town centre.
- Visperterminen: the highest vineyard in Europe at 1150 metres. This is where the fruity-spicy Heida white wine is pressed from Traminer grapes.
- Raron: fortified hilltop castles and a baroque church dominate the historic old part of the town where the poet Rainer Maria Rilke chose to be buried.
- Safrandorf Mund: the only village in central Europe where the precious spice, saffron, has been grown since the middle ages
- Birkendorf Bürchen: visitors can re-energise themselves here in the shade of the birch-lined avenue with some fresh birch juice.
- Pürumärt – traditional farmers’ market (September).