Thanks to its dry climate and hot summers, Central Valais exhibits an extraordinary variety of species – a variety reminiscent of Mediterranean conditions. Besides the climate, diverse dynamic processes influence the natural landscape: debris flow, landslides, fire and, naturally, the wild Rhone River with its landscape of pastures and meadows.
The Pfynwald conservation area forms the centrepiece of the Regional Nature Park. It includes of the largest continuous pine forests in the Alps, an important protected wetland area with uniquely diverse wildlife and plants as well as an amphibian breeding site of national importance.
Besides natural gems such as the Turtmann Valley with the Barrhorn, Switzerland’s highest hiking mountain, or the rocky steppes of Leuk, the Pfyn-Finges Nature Park includes also one of the country’s most important wine growing. In addition, it boasts such cultural treasures as the Castle of Leuk, renovated by Mario Botta.
The Salgesch Natural History and Countryside Centre is the administrative headquarters of the nature park. This 300-year-old commandery of the Knights of St. John has been renovated and attached to a modern building that houses the park's reception and shop. An exhibition, multi-purpose room and library can be found in the former barn.