Valais Travel Guide
Valais Local History
Switzerland used to only be invaded by tourists in summer. Then in 1864 a local hotel owner in St Moritz, Johannes Badrutt, decided to offer for English guests' free accommodation in summer if they promised to return in winter again. The English guests are reported as being skeptical but they agreed to the terms as they couldn't pass up the opportunity for a free holiday.
Obliviously they returned in winter and enjoy themselves so much that when they returned to England the word spread as now the busiest time in Switzerland is the winter.
Due to this the Valais area has been able to survive as it mainly covers Alpine terrain and therefore has many great ski resorts and ancient seldom visited towns. Valais is one of the two chief sources of wine in Switzerland, this provided income to the area before skiing become popular.
Shopping in Valais can be a very rewarding experience, as it's off the beaten shopping path. Its cities still stock all the items you can find all over Switzerland such as watches, Swiss Army knives, and clocks but you can find more traditional folk crafts. Items such as large, carved wooden grotesque masks and lidded wine pitchers in pewter or tin can be bought anywhere. The town of Evolene is known for its woven wool products.
Valais Restaurants and Bars
Zum See Zum See is not your typical tourist invaded restaurant due to the fact that it is located 1,766 meters up a mountain in the one horse town of Findeln. In the summer season it serves up local specialties such as Rosti and wild mushrooms in pastry shells to the hikers who mainly stop here. Then in the winter enjoy sitting in the log cabin near the fire place and sipping on its many brandies. (Findeln)
North Wall Bar Near the hostels in the town of Zermatt you'll find this bar which is claimed by many to be the cheapest and best one in the entire village. While you sit around listening to music or watching the ski videos you can enjoy some great pizza and beer for 15 SF. (Zermatt)
Elsie's Bar Elsie's Bar is another great bar in the area, but this time it mainly carters for the folk with an American style food craving. Light lunches and dinners, such as snails and cheese dishes, are served in this small log cabin to an international crowd. (Zermatt) (Tel: 028 -672431)
Walliserhof in the center of the town of Grachen your eyes will be drawn to this dark wood Valais style chalet which acts as a hotel and restaurant. It serves mainly French style food in a formal candle light environment so a jacket and reservations are recommended. (CH-3925) (Tel: 028-561122)
Valais Bars & Clubs
Valais children's activities
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