Val des Dix: Mother Nature at her finest
From spring to autumn, choose a holiday surrounded by nature in the heart of the authentic Valais
area in the Swiss Alps. Enjoy the clean environment and pristine natural surroundings, fill up on fresh air as you look out at majestic mountain ranges, hike, gaze, think, feel stirred, explore, discover...
Give yourself a change of scenery and a restorative break in the glorious Valais sunshine. Hit the hiking trails, cool off in alpine lakes, be wowed by what you see and have a microadventure at your own pace. Enjoy Mother Nature at her best with a holiday
involving anything from quiet contemplation to action.
Relaxed short walks, treks, trails
, huts at altitude, mountaineering courses... Cover thousands of paths on foot or by mountain bike from the first sign of spring until autumn's dying breath. A whole range of paths criss-cross Hérémence and Val des Dix, taking in everything from bisse irrigation channels to traditional villages and the peaks. The Tour du Val d’Hérens
route has an iconic stage by the Grade Dixence dam. There are also various trails and themed walks that can be organised by our local guides. Céline at Alpes Altitude
takes visitors on guided hikes to see fauna, flora, heritage and traditions.
This area has fabulous natural riches. The most famous is the Pyramids of Euseigne
: unusual rock formations that can be enjoyed from the road. You don't need to be a seasoned hiker to feel stirred by stunning landscapes. Untamed nature is within everyone's reach. Sit on a bench, look on, listen to the silence and enjoy the views without breaking a sweat. These are our favourite places to enjoy the best views and take souvenir photos:
- In Hérémence: a window onto the valley with the magnificent Dent Blanche and Matterhorn duo
- On the terrace at the Bois Sauvage restaurant: an unrestricted view of Val des Dix with the Grande Dixence dam as a backdrop
- On the terrace at Café Vélazet: views of La Maya and the villages on the south side of the Val d'Hérens valley
- In Euseigne: views of the famous Pyramids of Euseigne and the Borgne Gorge
- From the Mandelon pasture: panorama taking in peaks and glaciers
- In Riod: a balcony village, a bench next to the chapel to take in the landscape
- On the Route de Vex road in Euseigne: the best spot to photograph Val d'Hérens symbols as you can see the Pyramids of Euseigne with the Dent Blanche in the background.
The Vendes Lake
: an unusual body of water with the Dent Blanche and the Matterhorn reflected in the water. Hike along the trail from the Mandelon pasture to reach the lake in an hour. This summer, take advantage of the Pastures Shuttle
and enjoy a fabulous panoramic hike along the route taken by the Grand Raid ultramarathon. The
are a group of wild little pools with breathtaking scenic views. Locals love heading here for a family picnic. When hiking in Essertze
, stop off at the hut
with the same name.
Elsewhere in Val d’Hérens, don't miss the Blue Lake in Arolla
and Arbey's Lake in Evolène
Mayens and pastures
In times past, mayen huts were used when moving livestock to their summer pastures. Many mayens across Val des Dix have now been renovated and transformed into summer holiday accommodation. These peaceful huts still have the bucolic charm of old, which passing walkers can enjoy before heading into nearby pastures: Novelli, Méribé, Mandelon, Orchera and Esssertze. These names call to mind the agropastoral life of the past and present where our Hérens cattle and alpine know-how come together. There are plenty of lovely hiking routes through the pastures:
- From Pralong to Novelli with views of the dam wall
- From Route de la Dixence to Méribé
- Pralong – Novelli – Méribé – Pralong loop
- From Pralong to Orchera
- Pralong – Dixence by bus – Dixence – Orchera – Essertze – return to Pralong via Couta
Kit yourself out with the Val d’Hérens walking map (on sale at the Tourist Office)
The Mandelon pasture: the alpine jewel of Val des Dix
. For non-hikers, the Mandelon pasture can be accessed by vehicles along a good asphalt road. Now an agrotourism site, Mandelon is an agropastoral space with Hérens cattle and fantastic views of the surrounding peaks. Stop off at the little café
and enjoy the spectacular sight of the cows coming back in at the end of the afternoon, watch marmots playing, take photos of the best sunsets over the valley and the stunning starry skies. Patricia's walks
take you to this wonderful alpine location, accompanied by the sound of cowbells on beautiful summer evenings, and stag mating calls in the autumn.
Bisse irrigation channels
These channels running along hillsides and mountainsides have symbolised Valais heritage for as long as anyone can remember. In Val des Dix, the Erneya and Euseigne bisse channels boost soil fertility on the right of the Dixence, while the Hérémence bisse runs along the left. In Euseigne, the Fan bisse dating from 1825 continues to Vex. These bisse irrigation channels are no longer active. Instead, they are used for flat walks with a heritage feel. You can tour the four bisse channels
in six hours.
The water's journey
From glaciers to the Rhône, water — the source of life — is ubiquitous. Its journey can be seen with the Grande Dixence waterside path in Hérémence which travels through different landscapes. This makes a nice place to walk in spring and autumn.