The ‘Anniviards’ used to rest with their herds in the settlement of Zinal, with its typical houses made of larch wood, before continuing their journey from the valley up to the high alpine pastures. Tourism has been part of village life in Zinal for 150 years.
The peak of the Weisshorn dominates the mountain landscape round Zinal. At 4506 m, it’s the fourth highest peak in Europe. No wonder that this resort is so popular with mountain climbers! Climbers march for several hours to reach four mountain huts dotted around Zinal, the starting point for climbs to the summit. Zinal also has a 300-km-network of hiking trails for keen walkers, and 150 kilometres of marked routes for sporty mountain bikers.
You can rent children’s equipment, and there is a library, a games hire facility, play- and picnic grounds, climbing garden and swimming pool, making a stay here enjoyable for both the children and their parents. On the Zau Zoura nature trail, old and young alike can learn all about local fauna and flora. You can spy on the alpine animal kingdom through a telescope at the ‘Mirador’ wildlife observation centre near the ‘Tzoucdana’ café-restaurant.
The ski resort of Zinal-Sorebois guarantees plenty of snow and comprises 9 lift facilities at altitudes ranging from 1670 m to 2895 m together with 70 kilometres of pistes against a majestic backdrop of high mountain scenery. The free-ride terrain near the ‘Gardes de Bordon’ makes Zinal a popular destination for off-piste skiing and the Avalanche Training Centre will give you the opportunity to experience a simulated avalanche so you will learn how to deal with and avoid causing potentially dangerous situation. There are 19 kilometres of cross-country ski trails.
- The ‘La Lee’ copper mine in Zinal – in summer there are accompanied tours inside the only copper mine in Switzerland open to the public along tunnels which extend 500 metres into the mountain.
- Zinal Glacier – the highlight after a two-hour snow-shoe-trekking to the glacier above the village is a walk inside the icy glacier itself.
- Ice-climbing on frozen waterfalls – evening taster courses with experienced mountain guides.
- Historic Zinal trail – 17 information panels along the route and an accompanying book explain the region's history.
- Historic sights – the old farmhouse built in 1768, the historic cheese cellar with the traditional "fromage des morts" ("cheese of the dead") and the Chalet Madeleine dating from the 17th century in Ayer, preserved as it was in 1960. Guided tours are available.
- Mauler Cup – this paragliding event turns the skies above Zinal into a magnificent colourful spectacle (January).
- Swiss National Holiday – presenting ancient crafts and the Swiss Army Boot Throwing Championship (August).
- Sierre-Zinal mountain run – world-famous mountain run from the Rhine Valley up to Zinal in the Val d'Anniviers (August).