Cultural heritage and living traditions
Entering the Val d'Hérens is like stepping back in time. It is to plunge back into the life of yesteryear when time did not move as fast as today.
This valley has remained untouched by mass tourism, despite the construction of the first hotels as early as the 1850s, at the same time as in the Zermatt valley and well before most other Swiss tourist resorts.
It is believed that this long experience of hospitality has allowed the inhabitants to balance this economic activity, which became extremely attractive in the second half of the 20th century with the development of winter tourism, with the preservation of their main resources - farmland, alpine pastures, forests - as well as the preservation of their built and cultural heritage.
Today, what was long considered a mark of underdevelopment has become an invaluable asset in offering today's visitors a unique experience, a dive into the past.
To cross the traditional villages of the Val d'Hérens, to walk in the lanes surrounded by buildings sometimes 5x centenaries is already a disorienting activity in itself. But staying for a while in old hotels or renovated chalets, participating in guided tours by inhabitants who are passionate about their history, participating in village festivals to admire the folk costumes or attend demonstrations of ancient crafts, visiting museums to understand the development of these hamlets through the centuries promises a complete immersion, both interesting, entertaining and a change of scene.