UNESCO Aletsch Arena, Valais
Crystalline air, snow crunching underfoot and sunshine from early till late. A box seat view of Aletsch Glacier and clear views of the Valais' prettiest four-thousand-meter peaks.
With a length of 23 kilometers, an average width of 1,800 meters, and a surface area of approximately 100 square kilometers, the Aletsch Glacier has an impressive 27 billion tons of ice. The ice mass moves from the northern flanks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau down into the valley of Valais, and its meltwater flows through the wild Massa Gorge into the Rhone. As a landscape of extraordinary beauty, the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch Region was included in the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites in 2001.
The sun-drenched terraces of Fiescheralp, Bettmeralp and Riederalp are half way between the valley and the sky. Six cable cars convey guests from the Rhone Valley to the resort villages and into the hiking paradise of the Aletsch Region, at an elevation of about 2,000 meters. From here they can travel to the most beautiful vantage points such as the 2,927-meter Eggishorn, which offers a panoramic view of the Aletsch and Fiescher glaciers.
Summer vacations in the Aletsch Region are vacations in untouched nature and in an attractive hiking area. In the midst of this mountain landscape is Villa Cassel, an Information Center for the "Pro Natura" nature conservation organization. Nature enthusiasts can obtain information here on the magnificent natural arena as well as offers for courses and excursions. A beautiful mountain trail leading to Villa Cassel and through the Aletsch Forest to the ice tongue of the glacier starts at Riederalp.
In the extensive Aletsch skiing area (Riederalp, Bettmeralp and Fiescheralp), you can access by mountain train and ski lift 104 kilometers of pistes, up to an elevation 2,869 meters. The offerings also include extensive winter hiking paths, snowshoe trails and cross-country tracks. A fine raclette or fondue, accompanied by a glass of Valaisian white wine, is a pleasurable conclusion to a day of sports activities.
With its fragrant and revitalising alpine air, family-friendly Aletsch Arena is just the place for your next holiday. Traditional Valais homes, chalets and hotels lend original charm to the villages in the valley and the three traffic-free Alps.
- Great Aletsch Glacier – with a length of 23 kilometers, and with 27 billion tons of ice, it is the mightiest glacier in the Alps. It is the high point of the UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch.
- Aletsch Forest - Switzerland’s oldest trees (900 years old) are found at an elevation of 2,000 meters in one of Europe's highest pine forests.
- Massa Gorge – Courageous visitors can rapel in a spectacular canyon, always accompanied by an experienced mountain guide.
- Ice World Bettmerhorn - Fascinating Aletsch Glacier – In the footsteps of an ice age explorer, visitors to this Multimedia Exhibition discover the secrets of the Alps' largest glacier.
- Villa Cassel – Nature Concervancy - Information Center and classic guesthouse (where Winston Churchill slept), at a magnificent location on the Riederfurka Ridge in the midst of a stunning mountain landscape.
- Eggishorn – From the 2,927-meter summit visitors enjoy magnificent vistas over the entire length of the Aletsch Glacier and of the smaller Fiescher Glacier.
- Alpine Museum Riederalp - in the historic Alpine Hut "Nagulschbalmu", dating from 1606, you can immerse yourself in the life of mountain farmers of bygone centuries.
- The nearby town of Brig, home of the Stockalper Palace, has always played a central role.
- Aletsch Half Marathon, Bettmeralp (June)
- Gommer Openair, Lax (July – every second year)
- Gratzug Night on Lake Märjela, Fiescheralp (August)
- Gilihüsine (ancient form of Hornussen, a Swiss team sport)
- Bettmeralp (September)
- Gommer Advent Market, Fiesch (November)
- Winter Openings, Aletsch Arena (December)
- St. Nikolaus Trichjer (traditional St. Nicholas event) Fiesch (December)