See the Great Aletsch Glacier from up high

Aletsch Arena

A staggering sight of immense primeval beauty, the Great Aletsch Glacier is an absolute must-see. The immense river of ice stretches 23km from the Jungfrau to the northeast. In the last ice age 18,000 years ago, the vast swathe of ice covered the mountain ridges of the Aletsch Arena, with only the peaks exposed above the ice. Since then, the glacier has carved the gorgeous mountain valleys we can see today.

Top tip: The glacier is best seen from viewpoints high up on the Moosfluh, Bettmerhorn or Eggishorn mountains, where you can look down on the ice 2,500m below.

Stroll the bisses

Nendaz

Back in the olden days, irrigation channels called bisses were vital for supplying fresh water from the mountains to the pastures, vineyards and villages in the valleys below. These days, more than 98km of these channels remain and some have dramatic walking trails right next to them, making them perfect for day hikes and more.

Top tip: There are eight trails along the bisses to explore in the Nendaz valley today, six of which are still filled with water.

Blaze the trails

Dents du Midi

Trail running in the canton of Valais, Switzerland

Near the French border, the peaks of the Dents du Midi mountains are the perfect place for those with a penchant for adventure. The mountain ridges, alpine lakes and woods are just waiting to be explored by bike, or heading out for a day of rock climbing – but perhaps the best way to explore is by foot. Trail runners will love the 54 signposted routes around Portes du Soleil, and for more of a challenge, you can sign up for the legendary Trail des Dents Du Midi Seven Summits Challenge race.

Top tip: If you're new to trail running, there are plenty of expert-led tours to give you a crash course in moving fast in the mountains.

 

Go glacier walking

Aletsch Arena

The Great Aletsch Glacier is made up of 11 billion tonnes of ice, and there's no better way to experience their awe-inspiring beauty than by heading out for a day's walk. You'll be surrounded by mindboggling views of Valais' gorgeous flora and fauna, too – a sure-fire way to take your mind off the stresses and strains of daily life.

Top tip: Head out on a guided day tour with an escort to make the most of it – and make sure you cross icy areas safely.

There's a hike for everyone

Dents du Midi

Mountain biking in the canton of Valais, Switzerland

Whether you're looking for a short walk to keep the family entertained, or fancy heading out on a multi-day adventure in the mountains around Dents du Midi, there's a hike for everyone in these dramatic peaks. Themed family-friendly trails give you astonishing vistas across the mountain valleys below, while more challenging, long distance trails like the GR5 or Tour des Dents Blanches provide the perfect break for active travellers who want to feel the burn.

Top tip: A real highlight of the Dents du Midi range is the hidden alpine lakes accessible only by foot. Spend a day hiking out and back to remote Lac Vert or Lac de Soi for the perfect bucolic picnic spot.

Soak up mountain hut culture

Nendaz

To get a real taste of Swiss alpine life and relax to the pace of the mountains, take a four-day trek from hut to hut in Val de Nendaz. By day, you'll be breathing in the crisp mountain air, taking in extraordinary wildlife and soaking up all manner of views. Then, come evening, you'll be staying in a mountain hut, where you can hunker down for a night in the middle of some of Switzerland's most striking natural habitats. You'll wake up to a new view every morning.

Top tip: These three-night trekking tours take you through the Nendaz Valley, with 11-15km being covered on foot through the mountains each day – it's the ultimate way to slow down and chill out.