This weekend I discovered another part of Switzerland, Val d’Anniviers. This country never stops amazing me. Its beauties are just endless. 😍
We arrived the night before and stayed in a charming Hotel-Chalet in the historic “vieux village” of Saint-Luc. This quiet village sits on the sunny side of Val d’Anniviers at 1,600m and is a great departing point for fantastic hikes and mountain-bike tours with majestic views. The village is also home to the Grand Hotel “Bella Tola”, built at the end of 1800s and now part of Switzerland Historic Hotels.
From St-Luc we took the funicular (with bikes) to the Tignousa station at 2,100m. Here we started along the MTB trail 173, which follows the “chemin des planètes” (Planet Path). This is a gentle and wide natural path against a gorgeous panorama. Artistic representations and information on the 9 planets are displayed at various intervals. It is a very popular family hiking destination and we often had to zigzag between people.
A hit along this path is the picturesque Hotel Weisshorn, at 2,337m, built at the end of the 1800s to host the first English mountaineers. The Hotel has a magnificent view of the surrounding peaks.
But here is also the end of the gravel road. Instead of turning around, we decided to try a quite rough but horizontal single-trail along the steep flank of the mountain, towards Zinal. This path, at 2,400m, is shared by hikers and MTB alike, creating at times minor a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere.
After a few km this path reconnects with the wider MTB trail 43, which we followed downhill in the direction of Zinal.
But before Zinal, the valley road passes through the charming village of Ayer, with its sun-darkened timber historic houses ( https://www.valdanniviers.ch/en/historical-path-ayer-1572.html ).
Zinal (1670 m) is the last village of Val d’Anniviers, nestled in a narrow valley between snowy mountain peaks. This is a very family oriented village, alive but peaceful, and a great getaway for summer and winter sports.
A modern cafe welcomed us and we sat outdoors to relax in the spectacular surroundings bathed inthe afternoon sun.
After refueling our bodies and minds we retraced our way back to St-Luc, this time along a low-traffic paved road.
Link to Introduction: