We all have our own idea of the perfect day on the slopes. Whether your ultimate ski day involves carving up delightfully empty freshly groomed pistes, ploughing through light, fluffy powder or enjoying unique music festivals, you can usually find one or two in your favourite resort.
But what if we told you there’s one destination where you can have it all? This winter, in the Swiss ski region of Valais, we’ve discovered the perfect ski day.
Here, thermal spas and gourmet delights go hand in hand with world-famous ski resorts, unparalleled freeride terrain and a number of entertaining music festivals – all of which can be experienced in one amazing day.
07:30 – Make First Tracks on the Mountain
If you’ve never experienced the quiet, peaceful beauty of sunrise in the mountains, you are in for a treat with Valais’ first tracks experience. Make your mark on the immaculately groomed snow before anyone else is even out of bed, enjoying the dreamy conditions that come with being the first on the slopes.
Top it all off with a delicious Alpine breakfast once the lifts start turning, and there’s absolutely no better way to start the perfect ski day. This deal is on offer across Valais, in Zermatt, Saas-Fee, the Aletsch Arena, Crans-Montana and Morgins.
11:30 – Take on Secured Freeride Itineraries
You simply can’t visit Valais without experiencing its epic freeride scene. There’s a reason that this area is home to one of the most highly anticipated stops on the Freeride World Tour each winter. In Valais, you will find some of the world’s best freeride areas, with several ski resorts boasting a number of secured freeride itineraries that offer skiers a taste of this adventure away from the groomed slopes.
In particular, the resort of Nendaz boasts seven supremely entertaining secured freeride runs, where you can enjoy for yourself the incredible freeride heritage of this area in a safe and enjoyable way.
14:30 – Try Out Ski Touring
The unique draw of ski touring has seen it become an increasingly popular activity in winter resorts, and if you’ve never tried ski touring before, Valais is the perfect place for your first foray into this sport.
Several resorts across Valais have “rando-parcs”, ski areas dedicated completely to ski touring. Here, secured “Touring Tracks” offer the perfect introduction for novices and a great place to familiarise yourself with the equipment, technique and safety procedures.
With rando-parc routes ranging in difficulty and duration, whether you want a serious workout or to simply enjoy the mountains in a new way, a rando-parc is the perfect spot.
17:30 – Relax and Rejuvenate
The perfect way to unwind after an adrenaline-inducing day on the slopes? Hit the spa, of course! Valais is a true oasis of wellbeing and relaxation, with five thermal spa resorts across the region.
To enjoy the height of luxury, Loèche-les-Bains offers a huge amount of choice for wellness enthusiasts – you can even enjoy amuse-bouche and drinks in the colourfully lit thermal waters at Aqua Mystica evenings on certain dates here!
Or, for the best views in the region, head to Ovronnaz, where indoor and outdoor pools and a new Panoramic Alpine Spa overlook a spectacular backdrop of the Rhône Valley.
Or Enjoy a Music Festival
If your idea of the ultimate ski evening involves more partying than pampering, Valais has a lively après-ski scene, with exciting events throughout the season. As November ends, Polaris Festival heads to Verbier, a four-day celebration of electronic music with a sensational party atmosphere.
Later in the season, Rock the Pistes hits Valais. One of the most famous festivals in the Alps, here slopeside gigs take place in the magnificent Région Dents du Midi Portes du Soleil ski area, and the parties continue each evening down in the resorts. In April, acoustic festival Zermatt Unplugged hits Zermatt, and for fans of techno and house music, Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana is the ultimate mountain party.
20:00 – Taste Some Valais Specialties
Is there a better way to round off the perfect ski day than with a delicious traditional Alpine meal?
According to legend, Valais is the birthplace of raclette cheese – centuries ago, a wine-grower here warmed a piece of cheese over the fire on a cold day, and voila, an Alpine favourite was born. To this day, Valais cheesemakers follow a historic raclette recipe to create the most authentic product – Raclette du Valais AOP.
The best way to enjoy your Raclette du Valais AOP is alongside a glass of wine. The Valais region is the largest wine-making region in Switzerland, with 55 grape varieties cultivated across almost 5,000 hectares of vineyards. No day in Valais is complete without sampling a glass or two!
Featured Image © Valais Wallis Promotion – Pascal Gertschen