Switzerland’s highest ski region and a true winter wonderland, Valais is home to over 40 ski areas and 2,000km of piste. With 45 mountains above 4,000m, Valais is guaranteed to deliver not only an exceptional snowpack but spectacular views, relaxing thermal spa resorts and gourmet delights.
One of our favourite areas is Région Dents du Midi, nestled high in the Swiss Alps near the south eastern end of Lake Geneva. Here, six picturesque resort villages make up the Swiss side of the world’s largest international ski network, Les Portes du Soleil. With over 600km of slopes, this is where world-class skiing meets unique off-slope activities and a whole host of entertaining events.
Given the Valais’ reputation as one of the most versatile and varied ski areas in the world, it’s no surprise that skiers flock here year after year to enjoy some of Europe’s best skiing. As the gateway to Les Portes du Soleil, Région Dents du Midi is all that and more!
Set along the spectacular Val-d’Illiez, the villages of the Région Dents du Midi form the Swiss half of Les Portes du Soleil, one of the world’s largest ski areas, offering over 800km2 of extraordinary skiing. Here, the iconic peaks of the Dents du Midi mountain range greet the majestic Mont Blanc on the other and provide access to skiing to suit all abilities.
Spanning 12 resorts and 300 slopes in Switzerland and France, Les Portes du Soleil is a true winter sports paradise, with wide, gentle beginner slopes perfect for those new to the mountains, and a range of intermediate and advanced pistes for those looking to challenge themselves.
However, the joy of skiing in Valais is by no means limited to Les Portes du Soleil.
Indeed, visitors to Valais are so often spoilt for choice that the area has now introduced a “Ski Safari” offer, allowing you to ski a new area every day. From a base in the main Rhône valley, you can explore stunning hidden gems as well as world-famous ski areas, taking on some of Valais’ most spectacular slopes. From some of the world’s best freeride areas and secured itinerary runs, to the ultimate on-piste first tracks experience, you can enjoy the best of Valais.
Unbeatable Alternatives for Non-Skiers
Région Dents du Midi
Nowhere are non-skiers more effectively catered for than in Région Dents du Midi. Those looking for a relaxing experience away from the madding crowds will love the silent, magical winter landscapes on some 150km of snowshoe trails. Those seeking more adrenaline-inducing adventures can take on any number of other winter sports. From sledging to ice climbing, cross-country skiing to skijoring, curling to husky touring, there’s no end to your options. If skiing isn’t your thing, Valais certainly has something that is!
Give Fatbiking A Go
A mountain sport that has experienced a huge growth in popularity over the last few years, fatbiking is a highly entertaining alternative to skiing or snowboarding. Take on the snowy landscapes on a mountain bike with oversized tyres fitted to wide-rim wheels. Dedicated routes are available where fatbiking is allowed, such as in the Valais areas of Aletsch Arena, Leukerbad, Obergoms and Crans-Montana.
Visit the Glacier Caves
Carved out by the rivers of melted water flowing underneath the glaciers, these caves are spectacular ephemeral sculptures that change over the years. More often accessible in winter, they offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience of true fairy-tale beauty.
Top Winter Events
Champéry Film Festival 08–10.11.2019
Get your early season stoke on with the latest mountaineering, skiing, snowboarding and adventure films and conferences.
C’est l’Hiver Morgins Festival 07.12.2019
This high-energy event brings all snow lovers together for a musical kickoff to the winter season!
Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games 09 – 22.01.2020
The Youth Olympic curling competitions come to Champéry in 2020.
Welsh Alpine Ski Championships (& Slopestyle Event) 18 – 25.01.2020
FIS ski races and downhill ski races featuring racers from Wales, Scotland, England and other alpine nations.
7 Peaks Riverstyle 27–28.03.2020
The 7 Peaks Riverstyle is world-class freestyle skiing at its most spectacular! The best freestylers on the planet take on a massive 23m jump spanning the Vièze River.
Rock the Pistes 15–21.03.2020
This unique festival features internationally acclaimed performers on pop-up stages right on the slopes throughout the Portes du Soleil ski area, followed by après-ski gigs in the local resorts.
Header Image © Valais Wallis Promotion – David Carlier