Monday 27 July 2015

The Grand Tour of the Val d'Anniviers

Spectacular views of the Imperial Crown

After 8 years of living here we've walked most of the valley's footpaths and yet the views still stop us in our tracks. Walk the same route twice (or more) and it's different every time - changing with the weather and seasons. So it was a great pleasure when Inntravel asked us to re-walk and adapt their existing tour of the Val d’Anniviers. The journey has high and low level routes to allow for bad weather and tired legs, and includes some of the best this area has to offer - alpine meadows, old chalets and villages, ridges and lakes, and all with the spectacular snow capped mountains to the south. With a bit of luck, there's a chance to see some of the local wildlife too - red squirrels, chamois, ibex, marmots, eagles, adders, fox - to name a few.
From Vercorin explore the 'bisse' and Vall on de Rechy

Starting in Vercorin, the perfect warm-up and introduction to the old valley routes is to follow the 'bisse' - the 500 year old channel which brings water around from the Vallon de Rechy to the village. It’s a gentle walk through woods to the open meadows around the buvette at La Lé where you can stop for a drink and something to eat, before heading back to the village.
The dramatic high route along the Crete from Vercorin to Grimentz
To walk from Vercorin to Grimentz via the Crêt du Midi and Brinta is a highlight. Taking the gondola up from the village to the Crêt, you save your energy for this long ridgewalk with fabulous mountain views. But if the weather's bad there's a lovely walk through the woods and alpages with old chalets, lovely flowers and views too.
Low level walks through meadows and alpine villages
From Grimentz you can spend your day getting closer to the snow with a walk around the Moiry reservoir and on, up to the Cabane de Moiry. The new restaurant extension, with floor to ceiling windows, looks straight out onto the glacier and is a great place for lunch.
A circuit around the Moiry and up to the Cabane from Grimentz 
Some of the most spectacular mountain scenery is from Zinal. The walk up to the Cabane Arpitettaz is as dramatic as it comes with backdrop of the 4506m Weisshorn and the snowy Blanc de Moming giving a Himalayan sense of scale. Then there's the walk over the Roc de la Vache and to the Petit & Grand Mountet refuges through lovely alpine terrain.
Many spectacular walks around Zinal
The high 'balcony' walk from Zinal to St Luc is another classic with views of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, Pointe de Zinal, Besso and Dent Blanche.
High 'balcony' walk between Zinal and St Luc
From St Luc, to finish your week, there's the wonderful panorama from the top of the Ilhorn. From here you can see your entire route around the valley to the west and south, and perhaps plan a trip north into the Bernese Oberland.
Panoramic views from the Ilhorn above St Luc
So when’s good to walk? From mid June (when the lifts open for walkers) right through until late October. Autumn is one of our favourite times here - perfect walking temperature, golden larches and early snow dusting the mountain tops. And barely a soul to be seen.
Autumn colours in Val d'Anniviers

To find out more about the walking on tour visit Inntravel, or if you fancy to stay put and explore at your leisure then self-catering from one of our chalets is a great option.